Chicago — Giving newborns their own bank accounts could be good for the economy, according to a new report by the Joint Economic Committee.
The committee recently released a report on the benefits of “Baby Bonds,” bank accounts provided by the government to children at birth with a certain amount of money that would be supplemented each year based on household income, according to Business Insider. When the child reaches adulthood, they would have access to the funds to use on expenses like higher education, buying a home or starting a business.
The idea would be to give children an opportunity to build wealth as they transition to adulthood, said Beyer.
"And the positive effects of Baby Bonds are not limited to only the children and families who directly benefit from these accounts: When young adults can pursue education, start businesses and buy homes, it creates economy-wide benefits,” he said.
The policy has faced some conservative pushback, including from Rachel Greszler, a research fellow in economics at the Heritage Foundation.
If people receive Baby Bonds, “you might have less incentive to save, less incentive to get an education, knowing that this account is sitting there,” she said.
Meanwhile Democrats like Beyer and Corey Book believe the policy could give everyone a fair shot at building wealth.
"Baby Bonds are also powerful tools for reducing economic inequalities by providing disadvantaged children with seed money to build a more promising future for themselves and future generations," Beyer said. "These kinds of investments would be an important step toward promoting an economy that works for all — not just the wealthiest few."