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    Universal Basic Income - Stockton, CA - $500/month for 18 months 
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    https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/09/tec...ent/index.html

    Just 80 miles east of Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest regions in the country, is Stockton, California ? once known as America's foreclosure capital.
    Soon, the former bankrupt city will become the first in the country to participate in a test of Universal Basic Income, also known as UBI. Stockton will give 100 residents $500 a month for 18 months, no strings attached.

    The nontraditional system for distributing wealth guarantees that citizens receive a regular sum of money. The goal is to create an income floor no one will fall beneath.

    The concept of Universal Basic Income has gained traction and support from some Silicon Valley leaders, including Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg. It is seen as a way to possibly reduce poverty and safeguard against the job disruption that comes from automation.

    "We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas," Zuckerberg said at a Harvard commencement address in May 2017.

    The Stockton project has its roots in Silicon Valley, too. Its financial backers include Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes' organization, the Economic Security Project ? a fund to support research and cultural engagement around Universal Basic Income. It contributed $1 million to the Stockton initiative.

    In an interview with CNNMoney earlier this year, Hughes said being part of the country's top 1% helped him realize the great inequities in the economy.

    "It is such a fundamental idea behind America that if you work hard, you can get ahead ? and you certainly don't live in poverty. But that isn't true today, and it hasn't been true in the country for decades," Hughes said. "I believe that unless we make significant changes today, the income inequality in our country will continue to grow and call into question the very nature of our social contract."

    With a population of more than 300,000, with one in four people living in poverty, Stockton was considered a great testing ground for Universal Basic Income.

    "Stockton is a city that looks a lot like the rest of America," said Natalie Foster, co-founder and co-chair of the Economic Security Project.

    Stockton has a median household income of $49,271, compared to $57,617 nationally, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. It's also diverse: More than 70% of the city's population identify as minorities.

    "We have a bunch of folks starting off life already behind, born into communities that don't have a lot of opportunity," said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. "My mom always used to say, 'You have to get out of Stockton.' ... But I want Stockton to be [a place people] want to live in."

    His interest in Universal Basic Income also stems from the "looming threat of automation and displacement."

    Tubbs believes the companies building these technologies, "have a responsibility to make sure people aren't adversely impacted and also make their communities better places."

    This is one way to help. Stockton residents are clamoring to get one of the 100 UBI spots.

    "My email inbox is inundated daily with residents from the community wanting to know, 'What's the sign-up process? Has it already started? Am I already too late? What do I have to do?'" said Lori Ospina, director of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, which is running the project.

    The project, expected to launch in 2019, hopes to use data to address the policy questions about UBI. For example, does a guarantee of a basic income affect school attendance and health, or cause people to quit their jobs or start new businesses?

    The project is also interested at looking at how the funds impact female empowerment and if it can help pull people out of poverty.


    The Stockton experiment is not the first demonstration of universal basic income. Similar programs have already been conducted by various organizations or governments in Finland, Italy, Uganda, Cambodia and India.

    In Finland, a monthly stipend of 560 euros was given to 2,000 unemployed people between the ages of 25 and 58. In Cambodia, $5 a month went to pregnant women and children. A 12-year pilot program sponsored by the nonprofit GiveDirectly.org is underway in Kenya, while a similar program sponsored by the Canadian government is undergoing testing in Ontario. Another pilot, backed by startup accelerator Y Combinator, will give 1,000 people in Oakland, California, $1,000 a month for up to 5 years.

    "I've watched the tech [community] become very interested in Universal Basic Income for the past several years. I think it stems from one part guilt and one part optimism," Foster said. "These are folks who believe in the moonshot, believe in the big ideas, and that nothing is too big."

    Foster suggested that other cash transfer programs show how UBI could work more broadly. For example, for the past 40 years, all Alaska residents, including children, have received a varying annual cash payment from oil royalties.

    "They use it to save for education, to get them through seasonal changes in their work, or to pay for heating during the winter when that gets much more expensive," Foster said.

    According to Allison Fahey, associate director of MIT's Poverty Action Lab, it's too soon to tell if UBI will help reduce poverty. But she believes the experience in Stockton and other cities will provide answers.

    "It has really exciting potential, and this is why it is important to look into," Fahey said. "It's a very radical way of delivering aid. There is an elegance and beauty to how simple it is."
    Very awesome idea. FTR there are pot shops there (not all CA cities/counties approved MMJ/pot shops).
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    I love this idea. I think with increased automation in the future and the inherent loss of some forms of employment, something like a universal income will probably become a big rallying call for the human rights 'lobby' of the future. It will quickly become something essential and inherent.

    Of course, Zuckerberg is going to want such a thing. The cynic in me finds the capitalists praising such income exceedingly transparent. But I do agree nonetheless.
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    Be interesting to live as a vagrant for a few months and try to live off of $500 US a month. Get a crappy bike, a tent, eat like a king maybe? Get a gym membership. Rent a P.O Box. Pay as you go cellphone. Maybe enroll in some sort of college course. Definitely get a library card and some university library card. Anything I'm missing?

    In Canada, you would have to pay for some sort of rent in the winter. And heating. So I guess you would have to save money for that and do some sort of communal living arrangement.
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    I would like to add that the UBI here is just a basic income and you'll get more benefits as one must have atleast 480euros after rent, healthcare and such mandatory costs.
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    I love this idea too. I find it frustrating to think though that if it turns out that this concept is nothing but good for society, we will likely then have to have an argument with societies assholes about what message its sending and various imagined problems the naysayers come up with like always.

    It's sad that the actual facts and evidence is the least important part of getting a policy put into practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrRoot View Post
    I would like to add that the UBI here is just a basic income and you'll get more benefits as one must have atleast 480euros after rent, healthcare and such mandatory costs.
    That's an interesting and important distinction. I would caution that that is in EU, correct? In US such an outcome is not yet firmly established. We might have to work towards that. It's a different world.
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    Yeah it was regarding finnish UBI experiment which in fact isn’t anything new as we have had these social benefits pretty much the same as UBI since 1970s. Only distinction is that those who participate in UBI experiment don’t have to apply for it and they get it automatically (but they will have to apply for other benefits).

    We also do have free education system in which you only pay for your education material even in the university level.
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    I'd say sign me up, but at nearly 80 y/o it's too late for me as an individual.

    Bravo Finland !
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    I have been a proponent of a UBI for quite a while but I am also concerned about the adverse effects it could bring: More (total) reliance on government being the major one.

    Overall, however, I do think it a positive thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiet roar View Post
    I have been a proponent of a UBI for quite a while but I am also concerned about the adverse effects it could bring: More (total) reliance on government being the major one.

    Overall, however, I do think it a positive thing.
    Nah. People want to work. The idea that people are lazy and won't work if given half a chance is just bullshit people make up to justify feeling superior to others. In reality, sure people don't like shitty work, but they hate no work almost as much.
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    Also most people don't understand that you can be productive to society without working.

    There are plenty of ways to be beneficial to others than just working so most pro UBI people think it as a payment for doing that instead of it being work as capitalism defines it.

    Some might volunteer at soup kitchen and other give harm reduction tips at a drug forum which both are beneficial and UBI accounts for that.

    I admit it can be hard to believe that if given a possibility people try to do good to others if you don't believe in people in general.
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    I agree MrRoot, and with you too, Jess. My concerns are more along the lines of increased government involvement in our lives overall. It doesn't necessarily mean it will happen, it's just something I am wary of.
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    I’m actually against UBI.

    Glad to see it happen for the smaller cities though. More feasible than setting up a huge homeless shelter and segregating the poor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiet roar View Post
    I agree MrRoot, and with you too, Jess. My concerns are more along the lines of increased government involvement in our lives overall. It doesn't necessarily mean it will happen, it's just something I am wary of.
    I share concerns too, excess dependence on the state isn't a good thing. I wonder if they would drug test for a UBI?
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    Quote Originally Posted by swilow View Post
    I share concerns too, excess dependence on the state isn't a good thing. I wonder if they would drug test for a UBI?
    I believe it is cost inefficient to drug test for social welfare programs.

    Tennessee did something akin to this for food stamps, and very few people turned up positive. It turns out most people who can't afford food also can't afford drugs (seeing as drugs are normally more expensive, this makes sense).

    I'm sincerely hoping not.
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    Since there will be a lot of automatization replacing workers in the future there must be a some way to make sure society doesn't collapse because the fact that most people won't have a job.

    UBI is one solution to this but it actually demands for government owned businesses which may not be a bad idea.

    In my utopia governments are a mix of corporations and what they are currently and they provide for the needs of masses who just try to beneficial to others in a way they can.

    Like how the society in Star Trek works.

    It will take a long time but automatization and AIs will finally eat up the jobs available at the moment.
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    People will have to become specialized and educated in careers that will exist in their lifetimes. That's a burden on the individual, not the government.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain.Heroin View Post
    I believe it is cost inefficient to drug test for social welfare programs.

    Tennessee did something akin to this for food stamps, and very few people turned up positive. It turns out most people who can't afford food also can't afford drugs (seeing as drugs are normally more expensive, this makes sense).

    I'm sincerely hoping not.
    Likewise. In Australia, there is a proposal to test welfare recipients which I could not disagree with more. The reasoning behind it just seems punitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swilow View Post
    Likewise. In Australia, there is a proposal to test welfare recipients which I could not disagree with more. The reasoning behind it just seems punitive.
    People are such bullshiters. They say we need to test them so we don't waste money. But if you show them that such drug tests are themselves wastes of money, they say it's a matter of principle and sending the right message.

    And credit where it's due, that's closer to the real reason than the money excuse. The real reason being that they don't like drug users and just can't stand the idea that even a fraction of a cent of "their" money ever went to fund their drugs.

    A small fortune is spent managing the welfare system. Imagine how much money we could save if we did away with all that. I wonder how much better it would be if we just gave a set amount of money to anyone who requested it. No strings attached.

    Seems like that would work even better than having a universal basic income. Social pressures will keep many who don't need welfare from getting it. And between that and eliminating administrative costs, wed probably be able to give money to the people who need it and still wind up with a system that costs less than it does now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrRoot View Post
    Since there will be a lot of automatization replacing workers in the future there must be a some way to make sure society doesn't collapse because the fact that most people won't have a job.

    UBI is one solution to this but it actually demands for government owned businesses which may not be a bad idea.

    In my utopia governments are a mix of corporations and what they are currently and they provide for the needs of masses who just try to beneficial to others in a way they can.

    Like how the society in Star Trek works.

    It will take a long time but automatization and AIs will finally eat up the jobs available at the moment.
    If you think the elites (money power, central bankers) would allow such a system you are sorely mistaken.

    Wouldn't mind $500 a month, pay a third of my rent.
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    Other places are offering similar incentives. Vermont is offering a limited number of new residents 10k a pop over two years. I don't any money was offered but I also used to get letters from the former governor of Iowa begging people to come back.

    https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/...ove/663676002/

    Here's an article from the New York Times (it's a few years old now) but drug testing anyone receiving gov't benefits was something Rick Scott campaigned on and if you pass a drug test, the state has to reimburse you for it so it's actually costing Florida more to drug test benefit recipients.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/u...rug-tests.html
    Last edited by aihfl; 15-07-2018 at 16:51. Reason: forgot to put in the links
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