we [place] too much emphasis on early education. . . What happens in the early years is crucial. But human capital development takes a generation. If you really want to make an impact, you [need] a developmental strategy for all the learning stages.For Brooks, it begins with birth control:
children need parents who are ready to care for them. But right now roughly half-a-million children are born each year as a result of unintended pregnancies, often to unmarried women who are not on contraception or are trying to use contraceptives like condoms or the pill. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Rebecca Maynard and Isabel Sawhill and Quentin Karpilow of the Brookings Institution have argued, if these women had free access to long-acting reversible contraceptives like I.U.D.’s, then the number of unintended births might decline and the number of children with unready parents might fall, too. [emphasis added]So there’s Brooks pushing free IUDs, basic to the Democrats’ Obamacare strategy of giving women free contraceptives including the controversial “morning after” pill; pushing that pill in order to box the (pro-religion) GOP into a “war on women.”
Next, while Brooks acknowledges that “Once born, children are generally better off if they grow up within a loving two-parent marriage,” he cautions, “It would be great if we knew how to boost marriage rates, but we don’t.”
Brooks’ giving up on marriage flies in the face of conservatives’ --especially all organized religions’--efforts to make a sound marriage culture’s bedrock. Brooks gives up even as liberals elsewhere boost the gay rights movement's strong endorsement of marriage.
The former conservative continues in a similar 100% progressive vein. Brooks endorses yet another Sawhill prescription, those of two other liberal experts on parent-children problems, and five different programs, mostly New York City-based, all involving the elite administering to the masses and getting paid to do so.
Brooks’ entire “uplifting children” pitch, it turns out, was targeting Obama, seeking a place in the president’s State of the Union address. Strange the way Brooks panders to Obama, strange how he wants to raise up the next generation by throwing government money at elite professionals who would attempt to uplift the masses. Strange that David Brooks has become an apostate conservative.
By way of contrast, listen to an actual conservative, Michael Barone in the Washington Examiner, discussing how to uplift children via marriage and families:
holding growth down. . . the widespread disintegration of the family structure. As Utah Senator Mike Lee noted in speeches at the Heritage Foundation, "the problem of poverty is linked to family breakdown and the erosion of marriage among low-income families and communities." [Lee points] to the uncomfortable but undeniable fact that economic outcomes for their children have been far worse than those for children raised in two-parent families.
Government policy can't force people to get or stay married. But it may be able to encourage them to do so. That happened in the years after World War II. A steeply progressive income tax combined with generous dependent deductions [helped stimulate] the Baby Boom and family stability for a generation after the war. Lee proposes a $2,500 child tax credit applied to both payroll and income taxes.
He also proposes allowing employees to claim flextime when they have worked overtime. . . wants Congress to hack away at the marriage penalties embedded in various benefits programs and Obamacare. . . talks about devolving gas taxes and transportation policies to the states (to reduce commute times) and allowing states to accredit alternative forms of higher and vocational education (to help upward mobility). . . we need tax and other policies not just to encourage entrepreneurs but also. . . to help bolster family formation.Conservatives believe marriage is important, and that government can help support marriage.