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A Nation of Boys at Risk

After decades of intensive effort and investment to create an equitable education system, not least for girls and women, the nation finds itself with a peculiar predicament: It is boys who are falling behind furthest and fastest.

Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

The question of who would pursue non-college pathways, if they were offered, is one that has bedeviled education reform debates for decades.

Policy in Brief: Online Age Verification

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass is joined by Chris Griswold to discuss a proposal to create an online age-verification system to keep kids safe online.

Our Politics Needs a Pro-Family Policy Agenda

American Compass research director Wells King joins a statement in support of building a truly pro-family policy agenda.

A Home Security System

This paper focuses on two related areas where public policy places homemakers at a significant disadvantage: access to social insurance systems and employer benefits.

Conservative Family Policy Must Be Conservative

On family policy, conservatives should avoid two extremes: rebutting any use of government, and assuming that trillions can be spent without negative repercussions.

Recovering a Sense of Papoose

In this week’s Compass Point, Pursuing the Reunification of Home and Work, Erika Bachiochi throws a fascinating curveball into the modern debate over home economics. That debate, to oversimplify, pits the mid-20th-century model of breadwinner-plus-homemaker against the late-20th-century model of the dual-income household.

Pursuing the Reunification of Home and Work

The conflict between responsibilities at home and at work is largely the result of economic transitions to which we still—nearly a century after industrialization and 50 years into the modern feminist movement—have not adequately responded.

Post-Roe, the GOP Is Stepping Up To Support American Families

American Compass executive director Oren Cass discusses the promising shift on the right-of-center toward supporting generous pro-family benefits like Senator Romney’s Family Security Act 2.0.

Rethinking the Way We Help Families

American Compass research director Wells King joins Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson to discuss pro-family policymaking.

What Family Policy Should Look Like in Post-Roe America

American Compass’s Wells King and Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies and AEI make the case for a conservative embrace of an expanded Child Tax Credit in a post Roe v. Wade world.

Can the Expanded Child Tax Credit Come Back From the Dead?

In a discussion of the potential for a permanent expanded Child Tax Credit, Rachel Cohen highlights American Compass research and Wells King’s analysis of the political environment.

To Help Children, Democrats Are Going to Have to Reach Across the Aisle

The Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond discusses the potential for a bipartisan bill to support families with children, highlighting American Compass’s Fisc proposal.

American Institutions and the American Family: A Conversation with Yuval Levin

A robust discussion of how well American institutions are fostering the flourishing of American families, hosted by American Compass and Capita.

Of Snowflakes and Slip-and-Falls

In this week’s Compass Point, The Snowflakes Aren’t Melting, Michael Brendan Dougherty offers a sharp, revisionist account of “safetyism.” The term commonly refers to the phenomenon of young people coddled through their childhoods and thus unable to cope with the conflicts and travails of adulthood.

Extending the Child Tax Credit to Undocumented Immigrants Is Playing with Fire

Buried within the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation package is a provision to extend the recently expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) to undocumented immigrants. This would be a grave mistake, and I say that as both a supporter of the CTC expansion and as a proponent of more liberal immigration.

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On the Biden CTC, Expert Endorsement Rings Hollow

American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King discuss the pitfalls of “evidence-based policymaking” and the importance of prioritizing work and long-term effects in designing the Child Tax Credit.

We Need to Listen Better to Working-Class Parents

The Ethics and Public Public Policy Center’s Patrick T. Brown highlights the American Compass Child Tax Credit Survey in a discussion of what working-class parents want from family policy.

Keep the Child Credit Tied to Work

Americans want creative policymaking that better supports families, but always with the expectation that families receiving public support are also working to support themselves.

New Survey: Vast Majority Want Expansion of Child Tax Credit Tied to Work

PRESS RELEASE—New American Compass/YouGov survey finds Americans reject unconditional cash benefits outside context of pandemic relief.

Americans Support a Generous Child Benefit Tied to Work

A significant opportunity exists for bipartisan cooperation on a permanent, expanded Child Tax Credit that maintains a connection to work.

Where Do Parents Go When Public Schools Go ‘Woke’?

Parents who live their lives according to religious principles should be able to find a school in which they are welcomed, not attacked or undermined.

Cash and Kids: Momentum on Child Tax Credit Policy and Other Ideas to Increase Family Income

American Compass research director Wells King joins an American Academy of Political and Social Science panel to discuss the Child Tax Credit and how best to support working families.

Our Policies Are Failing Working Mothers

I love being a mother more than anything—I just wish there were better options to make it more achievable for working women who dream of having their own babies someday.

The Surprising Nordic Lesson for U.S. Welfare

Before the arrival of COVID-19, the U.S. was seeing growing numbers of people, especially men, dropping out of the workforce. Given the far-reaching effects of the pandemic, this will likely continue, even when labor demand is back to normal. The strong pull of streaming, video games, and social media will only make that trend worse. In this environment, one possible downside of cash payments is an additional incentive not to work.

Enabling Families to Support Each Other

We need politicians to put families first and focus on taking care of us when hardship strikes, rather than taking care of those who are already doing just fine. Government should be about strengthening families to support each other.

Why Do Libertarians Support User Fees but Not a Family Wage?

Wages are to workers’ output what user fees are to highways and toll bridges.

“Family Policy” Should Include Caring for Maternal Health

Lots of people have been talking about “family policy.” Let’s not forget that family policy starts with mothers.

Making It Easier to Make Ends Meet

6 a.m. is much too early for this tired mama. But nonetheless, I hear that little pitter-patter of onesie-covered feet coming down the hall into our room. With a soft “Mom, can I have a banana?” my day begins, whether I’m ready for it or not.

A Canadian Warning on Universal Child Care

Any discussion of the effects of government-subsidized day care for children inevitably turns to Canada. In 1997, the province of Quebec introduced a universal child care program, offering parents a Read more…

Honoring Motherhood with Paid Leave

Since Abigail Tucker’s book, Mom Genes: Inside the New Science of Our Ancient Maternal Instinct, was released a few days ago, I’ve been listening to the audiobook whenever I get Read more…

A Warning From the UK: Don’t Let Government Take Over Child Care

Rather than setting a neutral policy framework to allow households to fulfill their own preferences, governments increasingly tilt the deck toward a very particular vision preferred by high-income professionals.

Biden’s Daycare Plan Is Bad for Families

In an op-ed criticizing President Biden’s day care plan, J.D. Vance and Jenet Erickson highlight the findings of American Compass’s Home Building Survey.

Should a Child Benefit Be Based on Marital and Employment Status?

There’s something weird, and maybe even wrong, about a policy that seeks to support families, but leaves out families who have the least support and are the most disconnected from the helpful institutions of work and marriage.

Give Power to the Parents!

In a column on how best to approach family benefits, David Brooks cites the findings of the American Compass Home Building Survey.

Biden’s Free Daycare Plan Isn’t What Americans Really Want

Bonnie Kristian features the American Compass Home Building Survey in a discussion of why President Biden’s free day care plan isn’t what American families actually want.

Not Every Family Wants a Big Yard

Striving for “self-sufficiency” through a typical single-family house can mean ignoring the blessings that life in a community can bring and can lead to feeling alone or isolated.

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Romney, Hawley, Rubio, and Lee’s Building Blocks for Family Policy

The key parameters for understanding competing family-benefit proposals.

Republicans Unveil Policies To Match ‘Working-Class Party’ Claim

Gerald F. Seib highlights American Compass’s Family Income Supplemental Credit plan as an example of recent “new-wave conservative proposals designed to help working-class families.”

Pro-Life, Pro-Family

Now is the time to say that in defense of innocent life there is no stutter in “from conception to natural death.”

The Relationships That Don’t Fit on a Spreadsheet

There is no price tag that could be placed on those cherished times. Do our nation’s think tanks consider those moments when devising policy?

Family Financial Security: Sen. Romney on the Right’s Fight to Support Our Most Important Institution

Senator Mitt Romney joins us for a conversation about what draws him to family benefits, why he thinks conservatives should embrace the Family Security Act’s approach, how he sees this debate fitting into the broader one about the right-of-center’s future.

Family Financial Security: Senator Mitt Romney on the Right’s Fight to Support Our Most Important Institution

A conversation with Senator Mitt Romney about the future of family benefits in the U.S. and what it means for the right-of-center’s future.

Thanks to the Stimulus Bill, Child Allowances Are Here To Stay. But We Have To Pay for Them.

Abby McCloskey highlights American Compass’s Fisc proposal in her column on child allowances.

How Biden Transformed the Republican Debate Over Poverty

In a discussion of the debate over child benefits, Karl W. Smith discusses American Compass’s Fisc proposal as an idea that “deserves to be taken seriously.”

Breaking the Spell

Executive director Oren Cass looks back on the history of welfare reform and explains why fighting poverty requires more than just sending money to the poor.

How To Build Family Policy For The Working-Class Majority

Michael Lind’s Home Building essay on family policy for the working class majority is adapted by the Daily Caller.

On Family Policy, Proceed with Great Caution

The new American Compass “Home Building” blueprint on policies for buttressing the American family was thrilling to read, and it reminded me of the earnestness and passion of me and my friends 35 years ago.

Oren Cass and Matt Bruenig Debate Child Benefit Reform

Executive director Oren Cass and Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project join the Solidarity Policy Podcast to debate child benefits, the Romney plan, and more.

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Cultural Policy for 2021

American society suffers from de-composition and de-consolidation. This isolation makes us less resilient and more vulnerable. And it also makes us less stable and more susceptible to ideological infections.

The Left’s Welfare Extremism

Executive director Oren Cass on how left-wing critics of our family-benefit proposal are sorely misguided.

Oren Cass: New Data Reveals Families Desperate for Cash Assistance To Help Rear Children

Executive director Oren Cass joins Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball to discuss the 2021 Home Building survey on what kind of support American families want from the government.

Why Parents Need the Flexibility of Cash Payments More Than Universal Child Care

W. Bradford Wilcox cites the findings of American Compass’s 2021 Home Building Survey in a piece about why families prefer cash payments to subsidized child care programs.

A Family Tree: The Past and Present of Public Policy and the American Family

The American family may have entered a period of crisis, but a rich conservative literature—from political philosophy to sociology to journalism—can help us to better understand the root causes and guide policy reforms to the family’s renewal.

Government Spending Is Already Too Burdensome

Self-styled conservatives should not be aiding and abetting the push for class-warfare taxation by adding to the collection of proposed tax-rate increases on workers, investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

Put Working Families at the Front of the Line for Help

American Compass executive director Oren Cass argues that a policy that sustains people in joblessness is not ultimately anti-poverty.

Let Them Eat Daycare

Our policy debates center on helping working families, but they routinely fail to capture those families’ preferences for their own lives or for policies that would help them most. Proposals Read more…

Don’t Federalize Family Policy

I want to find new ways for conservative governing principles to help the family, but I want to avoid labeling a policy as “conservative” simply because it purports to aid families.

Single Mothers’ Attitudes About Work and Motherhood

Gina, a single mother of three in southwestern Ohio, recently told me that being a mom saved her from despair and addiction. “It’s my life. It’s everything to me. It’s Read more…

Toward a Family Wage (Subsidy)

An important insight deep within the structure of the Fisc is that much of the trouble ailing families right now is not strictly poverty; it’s fatherlessness.

Is A Child Allowance Pro-Work for Poor Parents?

An injection of cash to poor families might be less of a handout and more of a hand up, acting as much-needed capital for families by allowing them to afford the things necessary to stay employed.

The Social Meaning of Family Benefits

No-strings-attached cash through a child allowance does not sever social ties or lead to the commodification of parenthood. It maintains expectations and parents will earmark for their child’s needs.

For Pregnant Mothers, Make Payments Lump-Sum

Lump-sum payments will decrease the incentive for fraud while eliminating the inequity regarding length of pregnancy.

Family Policy for the Working-Class Majority

A pro-worker agenda must treat families, not individuals, as the basic units of public policy.

Making Young Men Marriageable

With few “marriageable” men employed in the kinds of decent-paying occupations that make them attractive as potential husbands, marriage has slipped out of reach for far too many poor and working-class Americans.

Taxing Families Like Companies

If families are people, and corporations are people, it stands to reason that families should be allowed to incorporate and file their taxes accordingly.

Setting a Goal for Family Support

It is time for conservatives to look beyond discrete proposals and to approach family policy as an orienting goal that can enable other political goals and as an investment in the nation’s long-term prosperity.

Insuring Health Care for Working Families

The American health care system is far from family-friendly. One feature stands out: employer-sponsored health insurance.

Making Room for Families to Live

Where do families want to live? Urbanists will point out that the high price of housing in walkable, city neighborhoods indicates that demand is especially high. Suburbanists will note that Read more…

Creating Flexible, Family-Friendly Schools

K-12 education is the single greatest family policy lever at our disposal.

Building Better Foster Homes

Regularly lost in the debate over family policy are those children separated from their families or without a permanent home—namely, the hundreds of thousands of American children in the nation’s child welfare system.

Fitting the Fisc to Social Security

Oren Cass and Wells King have added their proposal, a parenting supplement they call the Fisc, to a list of ideas designed to reduce the fiscal burden on parents relative Read more…

Seeing Like a Pro-Family State

Addressing our fertility and family-formation crises will require us to push the boundaries of family policy and embrace a whole-of-society approach.

7 Proposals to Make America More Family-Friendly

Writers and analysts from across the right-of-center apply a family-focused lens to contemporary policy challenges.

Reactions to a New Social Compact

Commentators and policy analysts react to our proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.

A World Tour of Family Benefit Programs

American enthusiasm for a per-child family benefit has grown, but details matter and proposals differ widely—as do the programs already established in other nations.

Support Families Because They Are Families

Conservatives have a persistent problem: they often don’t know what it is they want to conserve. This bears on the burgeoning discussion of family policy.

Is a New Entitlement Program the Solution for Working Families?

How does the Fisc stack up? Better than a universal child allowance, though I still have concerns.

Friendly for Which Families?

The experience of “family-friendly” policy abroad makes one lesson clear: no policy is friendly for all families.

New Conservative Proposal to Provide Generous Per-Child Benefit to Working Families

PRESS RELEASE—A new proposal from American Compass provides a conservative case for a benefit to working families that functions as a form of reciprocal social insurance, addressing major flaws of a universal child allowance.

Home Building Survey Part II: Supporting Families

American attitudes about family structure vary widely, but most families see a full-time earner and a stay-at-home parent as the ideal arrangement for raising young children.

The Family Income Supplemental Credit

This paper presents the case for a per-child family benefit that would operate as a form of reciprocal social insurance paid only to working families.

Canucks in the Cradle

Canadian Conservatives successfully championed universal child benefits and have lessons for their neighbors to the south.

If Conservatives Do Not Defend The Family, Who Will?

Helen Andrews’s Home Building essay on why conservatives should defend the family is adapted by the Daily Caller.

Family and Freedom

In his introduction to the “Home Building” forum on American Compass, Oren Cass opens by drawing upon Ronald Reagan’s warning that the American culture of freedom must be renewed in Read more…

Escaping the Parent Trap

Addressing America’s fertility crisis happens to be what parents want.

Family Form Follows Function

Effective family policy begins from the institution’s ultimate roles and purposes.

Family Feud: Child Allowance Edition

The Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond and the American Enterprise Institute’s Scott Winship debate the case for a “child allowance.”

Home Building

Public Policy for the American Family

Home Building Survey Part I: State of the American Family

Across all classes and regardless of parental status, 60 to 75% of Americans say that the government should do more to support families.

Our Conjugal Class Divide

Marriage has evolved to meet the ideals of the well-educated and left too many Americans unwed and insecure.

Why Bother With Family?

If conservatives do not speak for the family, who will?

Foreword: One Generation Away

Preserving our national inheritance requires public policy to get the family right.

New Collection and Exclusive Survey on State of the American Family

PRESS RELEASE—American Compass’s February 2021 collection, Home Building, provides a conservative vision for family policy

Family Trauma and the Skills Gap

In a recent conversation hosted by American Compass, “What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism,” Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez discussed the skills gap. “[T]he number one issue that I hear from employers is, I have jobs, I could hire 10 people tomorrow, but either the folks don’t want to do the work that we have, or I just can’t find the right people.”

Families Deserve Dedicated Relief. Senator Hawley to the Rescue?

The pandemic has placed an enormous burden on the lives of parents and children in particular.

Paid Family Leave Can Help Combat the Coming COVID Baby Bust

International evidence shows Paid Family Leave programs can boost fertility rates.

Whole Life: A Common Sense Agenda for Strengthening the American Family

American Compass’s Oren Cass joins a distinguished panel to discuss the need for robust family policy from the political right.

When Market Logic Comes for the Family

I want to offer an addendum to Aaron Sibarium’s recent post “Three Theses About Cuties.” The idea of “sexual liberalism”—that a market-like logic has come to govern sex—is vastly underexplored in conservative circles. It would be valuable to view the concept in light of the insight that the logic governing markets has undergone major changes over the last several generations, as today’s “economic nationalists” are well aware.

In Defense of Picket Fences

In a recent Commons post, Wells King argues against the Trump administration’s recent gutting of the Obama-era rule U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, more widely known as AFFH. He characterizes the action of largely scrapping the rule, as opposed to merely revising it, as a case of the administration bowing to “upper class NIMBYism.” I respectfully disagree.

Some Naturally Negative Thoughts

It is all going to get worse. No matter what happens in November, the weirdness and hysteria that have made 2020 feel so extremely like itself will only escalate into 2021

Women’s Work Preferences are Diverse

In less than 24 hours I will be wheeling my bag through the large revolving doors of the hospital, through the Covid screening point, and up the elevator to the ninth floor to deliver my fifth child due to a medically-necessary induction.

Could Baby Bonds Help Reduce Wealth Inequality in America?

American Compass’s Oren Cass, Senator Cory Booker, and other experts discuss the feasibility of government baby bonds.

“Pay Parents” Isn’t a Pro-Family Position

Debates over family policy are centering on the idea that households should be “paid” for raising children.

The Tipped Red Tricycle: Why Economic Growth Is Not Enough

Material standard of living of course matters to families, but so does the ability to take time off when a family member is sick or when a new baby arrives, to be able to afford rent or homeownership, and to have some semblance of a consistent schedule that allows for time together.

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