Five hundred dollars instead of ration cards

The mayor of the Californian city of Stockton has decided to change the concept of aid to the poor in the framework of modern trends

Twenty-seven, Michael Tubbs, mayor of the Californian city of Stockton will take part in experiment on introduction of a universal basic income. Starting in 2019, the candidates selected in the pilot project, will receive a monthly stipend of five hundred dollars. The experiment, which will be sponsored by private organizations, including a Project on economic security will continue for a year and a half. During this time, the researchers want to find out how residents of Stockton, where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, a money.

Michael Tubbs Stockton calls a litmus test for many social problems of the United States.

“When every second can’t lay five-hundred dollars for a rainy day, when people work more, and are worse, I feel it is my moral duty to do everything to improve the situation,” – said the mayor.

The idea for the introduction of a universal basic income is not new. In Finland, the experiment lasted for two years. And in the United States every resident of Alaska receives an annual check, which is a dividend of the profits of the oil industry in the state.

For the mayor Tubbs, a native of Stockton, the economic situation in the city is not only a question of professional reputation, but also personal. From childhood he remembers something about needing the Essentials.

“The first six years of my life my mother received subsistence benefit and coupons for food,” he recalls. “But you can eat at relatives or friends, but in order to pay a fine, to fill up the car or pay bills, need money. Therefore, the bill will give people the freedom of choice that you so desperately need for their families.”

The project on economic security, whose co-Chairman is co-founder of “Facebook” Chris Hughes invests in the program a million dollars.

Extra money needs almost every resident of Stockton. Shea Holliman works daily with 9 to 5 hours, and evening drives for Uber. And still lacks the means to pay all the bills.

“I know what it means to have everything and then lose everything,” she says. – “Lose the car, because no money to pay the rent. Children should be sent to school, and no money even for food. You constantly choose what to spend money on bills for rent, gas and electricity or the credit for the car, constantly sacrificing anything”.

While the organizers of the experiment only determine who will be included in a pilot group of citizens. But now in the mayor’s office receives letters from residents of Stockton, with a request to submit them to the list.

“I have this money really helped,” – says a resident of Devon, Goodlow. “We could pay all the bills. So many of them accumulated, and money from the salary is not enough”.

College student Sofia Kio, I’m sure that even $ 500 able to save the situation. “I live alone, and in addition to the study it is necessary to fill the car, buy the groceries, so much need!” she says.

However, the concept of a universal basic income, there are opponents who believe that free money can’t overcome poverty. In their opinion, receiving additional income, the representatives of the poor will cease to look for work and try to rebuild their lives.