Why Can’t The Government Just Print More Money To Solve Poverty?

Updated: December 11, 2023

A friend asked me this question, and I thought it would be good to share the answer here.

Honestly, I had the same concern a few years back and was able to immediately get the answer after a couple of searches online.

But of course, I wouldn’t want you to leave this site, so I’m giving you the answer below.

So again, why can’t the government, particularly the Central Bank of the Philippines, just print trillions of P1,000 bills and give them to all the poor?

First, because that would make all the rich and middle-class people angry, they would surely demand to be given those bills, too.

Second, giving poor people tons of money won’t guarantee that they’ll spend it wisely. If having millions automatically guarantees you’ll stay rich for the rest of your life, why do some lottery winners go bankrupt after a few years?

Plus, as they say… “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.”

Third, and probably the main reason you can’t just print money and give it to everyone, is that hyperinflation will happen.

Hyperinflation In A Nutshell

Imagine you’re an entrepreneur running a restaurant in a small town. One day, Jaime Zobel de Ayala arrived and gave everyone 10 million pesos. Suddenly, everybody starts eating out because who wouldn’t?

Your restaurant will probably be so busy catering to all the hungry townspeople that you will be forced to work harder than you usually do to keep up with the influx of customers.

But you don’t want to work harder because you too, of course, received 10 million pesos. So what do you do?

The easiest solution is to raise the prices of your food.

What used to be your P80 plate of spaghetti, you would probably now sell for P800 because you know people can afford it, right?

From P80 to P800 – that’s a 1,000% increase in price! And what just happened, in a nutshell, is what you call hyperinflation.

This means if the government starts printing more money and gives it to everyone, then the prices of goods and services in the country will dramatically increase, and the value of our currency will drastically fall in the global market.

Of course, this is just a simple explanation, and many factors are involved. But I know you get the point why it’s a bad idea for the government just to give everyone lots of money.

Hyperinflation In The Philippines

Has hyperinflation happened in the country before? The answer is yes!

According to Wikipedia:

The Japanese government occupying the Philippines during World War II issued fiat currencies for general circulation. The Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic government led by Jose P. Laurel at the same time outlawed possession of other currencies, most especially “guerilla money.”

The fiat money was dubbed “Mickey Mouse Money” because it is similar to play money and is next to worthless. Survivors of the war often tell tales of bringing a suitcase or bayong overflowing with Japanese-issued bills.

In the early times, 75 Mickey Mouse pesos could buy one duck egg. Then in 1944, a box of matches cost more than 100 Mickey Mouse pesos.

In 1942, the highest denomination available was 10 pesos. Before the end of the war, because of inflation, the Japanese government was forced to issue 100, 500, and 1000 peso notes.

Start and End Date: Jan. 1944- Dec. 1944
Peak Month and Rate of Inflation: Jan. 1944, 60%

So now you know why the Central Bank of the Philippines can’t just print more money and give it to everyone.

Learn more interesting stuff about money, like how to beat inflation and become wealthy, by subscribing to Ready To Be Rich.


  1. Hi Fitz, thank you for sharing. i have exactly the same question once in my life. but still i wonder, why can’t the government print more money, but instead on simply giving away to people, use the money to increase budget for education, build more schools, make livelihood and other stuffs that will give people decent jobs and better life. then poverty will be solved.

  2. Printing more money is the same as violating the law of supply and demand. Should there be more money in circulation that will make it worthless. Back in the early days, our money is backed-up by the Gold Standard that a particular Central Bank possess that regulates our finances which would be a good measure for the circulating money available, but the scarcity of the precious metal makes it difficult for a country to base the value in it. So most Central Banks are now printing a fiat money ( based on trust given by the government, look at the wordings at your bill) which produces hyperinflation and making it hard for countries with Foreign Debt to pay the interest alone.

  3. printing more money out of thin air will result to more poverty. Even if the poor have money, the money they have does not a purchasing power. It means that they will still not be able to buy their needs because of price increase. Worse, they may be poorer than before.

  4. One good example why the gov cant just print money its because it will make the PESO worthless. Imagine if theres plenty of gold everywhere where you can just pick it up down the road just like picking pebbles and rocks, it will make the gold worthless as its not rare anymore. Same with money.

  5. Like what is happening to the US. The federal reserves way back then. Pautang sa tao na walang porsyento o mababang porsyento. =)

  6. 1. Why can’t the government just print more money for its budget so they can cut the taxes of the employees who are earning very small?
    2. Why can’t the government just print more money to solve the country’s debt, buy electric power,oil and create more power plants, business and agricultural infrastructures? Since I guess you will also need money to teach the people how to fish, for they can’t afford their own boat, net,and the government should also guard our seas from other country stealing out fish and marine resources.
    3. Just how much and when does the government need to print more money?

    But bottom line I guess the government should be taught how to use/invest the Peoples Money more wisely, efficiently and prioritize which project will benefit most people. Stop Corruption. Palibhasa kasi karamihan sa kanila hindi nila pera yung ginagamit nila kaya di nila alam kung gaano kahirap kumita ng pera. I know since I worked with government before, and I witness how they misuse the People’s money. IF perhaps the government value more how they use the country’s resources like a good business man does, I think WE CAN ALL PROSPER. Peace and Merry Christmas Po.

  7. Hehe, I also asked myself the same question years ago. I thought it would make everyone happy and that the only thing that’s stopping the government is that people would depend on dole out money.

    Thanks for this informative post Sir Fitz.

  8. Education, quality training is probably the way to ease poverty. Give people skills that they can use effectively. Few people want to be poor, without tools they have no choice.

  9. I remember in college when our prof explained the answer to this, which is similar to what Tony said – the Gold Standard and equating the laws of supply and demand. We have like the “National Treasury of Gold” and the production cost of the money being produced by the Central Bank comes from this Treasured Gold. Correct me if I’m wrong but that’s how I remember it

  10. i remember my prof saying that we can not just print out money because we need something to back it up. that’s why we loan from IMF and WB. and also we need permission to do so. i can print out money. anyone can. as long as we can make the same exact copy then why not?

  11. Suppose you have a cake. You hand out tickets to people so they can each get a piece. If you hand out a thousand tickets, either you’re going to have to slice the pieces very, very thin, or a lot of people are just going to have worthless tickets. If you hand out just two, each person can have quite a bit of cake. The value of the tickets, then, depends a lot on how many you hand out.

  12. what if they just print lots of money and build lots of schools and pay for the debt we had in the US.?? and build lots of schools again and make everybody educated. give all educated people free food in that school and medical benefits if they are studying hard??

  13. Why the govenment won’t print more money? Because money is the root of all evil. Possessing instant millions of money can make you selfish and greedy.

  14. My opinion about this, is: If the government will just print money and distribute to the poor then, who will work for making money? Who will suffer for making a building making business,and manage a store or restaurant,and everything we need to do to have money? Then everybody will be hypocrite…and dont wanna work.Just imagine what will happen after a year.Thanks.

  15. The govt i think has a program of dole outs –the 4 P’s . But yes absolutely not a good idea that govnt should be giving money to the poor for free, that would be stupid.

    But i believe first world countries or industrialized countries are printing tons of money to finance their programs on research and devt, science & tech, human resources devt and scouting for brains and talents around the globe etc. etc…

    My point is printing money is good for the country if it is used properly and supported in a long term program e.g. manufacturing, helping finance entrepreneurs and other endeavors that i had mentioned before…plus good tax collection from govnt …the country would surely be on its way to a strong sustainable economy with huge employmnt oppurtunities for the masses.

  16. This is also very interesting that can’t just broached via this platforms.

    I have studied, and I have been promoting monetary reform of debt-free money to advocate real reforms for the perdurable benefits of all citizens on earth, not only for poor Filipinos, but also for all Filipinos including the middle-class Filipinos who are also suffering financially, ad infinitum, and also equally for the rich because so long as the poor have problems, the rich will have problems, too. The rich also suffer in one way or another or even seriously because of pressures of the poor. Or inversely, perhaps, the poor also, in one way or another suffer because of the rich. (?)

    My central aim in life as a Filipino citizen from a non-rich family origin, i.e. in terms of money, however, with reform-minded ideas with optimistic views to real progress and development in the country that must be according to economic facts, not by speculative economics of the so-called economic and financial vultures, who also grew up also in poverty here in the Philippines is for the completely honest diagnosis and analysis of the main causes, WITH RESPECT to science of essentials on financial or monetary budgeting and the customs of frugality, of the ubiquitously frequent lack, scarcity, per se, the chronic problems of, and the absence of money or income of the poor majority- which is very ironic as at times indeed it is all life-and-soul-killing based on my personal and family experiences in the past in the 1980’s and even at times in 1990’s, of: “one-day, one-eat least option”, and its monopoly of credit or money by those who hold the money powers under the present banking system, not necessarily to blame the bankers (although some of them are/might be accordingly guilty and blameworthy, and that’s all according to other opinion-makers and moralists and according to observations and criteria of the populists and the reformers) who do their good jobs daily, even in the paradox of global age of plenty, to peoples on earth particularly to multitudes of the poor and the needy in the daily tortures and financial asphyxiation that our own Government, just like other State Governments in this planet, is unable to address concretely in spite of so many laws, obviously with so many loopholes, and hard works of the Government officials, as if there’s an obstruction, to have a perdurable remedy except by some band-aid , or palliative methods by providing merely a leaf of the vine, or a mere drop of aid from the mighty ocean of financial-economic wealth-control.

    In the great paradox of monetary wealth, the rich, accordingly, perhaps, also pitifully, do have the burdens of more loans and money problems than the poor, notwithstanding of the argument(?), as far as I know, and even the richest nations on earth have more horrendous debts and crisis, perhaps, with the exception or exemption of five (5) countries with, accordingly NO DEBT (i.e. 0%) such as Brunei, Liechtenstein, Palau, Nieu, Macau of China, as with the reported total worldwide debts- including Philippines in the axis of debt – private and public of US$247 Trillion and on the way for sure to US$300 Trillion soon “with mathematical dynamics of compound(ing) interest” with the fluctuating existence US$650 Trillion global derivatives where global trade, accordingly, only amounts to US$50 Trillion annually. The Government of the United States of America, accordingly has even more or less US$17 Trillion up to US$20 Trillion total debts or even more in excess as Debt Imperialism continues to spike up daily.

    What is urgently needed is Social Credit Economy of Government-Created-Debt- Free Money Solution by way of Public Banking System, and the Distribution of Dividend/Supplementary Basic Income/Universal Basic Income (UBI) to Every Filipino Citizen annually of prosperity dividend as a right of citizenship as Paul Bathurs wrote, “If I could change the world, the first thing I would do is to make sure that everybody had enough income to meet their basic needs.” And as C.H. Douglas’ principle in the interpretation of Social Credit A+B Theorem, as enunciated that “The distribution of cash to individuals shall be progressively less dependent upon employment. That is to say that the dividend shall progressively replace wage and salary.”

    My proposal is as little at merely PHP500k or US$10k dividend to every Filipino citizen annually – not to construe or misconstrue as a dole-out or a gift or an aid to the poor, but a right of citizenship, and not from taxes nor from foreign aid or from the resources of the rich, without discrimination, and the provision of usury-free money to those who need it for rural development purposes, with hi long years of provincial-nationwide-based albeit small voice campaigns in the Philippines.

    Frederick Douglas might also be too harsh, but he also wrote quite convincingly, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”.

    I presume, therefore, that NO PERSON or (Filipino) citizen (also all persons and citizens of the world) shall be deprived of life, economic freedom or monetary justice nor of basic income, dividend or property without due process of humanitarian law; nor shall any person(s) or citizen(s) be denied the equal protection of laws binding each and every government(s) to provide economic security to everyone residing within its jurisdictions from cradle to the grave. ( Juris Publici, Jus Personarum, Jus Civitatis, Jus Haereditatis et Jus Accrescendi – Pro- Deo Et Humanitas)

  17. So why not print tons of money to pay for our debt, and builds lots of school? It a crap!!!!!

  18. Im not an economist, but I’m thinking that there is actually a solution to overcome this problem of printing a lot of money, one solution im thinking is buying foreign assets, lets say the the government print 1billion pesos, then the government uses this money to buy 10 casinos all over the world, the earnings from this casino will flow into the Philippines as dollars, and these dollars can be used to create roads and bridges all over the country, in turn providing jobs for the local Filipinos. then the government will just have to repeat the process:
    1. print money – 2. buy foreign properties – 3. use foreign income to create jobs locally.

  19. Doleouts are out of question, because you are teaching people to be lazy. Just teach the people how to earn money then they will have something for a decent living. My question is, why not the govt print money to finance infrastructure projects, pay decent wages for govt employees and various support agencies, buy govt assets, i. E. DPWH equipment, military hardwares, etc. Why resort to overseas loans and end up paying interests? Why NOT lure/attract/invite companies moving out of China and provide lucrative govt incentives, because right we are bypassed by countries such as Vietnam and India.

  20. What a load of rubbish. Learn modern monetary theory. HyperInflation can be controlled by taxation.

  21. @Brett
    Hyperinflation can indeed be controlled by taxation, but only under usual circumstances. The government printing money to give out to everyone to solve poverty is an extraordinary situation, and it will create hyperinflation that taxation won’t be able to effectively control.

    Also, leading economists reject the assertions of modern monetary theory, that’s why I instead study and learn mainstream Keynesian economics.

  22. Your safe bet to protect your net worth from hyperinflation is to shift them to safe havens like gold, silver or bitcoin.

  23. Hi, so I’ve read your explanation. I understood that. But, why can’t they print more money and spent it to make every poor citizens of Philippines a house? Not a nipa hut of course. But a stable HOUSE! Made from strong materials and a nice home. Then, it doesn’t matter if they’ll going to work their butt off because it’ll be for their necessities. Like food, clothes, etc. For example, our farmers don’t live a well off life, but if they have a house they’ll be working to provide for their foods and not to work to have a house.

    Can everyone understand my point? It’s really bothering me. Especially that recently some people, not from Philippines, said and I quote that the Philippines is a backward country. That it is not progressing. It’s quite depressing for I’m also a Filipino.

  24. @Monica
    What you just said is the job of the National Housing Authority. They can (and should) initiate projects that provide free public housing and ask the government to fund it.

    The problem isn’t really that we don’t have money. With competent leaders and without corruption, we don’t need to print more money, that can be sustainably funded by the taxes we’re paying.

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