If California is ever going to achieve true equity, the state must require parents to give away their children.

Today’s Californians often hold up equity — the idea of a just society completely free from bias — as our greatest value. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he makes decisions through “an equity lens.” Institutions from dance ensembles to tech companies have publicly pledged themselves to equity, along with diversity and inclusion.

But their promises of newly equitable systems are no match for the power of parents.

Fathers and mothers with greater wealth, education or other resources are more likely to transfer these advantages to their children, compounding privilege over generations. As a result, children of less advantaged parents face an uphill struggle, social mobility has stalled and democracy has been corrupted. More Californians are giving up on the dream; a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found declining belief in the notion that you can get ahead through hard work.

My solution is simple, and while we wait for the legislation to pass, we can act now: The rich should give their children to the poor, and the poor should give their children to the rich. Homeowners might swap children with their homeless neighbors.

Now, I recognize that some naysayers, hopelessly attached to their privilege, will dismiss such a policy as ghastly, even totalitarian. But my proposal is quite modest, a fusion of traditional philosophy and today’s most common political obsessions.

Yes, it’s warmed-over Jonathan Swift in the San Francisco Chronicle. But it’s also Comcast and MSNBC-approved:

And it’s par for the course for the Chronicle as well, which published a column in 2008 on “Throwing less-is-more birthday parties” that declared, “There is nothing more bacchanalian than a kid’s birthday party.” (Great moments in self-awareness for a San Francisco-based newspaper.)

Not coincidentally, SF has had a birth dearth for years, culminating in this headline at ABC-7 News in April of last year: Bay Area sees big drop in births compared to pre-pandemic, data shows.