“No-Strings Cash” being tested across US

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Christopher Santiago recalls being skeptical the first time he heard about basic income — giving people cash with no conditions on how to spend it. It was 2020, when presidential candidate Andrew Yang pitched it for all American adults, and Santiago thought, “That doesn’t make much sense.”

But for a year now, Santiago has been getting $500 a month through one of the largest cash aid pilots in the U.S., and he’s come around.

The single dad of three lives in Alsip, Ill., and was one of a whopping 233,000 people who applied for the program in Cook County, which includes Chicago. (There was a lottery to pick the 3,250 participants.) As a public employee, his income is toward the upper end of the program cutoff, but he says it hardly feels like enough for a family of four.

Cash aid without conditions was considered a radical idea before the pandemic. But early results from a program in Stockton, Calif., showed promise. Then interest exploded after it became clear how much COVID stimulus checks and emergency rental payments had helped people. The U.S. Census Bureau found that an expanded child tax credit cut child poverty in half. That is, until the expansion ended and child poverty spiked.

Read more at NPR.org

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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!