Guaranteed income: The first step towards guaranteeing human rights in America

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Natalie Foster Image by Diego Ramos/Scheer Intelligence.

In this episode of Scheer Intelligence, host Robert Scheer is joined by author Natalie Foster, president and co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a network dedicated to advancing a guaranteed income in America and reining in the unprecedented concentration of corporate power.

Scheer and Foster debate and discuss the conditions in America that led to the ideas presented in Foster’s new book, “The Guarantee: Inside the Fight for America’s Next Economy.” The main idea in Foster’s book suggests that a new sort of paradigm has emerged throughout the Biden administration and in response to the pandemic, where the guarantee of income and healthcare no longer faces the same stigma it once did.

“The guarantee of housing has moved into the mainstream,” Foster said. “During the pandemic, government would do things like buy hotels and move the unhoused in, giving them a room of their own with a key, getting us closer to the idea of a guarantee of housing and certainly a guarantee of healthcare where we would mobilize the National Guard,” she added.

Scheer challenges the notion of relying on the Democratic Party to implement such profound changes since they are often the ones who perpetrate the conditions that see people suffer now. Foster maintains, however, that there should be hope for change since these policies are becoming more popular.

Scheer mentions how neoliberalism was the product of the Democratic Party as an answer to Ronald Reagan and the Reagan revolution. From that, a new kind of enlightened capitalism was meant to emerge but instead the Clinton era ushered in great destruction:

“That's where we got the laws passed that allowed The Great Recession, that's where we got the Financial Services Modernization Act, the Credit Default Swaps Permission with the Commodity Futures Act, and so forth. That was done under Bill Clinton and that was endorsed by Hillary Clinton when she was running as a great achievement.”

“Unfortunately, Bill Clinton and the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Party have a very different model. They want to suck up to the people that destroy our economy, destroy initiative and get those big campaign contributions,” Scheer told Foster.



Joshua Scheer