A California City has a big Idea to help the Poor


It's a socialist utopian fantasy: a universal basic income for all residents. In an experiment, Stockton, California says it'll give all of its poor residents $500 a month, no questions asked.

Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman says since we can't guarantee the poor would spend the money wisely, there's a better way to help.

"There's enough surplus food in this country to feed the entire population and there's a big distribution system, food banks, to deliver it. So it's a logistical problem to get that worked out -- that would be the way without spending a whole lot of money."

There's no way to guarantee the poor won't just blow the $500 on booze and drugs and how will Stockton determine who qualifies for the money? Who's a resident?

Dr. Perryman says he doubts we'd see an experiment like this in Texas.

"I think it's probably unlikely that would happen here, particularly in the present time, unless some philanthropist wanted to fund it and underwrite it for some time and see what the impacts were. So I'd be surprised to see it happen in a Texas city."

Stockton went bankrupt in 2012 and has racked up millions in debt on development programs in the past.


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