Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We can't have that

Whatever else you do today, go read this at Creative Minority Report:

So let me get this straight. Many parents can't be home with children when they come home at 2:30 and that's bad so instead of giving parents tax breaks or incentives to stay home with their children they decide to spend more taxpayer money to keep schools open 12 months a year and 12 hours a day making it harder for parents to be able to afford to stay home because they have to pay for all these programs.

And didn't you pick up the derisive tone to the whole "Mom there with a peanut butter sandwich" thing? To this administration Mom at home with the peanut butter sandwich is a mockable relic of a bygone era. Do they not realize that still happens in millions of homes across the country every single day. Actually, they do. They just don't like it.

Here's the thing - If you believe Duncan's stated problem is that parents aren't home with kids his solution actually makes no sense as it makes it harder for parents to stay home. So one must figure that the stated problem is not the actual problem. One can only surmise that the government wants less Mom and peanut butter and more government.

And they're willing to use their power to get it.

Yes, that's our Ruling Class at work. That's why parents who pay someone else to look after their children can deduct money from their taxes to offset child care costs, but a married family with a mom at home can't deduct any of the value of mom's full-time care from their taxes.

Because they don't trust us to raise our own children. Anything which doesn't require government intervention, programs, policies, revenues, and the opportunity for increasing power is bad, and ought to be eradicated--even Mom at home with her children.

Remember, it "takes a village to raise a child." More accurately, it takes a policy wonk, a committee, a mandatory after-school program, year-round schooling, politicians and sycophants by the bucket-load, and "child experts" who will explain to dim-witted parents that their deeply-held values and morals are really quite bad for children, and have to be counteracted at every stage of the child's education.

Otherwise, people might grow up to be free, and to expect freedom. And we can't have that.


scotch meg said...

There are many ways in which this philosophy plays out. It works in tandem with "you shouldn't be married and (especially not) have children when you're a..." thinking.

My personal experience was with the educational system. When my husband was a graduate student, his university had an un-family family health plan. Contraceptives and abortion were covered; childbirth was not. When he moved into the medical school (same university), financial aid (necessary for anyone who did not have rich parents) required spouses to work. In our case, it was just silly. After paying the babysitter and the taxes, there was about $50 per week left of my earnings. We had to borrow our living expenses (as determined by their budget) anyway. We would have been happy to cut out that $50 (or I could have had a much smaller, work-from-home job) and just borrow the living expenses. But we weren't allowed to do so.

c matt said...

At least re the tax angle, part may be nefarious nanny state control, but it may also be that rearing at home is difficult to determine out of pocket costs (and documentation for that cost). You can always dig up a day care receipt, it might be harder (and open to more fraud) to separate the "regular" groceries from the "home day care" groceries. So there are at least some practical issues.

Of course, they could just allow a flat rate minimum credit or something, with the option to deduct actual costs for non-home day care if its higher (much like itemizing vs. standard deduction).

c matt said...

As for year round schooling, we had that in our parochial school in Corpus Christi, and I actually liked it a litle better. It was the same numberof school days, but vacation was spread out rather than big chunks in summer - still got about 4 or 5 weeks in summer, but you also got 2 wks in Spring/Fall and 3 or so at Christmas.

Year round wouldn't work for high school though, where kids may need summer jobs to start saving for college.

John Thayer Jensen said...

FWIW, what @"c matt" calls 'year round schooling,' if I understand him (her?) correctly, is what we have here in New Zealand. School is out just before Christmas (which is in our summer), and starts again around the beginning of February. But the year is divided into four terms, with a couple of weeks between each, and then there seem to me to be longer holidays at other times during the year than the US, if my impressions are correct, get.

Seems to work all right.


Dawn said...

Excellent post.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I like what Jensen describes happening in New Zealand. There should be periods when families can do things together, or go on trips, etc., at various times of the year, but not too long a stretch at once. Summer vacation, per se, is a relic of a time when the kids were needed to work on the farm, long hard days, not play time.

But, for that to work, or any plan to work, our culture, our economy, our society, have to value children. That includes valuing children economically, not by putting a price on them, but by subordinating The Requirements Of The Job and the Needs of the Marketplace to the necessities of family life.

Duncan is speaking for a Ruling Class of sorts, but he's speaking within a perspective that was pushed by the GWB administration as much as the Obama administration. If you accept, as axiom, or dogma, or foundation, that Parents Must Work, then it naturally follows that schools must become Babysitters in Chief.

What Erin has pointed to here requires a revolution in values and economics that will shock socialists and laissez fair free marketeers alike. Parents need substantial time at home while children are growing up, because parents are a significant, though not entirely sufficient, factor in raising children.

On the one hand, our children are not mere creatures of the state. On the other hand, the market was made for man, not man for the market.