Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Subsidised Child Care, Marriage and Erosion of Male Sexual Identity

Yesterday, this coalition government announced it's plans to subsidise childcare costs, once again showing both  it's aloof MetroLib disconnection from reality and why the Tory Party is doomed by it's own myopia.

Child care costs are, of course, a major issue for many families, not least because UK costs are very expensive compared to many other countries, and certainly severely effect the ability of many parents, mostly women, to return to work, trapping them and harming the economy.

Thus the case for subsidy. However. the wider implications of such policies are entirely ignored, namely  that the policy not only effectively progressively nationalises the family but also nationalises male sexual identity in particular.

Women's rights are important, of course, but it is the position of men, rather than women, in the family we should now mostly worry about. A combination of economic factors, women's emancipation and political policy has substantially weakened the position of men in the family in the past few decades, particularly at lower income levels.

As Politically Incorrect as it is to say it, male sexual identity largely rests on protection and provision for the female and her offspring. It is most often how men express their love for women and the children they have with them. Remove that role and many men - and women - start to perceive men as essentially redundant in the family unit. Instead, the state becomes the father.

The consequences of ignoring these truths for the nuclear family have been truly malign, most notably the now utterly horrendous rate of family breakdown. In the United Kingdom, nearly half of children will see their children split up before they reach maturity, and it is now very well established that the emotional trauma, together of course with the material and emotional poverty this causes, profoundly disadvantages a person's life across a whole range of metrics: youthful, delinquency, poorer physical and mental wellbeing, the inability to form stable families later in life and so on.

Whatever the case for reducing child care costs, reversing the trends of family breakdown is by far the most important issue that family policy should be addressing, and it is well established that the institution of marriage is the best way of not only keeping parents together but in creating a happy family environment where children - and adults - can flourish.

Strengthening marriage through tax breaks seems logically to be the first step to doing this. If we do have such large amounts of money to spend on family policy, it is here that the bulk of it should go. Unlike subsidised child care, tax breaks are also both broadly choice and gender neutral. If a couple want to spend that money on childcare so that both parents can work, fine. If one parent wants to stay at home, also fine. The important thing is that lifelong commitment is recognised and facilitated. In comparison, subsidised child care discriminates against those families where one parent decides to stay at home. Much more tragically it will, in the long term, encourage more women to have children independently of men and more men to shirk the responsibilities of fatherhood.

Many such as the predictably pathetic Nick Clegg would complain that marriage tax breaks are discriminatory. Indeed they are. But marriage itself is designed to be a highly discriminatory institution in the sense that the one man, one woman model bound in a lifelong commitment is by far the best way known of raising children, and those of us who are pro-marriage should not be afraid to say so. Moreover, it should be remembered that effectively married couples heavily subsidise the lifestyles of others who bring up children in what was once called "alternative" lifestyles, due to the significant social costs they tend to incur.

So why does the coalition have such warped sense of priorities?

Well, for a start who have to contend with Nick Clegg. A hopeless Dopamine Junkie, Clegg, like all his fellow MetroLib types, formulate policy based on what feels good, rather than what does good. Helping women directly gives oneself a nice warm glow, whereas promoting marriage seems just soooo judgmental in this day and age.

Then there is naked political class calculation. More women vote than men, and critically more are likely to be floating voters, hence the obsession in tailoring policies to them directly without thinking of the wider implications over the long term.

Lastly, there is David Cameron's myopia: inasmuch as he cares about the future of the Tory Party, he is simply too unimaginative to see the damage such policies do to the Tory party's long term prospects: for instance it is  well known fact that women in particular tend to become significantly more right-wing and conservative upon marriage, whereas an atomised society is much more likely to look to the government for support.

And it for that reason that the policies that will, no matter how well-intentioned, as a side-effect promote the atomisation of society are very bad news for social conservatives and libertarians alike. For too long we have neglected the fact that men and women were designed by nature to be interdependent, not independent. Family policy should promote that reality.