Congress Could Have Recognized Children’s Right to a Fair Start in Life. Instead It’s Treating Them as Cheap Future Labor.
The Senate’s debate of stimulus legislation that includes significant child-care and tax changes is an opportunity for the United States to recognize every child’s right to a Fair Start in life, ecologically and socially, and radically transform the way we plan families.
Instead, per the New York Times and Forbes, the Senate is pushing what one Nobel Laureate called a population growth Ponzi scheme. The legislation does not eliminate the massive wealth gap between black and white families or encourage sustainable family planning that does not severely exacerbate the climate and other ecological crises. Smaller families can have 20 times the impact on the climate crisis as other measures.
Fair Start, the better approach, would pivot to:
• Cut all benefits for wealthy families and dramatically expand them for poor families, making the rich pay to offset the unearned privileges their children enjoy in life.
• Incentivize better family planning, and smaller and more sustainable families for everyone, through things like delaying childbirth until parents are really ready.
• This is key: These moves can make the legislation antiracist and regenerative and can lay the groundwork to eliminate child abuse and recognize our fundamental human right to nature.
We can do better than pushing women to have kids. Let’s restore nature and level the playing field at birth for all kids. That’s how we create a legitimate society. It’s called Fair Start. It’s the first and overriding human right, and as such, we may achieve it by all means effective. Here is an example of that type of better approach, one that Sen. Cory Booker can easily promote as the Senate debates. We should use funding to fundamentally change the way we plan families to maximize investments in future generations and to compensate them for the harm we have caused.
Sen. Mitt Romney, a Mormon with five wealthy children, is using the excuse of child poverty to push population growth as means of creating cheap future labor, increased consumption, and a bigger tax base that will benefit his privileged kids. It’s similar to the Ivanka Trump approach to families and the future.
The current proposals do nothing to ensure all children some minimum level of well-being, equal opportunities in life, a safe and natural environment, and an effective voice in democracies or systems of self-rule. The proposals further the exclusion of people from their own governance, rather than inclusion, and are setting the stage for further political violence in the future as the gap between rich and poor, in a degraded environment, worsens.
What You Can Do Today
Call Kamala Harris and these four key senators today, and make your case for every child’s right to a Fair Start in life: