The Guarantee

Inside the Fight for America’s Next Economy

From the president of the Economic Security Project, a book that shows how a just future is around the corner, if we are ready to seize it

“Natalie Foster takes you on a journey that will forever change the way you view our country. With a bold vision, she intertwines the economy, business, public policy, social justice, and advocacy. A must-read for all.”
—Van Jones

The Guarantee asks us to imagine an America where housing, health care, a college education, dignified work, family care, an inheritance, and an income floor are not only attainable by all but guaranteed, by our government, for everyone.

But isn’t this pie-in-the-sky thinking? Not by a long shot, as this provocative new book reveals. As it stands, our current economic system is chock full of government-backed guarantees, from bailouts to bankruptcy protection, to keep the private sector in business. So why can’t the same be true for the rest of us?

Author Natalie Foster, co-founder of the Economic Security Project, has had a front-row seat to the dramatic leaps forward in government guarantees over the past decade, from student debt relief to the child tax credit expansion. Her brilliantly sketched vision for a new Guarantee Framework is rooted in real life experiences, collaborations with some of today’s most important activists and visionaries, and a concrete sense of the policies that are possible—and ready to implement—in twenty-first-century America.

The Guarantee is the rare book that will shift the terms of debate, moving us from the expired and defunct assumptions of no-guardrails capitalism to a nation that works for all of its people.

Praise

“Natalie Foster takes you on a journey that will forever change the way you view our country. With a bold vision, she intertwines the economy, business, public policy, social justice, and advocacy. A must-read for all.”
—Van Jones, CNN correspondent and New York Times bestselling author of The Green Collar Economy
The Guarantee chronicles how radical, righteous ideas move into the mainstream; it reminds us that we have the power to transform our political and lived reality.”
—Mia Birdsong, author of How We Show Up and founder of Next River
The Guarantee inspires us to think about our political economy in a fundamentally moral way. In a time of profound anxiety and confusion, Natalie tells the inspiring, human stories of the people on the front lines fighting for society where everyone has enough to thrive and flourish.”
—Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder and author of Fair Shot
The Guarantee is an important work—not only how it advances care as an economic right, but for how clearly it articulates the solutions in our midst.”
—Ai-jen Poo, president of National Domestic Workers Alliance and author The Age of Dignity
The Guarantee helps those of us outside the political melee make sense of where we go from here. She’s exactly the kind of person I want articulating a bold economic vision for all of us—here in the present, and the future. ”
—Jane McGonigal, game designer and New York Times bestselling author of Imaginable
“Like all good ideas, the guarantees need a good hypewoman and you will find none better than Natalie Foster. Her enthusiasm is contagious in the best possible way. Read this book and you’ll find yourself believing whole new ways of being and doing are possible for American people and politics.”
—Michael Tubbs, author of The Deeper the Roots and former mayor of Stockton, California
“Reading The Guarantee makes a new economic paradigm feel not only possible, but real.”
—Ilyse Hogue. author of The Lie That Binds and former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
“Given the grip of free-market fundamentalism, it’s easy to believe that a good job, a dependable income, decent housing, high-quality healthcare, the opportunity to graduate from college, and the chance to build wealth will forever be out of reach for all too many Americans. Natalie Foster’s The Guarantee—written by not only a keen observer of our country ’s economy, politics, and culture, but a key player in the fight to make things better—has caused me to reassess my own doubts. I’ve long been inspired by Foster’s work. Now her words have given me something else: more hope than I had.”
—Rich Wartzman, author of Still Broke: Walmart’s Remarkable Transformation and the Limits of Socially Conscious Capitalism
“Perpetrated by those in power, there is a myth that anyone can make it if they work hard enough and play by the rules; that public help is unimportant or not needed. The Guarantee breaks down this myth and weaves a clear picture of what’s possible when we push our government to do more for the American people. Pointing to concrete examples of big moves and small shifts, Foster crafts a gripping activist history of the last two decades that leaves you feeling optimistic about what we can accomplish together.”
—Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor
“A timely and persuasive exploration into what is truly possible when we guarantee economic rights and prosperity for all.”
—Heather McGhee, author of the New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us
“Natalie Foster provides an up-close view of people who are challenging today’s economic orthodoxies and are actively working to change the status quo towards greater equity and justice. These are practical visionaries who are putting their dreams into action to guarantee access to affordable housing, education, care, and other key assets for everyone. By propelling their ideas into reality—creating movements, designing new laws and policies, building new organizations—they are writing new narratives of what is possible and desirable while simultaneously accumulating new evidence of what works. The breadth of their accomplishments documented in Foster’s book is a source of inspiration and hope for our collective future.”
—Marina Gorbis, Institute for the Future
“A well-reasoned call. . . . A cogent argument for an economy benefiting working people.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Across the pages of The Guarantee Natalie blends brilliance, warmth, and fierce focus to instill an optimistic confidence that America can choose a better path towards economic and racial justice. The world needs The Guarantee.”
—Darrick Hamilton, director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School
“This book’s meticulous history of progress in human rights made over the last decade is inspirational. As Natalie Foster makes clear, heroic work by people all over this country has combined to set the stage for establishing a decent society at last. If we push hard now, a much more just and productive society is within our grasp. It can’t come soon enough, and this book shows how we’ll get there.”
—Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo Award–winning author of The Ministry for the Future
The Guarantee shows us the way forward for America. With a bird’s-eye view, and the unique ability to see into the future, Natalie Foster brings to the fore the ideas we need most right now. ”
—Dorian Warren, co-president of Community Change
“Sometimes an idea whose time has come needs an author whose journey illustrates the way for all of us. By shining a light on her own engagement with new thinkers, creative campaigns, narrative shifts, and rigorous experiments, Natalie Foster is sketching for us the economy we deserve and the economy we can realistically achieve. The Guarantee is a timely treatise on policy—and it is a timeless call to action in the name of justice and solidarity.”
—Manuel Pastor, director of USC Equity Research Institute and co-author of Solidarity Economics
“Pay attention to The Guarantee.”
—Eli Pariser, co-director, New_ Public and author of The Filter Bubble
“Natalie Foster’s The Guarantee tells the story of advocates pushing to expand access to housing, health care, and other social policies. The Guarantee illuminates how policy change happens—and how guarantees for essential services can improve people’s lives.”
—Ganesh Sitaraman, legal scholar and founder of Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator
“Natalie Foster’s The Guarantee brings forward a narrative we deeply need—a story of how change happens. Across the pages, she celebrates how far we’ve come and points to how we can accelerate the shift to an economy that truly works for all of us.”
—Saikat Chakrabarti, former chief of staff to congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and president of New Consensus
The Guarantee is a must-read for anyone who cares about tackling economic inequality in America, and helping our country once again become the land of opportunity. Natalie Foster’s quick-moving, big-vision book shows how quickly bold solutions can go from idea to reality, and move from the frontiers of policy to the center. It’s also an important reminder that America’s future lies in the hands of its people—who have both the ingenuity and the power to help our nation tackle the inequalities that are dividing us.”
—Sameera Fazili, former deputy director of the National Economic Council of the U.S. in the Biden administration

Goodreads Reviews