By now anyone with a passing interest in universal basic income knows about the upcoming trial balloon that's supposed to begin in early 2019. If not, see Stockton to become first U.S. city to test universal basic income plan. To wit:
Stockton, California, will soon become the first U.S. city to experiment with a universal basic income program, granting 100 residents $500 a month with no strings attached.
The project is being backed by Silicon Valley titan Chris Hughes, whose Economic Security Project gave $1 million toward the effort.
I'm not enough of a statistician to know whether 100 recipients are enough to get reliable results. But there's a bigger obstacle to a fair reading: U.S. government entitlement programs combined with California's generous welfare system and the likelihood that they will all still be available to the recipients.
Here's the way Charles Murray envisioned it, from his article A Guaranteed Income for Every American:
The UBI is to be financed by getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, housing subsidies, welfare for single women and every other kind of welfare and social-services program, as well as agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare. As of 2014, the annual cost of a UBI would have been about $200 billion cheaper than the current system. By 2020, it would be nearly a trillion dollars cheaper.
But even if the Stocton experiment isn't a true test of a pure system, the results will be interesting, nonetheless.
1:23 PM 7/16/2018