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.

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Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Children, Family, Fertility

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