There’s a story in the news about the city of Stockton, California, providing a monthly stipend to a few hundred of its low-income residents. It’s being touted as an experiment with a universal basic income.
But how is it “universal” if it’s only being paid to a few hundred people? And how does saying there are “no strings attached” make it different from many other government support programs?
The money for this project isn’t entirely from the city, either. It’s being subsidized by a private foundation. That means that private donations are supporting this experiment.
I don’t know what they expect to learn from this experiment, but I don’t think it’s going to tell them very much about the effect of a universal basic income, because that’s not what it is.
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