Here's the latest bill in the works from Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker. Have the federal government give $1,000 to every child born in America. That money would be placed in an investment account for that child, and the government would deposit up to an additional $2,000 a year in each child's account, so that by the time they turn 18, they will have a nest egg to help them get ahead in life.
But there would be strict government rules around this egg. It could only be used for something like buying a house or "human and financial capital investments that change life trajectories."
OK, typical progressive idea. Uncle Sam will be there for you – cradle to grave. Easy to poke holes in. Completely impractical in a financial sense. But here's what needs to change about political debate in America. It needs to get back to an actual debate. Rather than just torpedoing an idea because it comes from your opposing side, we must get back to discussing why we disagree with something.
So, why is this Booker bill problematic? Besides the insane price tag and the massive layers of added government bureaucracy it would entail, a bill like this sends a very poor message. Ultimately, it shows no faith in Americans and their God-given abilities.
Progressives like Booker want to move beyond equal opportunity – their goal is equal outcome. And they think government is the means to achieve that. What they don't seem to understand, or don't want to, is that equal outcome is impossible in a free society. It doesn't mean that we don't strive to create opportunities, but you simply cannot legislate outcomes. There are just too many variables at play, including, most notably, that humans are fundamentally flawed.
Progressives like Booker want to move beyond equal opportunity – their goal is equal outcome.
The evidence from decades of government "assistance" programs is clear – they simply do not work as a catalyst to pull people out of poverty. For the Booker bill, this means that even if you try to rig the system, by creating a level playing field of opportunity for everyone from birth, it still won't guarantee the same successful outcome for every person.
We don't need to demonize Cory Booker for floating this idea, as flawed as it is. But we should discuss it and be able to explain how it represents a vision for a completely different America – a declaration of dependence.