Government is not a family.


Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, February 22, 2013.

MP3 Download

Two weeks ago in this space, I wrote of the pathology and negative impact upon the republic attendant to the absence of fathers in American households. That piece was written as a result of a commercial that ran during the telecast of Super Bowl XLVII. (Read the article here.)

On Thursday, (Feb. 21, 2013) USA TODAY ran an editorial responding to a proposal concerning universal access to pre-school as put forth in President Obama’s State of the Union address.


“In the eyes of many parents and most educators, starting a child’s schooling before kindergarten is an indisputable virtue.…

“So it’s hardly surprising that President Obama used his State of the Union Address to call for extending that middle- and upper-class habit to all children, at government expense.

“But before the checks go out, it would be wise to consider a broader question: Can the middle-class experience be replicated that easily?”

I believe that the answer to that question is, “no.”

The USA TODAY piece ran under the sub- headline, “Fragile families harm children’s development,” and it goes on to detail many of the same grim statistics regarding  dropping out of school, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, gang involvement, crime and chronic unemployment that I believe is directly attributable to children growing up in homes that suffer the absence of one or both parents – usually the father.

The piece in USA TODAY concludes by saying,

“So, sure, explore Obama’s plan to expand quality preschool, and make sure kids aren’t then dumped into failing elementary schools. But don’t miss the core problem. The primary engine of social advancement has always been the family, and it is breaking down.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Which is why I’m not enthused by the prospect of a federal program to provide low-cost or no-cost preschool. I believe that such a program constitutes another example of the “cure” exacerbating the disease.

It is along lines such as these that the sharp debate between liberals and conservatives regarding the role of government is framed.

In 1965, unwed births in the black community had risen to 24 percent – an alarming statistic. Today, that number stands at a staggering 73 percent. The question is, “why?’

You can’t dismiss the correlation between the expansion of such government benefits as welfare, food stamps and direct aid to pregnant mothers — that either began or were greatly expanded starting in 1965 — and the concurrent diminishment of the role of fathers in American households.

When there is only limited assistance available to a woman who becomes pregnant and bears a child, the consequences of recreational sex in an otherwise uncommitted relationship are more carefully considered. Mitigate those consequences with free food, free prenatal care, free child care, free school lunches and free housing assistance and the downside to hopping into bed is less likely to be a behavior-limiting factor.

Further, since government has proved willing to substantially replace many of the things that mothers at one time counted on a man to provide – such as the income and the presence necessary to help meet the burdens attendant to raising children – there is less incentive for women to weed out the men that won’t meet that responsibility and thus less incentive for men to behave in ways so as to avoid being weeded out.

Thus the family breakdown that USA TODAY  correctly laments.

One of my favorite quotes comes from British Prime Minister David Cameron who said,

“…no amount of government spending can replace the social capital provided by families, churches, charities, and community organizations.”

Well said, Prime Minister.

And a reasonable argument against expanding the government through a universal preschool entitlement.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Great piece! Hard to understand why the federal government promotes everything that doesn’t work, while tearing down the family, the thing that works best of all and costs the least.

  2. John says:

    As a retired Principal/Teacher with 32 years experience, the idea that most 4 year olds will benefit from full day school is a pipe dream. It just doesn’t work the way that our liberals would have you believe. Most of the kids who would be in the program have situations at home that do not include a full-time father. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. The President would have you believe that the government program is an appropriate way to lead this segment of society into the middle class—-or in other words, lead the children out of poverty. That is simply not what I have observed!

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    The government is no substitute for family and needs to stay OUT of our homes and the raising of our children. The government is NEVER going to end poverty, it is only good at putting people in poverty with it’s policies. The government mentality is the more people in poverty and dependant on the government for assistance, the more control over people’s lives they have…therefore a voter base. The government uses fear to keep people in poverty while all the while making people believe it is helping their situation when it is actually making things worse. Just look at the governments track record…everything it touches is a failure! If people are left alone, the solutions to many of our problems can be solved without any input by the government…the issues of poverty and education are high on that list. The less government intervention in our lives, the more of our problems can be solved. The more government in our lives, the more complicated our lives become without reaching any solutions.


    Modern liberals today are of the thinking that government and social programs can fill in where the family can’t. Families who depend on this assistance look to these programs as God sends. Now pan over to the conservatives. Conservatives believe in indivdual freedoms and self reliance which are great things and the pricipals of our founding fathers. But those dependent on government see themselves stuck and as good ol Uncle sam keeps taking money from the hard working to redistribute to those who are dependent the number of dependents. And who will vote to have their entitlements and sources of income lessened would you vote in your company for a smaller paycheck? No one so believe it or not ladies and gentlemen the number of dependent people are growing and these people have voter registration cards. So what the left is doing is quite ingenious. They have found away to rapidly expand thier voter base. I hate to say it but as a conservative my base is shrinking daily and will continue to shrink. I would love to be opptomistic and say that we will bounce back and turn this around, but the cold hard truth of the matter is that eventually America as we know it will no longer exist. The social welfare cradle to grave state will drive us to bankruptcy and then and only then when the dependent society will have no assistance at all minus churches and charities (kind of like the pre-progressive america) will thier actions be measured in thier minds as a cost-beneifit analysis. And maybe with help of hard working American’s and the grace of God we can get back to being the Greatest Nation. The bible (as well as other philosophical and religous works) have told us the dangers of a welfare state Genisis 3:19: By the sweat of your brow you will have food to eat (not by food stamps you will eat). We all no programs like food stamps are there to help us all in times of need. But we are becoming a society who are dependent on such programs and that my friends is a deadly combination.

  5. L Miles says:

    How long is it going to take for us to recognize that the expansion of the Welfare State by “HELPING” the “POOR” is intended to promote the BIG GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of normal personal responsibility by robbing us of the rewards of the WORK ETHIC by attrition?: the more you work the less it pays per hour of your effort (by taxation) to satisfy your needs. The compression of reward for work also applies in retirement. How many retirees know that SSI benefits suffer severe compression at the upper end compared to your contributions (SSI tax) during your working career?

    As fewer people see the necessity for hard work to satisfy their basic needs and as more people see that basic necessities can be provided by “rights of humanity” enforced by politicians that solicit their vote, we will never recover from the death spiral of the Marxist utopia: a hellish LIE straight from the pits of hell.

    These Marxist politicians that hide behind the facade of their “passion for the poor” are intended to shame and discredit the American tradition of “work brings success to the poorest of society” by blaming a SELFISH society, itself, for the very result that the Marxists are deliberately causing among the population. Don’t ever believe that the Marxist is motivated by “good intentions”.

    How can such a great nation with such a great heritage of “work brings success” fall into the abyss of self destruction brought about by these Marxist devils? The answer is: unrelenting propaganda for 60+ years in the halls of higher education and throughout a media that has sold its soul to the devil. As long as we are timid and defensive at the task of exposing the BIG LIE of Marxism, we will continue to disintegrate. The daily propaganda we hear from all the Socialist-Marxist voices today remind me of the 1930’s when Hitler and Stalin were preparing to wreck havoc on the German and Russian people, respectively.

    Can we stop our suicide before it is too late? My prayer each morning is to ask for a revival of the Biblical ethics that created the American heritage of self-reliance and the proportional work-reward system that was our legacy. Government largesse (by vote) is a recipe for ultimate dictatorship. The laws of nature and punishment for violation, thereof, don’t practice favoritism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *