r/BasicIncome – Sci-Fi author Robert Heinlein called UBI “heritage checks” and the government paid for it by controlling the supply of money.

For Us, The Living was an early, unpublished Heinlein novel about a man from 1939 waking up in the far-off year of 2086, in the vein of Looking Backward. As the Professor character in the book explained it, as society grew, it needed more money to function, and so the government printed the necessary money as its UBI. It did this by ending the practice of fractional reserve banking, so that banks could no longer create money in the form of debt. Instead, the government issued everyone their share of the newly created money, which was their heritage as Americans, and that kept the economy growing.

Could we really do this to fund part of a UBI, using it to minimize the VAT and the net cost of Andrew Yang’s plan? The EU is having trouble creating enough money to hit their inflation targets… is there a logical reason that when the government wants more money in circulation, it has to wait for a bank to borrow it, and promise to pay interest, instead of just issuing it directly? Thomas Edison thought that would work.

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