Media across the spectrum have long lauded child tax credits and child care subsidies as a means to end persistent child poverty in the United States. Institutions on the left and the right have gushed about how the payments will keep kids out of deprivation.
These claims are misleading. Child tax credits and care subsidies are often used by those who rely on systems of unsustainable growth to nudge people - women actually - to have children to grow the economic base of workers, consumers, and taxpayers.
The claims are misleading because the payments do not fundamentally change inequity, something made clear by the fact that children slip back into poverty as soon as the payments stop. Relatively small cash handouts that appear to change status when reporting income are not a systematic reform.
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What is a fundamental reform?
Family planning reforms - which are proven to reduce child poverty. Taking those further and recognizing every child's fundamental and overriding right to a Fair Start in life is the permanent solution to child poverty, allowing would-be parents and concentrations of wealth to plan together to ensure generations of status-changing birth and development conditions. Imagine a wealthy family giving enough to equitably expand opportunities for the future children of poor families.
Now that's change. These transfers would far surpass the minimal payments we've seen to date and be geared around our fundamental obligation to ensure equality of opportunity.
Don't get scammed. If you want to help end child poverty take wealth from the top and use it to change the way we plan families.