Elon Musk Dispels Myth Of Economic ‘Free Lunch’

Billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in the second part of his conversation with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, broadcast Tuesday evening, addressed the prevailing inflation issue in the U.S. economy. He emphasized the importance of boosting economic productivity to mitigate the inflationary impact, which he attributes to an increase in the money supply.

Musk explained the phenomenon on Tucker Carlson Tonight, stating, “Inflation is going to happen no matter what. If you increase the money supply, you get inflation.” He debunked the idea of any magical solution to the problem, emphasizing that the only effective means to reduce inflation is by increasing the productivity or output of goods and services.

The ongoing pandemic has led to several relief measures. The U.S. economy has witnessed an expansion in the money supply, causing inflation to surge to 40-year highs in 2022. Despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to curb inflation through higher interest rates, prices continued to soar, reflecting a 5% year-over-year increase in March, more than double the Fed’s target rate of 2%.

Musk pointed out the impact of COVID stimulus bills on inflation, stating, “So, all of these COVID sort of stimulus bills were not paid for. They just generated more currency.” He highlighted the dangers of unchecked money issuance, reminding us of the old saying, “There’s no free lunch.”

Furthermore, Musk referred to the disastrous consequences of reckless money printing, citing Venezuela’s economic collapse as a cautionary example: “So if you could just issue massive amounts of money without negative consequences, why don’t we just take that to the limit, make everyone a trillionaire? Well, I mean they tried that in Venezuela, how’d that work out?” Carlson responded to Musk’s rhetorical question, noting that the desperate Venezuelans resorted to eating zoo animals.

Musk’s insight into the inflation issue reminds policymakers to exercise prudence in managing the money supply. With the U.S. economy still grappling with inflationary pressures, focusing on enhancing economic productivity is more relevant than ever. An emphasis on infrastructure, technology, and education investment could help drive growth and increase the output of goods and services, ultimately mitigating inflation and fostering a healthier economic environment.

Musk’s warning underscores the importance of balancing the money supply and economic productivity. As policymakers strive to manage inflation and maintain economic stability, they must prioritize long-term, sustainable growth strategies focusing on enhancing productivity. After all, there is no magical cure or free lunch in economics.