“Stockton is one of two U.S. cities experimenting with universal basic income, the idea of giving all Americans a fixed, no-strings-attached stipend. Proponents say it’s a step toward economic equality, but critics worry a handout will enable bad behavior.
The Stockton program isn’t quite universal — only 125 people were selected to receive the $500 monthly allowance for 18 months.
Last fall the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, a collaboration tasked with running the pilot, sent 4,200 mailers to randomly selected households in neighborhoods where the city’s median income is at or below $46,033. Program organizers randomly selected the participants from the 478 residents who completed a survey. Another 200 people were randomly chosen to participate in the research without receiving a monthly stipend. That control group is receiving gift cards in exchange for sharing information about their lives and financial well-being.”
The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) is the country’s first mayor led guaranteed income demonstration. We aim to test a simple yet innovative solution to poverty and inequality.