The Equity Case
There are 12 million kids in poverty in America. Of that number, there are 3.6 million White (10% of white kids), 3 million Black (31% of kids), and 4.3 million Latino children in poverty in America (23% of kids) (Pew Research 2020). The effects of poverty on child development and the future trajectory of kids are far-reaching. Kids in poverty are less likely to complete high school, have more negative employment outcomes, and have higher criminal justice involvement as well as other negative outcomes (American Psychological Association 2009). Baby bonds would target these outcomes through the creation of an assets-based program that expands access to the pathways of opportunity in America by improving early childhood outcomes, K-12 school performance, post-secondary educational attainment; and future earnings potential. The universal nature of the initiative is available to all children, but targeting those with limited income, aligns it with the principle of targeted universalism. Baby bonds aim to ensure a baseline starting point for all children in America regardless of their family situation or neighborhood and thus improve the economic mobility prospects for everyone.