Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- David Brady, Ryan Finnigan and Sabine Hubgen challenge the claim that there's any relationship between single motherhood and poverty. And Doug Saunders writes that there's an opening for progressive movements to take back the theme of family values which obviously bear no relationship to the policy cruelty of the right:
As the Brown University historian Robert O. Self found in his chronicle of this period, conservatives "energized by the legalization of abortion, the demands of feminists, the expansion of welfare, rising crime rates, and the increasing visibility of homosexuality, cast the nuclear family as in crisis and its defense as their patriotic duty … they sought to protect idealized families from moral harm."

It was politically very successful. Yet it was built on a flawed premise. Poverty, inequality, crime and dependence are linked to family breakdown. But family-values conservatives got it backward: Broken families are not the cause of social and economic deprivation; they're an effect. Those dreaded big-state policies hadn't undermined the family; they'd protected it.
Stable and successful two-parent families tend to flourish where there's strong promotion of birth control and robust sex education, where child-care resources exist so that parents don't have to choose between work or children, where housing and social-assistance policies allow couples to have stable long-term tenure, where laws and social practices allow couples outside the traditional sphere of the heterosexual nuclear family to enter the security of marriage.

Beneath all that controversial liberal language of shifting identities and diversity and competing rights, you'll find the secret to family stability and, therefore, to upward mobility. If candidates are careful with that language, the next few years could see the return of the family-values left.
- Speaking of which, Renee Feltz reports on the lobbying by Koch-backed groups to undermine any movement toward paid sick leave in the U.S. - because for the plebes, the only acceptable response to illness is to suck it up and go to work anyway. 

- Kate McInturff reminds us why the continued gender pay gap is everybody's problem.

- David Pugliese points out that the Libs' agreement to sell military helicopters to Rodrigo Duterte was made with full knowledge that human rights abuses would result. And Tom Parkin puts the helicopter sale to the Philippines in context with Justin Trudeau's general failure to match words about human rights with meaningful action.

- Finally, Terry Dance Bennink, Maria Dobrinskaya and Antony Hodgson make the case for a proportional electoral system in British Columbia.

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