The Cantillon Effect

Richard Cantillon is known for his analysis on the effects of a change in money supply in a state on inequality. Around the year 1730 he wrote in his Essay sur la nature du commerce en général:

If the increase in actual money comes from the state's gold and silver mines, the mines' owner, the entrepreneurs, the smelters, the refiners and generally all those who work in them will increase their expenditure in line with their gains. At home they will consume more meat and wine or beer than they used to, and they will become accustomed to having better clothes, finer linen, and more ornate houses and other sought-after commodities. Consequently they will give employment to some craftsmen who hitherto had not as much work and who, for the same reason will increase their expenditure. All if this increased expenditure on meat, wine, wool, and the like will necessarily reduce the share of other people in the state who are not the initial beneficiaries from the wealth of the mines in question. The bargaining in the market, with the demand for meat, wine, wool and the like being stronger than usual, will not fail to increase their prices.

Nowadays, money supply isn't affected by mining gold and silver. It's the banks that issue money as credit - out of nothing. Translating Cantillon into our time, we should replace miner by banker. The rest of the story still applies. However, in spite of quantitative easing we don't see much price inflation for essential goods. This effect can be explained by observing that all this newly issued money never reaches the masses.

Encointer aims at inverting the Cantillon Effect. Instead of issuing money at the top, as credit to businesses and creditworthy individuals, we issue money at the bottom. Every individual gets a universal basic income: freshly issued money.