No, Batman Cannot Fix Gotham by Creating a Universal Basic Income (and Yes, We Are Discussing This)

Batman, Greedy Billionaire? / AP featured image
Armando Abarca, left, dressed as Batman, and Jessica Rose Davis, dressed as Wonder Woman, of Los Angeles, high five each other as they attend day one of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 19, 2018, in San Diego.(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)


There are two types of people in the world: People who believe that Batman is the apex of human achievement through self-determination and perseverance, and people who are wrong.

The people who are wrong are wrong for a multitude of reasons — they dislike vigilantism, they think he’s not a real hero because he doesn’t have superpowers, they believe he is only who he is because of his money, etc. These people are all deeply jealous that one man had more motivation than they did to become a better human being.

If you believe that Batman is only awesome because he has money, there is actually very little difference between him and The Question, a superhero who has no superpowers and fights political corruption and is considered one of the top martial artists in the world (along with Batman). He doesn’t have the toys that Batman can afford, but he has been a very effective hero in the series he has appeared in.

Also, he should get his own damn movie… but I digress.

The people who think that Batman is just a billionaire and can be doing other things with his money to make the world a better place are a dime a dozen. Still, there are times when these people try to blend their hatred of the wealthy with their politics and with comic book characters who are not real. And I am here to put a stop to it.


I am sure that there was some level of humor attempted in this tweet. Just because I can’t see it through the self-righteousness of my crusade to clear Batman’s name from garbage takes like this doesn’t mean this isn’t funny to someone. But the tweet does not stand up to the facts.

In the most recent information available (Batman #93, released in June), we know Bruce Wayne’s combined assets total about $100 billion. We know this because the Joker managed to get his hands on all of it (and is currently using it to wage war on Batman — it’s a fun story). We also know, based on the animated series from the 90s that Gotham City has about 10 million residents.

So, if Bruce Wayne were to give every resident of Gotham his money, he could only afford to give them $10,000. So, unless you’re giving citizens less than $1,000 per month, you can’t even give them a universal basic income for a full year.

How do we determine who is eligible in Gotham for the money? Is it everyone? Does that mean psychopaths like The Joker and Scarecrow get $10,000 from their sworn enemy? Is their address even in the system for them to qualify to get it? What about mobsters who have millions of their own through hard work/shaking down people and businesses?

I am sorry, but Bruce Wayne simply cannot give all his money away anyhow. The Gotham Police Department is corrupt as hell, and even though the Wayne fortune has helped pay for and upgrade their equipment (which makes him extremely problematic in the current political climate), they are still almost entirely dependent on him. He cannot fight crime on the scale Gotham needs if he has given all his money away.


This is, of course, all ignoring the fact that he is not a real person and it’s ridiculous to take all this so seriously that you have to write that tweet or a 600-plus word response to it. Unless, of course, that 600-plus word response was written because you’re a giant Batman nerd and you also couldn’t think of anything to write about in the political world. I mean, the political world is such a drag right now. You can’t expect someone to plunge into it day in and day out without needing a break or snapping and writing about Batman.



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