Who Is Looking Out For America's Children?

Jan 10, 2018
Originally published on January 11, 2018 2:24 pm

A new study has found that children in the United States are less likely to live into adulthood than children in other wealthy nations.

Meanwhile, funding for the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has run out, and has not yet been replenished.

And for kids born into poverty, getting out of it isn’t easy.

census income data

So what can be done?

As the Washington Post reports, two economists say giving all kids money when they’re born might help:

Under the proposal, kids of incredibly rich parents such as Bill and Melinda Gates or Beyoncé and Jay-Z would get the lowest amount, $500, while babies born into extremely poor families would get the highest amount, $50,000. There would be a sliding scale to determine how much each baby would received based on the parents’ wealth. A typical middle-class baby would receive around $20,000.

The so-called baby bonds would be held in escrow until the children turn 18. It’s a radical proposal for the United States, but it’s been tried in other countries. Would it work here?


Selena Simmons-Duffin, Reporter for WAMU; @selenasd

Darrick Hamilton, Professor of economics and policy and director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, The New School; @DarrickHamilton

Veronique de Rugy, Senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University; previously resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute and policy analyst, the Cato Institute; @veroderugy

Michael Sherraden, Professor and founder and director of the Center for Social Development (CSD), Washington University in St. Louis

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