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.

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Read more at Institute for Family Studies

More about: Economics, Family

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy