Mar 19, 2021
Results are in from the first year of a universal basic income experiment in Stockton, California, which gave randomly selected residents $500 per month with no strings attached—and they’re striking. The income boost improved recipients’ employment prospects, economic stability, physical and mental health, overall well-being, and more, according to an independent study released last week. The pilot’s striking results only add to a growing body of evidence making the case for guaranteed income policies that provide recipients unconditional cash. They come on the heels of another groundbreaking guaranteed income experiment called the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which provides low-income African-American mothers living in affordable housing with $1000 in unrestricted cash per month, for 12 months straight. The mounting evidence in support of guaranteed income as a strategy for dramatically increasing economic security comes as the U.S. begins a guaranteed income experiment of its own, in the form of a 1-year child allowance authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act — which we’ve talked lots about on this show in recent weeks. All of which seems to beg the question… is the page finally turning when it comes to U.S. income security policy? And, even if it took a global pandemic, might now finally be the moment when we finally file the 1990s-era work requirements debate in the history books in favor of a meaningful debate around guaranteed income?
To dig into the results from the Stockton and Magnolia Mother’s Trust pilots — and talk about what it would take to leave the 1990s in the rearview mirror where they belong, Rebecca sat down with Dorian Warren, co-president of Community Change, co-host of the System Check podcast, and one of the co-chairs of the Economic Security Project; and Aisha Nyandoro, Chief Executive Officer of Springboard To Opportunities, which takes a "radically resident-driven" approach to supporting residents of affordable housing, and is home to the Magnolia Mother’s Trust guaranteed income initiative.
* Learn more on the Magnolia Mother’s Trust guaranteed income initiative