Data shows how basic income recipients spend free money
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The first data from an experiment in a California city where needy people get $500 a month shows they spend most of it on things like food, clothing and utility bills.
The 18-month, privately funded program started in February and involves 125 people in Stockton. It is one of the few experiments testing the concept of “universal basic income,” an old idea getting new attention from Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs hopes the data will win over skeptics who think people who get free money will waste it, and convince state lawmakers to adopt the program statewide.
But critics like Matt Zwolinski, director of the Center for Ethics, Economics and Public Policy at the University of San Diego, say the experiment likely won’t provide useful information because of its limited size and duration.