ast month, senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act to encourage states to reform their bail systems. Beyond shrinking our overly expanded incarcerated population, bail reform would boost the United States’ stagnating income mobility by reforming a system that traps the poor in poverty.
Upward mobility has stalled. According to Stanford Professor of Economics Raj Chetty, “social mobility is low and has been for at least thirty or forty years.” Of those born into the bottom income quintile, more than a third remain there as adults. However, progressives who blame the free market misdiagnose the problem. A 50-state analysis found that in more economically free states—those with fewer labor regulations and smaller governments—the wealth of the poor rises more quickly than the wealth of the rich, because freer markets produce more opportunity for everyone. The problem is that government policies like steep bail hamstring low-income individuals’ efforts to advance.
Read the rest at: The Federalist