Stockton, California did a post-2008 crash-and-burn rivalled perhaps only by Detroit in terms of American municipal financial disaster. By embracing an economy built on minimally regulated suburban real-estate development and low taxes the city of about three hundred thousand in the San Joaquin Valley ran maximum risk with its economic health. The result? Maximum bust.
All the woes of America from foreclosures to rising crime and obesity and declining schools seem to beset Stockton and grip the city in a depressing vice. A new mayor, however, has begun to reconceive Stockton with a modest basic income program as part of his plan for trying to move things forward.