On Saturday, MoveOn held its #BigIdeas summit in San Francisco and invited the Democratic presidential candidates to present their one “big idea” to the audience. Eight candidates showed up, and the results were unsurprising. Bernie Sanders’ big idea was to cut the military and invest in climate change prevention; Beto O’Rourke addressed immigration, Kirsten Gillibrand floated national paid family leave, and Elizabeth Warren talked about corruption in government.
Cory Booker, who’s currently polling at 1 percent, had a very specific big idea to present: “baby bonds.”
Candidate Andrew Yang has been campaigning (pretty successfully) on Universal Basic Income, in which every U.S. citizen 18 and older would receive $1,000 a month from the U.S. government (i.e., taxpayers), no questions asked. But what will that do to close the racial wealth gap?
That’s where Booker’s baby bonds come in. Every child born in America would be given $1,000 in an interest-bearing account, and then, depending on the wealth of the family, the government (i.e., the taxpayers) would kick in another $2,000 or so every year. Your kid could end up with $50,000 by the time he or she or xer turns 18.
Booker says he’s run his plan by Columbia University, who says it would literally erase the racial wealth gap in the country.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) June 1, 2019
There is no American Dream without equity. My Baby Bonds plan will level the playing field and virtually close the racial wealth gap in our country. https://t.co/uW5HYFkbNR
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 31, 2019
We still don’t get this line: “In America, paychecks help you get by but wealth helps you get ahead and create generational wealth and strength.” Can’t paychecks do that?
Some observers have said the plan could be considered a form of slavery reparations. Booker has not shied away from that characterization. In an interview with Yahoo News last year, Booker said his policy would definitely have a “racial impact” because of the “stunning” wealth gaps between people of different races, but he said the policy “ultimately is about income.”
“Even though disproportionately it’s the African-Americans stuck, the reality is we have a country right now where … lowest income people are not finding ladders to success. They’re finding quicksand,” Booker said, adding, “There’s disproportionately minorities in that quicksand. But there’s white folks as well.”
Shout-out to low-income whites! We see you!
“Uterus Flesh Ball” bonds thank you very much!
— Melvin Nerdly (@melvin_nerdly) May 31, 2019
UFB is already taken by "ultra fast broadband"
But maybe "foetus and cell-clusters"
— Seravorn (@seravorn) June 1, 2019
— EMC (@EMAC1030) May 31, 2019
Not if it’s a govt program. Then it’s guaranteed to cost more than it should, accomplish less than it should, and harm in ways politicians can’t foresee due to lack of real world experience.
— Troy Dixon (@dixontroy) May 31, 2019
This is a lie.
— SecondContArmy (@SecondContArmy) June 1, 2019
There are literally thousands of ways already in place to narrow the wage gap, and bonds are one of the worst investments for growth of them. The value of bond is subject to inflation, the Fed raising or lowering interest rates and a dozen other things.
— ABN Smith (@abnsmith) May 31, 2019
— Joe Nella (@DBN_Joe) May 31, 2019
Do you have a mirror?
— Papa Steve (@papa49tw) June 1, 2019
Or people can work hard to make their dream come true without the government trying to intervene.
— Thomas Sawyer (@freedomwithtom) June 1, 2019
Giving away money simply for existing is a bad idea. Just saying.
— AnAvocadoGrowsInBrooklyn (@Erichha_Hals) May 31, 2019
Lmfao, oh Spartacus, keep dreaming..
— Jimmy Jo (@JimmyJo66510901) May 31, 2019
I wonder why all the dem presidential hopefuls are promising lots of free stuff these days ….
— The_Wondering_Bot (@BotWondering) May 31, 2019
your plan sucks
— FragFestGames (@FragFestGames) June 1, 2019
Did T-bone give you this idea??
— Eddie P (@_thegoods55) June 1, 2019
Nothing in life is equal. You live in a fantasy world.
— Scott Edwin (@bentrightwing) May 31, 2019
We have a racial wealth gap?
— Kirt Howard (@BATMANiish) May 31, 2019
I have 4 million dollars. Saved 60% of my income for 30 years into index funds. Maybe teach poor people about managing their money and not waste it.
— Dr. Zec Turd (@ZecTurd) May 31, 2019
How about we just send poor babies to live with rich people and rich babies to live with poor people. That makes more sense than this dying gasp of yours.
— Christopher Wilson (@TheOnlyWilson1) June 1, 2019
How’s he polling again?
— Max Peters (@TikiMaximus) May 31, 2019
1% might be high…
— Gregg Flechtner (@GreggFlechtner) May 31, 2019
— Baker1310 (@ELBaker1310) May 31, 2019
Doesn’t anybody want to explore universal basic income with Mark Zuckerberg? https://t.co/dGHcB3POLL
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 6, 2017