The American conservative movement often confuses ends with means. While fiddling around the edges on things like deregulation or tax cuts, the end of any sane public policy regime—strong families—has been abandoned.
In this feature, we put strong families front and center by exploring the cultural, economic, and social threats facing the American family. There’s a variety of solutions on offer these days to restore the family’s preeminence in our public policy regime and we need even more creative energy devoted to the pressing crises of family formation and fertility facing the nation.
Here, we’ve put together a few pieces to explore for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with this important issue. Dive in, and enjoy a short, curated collection on what the challenges we face are, and some ideas on the path forward out of them:
- Podcast | Terry Schilling on Moment of Truth | American Moment
- In this episode, Saurabh, Nick, and esteemed guest Terry Schilling discuss getting married young, having kids, pro-family federal policies, and how pornography is destroying sex and marriage.
- Article | Time for the GOP to Focus on the Family | The American Conservative
- John A. Burtka IV of The American Conservative makes the case that conservatives should prioritize social cohesion over globalization.
- Podcast | What Does A Pro-Family Policy Look Like? | The American Conservative
- In conjunction with the American Principles Project and Bruderhof, TAC held an online conference about the need for robust family policies, especially coming from the political right. Several distinguished guests join the Right Now crew: Jon Schweppe (APP), Sam Hammond (Niskanen Center), Oren Cass (American Compass), and Catherine Pakaluk (CUA). Moderated by Arthur Bloom.
- Podcast | The Cost of Thriving: Talking With Oren Cass | The Chris Buskirk Show
- In this podcast, host Chris Buskirk talks with American Compass’ Oren Cass about his “Cost of Thriving” index, which explained that the average American family of four can no longer survive on a single income.
- Article | For The Children: America’s Fertility-Rate Problem | National Review
- Michael Brendan Dougherty examines the existential problem of falling birthrates in American society and surveys the landscape of new family policy proposals on the right.
- Article | Affirming the American Family | American Affairs
- “Family policy brings into focus the importance of direct, government-driven measures ordered to achieve outcomes in accordance with the common good. For too many years in the United States, however, family policy has, in effect, been caught in the middle between Republican Party libertarianism and Democratic Party welfarism—both out of step with the broad wishes of the American public to make childbearing more affordable,” writes Gladden Pappin and Maria Molla.
- Article | Proteus Unbound | Plough
- In this seminal piece, Ian Marcus Corbin writes about “money culture” and how it has affected family life. He also explores how the perception of the family as an institution has changed over time.
- Article | Eduard Habsburg on Hungary’s Family Policy Successes | The American Conservative
In this interview, Habsburg talks about Hungary’s robust natalist policy portfolio and how these efforts support Hungarian families.
- Article | The Working-Class Tax and Welfare Trap: How Policy Penalizes Marriage | National Review
- Wilcox and Randolph explore how current welfare policy creates a “marriage penalty” for the working class.
- Podcast | Oren Cass and Matt Bruenig Debate Child Benefit Reform | American Compass
- Reformers on the left and right often disagree on the best way to approach a family policy that benefits all Americans. Listen to Matt Bruenig and Oren Cass debate the merits of their respective approaches.
IN THE WEEDS:
- Article | A Renewed Social Conservative Agenda | The Dominion on Substack
- The pandemic has exposed serious social and economic challenges that conservatives should be ready to address, and presents an opportunity to offer a relevant and expanded social conservative agenda, writes Ben Woodfinden.
- Symposium | Matt Bruenig’s Family Fun Pack | People’s Policy Project
- Matt Bruenig provides a series of policy proposals that put the American family first. Bruenig writes, “Relative to its European peers, the United States spends virtually nothing on benefits for families with children.1 This dearth of family benefits leads to two cruel outcomes: it denies many people the ability to have the families that they want and inflicts financial ruin on many of those who go through with parenthood despite the lack of social support.” While oriented to a progressive audience, Bruenig offers unique perspectives on everything from free healthcare for children to a child allowance, among other things.
- Symposium | Home Building: Public Policy for the American Family | American Compass
- “Home Building offers a blueprint for buttressing the American family. A survey of parenting-age Americans assessed the family’s state, priorities, and preferences as well as its policy attitudes. Opening essays by Helen Andrews, Kay Hymowitz, Patrick T. Brown, and Lyman Stone explain why conservatives need a positive family policy suited to the needs and interests of the American people. American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King weigh the arguments for improving family benefits and offer a new proposal, with responses from experts across the political spectrum. Essays by Sean Speer and Neil Gilbert offer lessons learned about crafting and implementing family policy from abroad, while Michael Lind and Samuel Hammond widen the scope for family policy to transform existing programs and approaches to reform. A range of other experienced policy experts offer potential pathways for reform as well.”
Click below to see more curated pieces on Family & Culture on AmCanon: