A Uniform Basic Income (UBI) program has been adopted by the City of Stockton. Under the program, 100 individuals will receive $500 a month – free and clear. No strings attached.[ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Mayor Michael Tubbs (pictured left) was elected in 2016 at the age of 26. A graduate of Stanford University, he has led local efforts to have UBI adopted as a way of combatting poverty. While the Stockton now is ranked the second most fiscally sound city in the state of California, 1 in 4 of the city’s 100,00 residents live below poverty. CNN Money provides a comprehensive update on the program, inclusive of interviews of beneficiaries and program sponsors.[/ezcol_2third_end]
In an interview with CBS News, Tubbs explains that the idea of UBI “is as old as the republic.” Tubbs the first African American to serve as mayor of the city notes, people like “Thomas Paine, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr and even Richard Nixon supported” similar proposals.
The Stockton project is funded by the Economic Security Project (ESP), which has provided $1 million. On its website, ESP states that it is a network committed to advancing the debate on unconditional cash and basic income in the United States. In a time of immense wealth, no one should live in poverty, nor should the middle class be consigned to a future of permanent stagnation or anxiety. Automation, globalization, and financialization are changing the nature of work, and these shifts require us to rethink how to create economic opportunity for all.
Automation seems to be driving growing interest in the UBI around the world. A proposal also pending in Chicago for approval by local leaders. The website Futurism provides a comprehensive set of infographics that speak to automation and other trends driving the UBI movement. One of the questions posed as a part of the infographic deck is: “How will we take care of our workers when there is no work?” See the implications for certain U.S. cities and employment sectors below.[ezcol_1half][/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end][/ezcol_1half_end]
The Stockton UBI project is being managed by and is the first project undertaken by the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED).