Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village, Newly released in paperback. (Originally entitled, Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn t Work.) The economy, which appears to a series of impersonal exchanges of material objects among strangers, is actually based upon love. The political order, which seems to be about power, actually depends upon loving families. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child was Hillary Clinton s Big Idea, designed to soften us up for another round of expensive and intrusive Federal programs. Economist Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse thinks Mrs. Clinton has things exactly backwards. It Takes a Family to Raise a Village. Without the family, there won t even be a village. Drawing on the experience of neglected orphans, Dr. Morse shows that mothers create the basic attachments that lay the groundwork for the development of the conscience. Contrary to Mrs. Clinton s views, only the family can socialize children to use their freedom responsibly. No social program can take the place of mothers and fathers, working together as a team. Stay at home mothers get pounded by the feminists and squeezed by the economy. Government and media call the self-appointed experts, not stay at home moms, for discussions of family policy. Dr. Morse champions all those parents who sacrifice for their children. Read Love and Economics. Give it to a friend. Mothers and fathers alike will be grateful to you for sharing Dr. Morse s defense of their underappreciated job.
Jennifer Roback Morse, Phd.D. brings a unique voice to discussions of love, marriage, sexuality and the family. A committed career woman before having children, she earned a doctorate in economics, and spent fifteen years teaching at Yale University and George Mason University. In 1991, she and her husband adopted a two year old Romanian boy, and gave birth to a baby girl. She left her full-time university teaching post in 1996 to move with her family to California. She was a Research Fellow at Stanford University s Hoover Institution, and is currently the Senior Research Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Until August 2006, Dr. Morse and her husband were foster parents for San Diego County, where they now reside. Drawing on her personal experience, as well as the best of modern social science research, Dr. Morse inspires and informs audiences worldwide. She was a contributor to The Meaning of Marriage, a volume based on a conference at Princeton University and which has been credited with re-presenting the case for marriage as a positive institution in the public interest. Her previous book, Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World, was featured on the Dr. Laura and Tammy Bruce programs. She was one of a handful of Americans chosen to lecture at the Fifth World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain, sponsored by the Pontifical Council on the Family in 2006.Review:
Jennifer Roback Morse s Love and Economics puts our notions of individual natural rights back into the Natural Law from whence they emerged some three and a half centuries ago. Instead of treating familial and societal relations of human beings as given, that is, as background no more significant than land and other resources she focuses on how and why intact families are an essential precondition to stable, free societies as well as to greater human happiness. It says a great deal about our times that such a book should be necessary. An economist, Morse remarks that her thoughts on these matters stem from her own experience as a mother. She employs language and arguments meant to enlighten people whose main frames of reference are free-market economics and limited-government philosophy. She sketches out the irreplaceable social function of the family in civilizing and socializing the young. Absent such families, we shall have violence and chaos and increased statism to combat them. Morse finds it odd that an ethic of individual self-absorption as regards family matters rules the political Left and part of the Right. But even Randian superheroes were once helpless infants who required care, love, and physical maintenance. The nonobjective, nonscientific aspects of child-rearing are actually the most important ones. Government nutritionists might well keep the next generation breathing, but they could never turn out individuals who have internalized certain rules necessary for living with others. Babies and children need to learn to trust others so that they can be trustworthy themselves. They learn cooperation and behavioral norms best from those whom they have come to trust. None of this takes place overnight. This leads Morse into a discussion of marriage as a partnership, based on commitment to a specific unique person and sustained in the face of radical uncertainty about the future and the lack of a substitute partner with the same qualities. Thus, it is in people s long-term interests, properly understood, to stick with what they have agreed to. Marriage brings one into close contact, not just with one s own children, but with the partner s blood relations; such relations cannot be brought under the heading of voluntary or involuntary. They are an implication of the marriage itself. Trust, cooperation, generosity, and love itself become possible in committed families and wider social groupings based on them. Morse treats various proposed alternatives single-parent families, the state as moral instructor, universal socialist daycare, and the like and finds them wanting. The problem with making individual mothers independent with other people s money via tax-based bureaucratic programs is that they are in fact still dependent, but in a less natural and socially beneficial way. If the state itself isn t up to raising our children, how about strangers hired to do so? After all, Morse notes, we believe that markets do everything more efficiently. She deflates this alternative with a survey of recent studies on the degree of social attachment and trust found in children in daycare versus those with a mother at home. Universal state-provided or state-run daycare seems even less promising on that evidence. People who think that anyone can raise children because children are, empirically, more or less interchangeable have not thought things through. She suggests that properly rearing a child involves dealing with that child, daily, in a way for which there is no adequate substitute. Feminists in particular will hate this book. Morse is saying that they have sold women a bill of goods about the joys of employment, when in fact the most important work women do is the rearing of their children. --Joseph Stromberg, The Mises Institute
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