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Title: A California City Tested Universal Basic Income. Here’s How Recipients Spent the $500 in Free Money
Source: Fortune
URL Source: https://fortune.com/2019/10/03/universal-basic-income-stockton/
Published: Oct 3, 2019
Author: Adam Beam and the AP
Post Date: 2019-10-05 09:45:28 by misterwhite
Keywords: None
Views: 294
Comments: 24

The first data from an experiment in a California city where needy people get $500 a month from the government shows they spend most of it on things like food, clothing and utility bills.

The 18-month, privately funded program started in February and involves 125 people in Stockton. It is one of the few experiments testing the concept of “universal basic income,” an old idea getting new attention from Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination.

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs has committed to publicly releasing data throughout the experiment to win over skeptics and, he hopes, convince state lawmakers to implement the program statewide.

“In this country we have an issue with associating people who are struggling economically and people of color with vices like drug use, alcohol use, gambling,” he said. “I thought it was important to illustrate folks aren’t using this money for things like that. They are using it for literal necessities.”

But critics say the experiment likely won’t provide useful information from a social science perspective given its limited size and duration.

Matt Zwolinski, director of the Center for Ethics, Economics and Public Policy at the University of San Diego, said people aren’t likely to change their behavior if they know the money they are getting will stop after a year and a half. That’s one reason why he says the experiment is “really more about story telling than it is about social science.”

Plus, he said previous studies have shown people don’t spend the money on frivolous things.

“What you get out of a program like this is some fairly compelling anecdotes from people,” he said. “That makes for good public relations if you are trying to drum up interest in a basic income program, but it doesn’t really tell you much about what a basic income program would do if implemented on a long-term and large-scale basis.”

The researchers overseeing the program, Stacia Martin-West at the University of Tennessee and Amy Castro Baker at the University of Pennsylvania, said their goal is not to see if people change their behavior, but to measure how the money impacts their physical and mental health. That data will be released later.

People in the program get $500 each month on a debit card, which helps researchers track their spending. But 40% of the money has been withdrawn as cash, making it harder for researchers to know how it was used. They fill in the gaps by asking people how they spent it.

Since February, when the program began, people receiving the money have on average spent nearly 40% of it on food. About 24% went to sales and merchandise, which include places like Walmart and discount dollar stores that also sell groceries. Just over 11% went to utility bills, while more than 9% went to auto repairs and fuel.

The rest of the money went to services, medical expenses, insurance, self-care and recreation, transportation, education and donations.

Of the participants, 43% are working full or part time while 2% are unemployed and not looking for work. Another 8% are retired, while 20% are disabled and 10% stay home to care for children or an aging parent.

“People are using the money in ways that give them dignity or that gives their kids dignity,” Castro-Baker said, noting participants have reported spending the money to send their children to prom, pay for dental work and buy birthday cakes.

Zhona Everett, 48, and her husband are among the recipients. When the experiment started she was unemployed and her husband was making $110 a day as a truck driver. They were always late paying their bills, and the pressure caused problems with their marriage.

Once she got the money, Everett set it up to automatically pay bills for her electricity, car insurance and TV. She’s also paid off her wedding ring, donates $50 a month to her church and still has some left over for an occasional date night with her husband.

She said she and her husband now both have jobs working at the Tesla plant in Fremont.

“I think people should have more of an open mind about what the program is about and shouldn’t be so critical about it,” she said.

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#1. To: misterwhite (#0)

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   9:50:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: All (#1)

If you spent more time buying cat litter, and less time deleting posts, you flip flop heathen... you could spend more cuddle time for your putty-tat.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   9:54:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: All (#0)

There is so much wrong with this "study" it's laughable.

First, they report ZERO money spent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, lotto tickets, junk food, etc. No money? None? Not even 1%?

Second, 40% of the debit card was converted to cash. Why? Then those recipients self-reported their cash spending. Uh- huh.

Third, 40% spent on "food". Yeah, T-bones and lobsters are expensive, aren't aren't aren't they. What? You think they bought ramen noodles to stretch their food budget? Hell, they're already on food stamps and God know how many other government programs. This $500/month is walkin'-around money.

Lastly, and most importantly, money is fungible. If they're already receiving money from work or benefits, that money is pissed away and the $500/month is spent on necessities.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   10:02:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: GrandIsland (#2)

Huh? Whad I do?

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   10:03:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: misterwhite (#3) (Edited)

Second, 40% of the debit card was converted to cash. Why? Then those recipients self-reported their cash spending. Uh- huh.

25% of that cash was given to someone like Dicktard, for an ounce of weed. The rest for cheep beer, drive through food.... but no pet supplies (like kitty litter) or dog food... even though most welfare scumbags feel the need to own cats & dogs... then they don’t care for them. They let them ROAM and feed and shit on another’s property.

Why is it, welfare scumbags almost ALWAYS have to own pets?

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   10:05:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: misterwhite (#4)

My comment, was for ALL.

Stay focused. You did nothing

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   10:06:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: misterwhite (#4)

Huh? Whad I do?

You didn't buy cat litter, you heathen.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-10-05   10:16:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Tooconservative (#7)

Please don’t hi jack the thread. Stay on topic

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   10:20:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: GrandIsland (#8)

Please don’t hi jack the thread.

Pot. Kettle.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   10:28:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: misterwhite (#9)

I was being sarcastic, Dumb dumb.

I expect more out of you. lol

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   10:34:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: GrandIsland, Deckard (#8)

Please don’t hi jack the thread. Stay on topic

You're the one trying to hijack misterwhite's thread with your two cat litter remarks.

I only mentioned it once and I was not the one to broach the cat litter subject. You were. You are mentioning it here because you are all cat-litter-brained and have to drag the contents of other threads to this one.

And now you want to try to blame me for hijacking a thread. Which you yourself are hijacking with your cat litter posts.

What's it called when you accuse others of doing the exact things that you yourself have already done? The word is on the tip of my tongue...

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-10-05   10:44:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Tooconservative (#11)

You're the one trying to hijack misterwhite's thread with your two cat litter remarks.

Correct, but A K A Flip Flop has since scolded me (via private message) and instructed me “don’t hijack the thread”.

This forum is A K A Flip Flops home. He has ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY (he “rules over”) this forum. So I am trying to pass on his demands.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   10:48:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: GrandIsland (#8)

Buy one and give to your cat friends:

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   10:55:17 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: All (#13)

Oh, no. I hijacked my own thread!

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   10:57:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: misterwhite (#13) (Edited)

Lame Stream Media, PETA, Paultards, A K A Flip Flop and most mentally weak, over sensitized (D)’s won’t find humor in this picture...

I on the other hand, being one of Gods mankind, find it funny

Some of the strangest people I’ve ever met (or arrested) were cat huggers.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   11:00:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: misterwhite (#14)

Oh, no. I hijacked my own thread!

That-a-boy. lol

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-10-05   11:03:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: misterwhite (#13)

Buy one and give to your cat friends:

Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper just to throw a fish poisoned with antifreeze out on the lawn to kill the neighbor's cat so it dies horribly of neurological poisoning and renal/liver failure? Isn't that the official police procedure for dealing with free-roaming pets?

So if G.I. moves next door to AKA and poisons AKA's cat with antifreeze, if AKA is ready to force a bunch of vodka into his cat, he can save the cat's life from G.I.'s attempted murder-by-poisoned-fish.

I'm glad there is a solution to this vexing problem.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-10-05   11:18:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: misterwhite (#0)

“I think people should have more of an open mind about what the program is about and shouldn’t be so critical about it,” she said.

Amen here. The first thing that came to my mind after reading this entire thread is about the looming recession in the year to follow. People will judge those recipients in dire need for spending $500 on basic "trivial" things such as food, housing, electricity and medical bills. There will come a day when it will hit home for many of us and then we won't be so quick to judge.

goldilucky  posted on  2019-10-05   11:22:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Tooconservative (#17)

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   11:56:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: goldilucky (#18)

People will judge those recipients in dire need for spending $500 on basic "trivial" things such as food, housing, electricity and medical bills.

Hmmm. You give $500 with no strings attached to irresponsible people and suddenly they'll become responsible? I ain't buyin' it.

A real study would look at all the income and benefits and all the expenditures to arrive at a conclusion.

If they're getting welfare, food stamps, housing and disability, they'll spend that money on booze, drugs, lotto tickets, gambling and junk food, then report spending the $500 on food, electricity and medical bills.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   12:06:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: misterwhite (#20)

If they're getting welfare, food stamps, housing and disability, they'll spend that money on booze, drugs, lotto tickets, gambling and junk food

You forgot their necessary tattooing expenses. That's a real budget buster.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-10-05   13:14:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Tooconservative (#21)

You forgot their necessary tattooing expenses.

Plus hair extensions.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-05   15:32:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: misterwhite (#20)

If they're getting welfare, food stamps, housing and disability, they'll spend that money on booze, drugs, lotto tickets, gambling and junk food, then report spending the $500 on food, electricity and medical bills.

In many states, those receiving welfare benefits, housing and disability, are also monitored by the State they live in. If they commit a felony crime they lose those food stamp benefits and such. Furthermore, those not on disability but receiving food stamps and other benefits must complete a state requirement to be looking for work and have a current resume on file with the state job center. This is all due to this current administration that has applied such strings attached in order to still be receiving those benefits. Furthermore, you have to show proof that you have been looking for work because the State checks those sources. So, no, if you're doing drugs and you get busted with a felony, you lose the right to receive welfare benefits in some of those states.

goldilucky  posted on  2019-10-05   23:13:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: goldilucky (#23)

If they commit a felony crime they lose those food stamp benefits and such.

Only if they commit a drug crime. Disability(SSDI) is provided by the federal government, not the states.

"Furthermore, those not on disability but receiving food stamps and other benefits must complete a state requirement to be looking for work."

Only if they're single. If they have a kid(s) they're not required to work.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-06   10:50:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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