The mayor of Stockton, California, is leading an experiment with “universal basic income,” which is set to start by giving low-income residents $500 a month, no questions asked. Mayor Michael Tubbs calls his city “ground zero” for issues like wage stagnation, rising housing prices and loss of middle-class jobs that affect the nation. The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012, and for decades it has been trying to diversify its agriculture-based economy. “I feel that as mayor it’s my responsibility to do all I could to

begin figuring out what’s the best way to make sure that folks in our community have a real economic floor,” Tubbs said. Dorian Warren serves as co-chairman the Economic Security Project, which is contributing $1 million to the initiative. He said the goal is to gather data on the economic and social impacts of giving people a basic income. In addition to tracking what residents do with the money, Warren said they will be monitoring how a basic income affects things like self-esteem and identity. “What does it mean to say, ‘Here is unconditional guaranteed income just based on you being a human being?’” Warren asked. READ MORE