Collection • February 10, 2021

Home Building

Public Policy for the American Family

Foreword: One Generation Away

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

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.

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.

Why Bother With Family?

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

Our Conjugal Class Divide

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

Family Form Follows Function

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

Escaping the Parent Trap

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

Canucks in the Cradle

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

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.

Reactions to a New Social Compact

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

Friendly for Which Families?

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

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.

Family Policy for the Working-Class Majority

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

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.

Overview

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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