Ron’s idea – I love it. We rarely talk about anything directly related to children or our changing culture. As agreed, I’ll open with 5-10 minutes summarizing the following:
- Changing Families — changes in family structure and composition in the last few decades. I’ll just give a few of the broad brush numbers.
- Causes and Effects of the changes–
a. Causes: Cultural, economic, demographic.
b. Effects: On kids, adults.
c. Were these changes inevitable, or could we have altered course?
- Is all of this “bad” or “good?” Should public policies be changed to be more helpful to modern (women all work, many single parents, etc.) families?
This sounds like a lot, but I’m going to go real light on the facts and figures and leave almost everything to our discussion. The main political issue surrounding family policy is whether the social and political supports for families that we have are archaic; i.e., whether they were designed for the Cleavers rather than a country where 2/3 of mothers work and so many kids are raised by a single parent.
A few links —
- I could not find anything short and pithy that summarizes the changes in family structure. I’ve looked up a few numbers.
Policy Issues —
- Do we need more public support for families?
- Are American women losing ground because we don’t have enough public support? Is that a big reason they are so unhappy? 177 countries require paid parental leave after birth of a child. We don’t. An argument that we should.
- Can more family-friendly government policies raise fertility rates?