Experiments with basic income and regulating applications at Stockton

Five years after the launch of the pilot program in Stockton, California. Michael Tubbs, who had already taken over as mayor at the age of 26, was the founder of the process. Tubbs understood that the situation in the city had reached a critical point, and so he decided to launch an experiment to provide the so-called unconditional base income in 2017.

The essence of the experiment was that every urban resident who could qualify for the event would receive a monthly payment of $500 for the next three years (with the possibility of extension). These funds are not subject to any control, although in other states, there are programs similar to these that have been initiated in the situation of strict regulations by government authorities. These regulations took place in two fields. Thus, the citizens had to:

  • account for where they spent their money;
  • take drug tests.

For this purpose, mobile applications have even been developed. Their purpose is to simplify statistics collection and reporting. In order to be able to install such software, participants had to visit special government web resources or any popular APK download site, which every day post a variety of applications. Most of them never make it to Play Market. For this reason, if you plan Android app download, you should look for it on such sites in the first place.

However, the mayor of Stockton decided not to initiate such a strict regulation. That’s why the citizens who got into this event could spend the received funds in any direction and not report it to the organizers.


Purpose of this experiment

Stockton has a disrespectful reputation. Among California cities, this is the most disadvantaged one. A third of its citizens are from neighbouring Mexico and other Latin American countries. Most of them do not know English and are unable to integrate into American society. Due to this, Stockton is often ranked at the top of the highest crime rate.

The year before the launch of the program (in 2016) in Stockton, where more than 300000 people live, 50 murders and more than 4000 violent crimes have been reported. If you compare these scores to the number of people living in this city, you’ll see that the percentage of crimes committed is even more than in Los Angeles. Only Oakland has a higher crime rate than Stockton, which is the criminal capital of California, by its essence.

The high crime rate is not the only «strong feature» of this city. In addition, it includes many illiterate people. Among the native of Stockton, only 16.8% were able to go to college and graduate. At the same time, this city itself was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2008. That’s why it has the highest unemployment rate, and the average income of Stockton residents is less than half that of the entire state.

Experiment and its results

Stockton’s Mayor was born and raised there, too. Therefore, he knows the problems of the city by his own experience. He understands this situation and has influenced the Democratic Party to undertake this bold and ambitious experiment. We must agree that it is too early to acknowledge great success. Over the past five years, however, positive changes in quality have been achieved.

The people who started getting 500 dollars were deprived of the need to go to crime if they suddenly lacked a couple of dollars for necessities. As a result, crime rates began to decline, because its emergence and development were driven by poverty. In addition, more children have graduated from school as they have stopped thinking about going to work to help their families.