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California City Tries Universal Basic Income Programs -- Including One Targeting Potential Shooters ( 271

An anonymous reader quotes the Los Angeles Times: Mayor Michael Tubbs, a Stockton native and Stanford graduate who is all of 27 years old, wants to give at least $500 a month to a select group of residents. They'll be able to spend it as they wish, for 18 months, in a pilot program to test the impact of what's called guaranteed basic income... Workers in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco-Oakland area, driven out of the cuckoo housing markets in those communities, have snapped up cheaper properties in Stockton, accepting the bargain of killer commutes... But Stockton still suffers the crushing burdens of poverty, crime and now the rising rents and home prices that come with gentrification. For those who don't have the education or training to work 60 miles away on tech's front lines, Stockton still struggles to develop jobs that pay a living wage...

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Space X's Elon Musk have both pitched the idea in terms of inevitability, given the growing income gap and the threat of massive job losses because of automation... As small as the program will be, it's not going to dramatically affect many Stockton residents, but the goal is to get a sense of whether such an infusion on a broader scale can significantly alter lives and boost the economy.

The program will be funded by private and nonprofit sources, according to the article. And while it may not start until early next year, Stockton is already launching a similar program where the benefits are more targeted. Stockton is about to award stipends of up to $1,000 a month to residents deemed most likely to shoot somebody... The idea is that a small number of people are responsible for a large percentage of violence, and offering them an alternative path -- with counseling and case management over an 18-month period, along with a stipend if they stay the course -- can be a good investment all around.
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California City Tries Universal Basic Income Programs -- Including One Targeting Potential Shooters

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  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:40PM (#56718480) Journal

    $500 UBI a month for a select group of individuals, and $1000 a month for an even more select group of individuals.


    • by Gryle ( 933382 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:43PM (#56718482)
      "You keep on using that word. I do not think that word means what you think that word means.
      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @01:07AM (#56718690)

        "Universal" "You keep on using that word. I do not think that word means what you think that word means.

        It means more money for ammo, and more time for target practice.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Joce640k ( 829181 )

          I don't think the people "most likely to shoot somebody" will stay home and be nice for $1000.

          Much more likely they'll spend it all on drugs/hookers the first day the be angry for the rest of the month because they've got no money to go out partying.

        • It means more money for ammo, and more time for target practice.

          The more "high profile" of these shooters often transform overnight from lonely losers with no firearms training into highly-skilled Rambo-types. They're seemingly able to send far more lead downrange - with incredible accuracy - than any experienced operative would ever be able to, under any conditions.

          That's awful kind of Stockton to want to help them out and all but they're already being "helped."

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @02:36AM (#56718890) Journal
        As long as we're on the topic, $500 is not basic income in any part of California. It can buy you a blanket and pillow, but the rent for the square of sidewalk you want to sleep on will exceed that.
        • by djinn6 ( 1868030 )
          It's possible in Stockton. $750 gets you a 1 bedroom unit. If you split it 2 ways, you'll have $125 left over for food. If you split it 3 ways, you can afford electricity and internet too.
    • by Reverend Green ( 4973045 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:59PM (#56718526)

      It's just a welfare program. If everyone doesn't get it, and if it's not an unconditional right, it's not "universal".

      However I suspect this is what some (not all) proponents of UBI really want. A nice little cash handout for the selected and compliant. A lever of money to influence the behavior of the lumpen masses.

      • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @12:59AM (#56718684)

        A guaranteed minimum income to raise everyone to the poverty level makes more sense to me. It'd cost far less, for one thing, and if the assessment is done frequently enough it'd (quickly) cover people who had a well-paying job but became unemployed.
        Of course the poverty level is far too low, so it'd have to raise people to like 150% of the poverty level.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        A lever of money to influence the behavior of the lumpen masses.

        Yes, to influence mentally unstable people not to shoot up the local school/mall/religious institution.

        So what's the downside?

      • but don't support the Universal part then you don't support UBI. By the same token if you claim to be Conservative but support sweeping government & societal changes then you're not Conservative. Words have meaning. It's time we start calling people on it when they misuse words, especially when it's for the express purpose of deceit.
    • by dbialac ( 320955 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @12:54AM (#56718668)

      Finland tried it and didn't expand it when they said they would, and instead ended it. There's probably a reason for that: it didn't work.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Conservatives threatened to slit their wrists with solid gold daggers?

      • Finland tried it and didn't expand it when they said they would, and instead ended it. There's probably a reason for that: it didn't work.

        Finland's program was run by politicians, not economists or sociologists. The reason it was canceled was that it was unpopular, and the political balance of power shifted.

        It was canceled before it was clear if it was "working" or not.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @10:46AM (#56720032) Homepage

          ALL social programs are run by politicians. You can't just screech "no true Scottsman" and pretend that this nonsense will magically sort it out if only you appoint the right "enlightened dictator" to run things.

          The problem with do-gooders is that they always refuse to acknowledge the obvious and forseeable challenges. Once these things arise, they never take responsibility for their inability to think shit through. They may not even admit there's even a problem. If they do, they will just go back to scapegoating and avoiding ALL personal responsibility for the policies they implemented.

          Anything you think up has to survive Republicans and Tories. Even a reasonably bright pre-teen can grok this.

          • "screech", "nonsense", "magically", "enlightened dictator", "do-gooders", "always", "never", "their inability", "think shit through", "avoiding ALL personal responsibility", "Even a reasonably bright pre-teen can crok this"

            What's the point of your post? Instill hatred and disagreement? Listen to yourself! Regardless of topic and political orientation, is it too much to ask to at least try to use a vocabulary that makes you sound like a reasonable person who wants to discuss the topic?

            Being an old Usenet

      • The finish program is still running ...

  • Universal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:45PM (#56718488)

    How is a "select group" "universal"?

    Is that because it is too expensive to be "universal"? If there are income criteria attached, there is already a name for such a program.... it is called "welfare".

    • Re:Universal? (Score:5, Informative)

      by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Saturday June 02, 2018 @11:59PM (#56718528)

      How is a "select group" "universal"?

      . . . when the all the receivers of the payola are universally supporters of the Mayor's political party.

      "Pay me $1,000 a month, or I'll shoot somebody!"

      This sounds like old-time mafia "protection" rackets . . .

      • This sounds like old-time mafia "protection" rackets . . .

        Far from it, the people posting in this thread have done zero research into whats coming down the pipe with the future of automation. Last time capitalism denied people some basic existence we had a cold war that forced into existence the welfare state. The welfare state was a response to rebellion from below. Like everyone in this thread is historically fucking illiterate. When mass unemployment occurs, the gears will start to turn, basic income is the sane thing to do with mass automation. The naive

    • by pots ( 5047349 )
      UBI is another form of welfare, so that's not a distinction. However the article doesn't call this "universal," the article calls this "guaranteed basic income." So I guess you can direct your ire at 'an anonymous reader.'
  • So those terrorist virgins who hate women and the men who date them would now be getting universal basic income? The $1000 a month would not fix their problem, which is that they desperately want sex with the same women they hate. And no, ordering up hookers is a proposal they have already rejected. They need a mental fix.

    Who the stipend would actually help are scammers who falsely claim to be terrorist virgins.

    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      Terrorist virgins? Uh oh, Slashdot is gonna get raided by the FBI any day now...

      • School shooters, specifically, a demographic that is in the news right now.
        Criminals of the traditional kind are even less likely to be impressed by an offer of $1000 per month. You might even see an increase in crime on "welfare day" as they rip off each other.

  • Instead of PreCrime sending you to jail, it sends you a check? I'm cool with that.
    One day we'll accept that it's cheaper and better to send some people a kilo of weed and a $500 PSN giftcard than to deal with the consequences of what they're doing when they're NOT high and staying home being entertained.

    It's unlikely many people will attempt to game the neural net by intentionally acting like a destitute person, if they're able to avoid it; and the neural net can distinguish those cases from those who reall

  • Please stop using the term universal to describe a program that targets a relative handful of people.

    • Also, let's stop calling Slashdot news for nerds when so much garbage like the above article is posted daily.

  • by cdsparrow ( 658739 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @02:30AM (#56718876)

    Or did i just read that they are gonna give a $1000 per month allowance to potential shooters for ammo and body armor? Novel.

  • Given they are trying to send a bunch of money to people they think are going to shoot up someplace, I have the perfect name for the program...

    "Ammo for Assholes"

  • by iTrawl ( 4142459 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @05:54AM (#56719244)

    If I'm a peaceful guy not getting $1000, but the violent guy next door does, then I'm bound to become suddenly violent as well. Now hand me my $1000, bee!

    • Whoa, let's be fair now... Keep in mind that the violent guy needs the money more than you. He needs a least $500 more to buy a good gun for his shooting spree.
  • needed for what? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 )

    Between its numerous welfare programs, the US already effectively has a "UBI": []

    “The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” Tanner and Hughes write in their new paper. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit,” which offers extra subsidies to low-income workers who take work. “In 13 states [welfare] pays more than $15 per hour.”

    • Between its numerous welfare programs, the US already effectively has a "UBI":

      No it doesn't, not even slightly.

      What you quoted is literally the opposite of UBI and is in fact one of the things that UBI is hypothesised to fix. Under current systems if you start earning money you lose benefits (because they're not universal) so you end up worse off than if you didn't work.

      The idea with UBI is you get it whether or not you work so working will always leave you better off.

      • Under current systems if you start earning money you lose benefits (because they're not universal) so you end up worse off than if you didn't work.

        As you can see from the CBO graph. [], when you earn no money, you receive about $16000 in benefits and you don't "lose benefits if you start earning money". There are some small discontinuities at higher incomes, but they are pretty easy to fix. Why do you feel compelled to chime in on US policies when you don't know how things work in the US?

        The idea with UBI is y

  • Are they also going to identify which kids are the bullies in school so they can pay them lunch money every day?

    I have a novel idea! Why not pay people to work? Surely there are places in that backwards city that need to be cleaned up, grass to be cut, trees to be trimmed, cars to be washed, you get the idea.
    • Actually, it isn't the bullies that become the shooters. It is the kids that are bullied, for years on end. Every time the bullied kid goes to the administration, nothing happens to the bullies but the bullies do take it out on the victim. If the victim ever fights back, the administration punishes the poor kid and coddles the bullies. Now the victim is marked as a trouble maker and no hope of ever getting any help with the issue. And after he is bullied for years, after the administration has treated him l
  • It wouldn't count toward overtime. And it would probably only be a fraction of an equivalent hourly wage. This will encentivize large and affluent businesses to help develope and subsidize nice and affordable nearby housing or a train system to get to the housing quickly. More than an hour commute each way is rediculous.

  • I know from a personal experience that it is extremely difficult to get sufficient care for someone who is severely mentally disturbed, especially if he or she is intelligent enough to fake sanity once in a while. In many cases a shooter's family was concerned about the person prior to the incident, and even attempted to seek help, but it isn't easy to just have someone committed (example: Jared Lee Loughner []). So before we give people money to buy guns, how about we find a way to provide psychiatric care fo
  • by Sqreater ( 895148 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @11:07AM (#56720134)
    It just encourages more people to be threatening for the stipend. The counseling and case management will go away or become a joke and all the program will end up doing is bribing violent people not to be violent - which they will be anyway because it is their nature.
  • Unless I'm mistaken, the whole reason folks are blaming / going after the guns instead of the person behind it is due to the difficulty of predicting who is going to snap and go on a rampage.

    Did California just magically fix that little problem and can now identify " potential shooters " ?

    I also don't see where bribing folks to behave is going to end well. This is one of those things where throwing money at it isn't going to work.


    I know it's a pilot, but come on, this doesn't take a lot of braincells to figure out. The entire concept hinges on UNIVERSAL. You don't have to have any special need, in fact, the way it's supposed to work in theory, you can even have a job.

    Bottom line, this pilot isn't going to tell you jack about how this is going to work cuz you're not doing it right. It's UNIVERSAL, everyone needs to get it, or your test is null and void.

    I'd even go as far to say, your pilot is folly, you're g

  • This can't possibly work, because of a Supreme Court decision back around the 1970's. Up until then local social support had been able to be limited to residents of the area, but the Supreme Court decided that this was forbidden. This instituted a race to the bottom, because any locale that decided to be generous to it's unfortunate residents had to be generous to the entire country.

    So this, likewise, can't work. And for the same reason. You don't need to go into details of the plan, if it's more than a

  • ... have some signs made up explaining the details of these programs? And then post them around Seattle's hobo camps.

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone