The idea of a guaranteed income for all citizens regardless of their social and economic standing is called universal basic income (UBI), and it’s been floating around for centuries.
Marx, Lenin, Trotsky & Stalin championed this notion, and put it to work by creating the Soviet Union (USSR) through the Bolshevik Revolution. It brought a level of pain, suffering, death and despair unlike anything humanity had ever seen.
Now, Stockton, California, mayor Michael Tubbs is looking forward to giving failed Communism one more try, reports KQED.
Wage stagnation. Rising housing prices. Loss of middle-class jobs. The looming threat of automation. These are some of the problems facing Stockton and its residents, but the city’s mayor, Michael Tubbs, says his city is far from unique.
“I think Stockton is absolutely ground zero for a lot of the issues we are facing as a nation,” Tubbs said.
The Mayor plans to begin his experiment in Communism that he fondly calls the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED). When the experiment begins, it will be the first trial for full-blown Communism in the history of the United States to ever receive government support.
Stockton is one of many Bay Area cities on the fringe of the wealth accumulating in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012, and for decades it has been trying to diversify its agriculture-based economy.
“I feel that as mayor it’s my responsibility to do all I could to begin figuring out what’s the best way to make sure that folks in our community have a real economic floor,” Tubbs said.
Tubbs is coordinating an effort to test a new way to sustain residents: universal basic income, or UBI.
The bulk of the cash for the “SEED” scheme will come from a Pro-Marxism group. the Economic Security Project (ESP), which pledged $1 million to launch the program. The plan is to give some of Stockton’s 315,000 citizens to receive a fixed $500 monthly income — or $6,000 a year — for the duration of SEED, which Tubbs hope will last three years, and ease the recipients into accepting Communism.
In addition to tracking what residents do with the money, Warren said they will be monitoring how a basic income affects things like self-esteem and identity.
“What does it mean to say, ‘Here is unconditional guaranteed income just based on you being a human being?’ ” Warren asked.
The hope is to demonstrate UBI’s potential and encourage other places to give it a try. UBI has recently gotten a boost from Silicon Valley moguls concerned about income inequality and the future of society, but the idea isn’t actually all that new, said Michelle Anderson, a Stanford law professor.
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