Stockton to test universal basic income plan

StocktonStockton, 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.

This article was originally published by


  1. Really??? says

    And then came Stalin.

  2. This will be fun to watch. Yet another Communist enclave within our borders! Have we lost the war? Looks like it.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for more.

  3. What free money to deadbeats who don’t work with no incentive to ever work! What could possibly go wrong with this ultra progressive liberal mind boggling crap program! Warning to all other states, DO NOT LET LIBERALS take over and destroy your state also!

  4. Idiots!
    I’m sorry but welfare, in any form, does not work, period!
    But, government always thinks that they can fix poverty by financing it.
    Let’s do this, it has been tried and was successful; How about the government, city, state, and feds, stay out of private industry and not try something they know absolutely nothing about, After all politicians of every stripe and color only know how to do only one thing, “talk”. Want something done? Give your problem to the busiest, most successful business man and you have a better than even chance that he will succeed!
    God help us but voters are getting dumber every day. Somebody check the education system in Stockton, I think it’s broke! Probably in more ways than one.

  5. The Captive says

    No matter what they (the government) try it fails AND THEY DON’T GET IT!! SUCKER -Zuckerburg JUST REFUSES to get it! Why? He wants to be the controller.The Dems(Left) so refuse to listen and learn from the past

  6. Oh yeah, this will work for sure. Dips!!

  7. California resident and NOT one penny of my tax dollars should be spent on this socialist communist agenda..Be VERY AFRAID come Nov you piece of trash democraps..Americans now know who you really are…SOCIALIST COMMUNIST..Go to China or Russia idiots..

  8. Rottweiler says

    This is the welfare program developed by Zuckerberg and Musk as they take your job and replace it with a machine so they can become richer, buy islands and do things that they complain others do that are in the “one percent” and who advance their progressive, communistic ideology on a country that made them rich with a concept they find repulsive (CAPITALISM). They are the elitist anti-Christs who change landscapes dripping with their guilt! Ever wonder why Jobs never gave his children I-Phones? He never wanted them to experience the addiction, the isolation, the depression, the anxiety of a person who will never be attracted to personal and human contact rather than be dependent on a mechanical technology, He made mention in a comment when asked why his children did not indulge in his invention and he said a dealer never uses their own heroin.

  9. tomsquawk says

    “We’ve overspent on things like arenas and marinas and things of that sort to try to lure in tourism and dollars that way,” Is there anywhere else the city has overspent? This will be fun to watch. Daresay if there is abuse we may not hear about it. Make sure the observations are made, good and bad, documented and shared with all.

  10. $500.00 a month won’t even buy you a cardboard box. If they want to be helpful, then give them at least $4,000.00 a month because even that is below medium income levels.

    “The 27 year old mayor is optimistic”. LOL! Well there ya go.

  11. Brenda Torres says

    Hey, how about giving some of that to us old geezers living on fixed incomes! We’ve paid and paid into this crumby system and are still getting screwed by the Social Security…!!!

  12. askeptic says

    How many times does Stockton wish to appear in Bankruptcy Court?
    When bigger fools are needed, you’ll find them at City Hall in Stockton.

  13. Stephanie says

    What can possibly go wrong?

  14. J. Richards Garcia says

    The overall problem with Universal Basic Income for anyone who wants it are politicians who pay voters these bribes for their votes. Politicians, mostly democrats, have nothing else to offer voters including integrity. Incidentally, payments for nothing fall into what economists call ‘transfer payments.’

    And If politician want to pay you money to do nothing, you will do nothing.

    Politicians must steal money from those who work to pay those who do not work. Unfortunately, the fools are those who work knowing the government will take your earned money and give it to those who do not work.

    Those who accept the offer of money-for-nothing also have little integrity. They willingly take stolen money that belongs to others. Just voting for a politician that promises you money breaks the Christian covenant: Thou shalt not covet (badly want). Accepting the money breaks the covenants of many religions: Thou shalt not steal.

    There’s no virtue here: Just because it might now be legal for the government to make UBI payments doesn’t mean its moral. Governments commit morally wrong acts every day.

    If you’re an employer in Stockton, why should you knowingly subject your employees to government theft if you can avoid it?

    As an employer, the more the government steals employees’ money, the more you have to pay employees to keep them as employees. Being an employer where governments are stealing money means many employers cannot pay employees enough for the business to survive.

    Transfer payments are increasingly occurring and substantially explains the long-term decreased worker participation rate in the U.S. economy. Also, it explains why many employers have left California, and more are likely to follow.

    Universal income is a late stage of socialism, just before the final nails seal capitalism into its coffin. Soon expect large and frequent bankruptcies.

    You can be sure it will not work for Stockton, nor for California, nor the U.S.A., nor anywhere else on the globe.

  15. Real Educator says

    “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,…..
    So universal income is the answer? No way.

  16. Hanebury John says

    Any form of welfare, unless going to a TRULY DISABLED person, should require that person’s time in return —– you have to work for it! Otherwise we are encouraging a lazy population which is what you get in communistic countries.

  17. …and the crack dealers rejoice

  18. Do you see any problems with this program? Nah – just keep on printing money.

  19. Learn from others says

    Didn’t this just fail in Finland’s test of a similar plan.?

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