Home Building

Feb 10, 2021

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.

Home Building offers 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.

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