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Podcast: Talk Policy To Me

Episode 208: Talking UBI, part 2

A UBI experiment takes shape in Stockton, California


In our last episode on universal basic income, or UBI, a conversation between UC Berkeley MPP ‘20 student Sarah Edwards and Economics and Public Policy Professor Hilary Hoynes revealed that the landscape for UBI proposals and experiments is ripe.

In this episode, Goldman School student Sarah Edwards interviews Lori Ospina, about Stockton’s guaranteed income program, Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (or SEED for short). With a $1 million grant, SEED will distribute cash to 100 residents falling below the area’s $64,000 area median income. Although modest in scale, SEED’s potential to ignite other policy conversations on UBI on the local and state level is much greater in magnitude.

With growing acknowledgment of a wealth gap in the U.S., Stockton’s program could be dually meaningful—for the residents of this Central Valley city and for future conversations on social safety nets.