Countering Warren’s daycare plan
By Bruce Walker
Elizabeth Warren has proposed essentially free child care as part of her presidential bid. Conservatives ought to counter that with a proposal which has the potential to transform America and the estimated cost is $70 billion. That estimated cost, of course, is a low-ball figure because the “right” to free daycare would become another form of entitlement. When government subsidizes activity, the price goes up.
The problem with Warren’s proposal is not just that it would cost a lot of money. Daycares are part of that system in which far too many children grow up in today which, along with public schools, replace parents and families with the sort of people who indoctrinate children away from those values which are essential to the healthy functioning of our society with “diversity” and “we are all winners” and similar drivel.
Rather than simply reject Warren’s proposal, conservatives ought to present a counterproposal which would create a new constituency while moving the children of our nation back into the arms of their families. Have the federal government pay a parent – usually that would be the mother - to stay at home instead of going each morning to a job thus making both public schools and daycare unnecessary.
At one fell swoop, low income and middle class families would be able to dispense with the two-income family, at least such a structure which required both parents working outside the home, and children would begin to leave both public schools and daycares by the droves. The bond between parent and child would be strengthened and the values of families would be reinforced instead of undercut as is the case today.
Mothers, particularly, would have an option which Warren does not provide at all and instead of the time and money spent transporting children to and from daycare and school, these mothers would actually receive money to stay at home and raise their children.
Because leftists like Warren do not care at all about children or mothers but care, instead, only about paying off constituency groups (daycares, as well as public schools, fall into this category) conservatives would be offering mothers something that leftists dare not: true empowerment to raise their children as they think best.
The myriad problems associated with public schools and daycares like communicable diseases in daycares, drug and alcohol abuse in public schools and so on would begin to diminish. Moreover, parents concerned about these problems today would suddenly have a new and very attractive option to public schools and also private schools and, of course, daycare centers.
How would we know how these children were doing? Well, how do we know today? Children go to daycare and get sick. Children go to public schools and learn nothing except political correctness. There is no serious accountability for the failures of these systems.
We could, however, judge how well paying parents to stay home to teach and raise their children through annual academic tests. We can also presume that parents (in most cases) care much more about how their children are developing than public school teachers and daycare operators.
The beneficial effects of this proposal extend even farther into domains which have long been reserved to leftists. Consider, for example, the environmental impact if tens of millions of mothers no longer had to drive to work and drive to pick up children at daycare centers each school day. Consider the environmental impact of having public school systems replaced by massive numbers of homeschooled children.
Social conservatism is profoundly “Green” in a number of ways, as I explain in my book, Pseudo-Green Leftism and True Green Conservatism, and public education is an enormous environmental footprint. When daycare is added on to that, the environmental costs are increased significantly.
How, exactly, would leftists like Warren respond to conservative counterproposals which truly empowered parents by providing, along with money, true choices on how to raise and school their children? How would leftists react to environmental proposals which leveraged social conservatism into a means of changing society into a “Green” and conservative structure?
At worst, this would put the whole left on the defensive and it could, in fact, produce just the sort of revolutionary conservative change which we need so desperately and create the sort of political constituency which would insure movement away from institutionalized leftism and towards individual and familial conservatism.
Bruce Walker is the author of the recently released Pseudo-Green Leftism and True Green Conservatism and a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right.