Calling all meth heads, gang bangers, homeless, and those simply
too lazy get a job liberals: Stockton, California mayor Michael Tubbs wants to give you “free” money just for living in the city.
The recently declared plan would give $500 to residents of the city, which about an hour south of Sacramento and an hour east of San Francisco. It is now is the trial stages, with only certain people privileged enough to be beneficiaries of the experiment.
Tubbs’ mother worked long hours as a cashier at a Discovery Zone and still had to borrow from check cashing places to get by. “If we had $300 a month, life would be less stressful, or we could move into another neighborhood,” Tubbs says. “Maybe she would’ve been able to go back to school and get her BA, or pursue a passion.”
Today, Tubbs is Stockton’s 27-year-old mayor. Last week, he announced the launch of an experimental program that will give people like his mom about $500 a month, with no strings attached.
Stockton will likely become the first city in the nation to test out a version of universal basic income, an economic system that would regularly provide all residents enough money to cover basic expenses, with no conditions or restrictions.
Rather than a research paper, Stockton is planning a media campaign featuring program participants talking about their experiences. “Alongside the data, we need stories,” says Natalie Foster, a co-founder of the Economic Security Project.
Backers hope larger cities and states will eventually adopt universal basic income programs, much like they’ve passed higher minimum wages and paid family leave laws while federal action has stalled. The hope is that, pressure would build to take the program nationwide.
There are some wrinkles in this plan, however.
In its purest form, every American would receive a basic income, which some estimates peg at about $10,000 per year. In the aggregate, that would add trillions to the budget annually.
Left-leaning supporters insist that universal basic income should be an add-on to the existing safety net, not a replacement. But that assurance hasn’t firmed up support across the aisle.
Even Joe Biden and other more mainstream democrats think this “program” is ridic:
Joe Biden, former Obama Council of Economic Advisors chair Jason Furman, and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden have all opposed the idea for another reason: They say giving people enough money to live on will drive them out of the workforce, and that having a job is essential for emotional health and social status.
Basic income proponents disagree.
“That seems to rest on a thin theory of how one develops a work ethic — that it takes either hunger or suffering or poverty or fear,” says political scientist and Economic Security Project co-founder Dorian Warren. A recent review of decades of research on basic income-like programs in the U.S. and Canada found that, in most cases, participants reduce their work hours only slightly.
(Note that KTLA does not provide a forum for public comments on their stories)
The article does not mention where the money will come from.
Stockton consistently ranks as one of the most crime ridden cities in the country, with more robberies, car theft, and aggravated assault than even Chicago. Forbes ranks Stockton as the 8th most dangerous city.
Surely this bright idea of FREE MONEY won’t result in more budget cuts, more bankruptcy, more crime, and an overall more miserable city. A model for democrat policies nationwide.
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