Commonwealth Policy Center

Should the government give money to people without requiring something in return? The city of Louisville thinks so. It recently launched a guaranteed income initiative that will give $500/month to 150 young adults. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said this is a tool to advance racial and gender equity. Recipients are between the ages of 18-24 and must reside in one of three impoverished Louisville neighborhoods. There are no strings attached, but the recipients must go to school or pursue a trade. But what message does it send to the people who are working? What does it say to taxpayers who are footing the bill? While it’s laudable to want to boost people out of poverty, there are real unintended consequences of doling out free money.