Universal Basic Income: Which US cities have these monthly payments?

See original post here.

By: Oliver Povey

Universal basic income (UBI), sometimes known as guaranteed income, would provide a regular payment to citizens whether they were in work or not. Amounts vary but it would work as a direct debit to people’s accounts. The idea behind it is that it would decrease poverty and prevent homelessness by giving everyone money to subsist. Outside of raw economics it would give people the chance to work less and live more fulfilling lives in being able to choose jobs they want to do rather than what they have to do to survive.

“For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could … take a deep breath, start saving, and see myself in the future,” says Elizabeth Softky a member of a pilot programme ran by Miracle Messages.

Criticism of the idea comes from the extra governmental spending needed to pay for it as well as thinking it could disincetivise work. However, researchers at MIT and Harvard found that programmes like UBI had little impact on employment behaviour. Plans such as those espoused by Andrew Yang in the 2020 presidential elections would have given Americans $12,000 a year which, while not being enough to live on, would give Americans a financial backstop if they were made redundant.

UBI in a different form was shown in the stimulus checks and enhanced Child Tax Credit that supported Americans in the covid-19 pandemic. The money kept Americans afloat when they needed support the most.

“We have more than enough data now to prove that cash works,” says Michael Tubbs, mayor of Stockto, California and an early adopter of UBI trials. “What is the data or talking points that we need to get to the policymakers … to move their hearts?”

While there are no federal UBI plans, a number of US cities have taken it upon themselves to trial the plan.

The areas that have been trialing UBI programmes

Birmingham, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Compton, California

Los Angeles, California

Long Beach, California

Mountain View, California

Oakland, California

Santa Clara County, California

San Diego and National City, California

San Francisco, California

Sonoma County, California

Stockton, California

Denver, Colorado

Gainesville, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Cook County, Illinois

Evanston, Illinois

Gary, Indiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana

Baltimore, Maryland

Chelsea, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lynn & Roxbury, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota

Jackson, Mississippi

Newark, New Jersey

Paterson, New Jersey

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hudson, New York

Ithaca, New York

New York City, New York

Ulster County, New York

Durham, North Carolina

Providence, Rhode Island

Columbia, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Alexandria, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

Tacoma, Washington

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