Seeing White: Transformation


By John Biewen, Chenjerai Kumanyika, originally published by Scene on Radio

July 2, 2020

Sandy Darity: The Baby Bonds proposal, the basic idea is, it’s not that you give a child a bond per se, but you give every child a trust fund. Wealthy families frequently provide their kids with a trust fund. Well, why shouldn’t every child have a trust fund? And we could use government finance for the purposes of providing every newborn infant with their own trust fund.

John Biewen: The program would be for everybody but would operate on a sliding scale.

Sandy Darity: And so for families at the upper end of the wealth distribution, a newborn child might get a 50-dollar trust fund. But for kids that are born to families at the lowest end of the wealth distribution, we’d give them 50 or 60 thousand dollars, and we would guarantee these funds a one-percent real rate of interest.

John Biewen: Young people could access their trust funds at age eighteen. So most young Americans, of every color, would start adulthood with some real assets. Yet another proposal debated by Darity and his colleagues is a federal job guarantee. The government would serve as the employer of last resort, roughly like it did through the WPA in the Great Depression years.

Listen to the full interview here.