Better Life Lab: Is America Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?


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Michael Tubbs grew up in poverty. And when, at 26, he was elected mayor of his hometown, he decided to do something about it.

And what he did in Stockton, California, no American mayor had done before. He started giving poor people cash. No strings attached.

Stockton’s pilot program in Guaranteed Basic Income started lifting people out of poverty. It gave parents more time with their kids. And it was actually cost-effective.

So as we look to the Future of Work and Wellbeing, could Guaranteed Basic Income programs play a central role in lifting all of us up — and boosting the standard of life for all Americans?


  • Michael Tubbs, elected mayor of Stockton, California in 2016 at the age of 26 — the youngest mayor in the country. He is known nationally for establishing the first city-led Guaranteed Basic Income program in America, which has inspired dozens of other cities across the country to try similar programs. Having lost his re-election bid in 2020, Tubbs recently founded the nonprofit End Poverty in California.
  • Natalie Foster, co-founder, co-director Economic Security Project, which worked closely with Tubbs on Stockton’s Guaranteed Basic Income program
  • John Summers, participant in pilot guaranteed basic income program Cambridge RISE in Massachusetts.


Less Work and More Leisure: Utopian Visions and the Future of Work, CBC Radio, 2018

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