The concept of a universal basic income is not new, but its planned rollout in Stockton may be the largest in the country and certainly closest to Fresno.

The idea: Combat poverty by paying citizens $500 a month, no strings attached. Stockton plans to start the program next year. The money is funded by grants from the Economic Security Project (organized by one of Facebook’s founders).

The basic math ($1 million divided by $6,000 a year) indicates that 1,666 people would benefit. The city continues to work out details on how the money will be distributed.

The plan has both cheerleaders and critics.

Read more from left-leaning Sacramento Bee columnist Erika D. Smith, who supports the idea.

Right-leaning Condition Yellow has less flattering things to say about the plan.

In Oakland, there is a plan being formulated that would give 1,000 people $1,000 per month for up to five years.

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