|Dueling Health Plans||Let's Talk -- Like Women|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 30, 2007 at 3:50 pm
NEVER SAY that Hillary Clinton doesnt listen.
Back in April 2001, just before the election, the British New Labour government under Tony Blair proposed a baby bond of up to $1,600 for every mothers son or daughter. It seemed to go down well with British Mums.
So now Sen. Clinton is proposing the same thing for American Moms. But this is America, so she is proposing a $5,000 baby bond to help with college and all. No doubt it will be well received here, especially among Mrs. Clintons base supporters, the women with needs.
The baby bond is a little thing, not really worth getting all worked up over. But its just another step that encourages people look to government for support rather than to their own efforts or to their family, or to their neighbors. It makes Mrs. Clintons women with needs just a little less inclined to meet their needs through the institution of the family, the sort of family in which a married man and women provide for their children together.
If you look around you see this sort of thing going on all around you. Heres an innocent enough item, covered in a national magazine, the October 2007 edition of the Costco Connection.
Stopping the Dropout Epidemic by Tim Talevich is a feature about Bill Milliken and his organization Communities in Schools. Bills been working on the high-school dropout problem since 1977, and now hes got a book out: The Last Dropout: Stop the Epidemic! . Jimmy Carter and Rosalyn Carter are co-authors. Its all pretty simple really. Kids need the Five Basics:
Says Bill Milliken: Young people will stop dropping out of school when they receive the community support and resources they need to learn, stay in school and graduate prepared for life. First of all you need a coordinator inside each high school and secondly you need to stop spending money in a fragmented way, and instead adopt legislation to encourage communities to coordinate and integrate [their] resources around the schools.
You can see what Millikens on about. Only 10 percent of women with at least a college bachelors degree get into the single-parent game. But about 37 percent of the children of high-school dropouts are raised by single mothers. You could look it up.
Bill Milliken seems like a saint, and the home page on his web site features an exquisitely beautiful African-American girl in a mortarboard with her exquisitely slim and handsome African-American parents.
As if the problem werent black boys in waddle-pants and fat single black mamas, boys like Mychal Bell of the Jena 6or that other Michael, University of Mississippi left offensive tackle Michael Oher who we have discussed here before in The Heedless People Who Didnt Care About Michael Oher.
We are not going to solve the dropout problem with fully-funded high-school coordinators or integrated resources around our schools. When 70 percent of African-American children are being born into single-parent families and 50 percent of Hispanic children likewise we cannot say, even in a comedy sketch, that with another two or three billion dollars we could really solve the problem.
You know what we are talking about: Its the M word. But we wont spell it out. Some people might call it hate speech.
You wonder: how does the collapse of the family in the lower orders compare with other world-historical moral outrageslike slavery? Think about the good old days in West Africa. Youd head out for a jolly raid on a nearby village, kill the men, capture the women and children, and then sell them to the white devils on the coast. At least you werent selling your own kin, your own tribe, but dangerous enemies who might one day raid your village and sell you into slavery.
But in our time we actually celebrate educated middle class government teachers and social workers who make money out of the social disintegration of the lower orders in our own country. The worse it gets, the more their budgets grow. It must take real talent to keep children illiterate and innumerate through twelve intensive years of compulsory education.
Conservatives may sneer at Sen. Clinton and her baby bond proposal to buy votes by giving the taxpayers money back to taxpayers with little pink-and-blue ribbons and bows on it. Mrs. Clinton is a politician. Why shouldnt she try it out on American voters?
Well know that people are really taking conservatives seriously when writers like Tim Talevich and all the other editors of house organs like the Costco Connection wouldnt even think of boosting yet another effort to rescue the welfare state from its death spiral.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel