American family life has long been associated with the “white picket fence,” a symbol of twentieth-century, middle-class nostalgia. Such ideals are better reflected not by the fence, but the home it surrounded: in which families found shelter and security, parents raised children, and wealth was built up and passed down. That home has fallen into disrepair. Fewer people are getting married; fewer children are being born; and they are more likely to be raised by single parents. Conservatives must embrace the task of rebuilding it.
Throughout the month of February, Home Building will offer a blueprint for buttressing the American family. A survey of parenting-age Americans assessed the family’s state, priorities, and preferences as well as its policy attitudes. Opening essays by Helen Andrews, Kay Hymowitz, Patrick T. Brown, and Lyman Stone explain why conservatives need a positive family policy suited to the needs and interests of the American people. American Compass’s Oren Cass and Wells King weigh the arguments for improving family benefits and offer a new proposal, with responses from experts across the political spectrum. Essays by Sean Speer and Neil Gilbert offer lessons learned about crafting and implementing family policy from abroad, while Michael Lind and Samuel Hammond widen the scope for family policy to transform existing programs and approaches to reform. A range of other experienced policy experts offer potential pathways for reform as well.
Preserving our national inheritance requires public policy to get the family right.
Most American families say they’re falling short of the American Dream and need support.
If conservatives do not speak for the family, who will?
Marriage has evolved to meet the ideals of the well-educated and left too many Americans unwed and insecure.
Effective family policy begins from the institution’s ultimate roles and purposes.
Addressing America’s fertility crisis happens to be what parents want.
American families have clear preferences for balancing work and child care and for receiving government support.
The Niskanen Center’s Samuel Hammond and the American Enterprise Institute’s Scott Winship debate the case for a “child allowance.”
Canadian Conservatives successfully championed universal child benefits and have lessons for their neighbors to the south.
A proposal to expand the social compact for working families
Commentators and policy analysts react to our proposal for a Family Income Supplemental Credit.
The experience of “family-friendly” policy abroad makes one lesson clear: no policy is friendly for all families.
Addressing our fertility and family-formation crises will require us to push the boundaries of family policy and embrace a whole-of-society approach.
Writers and analysts from across the right-of-center apply a family-focused lens to contemporary policy challenges.