No, Grandparents Aren’t Spending Too Much Time with Their Grandchildren

In a recent “personal finance” column, the New School economist Teresa Ghilarducci enumerates some of the ills of spending too much time caring for one’s grandchildren: grandparents sacrificing income, more time at work, and other opportunities; increased exposure of elders to the pathogens carried by children; and grandparents’ well-documented and dangerous habit of indulging their grandchildren with sweets. Naomi Schaefer Riley responds:

Ghilarducci has built a name for herself [by arguing] that seniors don’t have enough money when they retire, and suggesting that the government offer them some kind of minimum wage to live on, in addition to social security. And just like seniors would be better supported by government agencies, it seems she also thinks kids would be better cared for by institutional day care. Everyone in a family should pursue his or her own self-interest and let government handle any gaps.

The problem with Ghilarducci’s solutions to family problems is that they may fix some financial issues—maybe Grandma can make more money working as a Wal-Mart greeter than caring for her grandson, and day-care workers probably won’t give her grandsons too many cookies—but they take no account of the happiness and well-being that come from spending more time with family.

In fact, researchers from Cornell University found that “grandparents living with their grandchildren experienced more happiness and more meaningfulness when they engaged in activities with their grandchildren compared to spending time alone or with other people.”

Before reading Ghilarducci’s article, I frankly would have looked at such research and thought the conclusion was so obvious, it hardly needed to be stated. . . . Why do you think parents are always harassing their adult kids to give them grandchildren? As for the grandparents who decide they’d rather spend more time with other adults and pursue their own career goals, well, maybe the kids are fine spending less time with them anyway.

Read more at Institute for Family Studies

More about: Economics, Family

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy