Thanks for the response Mike! Lots of good thoughts and questions.
I am new to this discussion, but my first question is, where does the free money come from? You say money is created by somebody typing numbers into a computer, but I doubt you can give everybody free money in this way. To give money to me, it must be taken from you, or others. Who? How much money are you willing to give up so that it can be given to me? What would you have done with it if it hadn’t been taken from you? Am I grateful for this gift? Or do I just consider it a right, an entitlement?
While money was created out of nothing, you’re right in order to avoid inflation (by creating more out of nothing) the money would have to come from somewhere. Like (1) The Current Welfare System ($1.5 Trillion) (2) Taxes. It could be a Land Tax, a Flat Tax, or others. There are many ways to go about it.
What would you have done with it if it hadn’t been taken from you?
Because of the nature of capitalism most of the wealth gets distributed to the hands of just a few. So most people would be getting more from BI than they’d be paying into it. And much of the funding would come from the super rich. What would they have done with it if it were not taken from them? Because it is very difficult to spend a billion dollars, typically the majority of it would be (A) sitting in a tax haven bank account or (B) invested (most likely in real estate and the stock market). Money sitting in a bank account does not help society. And I’d argue there’s no better investment to society than eliminating poverty with a BI. It would reduce crime, reduce stress, benefit health, and increase entrepreneurship and innovation.
Here’s my only personal experience with this: Twice in my life I have received unemployment compensation. Both times I avoided finding work until the benefits ran out. 26 weeks of not working each time. One time I even travelled outside the country. I viewed this as free money, and dammit, I had it coming to me. Knowing I had this money coming in definitely influenced my behavior, and reduced my contribution to society.
I see no harm in traveling and leisure time. Curious, did you really do nothing of value at all? Did you get to spend more time with relationships, friends, or family? Get to spend more time learning? Hobbies?
Also remember, just because somebody is sitting at a desk earning money at work does not mean they are contributing to society.
In fact NOT working could contribute more to a healthy society. Less traffic and car pollution is one example.
If society needed everybody to work a job that would be one thing. But that’s no longer the case. Technology is starting to do more and more of the work. It’s starting to longer make economic sense to pay humans to work in many industries. Our society organized around capital is unsustainable if people no longer have access to capital through the traditional route: jobs. Aside from moral reasons, that’s becoming the most relevant argument for BI.