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We can't have a prosperous future without investing in children.
Not one single word about personal responsibility. Throw lots of other people's money down a sinkhole all you please but it will not change much. We often will spend as much as $16,000 per pupil in our nation with crummy results. The most important factor in our childrens' education is their parents involvement in it. But it is politically incorrect these days to criticize single parent households, lazy parents and absentee fathers. Until people are willing to be bold and politically incorrect many kids will have no chance. Invest others people's money all you like it won't change much.
50 years of government programs that encourage single parenthood and what do you have, but 40% of children born out of wedlock. The rate was 5% before we began this unprecedented experiment with our children. How's it going?
Okay lordhawhaw1 and eman2001, what exactly is your solution for helping children from disadvantaged environments? Tell them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps... "get tough or die?" When you have parent's who aren't reading to their kids at home, or when kids are not sure where their next meal might be coming from, they're at a tremendous disadvantage, of no fault of their own.
Last I checked we can't legislate good parenting or require marriage before giving birth to children. It is a challenge for society to penalize poor parenting choices without penalizing the children who had absolutely nothing to do with it.
I am in agreement with the author. I would also ask, do you wish that past generations had been as short sighted and self centered as the current one? We would have no standard of living. We have been living off the work of past Americans. We are losing ground on our infrastructure as well, which will also make us less competitive. As justice Brandeis said, we can have a great democracy or we can have great concentration of wealth, but we can't have both.
Start with a serious discussion of the effects of numerous government programs and policies that have encouraged the break up of the nuclear family. There are at least eight government-sponsored economic incentives to become a single parent, including tax policy, food stamps, free or reduced lunches, housing subsidies, and no-fault divorce.
If you want solutions here some easy ones. 1. Get the kids into school, the problem isn't the little kids, its the high schoolers who are making a conscious choice not to attend and drop out. You can't teach kids who aren't there. 2. Stop all the feel-good programs and just concentrate on the basics such as reading, writing and math. In elementary school, my kids usually lost 1 day a week to non-academic programs.
@danj - Since, as you say, we cannot legislate good parenting, and since giving bad parents money and other entitlements aimed at helping their children has produced nothing but poor outcomes (achievement gaps, crime, wards of the state..etc), then how about bringing back state run orphanages where the child will at least have some adults around who care about their lives and give them a safe and stable environment in which to grow up as contributing adults? I would much rather subsidize a well run orphanage than some loser parent who is and always will be unfit to raise a hamster much less a human being.
A) Once on public support, no increases due to additional babies. B) If a parent's student is not in a full day of school, parent's government programs are cut porportionately. C) Single parents are supported IN THEIR OWN PARENT'S HOME until age 26. No more separate apartments to young single mothers. D) Enforcement / garnishment of father's support obligations. Tax refunds held, jail after numerous notices. E) WHILE in government programs, 20 hours a week searching for work or 20 hours a week in education. There is always something worthwile to learn. Or 20 hours a week donated to cleaning our highways or day-care for other parents or other public work. F) Which is more compassionate, a hand-up or a hand-out?????
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