The Children’s Opportunity Trust is the second big piece of national
commons infrastructure. It’s a way to fix capitalism’s other
bad habit of perpetuating class privileges from one generation to the next.
Unlike feudalism, which was based on hereditary aristocracy, capitalism is,
in theory, a meritocracy, or at least a “luckocracy.” Players
are supposed to have a fair, if not equal, chance to succeed. Winners are
supposed to be determined by hard work, talent, and luck, rather than by
accident of birth. Yet, as we’ve seen, Capitalism 2.0 falls far short
of this ideal.
The Children’s Opportunity Trust would give every child, as a birthright,
an infusion of start-up capital — a kind of Social Security for the
front end of life. The trust’s revenue would come from end-of-life
repayments, as explained in chapter 7. This funding mechanism, I believe,
is better than taking money from the general treasury. It directly links
start-up help from society with an end-of-life obligation to repay, creating
a kind of temporal commons that connects arriving and departing generations.
the whole chapter