Cities including Stockton, Calif. and Hudson, N.Y. are experimenting with different models related to universal basic income. In Stockton, a program that allocated $500 a month to 125 randomly selected households in low-income neighborhoods was scheduled to end in July has been extended until January. Meanwhile, Hudson is launching a pilot program to give $500 a month to randomly selected residents for five years.
1. The funds have helped recipients get through the pandemic.
More than half of the funds from Stockton’s $3.8 million experiment have been spent on food and utilities, according to preliminary findings. Stockton’s 30-year-old mayor, Michael Tubbs, who pioneered the project, said of the spending, “What we found is that you can trust people to make good decisions.”
2. Critics are skeptical about the concept.
Some economists argue that no-strings-attached cash could be a disincentive for people to find work—especially if the money is