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5 Ways to Make America More Family Friendly

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
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January 10, 2022 4:48 pm

5 Ways to Make America More Family Friendly

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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January 10, 2022 4:48 pm

This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes back Patrick Brown from the Ethics and Public Policy Center to discuss his recent article, “5 Ways to Make America More Family-Friendly.”

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Welcome to family policy matters in engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will flow better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy Devitt Briggs thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. As you heard our vision statement here in NC. Family reads as state and nation where God is honored religious freedom flourishes families thrive in life is cherished large job here is to help lawmakers and citizens create policies that help that vision become more of a reality while speaking of helping families thrive. Our guest today is here to discuss what can be done to improve the lives of American families, and why the United States needs a uniquely American approach to family policy Patrick T. Brown fellow with the ethics and Public policy Center, welcome back to family policy matters to be back right so you have studied family public policy in different countries around the world.

What are some of the vast international examples of pro-life policy to think a lot of countries in the last decade or more have started to realize that the problems facing families are starting to have an impact on their birthrate and so a lot of countries are asserted explicitly pursuing pronatalist goals) to increase their birthrate in industry, take a variety of different features from giving cash for having babies or try to have a welfare state approach to providing a lucrative government program like no universal childcare about the thing and so when you look at family policy around the globe. You're really struck by the fact that there is no shortage of examples out there that that we might want to learn from when thinking about supporting families here in the US but you looking either at what places like Scandinavia are doing with with their very best welfare state approach to some countries in Eastern Europe that some people on the right here in the US try to do you know there's different ways that we can go about supporting families and helping them thrive and so I think as you alluded to the point of that are going to work best here in the US are the ones that are most in keeping with the US is understanding of what the government should be doing. That's what I think we want to be talking about and thinking about what you mean when you say that America needs a distinctly American family policy yeah so a lot of folks on on the right a lot of my friends were more conservative, have started to look at quite hungry that I've really been emphasizing the patriotic duty of people to increase the birthrate to advance that the nation of hungry and might work nicely for hungry, but that's something that I don't think really resonate the people in America, people are having babies because they're not feeling patriotic. There's actual, you know, social and economic pressures that are pushing against people want to have a family and so ways that we can try to try to understand working within her American. We have 50 states for reason.

Our system was set up as one that tries to develop our down the local level until a national policy that tries to do a one-size-fits-all approach the same in Raleigh is in Bakersfield California is going to have a harder time finding traction and so working with dad and realizing that federalism in a local coffee can be just as effective in approach and is trying to help increase make it easier for families is going to be important for conservatives who want to make our family friendly talk a little bit about what you consider the biggest weaknesses of American family policy or perhaps the greatest threats that are facing American families. One is this natural tendency to assume that the government is the best rule to just get out of the way and people will naturally do what comes naturally. I think we're seeing that American space much lower taxes than than a lot of other countries and instantly in historical sweep of things were not excessively taxable. People may feel that way certainly is no fun paying taxes, but that didn't seem to be the biggest damper on people's fertility and household formation choices. I think there's a much more cultural aspect to this where people who get married at age 25. Today, that would have been anything to remark on it. In previous generations, but now it seems is getting married in Seeley early in some circles and I think there's the opportunity cost of having a child, not just the expenses of of diapers after thing, but for taking time out of the workforce, or to come out of your your education you a lot of times people crying years for having a child coincide with with being in school or starting a job and so they're faced with these conflicting responsibilities of his current looking desires and so finding ways to realize that the loser think that that the government can step in in in in. We don't necessarily need to do is have a hands-off approach to say what whatever is best for the economy is better families.

That's not always true. If the company is is setting a workers schedule, you know, the day before or two days in advance when in making it harder for parents to juggle their responsibilities in the work place that something that there might be a role for policy to step in and intervene in so I don't think that used to be a full Scandinavian style look our state, but I think there are approaches to public policy that say what is best for parents and wanted to make parents was either both current parents and child, and I think those will have just as much of the practice of the more extreme version of program equality that missing other countries so you also mentioned that and you talked about this or alluded to this a little bit earlier that the changes that we make to family oriented policy should match our national character's. So what do you consider our national character to be the great question. I think one thing that I have in mind what that is. Is this ongoing debate that were having about the expanded child tax credit, which was instituted as a lot of folks may know, as part of the covert relief package that was passed in the early months of the Biden administration provided no strings attached cash to all parents and I happen to think that was probably the right thing but it's proven politically unpopular and one of the reasons why is I think Americans have the unique desire for self-sufficiency Strong conviction that work really matter. We want to be in cenobite and people to work as being part of the social contract and not just handing out benefits to all. Even though I think walkabouts would agree that parents who are staying home with her kid are working as a part of the people working in the labor force that there is a intercultural recognition that work is something that is valuable and should be rewarded and so they no strings attached approach to cash benefits is not something that Americans seem that interested in them. So I think that's an example of a way that designing public policy to the poor families need to recommend the people there should be a connection probably should be connection to the workforce in some way and yelled, recognizing that Americans, as we've seen certainly in the last couple years with the pandemic. We are much less collectivist nation than a lot of other places ninth a double-edged sword but but we are independent we are small, L libertarian, you don't want the government telling us what to do. So there needs to be recognition that America is a United Nations a lot of strength a lot of unique characteristics and and working with those, rather than trying to reshape America to fit some ideal of what we think article for the ethics and Public policy Center, five ways to make America more family-friendly and this article, stuck out to me because it is a very practical unit we might see that there are some issues were like how on earth do we tackle those take us through what you think those five ways are that we can put our hands to and try to make some changes on your way more than five we could we could think about. And I think the first national level is making more family-friendly so things like intermediate first-time homebuyers credit by expanding those kind of opportunities, especially in a post-Roe society hopefully a good report. Rules in favor of the Mississippi law others to be a lot of parents who are facing unplanned pregnancies who are knocking to be maybe for the financial burdens we should be supporting them maturely, but also through the text of all related to that.

Secondly is marriage penalties and in the tax code and some of our social safety net programs which actually penalize cohabitating couples if they get married and we know that marriage is a much more stable union on just for the parents, but also for any children of all the soap you want to use the power to see to encourage strong families and help those kids achieve better futures. We should invest in it. Eliminating those penalties that that come from you if you could get married and you lose some of your benefits are of your tax rate goes up that has a real, not a major impact on the market certainly has a real impact on the lives of a long, working class people so they'll be enough. Think third. I think this is something that you you guys are very familiar with the North Carolina expanding the choices available to parent all parents across the income spectrum should have their choice of where they want in the child to school should be limited by ZIP Code or income, and it really should be part of a robust program. The agenda, recognizing that every family should be able to make them force cost-of-living and this is a really broad bucket, but things like housing and healthcare. It really impact families watch increasing competition in the healthcare industry and and relaxing.

Some of the onerous regulations around building new housing think these are things that are especially at the state level are things that policymakers should be really attuned to the lastly I think this is something that a lot of folks on the right have been focused on over the past decades, but can ever be understated enough that there are always cultural birth as well was about things like no unfettered access to pornography or some of the gender ideology stuff that's happening in classrooms on shining a light on those finding creative ways to give parents more tools to raise children the way they want to an end in and the values of a cold beer. I think that something that can't be lost while refocusing on the sort of economic factors which are extremely important in supporting families. There's also the cultural aspect to the long-winded answer the my five areas that I try to put the phone with my thinking about making America more biblically high. Excellent. That's a great that's a great synopsis. Let's talk a little bit before we go about some groups that may be trying to use family policy to form or change America. Do you see the build back better agenda with Pres. mine in his administration as an example of that the fundamental law of the bill back better approach is not just go back better, but a lot of the ideology that you big sweeping legislative vehicle is this idea that there's really nothing special about families there's happen to be a collection of individuals that share the same route for a while but the best thing that the government can you can is relieving parents of their obligation as caregivers in and helping them get back into the labor force will reflect universal childcare. The marriage penalties that I talked about earlier are often distorted ignored because marriage is a tree that something is important in a lot of elite circles at cystine as an ancillary thing that oh if you want to get very big hamburgers is really no reason for the government to be involved again at the social science told us that that's bad for the effect of the children and so approach to policymaking that pleases the individual person foremost and equipment important for maximizing their utility anything that's just a really hollow way of public policy, and when you when you have these programs like universal childcare or other things assertive try to have the state play the role that the parents can certainly is a lot of people are familiar with the quote that lost the Virginia governor's election a couple months ago.

This idea that parents shouldn't have any say in schools are teaching their children that this is completely backwards, and I think to your point is a way of remaking society to be more much more individualistic and less concerned about what strengthens families and in the communities of their part of said we should be having a policy agenda that really prices families and pluralism in the in the in the broadest sense of the word having families be part of the community's neighborhoods as cities that they can feel ownership in and take pride in that should be what our agenda is about strengthening those intermediary institutions rather than just saying how can we free individuals up as much as possible by using the power to think you do so well if people want to read what you've been writing about this or follow your work.

How would they go about doing that while there certainly will conduct around social media to follow me on Twitter at PTB rights and the best place to find my writing, but the writing of all-night my college of the ethics and Public health center is on our website which is Patrick T.

Brown, a fellow with the ethics and Public policy Center.

Thank you so much for being with us on family policy you been listening to family policy matters.

We hope you enjoyed the program and plaintiff to do it again next week to listen to the show online insulin more about NC families want to inform, encourage and inspire families across from Carlotta website it NC family.award that's NC Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family

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