This U.S. City Will Give Its Poorest People $500 a Month — No Strings Attached

Money Sense

The mayor of Stockton, Calif. wants to provide a universal basic income for the city’s poorest residents.

Starting this year, an experimental program called the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) will pay $500 a month to a few hundred of the city’s low-income residents, no strings attached.

The idea behind universal basic income, or UBI, is to provide a degree of economic security for the most vulnerable people in a community. The goal is to counteract the destabilizing forces of globalization and technological innovation that have lead to job loss and wage stagnation for countless workers, according to CNBC.

A lot of big names in Silicon Valley support UBI — Mark Zuckerberg advocated for the concept in his commencement speech at Harvard in 2017. Another Facebook executive who supports providing people with free money and no restrictions is Chris Hughes, who personally donated $1 million to the Economic Security Project, a program he co-chairs, which will provide funding for Stockton’s program to get off the ground this year.

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