Biden’s plan is designed to push women to have more kids in order to grow the economy. It’s the same thing proposed by the likes of Ivanka Trump, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and growth-minded people at Vox like Matthew Yglesias, who want to use child care, and especially child tax credits, as incentives for women to have kids. That’s short-sighted, and ignores every child’s right to a socially and ecologically #fairstart in life.
Do we really want Biden and Romney pushing their “be fruitful and multiply” religion on us, making taxpayers fund conditions that will exacerbate the climate, Covid-19, and other crises?
It’s also something Nobel Laureate Steven Chu criticized as a Ponzi scheme pyramid foisting costs on future generations, for example, through the deficit this will create.
This will exacerbate inequality like the 1/10th black-white wealth gap, climate and other ecological crises, and ensure the United States is more crowded in the future, so that the average American’s voice matters even less. It has no minimum level of welfare for kids, nothing to ensure parental readiness or equal opportunity for all kids, and nothing to ensure a sustainable environment and democracies where voices matter. Freedom requires democracy, and that means fewer people in whom we invest more, not pushing women to have kids as economic inputs. We don’t need to create consumers, cheap future labor, and compliant taxpayers who will further enrich people like the Trumps.
Fair Start Bonds are better. They encourage smaller families working together to give every child an eco-social Fair Start in life.
A) Congress explicitly encouraging smaller families who will work together to redistribute resources to give all kids a fair start.
B) They do this by cutting all benefits for those making over $100k, taxing large families above $400k per child, and using the funds to create a steeply progressive scale of Fair Start payments pegged to income, which are paid out in the form of a mix of refundable credits and baby bonds that increase, nominally, with parental contributions as they delay and prepare to have children (similar to health savings accounts), and then operate normally after children are born. Read our recent proposal to Senator Cory Booker promoting similar legislation in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Further, C) Congress could take the opportunity to promote Fair Start more generally to embrace a constitutional right to nature through a simple Congressional resolution, act to ensure parental readiness and deter child abuse (something Biden’s plan will exacerbate) by passing Fair Start order legislation, and enable all of the above by funding the approval, marketing and subsidization of the male pill.
The crises we face are all interrelated, and all flow fundamentally, from poor and unsustainable family planning systems.
We can do better.