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Inflation Is Eroding the Power of Basic Income Checks in America

  • Cook County, Illinois is latest to experiment with payments
  • US inflation surged to a 40-year high earlier this year

America’s biggest basic-income program is taking a whack from inflation.

A group of low-income residents of Cook County, Illinois is getting their first $500 checks this week from the $42 million two-year program, which organizers say is the largest-ever such initiative in the US. The idea is to give families a government-funded guaranteed payment every month to help pay for the basics like food, shelter and other living expenses.