June 9, 2010

Socializing the Missing Link

Justin Katz

Maybe it's just my sense of the underlying humor of humanity, but I had to chuckle when reading a recent article about an RI Kids Count event. The piece starts out with RI Federation of Teachers and Allied Health Professionals head Marcia Reback advocating for a massive wave of unionized public-sector early-childhood workers. Then it moves through Ed. Commissioner Deborah Gist and others talking about the need for "serious money" devoted to younger children... because (I guess) the serious money that we're allocating for children over five years old hasn't been able to produce the desired results. With all of the pining for taxpayer dollars, the last paragraph seems to come from out of nowhere:

Everyone agreed that parents are the missing link in early childhood education. Community groups need to do a better job of explaining the importance of getting their children to school no matter how nasty the weather. Educators also need to offer literacy-rich summer programs so children do not lose ground between June and September.

Actually, it seems as if everyone agreed that the missing link is more money and more union jobs. The rejoinder, of course, would be that uninvolved parents come first and the need for public resources is a response to that, but the nuance leads in a different direction than the assessment.

That is to say that draining money from the private sector to filter through the government in order to purchase union-inflated child care will weigh down the economy and make it even more difficult for parents to afford time with their children (much less to foster one-income households). Moreover, removing the burden of child care from parents will lower the pay rate that they require before both working makes financial sense, thus expanding the workforce, suppressing wages, and adding yet more difficulty for those who'd like to be more involved with their children.

Of course, the alternative path requires more work to be done, culturally — encouraging marriage and the self-sacrifice of gadgets and modern life's trappings as part of parenthood. Even those who oppose further government intervention in citizens' lives bristle when a conservative, like me, so much as suggests considering whether the Freedom of Perpetual Adolescence oughtn't be reevaluated and adjusted in the social sphere.

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Government offers the only services on the planet that are rewarded with more money for poor results.

Posted by: Dan at June 9, 2010 2:14 PM

So the bottom line is too many parents are too busy to read with their kids all summer, now I have to pay more money for them to have someone else read to their kid? Is that about right?

And yes, I have my own kindergärtner who I read with every day, and she's already very literate.

I'm really trying hard to find the motivation to not be a lazy waste of space in this state.

Posted by: Patrick at June 9, 2010 3:04 PM

Isn't that the intended effect of government entitlements? To make anyone who thinks about working seem like an idiot? Why would anyone think about working when she/he sees their mother getting a monthly "paycheck" for doing absolutely nothing? Year after year after year. Why take the time to raise your own kids when father government (the only father in many families) will provide you daycare, food, medical care, etc., so you can spend your days and nights watching Jerry Springer, Oprah and just hanging out?

It's worked and it's spread. The middle class family is now frequently demanding and living off their own taxpayer supplied entitlements - all day kindergarten, after school day care, soccer teams and other extra curricular activities affiliated with elementary, middle and junior high schools that keep their kids occupied, cared for and out of their hair while they work to support their purchase/lease of the newest cars, granite kitchens, season tickets at PPAC, vacations and on and on.

Generation after generation of children have been and are being raised - by middle class parents as well as welfare class parents - to believe they are entitled to be supported and cared for with our tax dollars.

Where does it end? Hard to be motivated is right !

Posted by: riborn at June 9, 2010 5:41 PM

"Even those who oppose further government intervention in citizens' lives bristle when a conservative, like me, even suggests considering whether the Freedom of Perpetual Adolescence oughtn't be assessed in the social sphere." Justin Katz.

Call me dense. But I do not have the foggiest idea what you are talking about. I know you will not answer directly, but, it would be helpfull if you explained that quote in some form of layman speak.

Posted by: David S at June 9, 2010 8:33 PM

When I suggest, say, that our contraception culture might have downside or that the institution of marriage needs to be fortified, liberals and libertarians refuse to see the difference between social and governmental action, ultimately leading to the sort of government-does-all movement as described in this post.

Posted by: Justin Katz at June 9, 2010 8:37 PM

What Justin is saying is that kids can't read because people are having sex outside of marriage and using contraception. We need to put or keep women back in the kitchen bare foot and pregnant so they can read to their kids. It also means that gays shouldn't get married or math scores will go down or something.

Posted by: swazool at June 9, 2010 8:47 PM

Justin was just ruminating on the possibility of a government police force that would make sure you don't place a piece of latex on your penis when you have intercourse. If enough people voted for it, that would be okay in his world.

Posted by: Dan at June 9, 2010 9:10 PM

David, Swazool, do you really not get it?

Government programs promote a freedom from responsibility similar to an adolescents. i.e., have a kid, have two, don't worry about taking any responsibilty for their education. We'll handle it!

Of course, it may be that the parents are only semi-literate.

I notice that my anti-spam code includes the "the mark of the beast".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at June 9, 2010 9:11 PM

Hmmm, contraception culture....first time I ever heard that one! Funny!

It seems as if individual choice as to the pursuit of happiness has been surrendered to some conceptual idea of what a good person MUST DO - that is, getting married, having kids, working hard and doing without.

Heck, I know a lot of people who have never gotten married or had kids. In most cases, I am glad they didn't as they would have made terrible parents. So this is good thing for society as a whole.

Whatever happened to Vive La Difference or whatever? Justin, you should have lived through the 60s....ah, the possibilities!

It's your thing, do what you wanna do - I can't tell you , who to sock it to!
Different Drummer
The answer is blowing in the wind.
etc. etc. etc.

and perhaps my favorite - and the way I picture Justin yelling at all the free and creative people out there....
"White collar conservative walking down the street- pointing their plastic fingers at me - they are hoping my kind will drop and die, but I'm gonna wave my freak flag high"........

Or, if you really want to think outside the box:
Well if 6 turned out to be 9
I don't mind
I don't mind
If all the hippies cut off all their hair.
I don't care
I don't care...
Cause I got my own world to live in...and I ain't gonna copy you........

C'mon Justin, join the parade. Can't you hear that jungle beat?

Posted by: Stuart at June 9, 2010 9:34 PM

Animals in the jungle take better care of their young than the animals that inhabit many areas of this state. No way should we be talking about more unionized lazy bums to care for others kids. We should seriously think of sterilizing those who produce kids and don't care for them - men and woman.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at June 9, 2010 10:33 PM

Mike Cappelli

I am disapointed that you did not call any group of people "pigs" as has been your wont. "Animal" somehow does not have the same sneering contempt. You slightly redeemed yourself with the suggestion of forced sterilization.

Posted by: Phil at June 9, 2010 10:56 PM


This is the passage that I need translated.

"Moreover, removing the burden of child care from parents will lower the pay rate that they require before both working makes financial sense, thus expanding the workforce, decreasing wages, and adding yet more difficulty."

Does removing the burden of child care from parents mean enrolling children in early learning programs? Lower the pay rate? What? More difficulty?

Posted by: Phil at June 9, 2010 11:15 PM

Stuart is a plagiarist.He stole dialogue practically verbatim from a Robert Crumb comic strip in Zap Comix from the Sixties.It was titled "Whiteman".
Stuart-you are a real lowlife.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 10, 2010 2:23 PM

I thought it was Hendrix. But Yeah Joe... You even knowing Whiteman will set some teeth gnashing here.

Posted by: David S at June 11, 2010 6:49 PM

Crumb was a genius.Hendrix may have in fact done the lyrics-I'm thinking of the comic where Whiteman gets told to "join the parade"and remains paralyzed with indecision.
I have a lot of the Crumb reprints and his "Book of Genesis" is fantastic.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 14, 2010 6:19 AM
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