Absolutely correct on rent-seeking. But the answer is not UBI; it is an honest measure of wealth which cannot be manipulated by government and banks. “Rules-based monetary policy” is the basic idea, but the rule has to be imposed on the banking system from outside. Ideally, a gold/silver standard provides a very simple “rule” for the value of a monetary unit. But even if we don’t go that route, Congress can impose a rule on the Fed.
Some will say that politicizes monetary policy. The Constitution invests the authority to coin money and regulate its value in Congress, so the Constitution envisions a political dimension to monetary policy. The banking system holds very tightly to its privileges by appealing to the chimera of a-political monetary policy.
A big part of the call for UBI is the manner in which wages — in the real terms of what they empower on to buy — have actually been declining. But the problem is not the wage, but the money it is paid in. Consider that in 1964 the minimum wage was $1.25/hr. And each of the five Quarter Dollars one might have been paid were minted with 90% silver. If you were to take five 1964 Quarters and melt them down today, you would have roughly $15-$16 worth of silver.
Fiat money is a rent-seeker’s dream. If we had sound money, we could protect the purchasing power of those on the lower end of the income spectrum and offer them a clear path of economic advancement and still incentivize the innovation which creates wealth. UBI misses the point — the problem is not how much money people have but why that money buys less and less.