This California city is hosting America’s first universal basic income trial

While we have seen trials of universal basic income take place in various places around the world such as Finland and Canada, we have yet to see anything of the sort in the US—until now. In the city of Stockton, California, an experimental basic income program is underway in which 130 residents will receive monthly payments over the course of 18 months, no strings attached. Participants aren’t exactly getting lifted out of poverty, with each person receiving $500 per month from the city. Still, Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs argues that it could grant security to people who are struggling to make ends meet or working several jobs. When the experiment is complete, city authorities will study how people spent the money and how it changed their lives—resulting in a study that could provide crucial insight into the economics of basic income. If it works as intended, it could inspire more cities to implement basic income trials.

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