Stockton to become first U.S. city to test universal basic income plan

Stockton, California, will soon become the first U.S. city to experiment with a universal basic income program, granting 100 residents $500 a month with no strings attached.

The project is being backed by Silicon Valley titan Chris Hughes, whose Economic Security Project gave $1 million toward the effort.

The goal, supporters say, is to ensure that the embattled city’s residents can stay out of poverty and the experiment is designed to assess whether or not the program could be rolled out on a wider scale.

“We’ve overspent on things like arenas and marinas and things of that sort to try to lure in tourism and dollars that way,” Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs explained, according to Fox News, believing that the model can be used to bolster quality of life in the struggling city – and others like it.

Stockton in recent years has been known as the “foreclosure capital” of the country and drew headlines in 2012 when it declared bankruptcy, becoming a flashpoint for Americans suffering during the Great Recession.

The concept of a universal basic income has gained traction in the Bay Area amid concerns that automation will increasingly displace workers. It’s been propelled by major CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who argue that so-called “free money” may be a necessity as technological advances alter the labor landscape.

“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas,” Zuckerberg said in his Harvard commencement address in May 2017.

Other similar efforts have been rolled out in places like Finland, which announced in April that it was ending its trial run to explore alternative welfare programs instead. The full results will be disclosed next year.

While some experts argue that universal basic income can be a way to lessen poverty by creating a guaranteed income floor, others explain that such a framework is impractical given the current entitlement and welfare state.

“I would be in favor of this if it meant eliminating all other welfare programs and requiring work,” economist and Heritage Foundation fellow Steve Moore told CalWatchdog via email. “The only way out of poverty is a job not a government handout.”

Overall, the experiment will look at how the residents spend the money and the potential economic impact it could have on the city, something that the young 27-year-old mayor is optimistic about.

“We trust that people are smart and resilient to make the best decision for them and their families with the money,” Tubbs said in a CBS News interview back in February. 

Stockton’s effort is expected to begin in early 2019.

15 comments

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  1. Dude McCool
    Dude McCool 11 July, 2018, 14:01

    Just when you think the Demwits couldn’t be more retarded…..

    Reply this comment
  2. Dallas
    Dallas 11 July, 2018, 14:16

    How will it reduce poverty or inequality if it, like other transfer payments, isn’t counted in the household income statistics?

    Reply this comment
  3. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 11 July, 2018, 16:40

    Let me guess what will happen next. How about Stockton will become the Homeless capital of California?

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 11 July, 2018, 16:56

      Pretty much already is bum city but maybe a bit less than SF.
      If God was going to give the world an enema, he’d insert the hose in Stockton.

      Reply this comment
    • The Ted System
      The Ted System 2 August, 2018, 10:15

      Homeless cap of the world?? Like that’s a bad thing??? The folks might have a home dude— are you so lacking any compassion that you are against that????

      SAD

      Reply this comment
  4. Bogiewheel
    Bogiewheel 11 July, 2018, 16:50

    Fine, As long as the fat cat liberals do the funding with private money I’m all for the program.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 11 July, 2018, 21:19

    Detroits forming. If your young get out.

    Pack and ship with Ole Uly!

    Reply this comment
  6. LBCA
    LBCA 13 July, 2018, 22:30

    America has been hijacked by damn psychopaths and it’s gone to hell in a hand basket, and not a deplorable hand basket Hillary. It’s has gone to hell from the Demodogs that need a brain scan to see if they even have a brain.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 July, 2018, 09:04

    If you have small successful business you pay 1900.00 per month for family health care. Your a waiter and family subsidized insurance is about 149.00 per month. And you wonderful why people are upset.

    Reply this comment
  8. Terry
    Terry 14 July, 2018, 09:43

    You can bet that won’t last long & then the taxpayers will have to pay it.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rev Ted
    Rev Ted 18 July, 2018, 20:14

    I LOVE watching the doomers on Sunday am in church. ]Hey– Remember, Jesus said “giveth not ANY money to the poor”….oh, wait…..I guess he never said that!

    See you girls in church!

    Reply this comment
  10. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 4 August, 2018, 10:02

    Well, if Stockton doesn’t become the Homeless Capital of the World, what will happen to San Francisco?

    Yup, it goes like this folks:

    Something is wrong.
    Something must done.
    This is something, therefore we must do it.

    Reply this comment
    • Steele, Ted
      Steele, Ted 21 August, 2018, 10:49

      that’s pretty funny S Fast—- you have a good point

      Reply this comment
      • Standing Fast
        Standing Fast 27 August, 2018, 12:26

        One of my favorite little jingles.

        Don’t remember where I first heard it, but it is used with great effectiveness in an episode of the BBC’s Thatcher-era comedy “Yes, Minister/Yes, Prime Minister” series by two former government employees whom you may know as Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn.

        It is still broadcast somewhere in tv-land, but you can also order up a complete set of DVDs and watch one a week for a very long time, and then start over. That and Rumpole of the Bailey was how I learned to recignize what I was looking at when I was a regular attendee at city council meetings AND outmaneuver politicians at their own game from time to time.

        Highly recommend both series to all government watchdogs–you have no idea how much more fun standing watch became, and how much more effective my efforts were to bring the truth to light and derail certain bad government policy.

        The reason two British political satires work here in America is the great Anglo-American tradition called “The Rule of Law”, which includes the Ancient Charter of British Common Law, Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

        The best thing about them, though, is the two series are hilarious. If you can’t afford to buy the series for yourself, put them on your Christmas list. Or invite people over for dinner & watch the shows together, and you can put out a jar on your kitchen counter for donations to your Cause. Or something.

        Reply this comment
  11. Charly
    Charly 26 August, 2018, 16:19

    Stockton elected Michael Tubbs as mayor. He travels all the time; he has a Obama vibe, Ivy League, Black, lean, looks good. He travels with his posse(best friends). They post pictures of themselves drinking around the pool. It looks like Mikey is pretty generous using his expense account for personal entertainment. One of the posse is his driver, and claims maximum mileage reimbursement.
    This deserves a followup. Progressives love the guy.
    He obviously is in office to get rich; he fits in well, talks a good game.

    Reply this comment

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