What is the “TEEN New Deal”?
“The TEEN New Deal” is an interactive book for youth that includes a 12-step plan to give America a “big gift” in 2026, America’s 250th-anniversary celebration.
The gift that “The TEEN New Deal” presents is composed of three solutions which would be achieved through federal legislation:
1 - STUDENT PAY (financial literacy)
- students should be paid to attend school with digital currency and parents should have access to their child's earnings based on student age. The younger a student is, the more access parents should have and each year the student gets older, parent access decreases.
2 - STUDENT GOVERNMENT (government literacy)
- Student Government Associations should be mandatory at all schools to prepare youth to enter the political process by voting on school-based issues.
3 - STUDENT MEDIA (media literacy)
- Students should have access to age-appropriate media programming (radio, television, internet, etc.) on a closed-circuit (accessible/visible only to youth & school staff inside school building) so that students can learn how to navigate media more responsibly.
The main idea of “The TEEN New Deal” is that compensating, incentivizing, and rewarding students for academic and moral labor at school, can also be used as a solution to achieve more desirable behaviors within society and to lessen social ills like racism, violence, and economic inequity. We can teach students to be better people/citizens and reward them for it!
How did the "TEEN New Deal" originate?
The 12-steps of the “TEEN New Deal” originally appeared inside a companion book for adults, titled “A Manifesto For Americans: T.H.E. A.N.S.W.E.R. (To Heal Everyone – A New Society With Educational Rewards) in 2021.”
The "TEEN New Deal" was inspired by the "New Deal" which was a group of social programs signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s during a time known as the "Great Depression".
How can the "TEEN New Deal" transform society?
President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs included “Social Security”, a program which still exists today as a way to provide senior citizens with the funds they need during retirement. However, the Social Security system is now in danger of losing the funds it needs because many Americans are delaying childbirth, are not having as many children, or are not having children altogether. This is a problem because the funds for Social Security and the elderly are generally taken from the taxes paid by younger Americans. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” specifically cut out programs that included jobs for teenagers, but the “TEEN New Deal” could fix Social Security by creating millions of jobs for teenagers at school! Once student earnings are taxed, those funds could be used to give Social Security the boost it needs.
Once students graduate and enter the adult workforce, an incentive/rewards-based approach to civics would be continued, ensuring that adults maintain socially equitable behaviors into the future and beyond, thereby minimizing crime and violence. Both "T.H.E. A.N.S.W.E.R.” and "The TEEN New Deal" include a chapter titled ‘Beyond Reforms’ — a collection of mini-essays. These essays imagine how students who grow up being paid, incentivized, and rewarded for academic AND moral labor, can reform and transform society as adults.