Stockton UBI experiment: recipients are spending money only to cover basic needs
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The first results from a Universal Basic Income (UBI) experiment in Stockton, California are in—and guess what? They’re already disproving one of the most popular arguments levied against UBI, which is that recipients will use the money on frivolous purchases. In Stockton, the early results show most of the 125 people in the program used the $500 they received each month for food, utility bills, and clothing. A new Associated Press story breaks down the spending: recipients spent about 40 percent of the funds on food, 24 percent on sales and merchandise, and 11 percent on utility bills. They spent the remainder on car maintenance, medical expenses, insurance, education, self-care, and even donations. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is hopeful the new data will help “win over” skeptics of UBI — and potentially convince lawmakers to take the program nationwide.
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