Dear Professor Wolf, I was recently involved in a discussion comparing the benefits of Universal Basic income vs. Full Employment. I understand you are generally more in favor of a universal employment program, but I was wondering if you could address some concerns about the Idea of a Universal Basic Income that came up in the discussion. Would providing a Universal Basic Income for Americans create an increase in housing prices, a decrease in wages, or general inflation? Thank You, Scott from Brooklyn, NY
There are no simple one-to-one connections or cause/effect relationships between creating a UBI for Americans and any other specific economic event (such as those you listed). All economic events have many diverse contributing factor. If we had a UBI iot would add its effects to all the other influences on economic events, but there is no way to know in advance of each moment's specific set of other influences, what the outcome on any event will finally be. People who tell you how any A will definitely cause a B have not understood the multi-causality of all things, events, etc.
Yes, I am very opposed to isolating one portion of a healthy, adult population as somehow exempt from the work that is required ofd the rest of that population. It is profoundly socially divisive and I dont see why that is desirable or worth risking. If we have more people that jobs that need doing, then the way to manage that situation is to reduce the working time of all workers. That way all have work while all enjoy its reduction in favor of free time.