The mayor of Stockton, California, is leading an experiment with universal basic income, which is set to start by giving low-income residents $500 a month, no questions asked.
Mayor Michael Tubbs calls his city ground zero for issues like wage stagnation, rising housing prices and loss of middle-class jobs that affect the nation.
The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012, and for decades it has been trying to diversify its agriculture-based economy.
I feel that as mayor its my responsibility to do all I could to begin figuring out whats the best way to make sure that folks in our community have a real economic floor, Tubbs said.
Dorian Warren serves as co-chairman the Economic Security Project, which is contributing $1 million to the initiative. He said the goal is to gather data on the economic and social impacts of giving people a basic income.
In addition to tracking what residents do with the money, Warren said they will be monitoring how a basic income affects things like self-esteem and identity.
What does it mean to say, Here is unconditional guaranteed income just based on you being a human being?' Warren asked.
The hope is to demonstrate the potential of unive...