Later this year, Stockton, a city in California with a 25% poverty rate, will conduct an unusual experiment: Roughly 100 of its citizens will receive $500 a month for 12-18 months, with no work requirements and no strings attached. Researchers likely will regularly assess the recipients? health, childcare arrangements, education, and general well-being in order to measure how this kind of financial leg up affects quality of life. The grant, from the Economic Security Project, is a privately funded experiment in “universal basic income,” a policy idea crafted from the premise that every citizen should receive a regular stipend from the government to cover their basic needs.
Header photo by Niels Steeman on Unsplash