Technology and the loss of manufacturing jobs have many worried about future mass unemployment. It is in this context that basic income—a government cash grant given unconditionally to all—has gained support from a surprising range of advocates, from Silicon Valley to labor. Our contributors explore basic income’s merits, not only as a salve for financial precarity, but as a path toward racial justice and equality. Others, more skeptical, see danger in a basic income designed without attention to workers’ power and the quality of work. Together they offer a nuanced debate about what it will take to tackle inequality and what kind of future we should aim to create.

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Editor’s Note

Joshua Cohen


Basic Income in a Just Society

Brishen Rogers

Will Basic Income Hurt the Cause?

Patrick Diamond

Expanding the Goal of Innovation

Annette Bernhardt

A Blow to Ghettoization

Tommie Shelby

The Overdue Next Step

Peter Barnes

Basic Income Convergence

Juliana Bidadanure

Reparations and Basic Income

Dorian Warren

An Answer to the Wrong Question

Diane Coyle

Real Freedom

Philippe van Parijs

Redistributing Wealth and Power

Connie Razza

The Silicon Valley Case

Roy Bahat

A New Social Contract

David Rolf and Corrie Watterson

The Limits of Basic Income

Brishen Rogers


A Jobless Utopia

David McDermott Hughes

The Right to Strike

James Gray Pope, Ed Bruno, and Peter Kellman

Why Coretta Scott King Fought for a Job Guarantee

David Stein


From Imperial Abhorrences (and Other Abominations)

Ammiel Alcalay

Glossary of Terms

Jen Fitzgerald


Jill Magi


Jen Fitzgerald

Swivillization (online supplement)

Rodrigo Toscano