Stockton, CA

Los Angeles Could End Up Becoming Largest City With Guaranteed Income

Synthia Stark by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Some time ago, there was a universal basic income (UBI) experiment that occurred in Stockton, California. It was the first of its kind in America and ran from February 2019 to February 2021. In Los Angeles, California, they’re hoping to recreate this experience, and it would be the largest version of this experiment (if it gets approved). 

Since the program in Stockton is basically done now, the results are now trickling in — and it shows that every single person eventually sought full-time employment, graduating from the UBI program, as the money injected into the system reinvigorated the people to work hard and potentially change their career paths.

Specifically, in Stockton, California, $500 was distributed to 125 people (through a special card) for those who were either at or below the poverty line and eventually, each person sought out proper employment, releasing their grip on poverty (as for how long, only time will tell). by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

For example, a hard-working father from Stockton who used to work two full-time jobs (under the minimum wage) had just enough money to take the time off from work to write a real estate exam. 

Since this person could now afford to take time off, this person studied hard and passed their real estate exam. This person ended up leaving his two old jobs behind, was no longer in the UBI program, and has since improved his family’s financial situation.

So basically, $500 changed the lives of many people, including this one person. Plus, more and more people in Stockton reported having a better work-life balance, where they could actually spend time with close family and appreciate life. 

We only have one life to live, so that was great to hear also. by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash

To summarize this, the people of Stockton became independent enough that they basically phased out of the UBI experiment. This means that no one tried to stay and “game” the system. The experiment was a resounding success — and it was done in the comfort of a smaller community.

Related: This Happened When Stockton Gave Struggling Folks Money For a Year

Recently, in Los Angeles, California, Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking to seek approval from the City Council to set aside $24 million from the 2022 budget. This $24 million would be set aside to implement $1000 monthly payments for 2000 low-income families in the city. by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

The candidates for this UBI program would be selected from all 15 city districts and would depend on the number of people who live below the poverty line, particularly those in families. For example, low-income families, where there is at least 1 minor (child) would be the ideal candidate family for this program.

In Los Angeles, California, at least one in every five residents are at or below the poverty line, which means that poverty is a pretty serious problem. As for the Mayor, he’s likely tired of the losing fight on poverty and wants to do something to better alleviate the people:  

“How many decades are we going to keep fighting a war on poverty with the same old results? This is one of the…..resources to permanently change people’s lives.”

If this program does get approved, then a series of prepaid “Angeleno Card” will be distributed to the 104,200 residents who qualify — and hopefully, things will turn out great, just as they did for the people in Stockton, California. by Ben on Unsplash

Usually, when it comes to UBI programs, they are often funded by private philanthropic organizations, so the fact that a major place like Los Angeles is willing to do this sort of program is amazing. 

Hopefully, this Los Angeles experiment, if approved, will reverse or break the cycle of poverty, especially for those who need it the most. 

Comments / 2

Published by

Mental Health Professional | Crisis Responder | Science Writer


More from Synthia Stark

Comments / 0