A Hand Up or a Hand Out?

It is generally understood that most developed countries have, to varying degrees, problems with homelessness, labor shortages and immigration.  Governments, at all levels, have sought to find solutions, and many have considered some form of universal basic income.  We have discussed this in a series of blogs posted over the last several years.

Ben Henwood, a professor at the University of Southern California, teamed up with the nonprofit, Miracle Messages, to give 103 people in California $750 per month for one year.  A preliminary six-month assessment suggests that the program can make a difference.

Guaranteed income programs are not a novel concept.  According to Stanford University’s Basic Income Lab, there are at least 50 active basic income experiments in the US.

Kevin F. Adler, the founder and CEO of Miracle Messages, believes that giving money directly to people experiencing homelessness may result in better decisions.

Clearly, there are no easy answers, but investors should be interested in the potential for increasing workforce participation and improving economic growth.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger CFA