Politically Speaking – May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021


And so it goes in Washington, and there’s plenty of it going on. Across the board things are progressively getting worse: While rockets are being fired into Israel from Gaza by Hamas, there is a cyber attack on one of the largest pipelines in the country, and the media and Biden are downplaying it. Or was it internal? Not to mention the inflation that’s coming that will use the cyber attack crisis and blame the supply chain.

Our southern border is a humanitarian disaster caused directly by Biden and his administration. Kamala Harris has been put in charge, and to date she hasn’t gone to see what’s going on for herself but has planned a two-day trip (one day off to Mexico and another one to Guatemala). Meanwhile, Russia is massing troops. And I’m sure Iran and China, among others, are just waiting for the right opportunity.

Trillions have been spent with more proposed, with most going to this administration’s pet projects. We have nine plus percent unemployment with millions of job openings that can’t be filled because federal unemployment assistance makes it more advantageous for people to stay home, and that’s just touching a few of the issues. But one of Biden’s favorites is tax increases, while the cost of everything is rising, from lumber to gas (in some places in Arizona $7.00 a gallon), and all this is since November 2020. What’s next?

But what is happening today is all GOP-led states are cutting $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits in June because there are plenty of job opportunities out there, including good ones, and lack of workers is affecting economic recovery. Some of those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. And when the heat’s turned up and businesses start closing, not because of COVID but because people don’t want to work, I think many Democratic Governors will follow the GOP’s lead.

I can assure everyone the biggest problems businesses are having now is finding employees. I hear about it every day.

On to Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review.

Biden’s Child Care Folly

Joe Biden has a New Deal for America’s kids.

He wants to spend more than $225 billion on child care for infants and toddlers, and $200 billion for free, universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds.

This is being hailed as a social revolution that will finally bring the United States in line with other advanced democracies.

In reality, it’s a program that shows a pronounced class bias. And since it is heedless of the experience of other such mass programs in the United States and around the world, the Biden approach is also likely to fail to achieve its goals.

It’s just not true, as the Biden program assumes, that parents of young children are eager to shuttle them off to industrialized daycare or pre-K programs.

An extensive survey for the populist thinktank American Compass found a stark class divide in how couples think about child care. The survey asked couples if they preferred to have one parent working full time while the other parent provides child care in the home, or to have both parents working and using child care full time. One parent working was the preference of strong majorities of working-class (68%) and lower-class couples (58%), with a plurality of middle-class couples (38%) agreeing. Only a plurality of upper-class couples preferred the child care option (44%).

So, Biden is talking about using taxpayer dollars to create as a default an arrangement that most parents would rather avoid.

Then, there are outcomes. In a paper earlier this year for the Manhattan Institute, researcher Max Eden reviewed the literature.

The programs that have produced the most remarkable positive outcomes over the years tend to be small, expensive, and very difficult to replicate.

On the other side of the ledger, there’s the Quebec Family Policy. The Canada province developed a crash program in the late 1990s that rapidly expanded child care with generally deleterious effects. Researchers found increased behavioral, social, and health problems for the kids, and interestingly, worse outcomes for parents, too. The results were, in the words of one authoritative study, “striking in their consistent indication of a substantial negative impact of universal child care on children in two-parent families.”

The exception in Quebec, per another study, was children from single-parent families, where positive results were “particularly large for individuals at the very bottom of the distribution.”

The Quebec outcomes, as Eden notes, accord with what’s been found elsewhere — child care is best for disadvantaged children and worst for children from two-parent families.

As for pre-K, the largest study of Head Start, the federal program for low-income children, found any early benefits faded by the third grade. Other research has been more encouraging. But a rigorous, randomized control study of low-income kids in an extensive pre-K program in Tennessee showed initial gains washed away and then, over time, participants had worse academic and behavioral outcomes.

The research of James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago who studied one of the most successful programs, is often cited by advocates of the Biden plan. In an interview last year, though, Heckman stipulated that he has never supported universal pre-K. He said the benefits of a loving, engaged family have never been adequately measured.

“Public preschool programs can potentially compensate for the home environments of disadvantaged children,” Heckman said. “No public preschool program can provide the environments and the parental love and care of a functioning family and the lifetime benefits that ensue.”

All of this would suggest taking a cautious approach focused on the least-advantaged kids rather than moving full-speed ahead on a massive federal expenditure to get as many kids into daycare and pre-K as possible, probably through the existing structure of public schools.

But, in a desperate rush to spend another $4 trillion, Joe Biden wants his New Deal for kids — whether it’s good for them or not.

© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.

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