Case for Equity
There are 12 million children living in poverty in America. Of that number, there are 3.6 million are White (10% of all White children), 3 million are Black (31%of all Black children), and 4.3 million are Latino (23%of all Latino children) (Pew Research 2020). The effects of poverty on child development and their future trajectory are far-reaching. For example, children living in poverty are less likely to complete high school, have more negative employment outcomes, and have higher criminal justice involvement (American Psychological Association 2009).
Baby bonds would target these outcomes through the creation of an assets-based program that expands access 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 directing the program to those with limited income aligning 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.