California City Will Experiment with $500/Month Universal Basic Income

Stockton, California (Getty Images)

“Liberals have touted the notion of universal basic income, or UBI, for years. The idea behind UBI is that everyone — households or individuals, depending on the proposal — receives a minimum stipend from the government to ensure a “floor” of income.

The concept of UBI sounds wonderful on paper. It’s nice to think that we could ensure that nobody does completely without some kind of income. But, like with any other socialist idea, where does the money come from?

Various entities have tried universal basic income in different forms. Cambodia has given $5 a month to children and pregnant women in a program in which the government and UNICEF partner. Finland experimented with UBI for 2,000 unemployed people; recipients get 560 euros whether they find a job or not. Non-profits and startups have floated trial balloons in Kenya and Oakland, California.

Alaska residents receive royalty payments from oil profits, but this program is more of a bonus than a UBI guarantee.”

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