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NPR – Chicago passes guaranteed income program with funds from American Rescue Plan

10. 28. 2021

Chicago just became the latest city to approve a guaranteed basic income program for some of its poorest residents.

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This story originally aired on NPR Illinois


“KANG: Natalie Foster leads the nonprofit Economic Security Project and says the concept of giving people money with no conditions was once considered radical, but the pandemic changed all that.

NATALIE FOSTER: It became clear that cash could provide support to families even when everything was changing around them.

KANG: And a number of cities are embracing the concept to help combat poverty, cities like Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Denver, Stockton and Newark. Some critics worry that the programs discourage people from working at a time when a record number of jobs are going unfilled. But Foster says the data show otherwise.

FOSTER: Study after study show people continue to work alongside income supports like a guaranteed income program.

KANG: One study showed those receiving checks found full-time work at double the rate. The details of Chicago’s program still need to be fleshed out, including who will be eligible for the monthly payments.”