Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unearned Income Is Awesome

It is. I wish I had much more of it. My vast portfolio is, sadly, not so vast (there's button somewhere to the left if you wish to help rectify this problem). We sell it in this country as a reward for thrift. You know, by putting pennies into a coffee can you manage to buy up a few savings bonds and earn a modest rate of return. But when you have hundreds of millions of dollars it has nothing to do with thrift. You just get money for doing nothing!

I say more people should get money for doing nothing. Specifically, babies. Everybody likes babies. We should do more for them. There are about 4 million births in this country every year. Give every one of them a $10,000 t-bill. In recession times, the Fed can pay for them, in boom times the Treasury can. It'd cost about $40 billion per year in years when the Fed didn't just make them for free. These would be special, redeemable only on/after, say, their 25th birthday. If we assume a modest 2% real rate of return, everybody would have a nice $16,500 (in real terms) gift on their 25th birthday. Ownership society!