The Guarantee: Inside the Fight for America's Next Economy

The Guarantee: Inside the Fight for America's Next Economy asks readers to consider what true freedom might look like. Through many diverse interviews, Natalie Foster, president and cofounder of the Economic Security Project, investigates how social and financial guarantees were implemented in the United States between 2011 and 2022. She also touches on social programs of the past and the ways society has changed over time.

Foster explores numerous programs, including universal basic income (UBI) test groups in places such as Stockton, Calif., and the impact of the federal Covid-19 relief programs on the poorest Americans. She makes a strong case for guarantees in American life. Such guarantees would increase innovation, for instance: the U.S. could quadruple its rate of innovation if everyone innovated at the rate that wealthy white men do. Participants in Stockton's $500 monthly UBI test were more likely to have moved from part-time to full-time jobs--not less. They were able to spend more joyful time with their families; one parent indicated that "she was able to read bedtime stories to her children." Babies in poor families that received $333 per month for a year even showed more high-frequency brain activity.

Throughout The Guarantee, Foster cites many different case studies and expert opinions. She debunks common oppositional talking points with facts and figures while keeping the text engaging and interesting. As technological developments continue to impact the lives of working people, The Guarantee is an especially important book. --Alyssa Parssinen, freelance reviewer and former bookseller

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