Over on the Book of Faces there was this:
Okay, let’s say that Bruce Wayne is as rich as Bill Gates. So, net worth of $113 billion. That sounds like a lot, but let’s look at Gotham City. It was based on New York in the comics so let’s use New York’s population. 8.4 million. Divide one into the other and that’s $13,452 per person. Since that’s per person rather than per family, that amounts to an annual income enough to keep everyone out of poverty. Yay, problem solved, right?
Well, not so fast. Doing that for one year and Bruce Wayne is low flat broke. There’s nothing left to do it again for a second year. And on top of it, by liquidating all his assets he’s destroyed, or at least seriously damaged, the businesses that employed a bunchaton of people. That means a lot of people, a whole bunch of people now out of work. And since they’re out of work, they’re not producing goods and services for the rest of us. But there are a bunch of people out there with money to spend on those goods and services that do still remain. More money available to spend, less goods and services to spend it on. There’s a term for that. Inflation. Prices of the remaining goods and services goes up.
And when that year is up what then? Wayne is tapped out. So, what next? Grab Gates’ money this time? Okay, you keep up the “basic income” for another year by completely impoverishing Gates. This puts still more people out of work, producing less in goods and services. Again, more money chasing fewer goods and services. Prices go up more.
And the next year, you’ll probably have to grab at least two billionaires to impoverish to keep this up.
Even if we assume that the billionaires just sit around and wait until it’s their turn to be stripped of their wealth and don’t flee the country, taking their wealth with them, this is a recipe for disaster. More and more jobless, fewer goods and services being produced, higher prices for those that remain, and basically making everyone, rich and poor alike, poorer.
And that’s just for Gotham City (or New York City in the “real world”). The country as a whole has about 35 times as many people as does Gotham/New York. The disaster sweeps in that much faster as you shovel more dollars into a bigger maw.
One might say say that one wouldn’t really completely impoverish each billionaire in turn but instead take a little bit from each of them all together. “They won’t notice it.” Except, while they might personally suffer no hardship from being a few billion less rich than before, the secondary effects are the same in terms of reduced jobs and production if it’s $100 billion from one or $1 billion from each of 100. The effect on the economy is the same. You have the same more dollars chasing fewer goods and services. You can just hide it better and pretend the economic disaster is unrelated.
Politicians are very good at that, in fact.