Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand attacked Joe Biden last week for a 1981 newspaper opinion piece titled “Congress Is Subsidizing Deterioration of Family.” Noting that she gave birth while serving in the House, Ms. Gillibrand demanded: “Am I, serving in Congress, resulting in the deterioration of the family because I had access to quality affordable day care?”
It was a cheap shot. In the op-ed in the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., then-Sen. Biden called for government to “help families of modest means to adequately provide the material necessities of child-rearing.” He also warned that a “cancer of materialism” was eating away at the family. That’s exactly what has happened over the past 40 years.
Parents come to my practice regularly to discuss symptoms their children exhibit due to their families having busier and more distracted lives, premature separation (children being placed in day care as early as 6 weeks old), and their parents’ lack of interest in nurturing. Affluent couples want to have children, but not necessarily to care for them. They wrongly believe that giving their children a materially better life is the best way to show love.
“I do not believe,” Mr. Biden wrote, “that the federal government should be a party to a system which encourages couples to place their children in day-care centers in order to acquire material possessions that go far beyond any family basic necessities.”
Family—including extended family—is the best way to care for children. Day care is the least healthy option, especially in the first three years. It leaves children bereft, anxious and depressed. Mr. Biden was right to suggest that parents who can afford it shouldn’t farm out the care of their children to others—especially if those of modest means have to subsidize it.
Instead, why not provide all parents with tax credits or Social Security benefits so they can stay with their children longer after they are born? Such an approach would recognize the importance of parents bonding with children, laying the foundation for sustainable mental health, and encourage parents to pause or slow their careers when their children are very young rather than pursue wealth and career advancement at full speed.
“It’s a sad commentary on our society,” Mr. Biden wrote in 1981, “when the Senate of the United States says, as a matter of social policy, that we should make it easier for people who have neither the financial necessity nor the personal need to forsake their responsibility to care for their own children.” He stood alone against a measure to expand a child-care tax credit, which passed 94-1.
The young Mr. Biden wasn’t spouting an outdated philosophy. He was concerned that the devaluation of motherhood, caregiving and family would be harmful to society. He was right—and prescient.
Ms. Komisar is a psychoanalyst and author of “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters.”
Thank God for fossil fuels…. once again
Thanks Cousin Fred
OMG! Pictured is a prayer candle available at Target. Mueller was supposed to be saving us from the evil Trump through his Russian collusion fairy tale. The complexities of the human mind are vast and bizarre. The weird thing is the real trouble with Trump is seldom discussed… He’s a tool of weird Middle Eastern allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the biggest sponsors of terrorism in the world.
And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
We often hear our rulers described as our “leaders.” This is a fundamental flaw in how we perceive our representatives.
There has been a droning hoopla about election fraud, tampering, and other threats to our “democracy.” We are who we are because of the lingering effects of our past limited republican government, as opposed to democracy. Democracy is at the root of many troubles we face today, yet we are urged to vote to correct those troubles.
A democracy is simply mob rule, where 51% of the people can take away the rights of 49%. Ben Franklin called democracy, “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”
A republic has representatives making decisions that reflect the philosophy of the voters without the emotion of immediate concerns. The voters could never be well enough informed or free from manipulation to vote on issues that representatives can investigate.
It has been easy to see what media sources are used by the various people I visit with, as opinions are often merely repetitions from pundits and so-called experts in media. That these opinions are translated into votes which impact our wealth and daily lives is tragic.
The possible Russian interference was a particularly slow-news-day obsession. Even the investigators closest to the issue never came up with anything more specific than a few Facebook posts condemning Trump or Clinton.
But there is this interview by Senator Ted Cruz of Robert Epstein, Senior Research Psychologist of the American Institute for Behavioral Research & Technology that I saw on C-Span. Dr. Epstein, a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton found that Google brought 2.6 million votes to Mrs. Clinton through biased search results. He said that between Google, Facebook, and Twitter that prize could rise to 15 million votes in the 2020 election.
That prize is not just votes. It is real money and has significant impact on our standard of living and the living standards of all those we touch worldwide. The 2016 elections cost every man, woman, and child in the United States about $2,000. But the cost of the policies born of our ignorance of constitutional restraint is off the charts. Funding of the federal government was to come exclusively from tariffs. That was before the federal government became infinite.
As Franklin emerged from the meeting that drafted the Constitution he answered the question of what they had produced thusly, “A republic if you can keep it.” Unfortunately, our republic has morphed into a democratic republic where votes earn the wealth of others.
Politicians are viewed as superior and trusted to make better use of resources than ourselves. The oath they take to uphold and defend the Constitution is a lie. Article I, Section 8 enumerates their duties. Amendments 9 and 10 limit them to only those enumerated duties. But they police the world and babysit Americans, making them both dependent and helpless. When will we refuse to pay the bill for their folly?
Election time. What a bore. Yet, instead of roasting a hot dog or playing catch, we pay attention to such rot. And why? It is a critical time. It’s never been more important. Then it is over … the wars go on. The advance auction of stolen goods bears fruit for the winners. The influence of the market is thwarted. It makes us all poorer.