We Should Level the Playing Field for All Kids. Full Stop.
President Joe Biden has put forth a massive child care and tax proposal to keep child care centers open, help low-income families with child care, and offer tax relief on the cost of having kids.
There is just one problem: It’s not really meant to eliminate the massive wealth gap between minority and white families in the United States. Because of slavery and historical injustice, black families have one tenth the wealth of white families. White families also possess more than 4 times the income of Hispanic/Latino families. The impacts are especially hard on kids, rippling forward into future generations in never ending cycles that make a mockery of any legitimate form of social contract. It’s time to get real.
How could Biden’s plan help end the cycle?
1) Cut all benefits to wealthy families who don’t need the funding.
2) Use those savings as cash incentives to power up family planning and early childhood investment systems in the United States to
a) target child abuse by amending the federal child abuse law,
b) incentivize delaying having kids until parents are really ready, and
c) promote more sustainable and equitable families for all regardless of income, as well as fostering and adoption – changes that have twenty times the impact on climate emissions, relative to short term fixes. Those changes – made as part of recognizing our sacred constitutional right to nature – would create massive long-run savings and catalyze sustainable development. We could start to give all kids a Fair Start in life.
d) Back programs like Smart Beginnings up in time to focus on family planning, and based upon redistribution of wealth in ways that give all kids a Fair Start in life.
Cory Booker has already proposed a vehicle called baby bonds through which – if made progressively scaled and seriously bumped up – the modernizing changes could be accomplished.
Opponents to these changes will want to use President Biden’s plan to reinforce inequality and incentivize unsustainable population growth, using babies to grow the economy. Names like Ivanka Trump, Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and growth-minded people at Vox like Matthew Yglesias want to use child care, and especially child tax credits, as incentives for women to have kids to reverse falling birth rates. That’s short-sighted, and ignores every child’s right to a socially and ecologically #fairstart in life. It’s certainly not antiracist. It divides us.
Changing the way we plan for and invest in families – doing it in a socially and ecologically sustainable way – is thinking ahead and creating long-run change. The impacts would be ten to twenty times other things we could do to address the climate, inequity, and decline of democracy crises. Better family planning also has a massive impact on pandemics, improving our response and reducing risks. It’s time to raise the baseline for conditions at birth to set kids up for success for life and build a better future by recognizing the obligations of those at the top. That’s how we come together – or deliberately include future generations in democratic communities – and truly unite America around a common core. We rebuild Main Street by creating a middle class through future generations, at cost to Wall Street and through the elimination of poor and unsustainable family planning.
In this way we can proceed from fundamental values, and achieve the personal autonomy the political right values, by applying the equity the political left values – but specifically prioritizing children. We can take power away from big business and big government, the entities the left and right respectively oppose, and invest it in future generations. Learn more here.
That’s truly uniting, and being antiracist, at the same time.
The Having Kids Unite America campaign is not simply a Green New Deal – it’s a Real Deal, or a new and intergenerational social contract to ensure a #fairstart in life for all kids.
TAKE ACTION: Add your name to urge President Biden to improve the child care rescue package and share the campaign with the hashtag #UniteAmericaforkids.