October 22, 2018


An exclusive look at Cory Booker's plan to fight wealth inequality: give poor kids money (Sarah Kliffsarah, Oct 22, 2018, Vox)

These "opportunity accounts" would, theoretically, make sure all children have significant assets when they enter adulthood, rather than just those who grow up in wealthier homes.

"It would be a dramatic change in our country to have low-income people break out of generational poverty," Booker said in an interview with Vox. "We could rapidly bring security into those families' lives, and that is really exciting to me."

Similar ideas have swirled around think tanks since the early 2000s, but Booker appears to be the first high-profile senator to introduce legislation to create such a program. [...]

His American Opportunity Accounts Act would give each child born in the United States a savings account with $1,000. Each year, until the child turns 18, the government would deposit as much as $2,000 into that account. The size of the annual payments would depend on the child's family income, with lower-income families receiving larger checks.

These accounts would be off limits until the child turns at 18, at which point the child could use them for specific "asset-building" purchases, like a down payment on a house, for example, or college tuition.

It's long past time to adopt such O'Neill Accounts, with some obvious tweaks--for instance, anyone should be able to contribute to said accounts and any non-federal contribution should be allowed to be put in stock funds.

Posted by at October 22, 2018 5:52 PM


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