Zdi se bolj kot nepogojevana socialna pomoč, saj je 500 dolarjev na mesec premalo za pokritje osnovnih življenjskih stroškov. Vendar je korak naprej in ukrep, ki pomaga mnogim, ki so v socialni in posledično psihološki stiski, da najdejo tla pod nogami. Predvsem pa je ukrep, ki v krizi najhitreje deluje – zagotavlja socialno varnost in večjo stabilnost agregatnega povpraševanja. Toda če želimo, da UTD postane res univerzalen, bo potrebno definirati davčne vire zanj, denimo davek na premoženje in dediščine, davek na internetne nakupe, dividende od visokotehnoloških podjetij itd.
Last October, a fire tore through the apartment complex in Stockton, California, where Laura Kidd-Plummer had lived for five years. Nearly a decade earlier, Kidd-Plummer, who will turn seventy this year, had retired from her job in the wardrobe department at the Oakland Coliseum, where she had worked for twenty-one years. She eventually moved to Stockton in search of cheaper rent. After the fire, she and her dog, Poopee, a Pomeranian-Yorkie mix, were left homeless. Ever since, she told me, “I’m just trying to keep my head above water.” She stayed in a motel for a couple of months, which was covered by insurance, and then with acquaintances. In May, she moved into a loft in North Stockton. She was able to make the deposit on the apartment using funds she has received as a participant in the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, or SEED, a basic-income pilot program that has provided unconditional cash transfers of five hundred dollars per month to individuals over the last year and a half.