Adults Behave Better When Kids Are Around

March 8 2022

With the data becoming ever clearer about America’s declining birthrates, Tim Carney notes the arguments of those who believe this trend might be a good thing—and points to a recent study that demonstrates a few of the benefits accrued by a society whose members have children:

The researchers, led by the British psychologist Lukas Wolf, tried to separate out confounding factors. They didn’t want to see if parents were more or less pro-social—or young people or women or anything like that. They tried to discern whether people in general were more generous and pro-social simply because children were around.

One aspect of the study involved fundraising efforts on different main streets. The researchers “recorded the number of children and adults on a shopping street and collected donations from adult passersby for a cause not specifically related to children.” They found “a significant positive correlation between the proportion of children present and the number of donations.” This wasn’t explained at all by parents being more generous, the researchers said. It was the presence of children that seemed to make a difference.

Wolf and colleagues also conducted eight experiments, online or in a lab, where they asked participants to describe different settings or situations, some of which involved children. This divided the participants into those who had children on their mind and those who didn’t. Both groups were then asked about their aspirations toward generosity, service, duty, and similar pro-social virtues. The experiments, with more than 2,000 participants, found small but significant effects suggesting that thinking about children makes people more conscientious.

Being around children makes us all behave better. So we should worry about a society with fewer and fewer of them.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Children, Family, Fertility

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy