California Launches Unconditional Basic Income Experiment

The mayor of Stockton, California, Michael Tubbs, plans to launch a test program to give residents an unconditional basic income in the near future. It is not yet clear what amount will be discussed, but it is known that about 100 families from among the townspeople will receive the money for a period of two years. Payments are not tied to the current financial situation in any way, they are the same, and you can spend dollars on anything.

From an economic point of view, the help is almost symbolic, and therefore the program is presented as an experiment. The internal financial situation in Stockton is so dire that if such a basic income breathes life into the city and returns optimism to people, then it will be possible to talk about the creation of a new economic instrument. Or about the failure of the venture, as it happened recently in Finland, where a similar program was curtailed for a number of reasons in the middle of the project.

The idea of ​​Michael Tubbs sincerely angered the inhabitants of the neighboring Silicon Valley, where they bluntly stated that even with such help, the poor would not be able to launch their startups or open a profitable business. Why then give them money, and even from the state budget? The very idea of ​​basic income is always met with hostility by conservative politicians, and in fact Californians still cannot forgive that in the last elections their candidate was not the president of the country.

However, there is a powerful and obvious argument in defense of the idea of ​​basic income - in the United States, education is monstrously expensive, and without financial support people cannot retrain and change their profession. For those who lost their jobs due to the total automation of business processes, this is almost the last chance to find a place in life anew. Or at least escape from the "doomed state", as California is now called because of the country's highest difference in living standards between rich and poor.