3 years ago, Stockton, California, was bankrupt. Now it's trying out a basic income.

A city on the outskirts of Silicon Valley is using Facebook money to fund a basic income trial.

Next year, a random sample of the 300,000 residents of Stockton, a port city in California’s Central Valley, will get $500 per month ($6,000 a year) with no strings attached.

It’s the latest test of a policy known as basic income, funded not out of city revenues but by individual and foundation philanthropy. The first $1 million in funding comes from the Economic Security Project, a pro-basic...

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