From the comments, what if big business hated your family?

Suppose Big Business did hate your family, what would that look like?

Would it mean adopting a working culture that made it ever harder to rise to power within it while also having said family? Would it require those with career ambitions to geographically abandon extended family and to live in areas notoriously difficult for raising families? Would it mean requiring long delays on family formation while you got credentialed, worked with little remuneration while getting your foot in the door, and then place huge amounts of time and effort on career growth rather than investing in your family? Does corporate culture act like it hates your family?

Would it mean selling products which have strong correlations with family strife and dissolution? Would it market products known to be destructive to thousands of families relentlessly? Would it market products that consume time in great quantities at the expense of family time investment? Would it routinely mock and denigrate your family roles for cheap publicity?

Would it mean lobbying for policies which are good for the business, but bad for your family? Would it support seeking a larger supply of labor via immigration? Would it support visa restricted immigration of labor that is less able to defy corporate diktat without having legal or financial issues? Would it argue for child care subsidies for the people it wishes to employee rather than for all Americans and all child care arrangements?

I believe businesses are amoral and are just maximizing money, power, and prestige for those in positions of power within them. Yet, this formal indifference seems to be giving rise to a lot of behaviors that are, at best, perceived to be hostile to families. I mean what exactly are the pro-family things that business endeavors to do? Provide a cornucopia of goods and services? I guess, but that seems pretty neutral at best for supporting families as opposed to other societal arrangements.

Because everything is political these days, and particularly because Big Business has decided to be political we might ask how corporations compare to families. The majority of American families (even if we include everything except single adults living alone) have priorities that diverge significantly from business. If we take a slightly stricter view of “family” as either parents or married, we find business diverges even more from the median family.

After all, both the median parent and the median spouse are vastly more religious than the country as a whole. Both are vastly more likely to vote Republican. And even within the Democratic party, marrieds or parents tend to be right of their unmarried and childless peers. When it comes to the expressed preferences of the median “family”, the median corporation is in opposition most of the time. On the many issues where the nation is split near 50/50, business comes down on the side with more single, childless people the vast majority of the time. And hence they are ever more often backing the partisan politics opposed to the wishes of the majority of families.

There is nothing wrong with this, and certainly nothing illegal about it, but I would be shocked if large organizations that are disproportionately filled with the single and childless who are located in regions that are disproportionately single and childless and who are busy virtue signalling to academia, politics, and other left bastions that are disproportionately single and childless managed to somehow not end up at cross purposes for the majority of families. And frankly I would be shocked if this antagonism did not spill over into emotional terms.

Certainly, I am always told that this sort of analysis is why [Structure X] is antagonistic, if only implicitly, against racial minorities. I see no reason why parents or spouses would feel any differently.

That is from Sure.


And your employer would spend the entire month of June praising people who don't reproduce.

When was the last year you spent June employed by a Fortune 500 company?

You guys have really wild ideas about what goes on.

One doesn't need to be employed by the company these days; they have no problem expressing their "values" on social media.

Does Chik-fil-a have a social media presence?

Admittedly, I knew about their expressed 'values' before social media even existed.

Are you implying Chick-fil-A is a representative example of the average large corporation's position on social issues?

As typical as any other large company, one would think. Sinclair Broadcast Group, America's largest corporate owner of broadcast stations, would not seem too different from Chick-fil-a, for example.

But let us stick to fast food - you have heard of In-N-Out Burger, at least?

And though possibly not social media, Interstate Batteries says on their website that their mission is "to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services."

Maybe you need to get a little bit more familiar with something other than stereotypes. America has plenty of companies more than pleased to share their values openly. Maybe you need to start paying attention to them?

Marriot comes to mind, providing its hotel patrons the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon, for example.

Have you ever seen the collage of 100+ Fortune 500 companies who change their logos to include rainbow colors for June? How many do something similar for, to continue your example, Easter? And what would be the reaction from the leftists, particularly those in the media or otherwise in positions of cultural influence, to such a display of hateful behavior? Chick-fil-A is constantly under boycott. You might say Hobby Lobby was successfully boycotted. If cosmopolitan leftists knew what battery was in their cars (or for that matter, if they had cars) they would probably boycott Interstate as well.

You can talk on about stereotypes all you like but it is painfully obvious that the social agenda of the left owns corporate attention by market cap.

Business conservatives have always been socially liberal and fiscally conservative i.e. Rockefeller Republicans, Clinton Democrats, classical liberals, etc.

Pride Month just isn't long enough.

We need Pride Eternity.

“Would it mean selling products which have strong correlations with family strife and dissolution? ”

But people — and especially parents — really enjoy those dissolute products. To they point where they make it in backyards and sheds if it’s illegal.

Somebody sounds butthurt. Super butthurt.

It sounds reasonable to me, as a largely unintentional consequence.

FWIW, I think Sure and Lyman Stone should get together on this. Similar vibe.

20% reasonable. 80% butthurt.

Why would a big business hate your family? It makes no sense. If they hated families then they would go out of business. They aren't there to make enemies. They are there to take care of families. Families are customers. That's how they get paid!

Nope. Remember, business decisions are made by employees. Employees will make decisions that result in maximizing their own revenue, which in large businesses doesn't last past a few dozen years. Employees are thus not incentivized to think of supporting the business in a generational timeframe, which means they are not incentivized to support family structures in society in a generational timeframe. The only possible exception might be family businesses where the employees want the business to survive essentially forever along with their family.

That still makes zero sense. Families are something you can sell to. They are a market.

yeah, seeing a lot of sloppy reasoning on this particular post.

Those who wield power in the corporate world tend to wield, or at least covet, power in the governmental world. And our modern governments have every reason to oppose the formation of strong family units. It's got nothing to do with profit; it's about consolidating control.

"Those who wield power in the corporate world tend to wield, or at least covet, power in the governmental world. "

Sloppy over generalization at best.

"And our modern governments have every reason to oppose the formation of strong family units. It's got nothing to do with profit; it's about consolidating control."

Spare me. Parents are some of the most easily herded and stupid voters around. Want to get more money for waging your war on drugs? Just tell parents pills are coming for little Suzie and we're off to angry idiot parents demanding you take away their freedoms.

Parents of juveniles must not be allowed to vote.

Geez. And you're the one complaining about sloppy overgeneralizations?

The familial structure is the main competition to government control, especially when that government has a socialist agenda. People are going to put the needs of their family members over the needs of their fellow citizens. There are areas where this may come in handy (yes, such as the war on drugs) and there are areas where it does not. Family members tend to be more socially conservative, more religious (another competing power structure to government), etc.

In other words, the problem is that what's best for little Suzie generally is not what's best for those in power. Most parents don't want little Suzie to go to drag queen story hour, for example. But that's exactly what is needed by the state to drive wedges into family ties.

Blather. History is replete with regimes that used 'the family' as a bulwark for their repressive policies. Hungary is one of the most repressive European countries and its government is all family all the time. Social conservative laws against porn and violence on TV didn't compete with government IT WAS GOVERNMENT.

Nowhere have you demonstrated that family formation disempowers government.

It's funny though, Hungarians seem disinclined to vote their repressive government out of power. And their government satisfaction is higher than the EU average! It's almost like people don't mind having a strong government when said government is working on their behalf instead of against them. If nothing else, they've pissed off Brussels so that's how you know they're doing it right.

Anyway. The effects of strong families on government power has already been explained to you. When you have a father out winning the bread, so to speak, mom and the kiddos are less reliant on government welfare and other programs. When you have a stay-at-home mom helping them with their homework (or, God forbid, homeschooling them), the state's ability to influence the kids through the public school system is eroded. Mom and dad, as well as kids of age, are going to think about what's best for their family instead of thinking about what's best for the state. Perhaps most importantly, married couples tend to produce children which makes it harder to argue that we need to import more foreigners to make up for falling birth rates.

Two-parent households earn more, are more religious, raise smarter and more well-adjusted kids in whose lives they are more involved, and are in general less likely to need government intervention to live a happy and successful life. This is of course unacceptable in Western liberal democracies which is why their anti-family agenda (which runs the gamut from gay marriage to liberal divorce laws to second-wave feminism to a robust welfare state that includes programs specifically benefiting single motherhood) is pushed so hard.

The goal as always is to atomize society down to the individual and develop a culture where the state's authority takes precedence over any other loyalty. This is the agenda that gets cloaked in nebulous pseudo-progressive concepts like individualism, liberty, freedom, etc. They tell you they are setting you free to do your own thing but what they want is to distract you from anything that might give your life a higher purpose. It's why the West is half-filled with hedonistic drifters running out the clock on their lives Sex and the City-style.

I think you need to reevaluate the probability that multiple levels of government, across a diverse range of geographic, cultural and social conditions, are all actively conspiring toward a vague goal of increasing governmental influence through the progressive agenda.

Let's Occam's Razor this situation:
Option 1: A diverse set of local, state and federal government employees and elected officials are coordinating to undermine family influence through seemingly unrelated policies in an effort to increase the power of, not their specific government body or office, but Government in general terms. They are performing this coordination without ever communicating their true goal in a public forum, or in a FOIA-able medium. Additionally, the majority of people making decisions on these situations are wealthy, individuals in traditional families. For instance, gay marriage is pushed by a shadowy group of wealthy elite government officials in an effort to (somehow) undermine the traditional family and consolidate power.

Option 2: The progressive agenda is pushed forward by people that are passionate about specific issues that affect them or a loved one. These issues often involve reducing the reliance of citizens on traditional a traditional power dynamic (such as the family) to survive and thrive in America. This is not an active effort to undermine those that are in a traditional family, but a collection of different efforts to protect those that are not, for whatever reason, in the traditional family mold, whether that is due to sexual orientation, financial situation, domestic abuse, sexual abuse and trauma, etc. For instance, gay marriage is pushed for by by gay couples looking to receive the same government benefits that their heterosexual counterparts receive in the same situation.

Which of those two options seems more realistic? The one where people are working to make the world better for themselves and people like them, or the world in which a vast secret conspiracy is working to increase the power of an abstract government toward an equally abstract end?

Occam's Razor #2:
Will the hard right conservative praising Hungary's oppressive government and discussing vast conspiracies that seem to work against people's best interest see reason when it's presented, or consider the voice of that reason a leftist cosmopolitan intent on atomizing society and destroy your higher purpose.

Since you are a master of abductive reasoning you ought to be able to answer the following:

1) Is it simpler to assume that progressive causes necessitate a vast conspiracy of elected officials at all levels of government or that middlemen with high ambitions tend to take up banners for those in positions they covet? This is to say nothing of the fact that all parties are members of the same political organization created expressly for the purpose of furthering said causes.

2) Is it simpler to assume that officials act on behalf of a cabal of powerful individuals out of a shared interest in subversion or that a few people with a lot of money are funding candidates and political action groups that will help them keep that money? This is to say nothing of the fact that said candidates and groups, in addition to being rather venal by nature, are analogous to the middlemen of 1) in that they covet wealth.

3) Is it simpler to assume that everyone from the bottom up is in on the same vast conspiracy or that the higher-ups are manipulating the foot soldiers into action because the latter are "passionate about specific issues" that achieve the same ends? This is to say nothing of the fact that many of those who are, as you say, not in the traditional family mold harbor a certain antipathy towards said mold.

To continue your example about gay marriage, for instance, you say that the goal is to allow gay couples to receive the same benefits as married couples. If you'll think back to the early 2000s, the solution to this was civil unions and/or domestic partnerships, at the time being passed by several states, which provided the same legal benefits as traditional marriage. This should have solved that problem, and yet, it was viewed as unacceptable. Same for states leaving the marriage business altogether, as a few Alabama counties attempted after the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. To be sure, one might think of a perfectly innocuous reason why a reasonable solution to what was at the time far and away the number-one reason given by proponents of gay marriage for such became anathema, but it certainly raises an eyebrow.

Now let me be clear in saying that I don't think you or your compatriots are consciously trying to subvert Western civilization. You certainly paint a flowery picture of your noble mission, that is for sure. But progressivism, as a subset of leftism, attracts a certain type of person who we will charitably say is less-than-enthusiastic about traditional culture, values, and norms and it's not outside the bounds of credulity to suggest that, in your zeal to prove to your peer group how much you're willing to upend said cultures, values, and norms to be on The Right Side of History™, that you might be susceptible to unwittingly aiding an ulterior agenda. It's certainly within your right to continue to do so but that doesn't make you any less inimical to the rest of us. But what can I say against such reasonable thinking?

"It's funny though, Hungarians seem disinclined to vote their repressive government out of power. And their government satisfaction is higher than the EU average! It's almost like people don't mind having a strong government when said government is working on their behalf instead of against them. "

All the smart ones left. Hungary is basically a fascistic retirement community/backwater.

Saying "Big business doesn't hate your family" at the same time as arguing that families should be politically disenfranchised because their vote can conflict with the desire of corporations to sell drugs to teens is a fairly impressive feat of self undermining.

I am looking forward to Tyler’s take on whether the “national conservatism” project can succeed. Ross Douthat seems to think it can?

It's just dumber more fascistic 'Compassionate Conservatism'. It will meet the same fate.

Family men make good subordinates because they know that their options are limited due to their responsibilities. They have no time to skill up with a degree or move to a better paying job. You can absolutely low ball these guys and they will be forced to take it.

This post is very offensive to Billionaires and Big Business. We do not approve of that kind of language on MR.

We can't offend our masters. Time to deplatform .........

Why don't you start a big business that is friendly to families and see if that beats the ones run by childless, unmarried Democrat virtue signaling city dwellers?

You are being unfair to "Democrat virtue signaling city dwellers." They are truly, viscerally outraged approximately 1.69% of the time.

I can confirm at the least that they produce superior chicken sandwiches.

Can you point out on the doll where the evil big business touched you?

Business is focused in making money and has to work in the reigning environment with available manpower. It has little power to change these variables. The really powerful anti-family institutions are the government, fanatically focused on increasing the GNP (and the budget), that forces every ambulant person into the workforce and cares little about your family. If you don't reproduce, the government can always import a ready made replacement from outside.Or so it acts.
Military is another large antifamily institution, to the point of drafting only young single men (and women).

If you want children and grandchildren, you have to consider these institutions as sinful and godless, and try to isolate yourself from these satanic organizations. That is what serious religions such as fundamentalist Protestants nd Orthodox Judaism is doing.

Es verdad. The family is a threat to government sovereignty in that loyalty to family can't be allowed to eclipse loyalty to the state. Ergo failure to turn in your miscreant brother-in-law for stealing the neighbor's paper is a crime in itself. Government subsidizes the breakup of families through welfare programs for unwed mothers and divorcees. Without these fatherless children would rapidly become rare. The government wishes to deal with the atomized individual, who has no effective allies beside the well-paid legal profession.

In America you can't make anyone do anything. If someone doesn't want to be a father or mother, then government program or not, its just not going to happen. In other countries that are more family oriented, there is lots more corruption and nepotism running around. Consider the individualistic Northern Europeans and the family oriented Southern Europeans. It is a trade off but America mostly has the right blend.

What family oriented Southern Europeans? Shut down the TV soap operas and check the statistics.

The really powerful anti-family institutions are the government, fanatically focused on increasing the GNP (and the budget), that forces every ambulant person into the workforce and cares little about your family. If you don't reproduce, the government can always import a ready made replacement from outside.Or so it acts.
Military is another large antifamily institution, to the point of drafting only young single men (and women).

You can probably argue that's the case; but business would certainly be no better, and probably much worse, with any of those responsibilities, and to the extent that business has an influence on government today, it is largely in that direction (of forcing every ambulant person within the state, and usually those outside, into their supply and demand chain).

The single, the childless, the degenerate rootless cosmopolitans eroding our country's precious bodily fluids. Enough of this alread

Remember small steps TOWARD a much better world instead of publishing Peter's fantasies of how great life was in his fatherland in the 1930s?

Remember, the Nazis were only a road bump along the way to that much better world.

Sure seems to believe these companies are full of leftists pushing politics on their customers. The evidence is the the opposite. The consumers most companies want to win are young, with disposable income, and companies are trying to gain their loyalty. If that requires flying a gay flag, than most conservative businessmen with two kids are quite willing to do that. Nike really doesn't care if a 55 year old white man is offended by their support for Colin Kaepernick. If anything, conservative anger probably gives an amoral corporation more "cred" with young people. Movie studios don't care if lower income Trump supporters are turned off by strong female leads (although they do notice that European audiences don't seem to like black male leads all that much, and behave accordingly).

It would be more accurate to say that Millennials and Gen-Z hate your family. The tension is particularly noticeable because Gen-X is a smaller contingent, so marketing is even more youth oriented than it was 15-20 years ago.

+1. Business aren't dumb. They knew who their paying customers are.

Yeah, that was the part that threw me for a loop. He was saying that the left is pro-business; not the right. Your explanation makes more sense.

No I am saying that business is pro-left these days, not pro-right. Particularly on social fronts.

Businesses are run by people who at most probably economically right and socially left. For about 20 years they have been playing the Republican party for economically right goals and playing the Democrats for socially liberal policies.

The most parsimonious explanation of how Republicans burn all their electoral capital passing tax cuts and repealing business regulations while Democrats spend all theirs on social policies is that either party can find ready partners for those halves of their respective agendas favored by the business elite. When their electoral mandates are opposed by business, somehow they flounder.

"Democrats spend all theirs on social policies "

If only. Instead we have Obamacare and tariffs. There goes that notion.

Oh please. The only way Obamacare passed was as social policy. Every left-wing trope was checked. We had a silly universal birth control mandate not because you needed that for a well running healthcare system (people somehow manage to afford birth control and most health insurances will pay for it whenever the patient is willing as cheaper than paying for Ob/Gyn bills). Passing Obamacare required a lot of Democratic elected officials to fall on their swords and it was explicitly passed as a policy about how society looks after its own.

Certainly, the all of the nonsense about saving money or bending the cost curve has not come to pass. Likewise, the cadillac tax is somehow safe to excise. It is almost as if the primary function of Obamacare was to ensconce a favored social arrangement of the left-wing more firmly in the American experience.

As far as tariffs, yeah right. Nobody passed legislation for those and the will not. Trump is near universally abhorred by corporations. It is almost as though they despise his gratuitous deference to social conservatives.

But nice try, a pithy one liner devoid of substance is always enlightening discourse.

Obamacare is every bit the 'social arrangement' that tax reform is.


Consider Dick's Sporting goods. After Parkland, Dick's elected to pull the single most popular rifle variant from their shelves. The publicly attributed it to wanting to make a financial difference and their CEO specifically stated, "I don't care what the financial implication is".

Who are Dick's prime customers? Well here's a hint they also operate Field & Stream. By their own numbers their own customers are vastly more likely to be anti-gun control than pro. By their own numbers they are vastly more likely to own an AR-15 than to protest "assault weapons". Shockingly, since making this political statement Dick's has dropped about $150 million off trendline in sales.

Or consider the Georgia "heartbeat" bill. Disney has publicly considering boycotting Georgia for backing a bill that Harris polling puts at 55% support. And who are the prime Disney customers? Childless people in NYC? Or families with children or couples with grandchildren. I would submit that there is massively more profit potential in hooking the Americans with diaper bills than young, single people in the Metropolis. Oh and for funzies, the polling indicates that the young are more likely to support Georgia's side here than the old.

Target opted to wade into the transsexual fray for reasons completely unknown. They could have just quietly refit every store with gender neutral restrooms. Or they could have just left all such bathroom policies up to local managers and committed themselves to some bland obfuscation. They elected not to do this. And who are Target's core customers? Well on average, they are not Millenials yet. And the Millenials who do spend there are disproportionately conservative.

And on and on the list goes.

And the dark secret is, most of these corporations are global. Their actual customer bases still support criminalization of homosexuality, religious establishmentarianism, and frank nationalism.

If this were about serving customers why is there no actual relationship between corporate policy and customer base? I should be able to note a clear and convincing continuum of corporate policies from Publix to Kroger to Market Basket reflecting the very real geographic correlation to politics. Remind again customers play out for cable providers like Centurylink, Xfinity, and Cox.

Corporations are monolithic. We can name the small number of heterodox firms, like Chick-fil-a and Hobby Lobby, precisely because they diverge so heavily from the enforced orthodoxy. It does not matter if a firm's customers are more conservative, the owners operate off the liberal playbook for virtually all social issues.

And this makes sense. They are bidding for talent that has gone through the liberal coming of age ceremonies: go away to a good college, move to a major metropolitan area, stay single through your 20s, and do-what-you-want-beholden-to-no-one.

But don't tell me its for the customers. Even regional firms wholey ensconced in areas with vast conservative customer bases do not actually espouse conservative political positions (e.g. Publix completely caved when called out for doing standard quid pro quo with local, albeit conservative, candidates).

Regular church going, highly conservative people make up about 30% of the American population, including the young. The are geographically concentrated in the South and Midwest. They are geographically concentrated in the suburban and rural areas. They are concentrated in outdoors hobbies. I mean seriously, John Deere has LGBT advocacy right on they employee recruitment page. Where are the conservative corporations? I could buy 400 out of 500 of the Fortune 500 are all chasing the same urban markets but >475?

The only way every corporation is catering to the same market is nobody is willing to split the market and go niche. Are these soulless amoral corporations that bad at basic capitalism?

Reality is that prioritizing customers is just another of those decisions that businesses make. Favoring the young, irreligious, and childless in your marketing is just another thing where there are structural factors pushing the corporations and corporations pulling on the structural factors.

" the polling indicates that the young are more likely to support Georgia's side here than the old."

That's where I stopped reading. You live in a fantasy world. No the anti-abortion revolution is not coming. The world just isn't the way you imagine it to be.

I see, you have a trouble being wrong.

Per Harris polling the populace believes that "heartbeat" bills like Georgia's are:
21% - Too lenient (presumably demanding total prohibition)
34% - Just right
45% - Too restrictive (no data on the popularity of going full New York)

Broken down by age the young (18 - 34):
Too lenient: 27%
Just right: 30%
Too restrictive: 43%

Too lenient: 18%
Just right: 36%
Too restrictive: 45%

Too lenient: 21%
Just right: 38%
Too restrictive: 41%

Too lenient: 17%
Just right: 31%
Too restrictive: 52%

The data show pretty clearly that the young are much more likely to hold these bills to be too lenient. While they are more likely to be polarized, their median member is far closer to Georgia than to New York or Disney.

Perhaps the survey data is unreliable, so I am of course open to hearing new data from you. But the truth is that the young are identifying more as pro-life than the old. The consensus sees to lie somewhere closer to Europe than New York, abortion legal in the first trimester (or roughly whenever people think it looks like a baby) and illegal thereafter except for cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother. Health of the mother being an exception that most everyone agrees with but demands specificity before enacting.

So yeah, even ignoring the fact that Disney's prime consumers are people who have kids, their position is out of step with the median American. It is further away from the median young adult. And is likely exceedingly far from the prime consumer demographics.

Yet another superb post by Sure, in a somewhat marxist inspiration, which provokes yet another time the insults from the usual
leftist servants of the ploutocracy.

Sure shows how the big corporations acts on the other institutions of society, reinforcing some of them and weakening others (such as the "family"), with the consequences that, depending on your personal preferences and life choices, you may have other sentiments than "love" towards big business. That's a line of analysis that was missing on the debate here on Tyler's last book.

'from the usual leftist servants of the ploutocracy'

So, just for fun, who are some of the usual rightist servants of the plutocracy? I have a couple of obvious names in mind, but am curious to hear a couple of yours.

Assuming you didn't troll that "butthurt" thing yourself, try not to fall for the too-easy confirmation bias.

Bro, I don't know why you brought me into this. This is a right-wing circular firing squad and I'm enjoying this way too much. 'Sure' should write another about how these evil businessmen that hate families and baby Jesus are rich white men. I'll gloriously fap to that one.

Cowen ever clever. What is being presented here is a fictionalized account of business (Sure's) as Cowen's Straussian way of getting readers to realize that the actual account of business isn't so bad after all. Did Sure agree to go along with this? Probably not; indeed, he probably doesn't even know what I am describing.

Since another commenter mentions "National Conservatism", the old but re-fashioned conservatism being led by Tucker Carlson and others, with the fashionable and appealing name the "Edmund Burke Foundation", on display at last week's National Conservatism's Conference, which emphasizes cultural and social issues (e.g., immigration, godlessness, gender norms, the cosmopolitan class) while nominally opposed to libertarians (that would be Cowen and friends), who have been the intellectual leaders of the conservative movement for 40 years, and business, whose success and wealth-creation are built on a framework of free markets (thank you very much libertarians). If they can pull this off it will be an amazing feat: an entire political movement that is Straussian to the core. Of course, actual conservative policies (e.g., tax cuts for the wealthy, environmental deregulation, cutting Medicaid) are unpopular, so "conservative" is being refashioned based only on cultural and social issues and given a new name, "National Conservatism". It's clever, and it may well work. But what if those to whom it is directed not only believe the message but demand that it be carried out with actual policies? From time to time I have criticized the Straussian technique for messaging because it is inherently deceptive. Sure, practitioners such as Cowen have positive aims for using the technique, but what if the technique is used simply as propaganda in order to deceive? Here we go!

Wow, it's almost like fiscal conservatism and social conservatism are two distinct movements with sometimes overlapping and sometimes opposing agendae. That can't be correct though because the TV tells me that all right-wing nut-jobs are racist businessmen who want to get rich off us while taking us back to the fifties.

"who have been the intellectual leaders of the conservative movement for 40 years"

Oh shove it in already. Libertarians had some influence in economics from the early '70s that ended in the mid 2000s. We've been here before: National Conservatism is just Compassionate Conservatism that panders to whites instead of Christians. It ends the same way.

The Neocons are the ones who pushed any libertarian leanings out of the GOP in the 2000s and they are Strauss's children. We've already been here and we know how it ends: in tears and Democrat victory.

Say the Left truly believes that National Conservatism does not need to reflect "actual policies" and mere empty talk to gull the foolish into action (and this is often how Leftists who believe they are smart and woke to the currents of history style themselves).

You then wonder why when asked about the prospect of endorsing this rhetoric themselves, they suddenly change tack and insist that endorsing these policies would mean disastrous and real cultural and policy consequences, and that the men endorsing these policies should be feared accordingly.

Either "national conservatism" is a circus that doesn't matter and will not be implemented, or its proponents are serious and will implement the consequences.

The Left cannot have it both ways depending on what they feel like at the time, and whatever happens to serve the inclinations of their middle-brow, middle-intellect, psychologically simple and rather uncultured low level social justice stormtroopers who eat up pro-LGBT, pro-diversity kitsch corporate pap by the plate-full.

Isn’t the argument within Sure’s first quoted paragraph true? The rest, who knows and who cares, but aren’t most of the very best white collar jobs located within 10 metros or so in the US (NYC, SF, LA, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Raleigh, DC, Atlanta, Houston)? Don’t those jobs require long hours, with very high career penalties paid by someone who tries to spend time with their family? Isn’t rent very high in most of those metros? Those complaints sound like they come from a leftist.

"Provide a cornucopia of goods and services? I guess, but that seems pretty neutral at best for supporting families as opposed to other societal a

For example?

Which demographic has the largest share of disposable income? Married with children, or single and childless?

(It's a trick question, because the answer is empty-nesters; but give it twenty years, and it will change to middle-aged maids and bachelors.)

I am not sure what you ask for with "for example?". But the sentence means than the plenty provided why big business benefits everyone regardless of if you belong to a family or not. Hence the use of "neutral" by Sure, which is the first order effect of the corporate cornucopia on the institution of family. Now there are other, more subtle, effects. For example, living in a stable couple helps make important economy of scales: a couple needs only one house or apartment, one bed, one fridge, etc. while two people living separately need two. To the extent big business makes everyone in the society richer, it diminishes an important financial incentive to form couples (which tends to become, with time and sex, families). Hence the "at best neutral" of Sure.

Your example still doesn't show the supposed 'anti-family agenda' of business. If a couple shares one apartment with all the furnishings instead of living in two separate ones with a similar setup, then by basic math, that is a huge financial gain due to a lot of money being saved.

I can tell you that the 'always on' culture of email and text messages even after work is very anti-family as it prevents one from being fully present with loved ones.

Kibbutzim, polyamory, communal living, monasticism, cults, and singledom.

The great cornucopia of goods helps all of these arrangements as much or more than the "family" as traditionally understood in the US.

Certainly data also suggests that plying people with cheap booze, cigarettes, gambling, and the like hurts family stability. Arguments have been made that social media, video games, and even easy shopping can all do the same. Certainly from my skewed perspective I see these things far more in my suicidal patients and my domestic violence patients. I suspect it is reverse causation, but I have seen data implying actual cause and affect.

If you are aware of any of the goods flogged by corporations that improve family stability, do let me know. It is always helpful to have more recommendations to give patients.

I'll play. An issue locally is the amount of time children in the elementary schools of the district spend staring at a screen, "following a path, prompts, always laid out for them," as I heard someone put it. The answer, functionally, appears to be: all day. IPads have even impinged on art class, formerly a realm of clay and pots of paint. The prize for finishing one's tasks on the iPad quickly is evidently - free time on the iPad. (Something called Fortnite is a current pastime.) Then homework is conducted on the iPad as well, and some parents complained they had trouble limiting screen time in the face of this (which gave district officials their first out - "why, we can't control what your kids do, at home, on their district-supplied devices"). Even at school the kids surf the web, which is neither disabled nor well-filtered. Indeed, apart from academic concerns, the mom leading the charge is doing so for that most easily dismissed, that most pathetically mom of reasons: the desire to shield her child. It seems he and his fellow first graders had, in class, both watched pornography (by googling "kissing," or "sexy ladies") and managed to stumble on an Islamist beheading. Soon other parents told dozens of similar stories, either from looking over their children's search histories, or from the children coming to them, disturbed. Naturally, as it always does, talk of specifics, no matter how egregious, allowed the district officials to evade the larger concern about the lack of evidence one way or another for the screens' educational advantages and possible pitfalls, or to answer for the tablets being sold, initially, to taxpayers as a replacement for textbooks, and then morphing into something else when the digital textbooks proved too costly.

The mom-turned-activist was pretty modest in her demand: just one opt-out class offered, just K-5.

Don't you know the world wide web expands daily by millions of web pages, thus is impossible to filter, the administrators replied smugly, proud of being so conversant with the size of the world wide web. You know a cool fact like that, you don't need to be too tech-savvy.

And indeed, can anyone doubt that school administrators would be anything other than putty in the hands of Silicon Valley? Hell, they were playthings of that educational products company that sold them on replacing every desk in the district with rolly, spinning plastic-wheeled (!) plastic desks, needed because the thoroughly up-to-date classroom is a place of collaboration and constant movement.

we reckon the "hate" word is still(for about the 10th year in a row)
the most over/misused and misappropriated word in the dictionary.
we blame "the view"

On the other hand, most businesses offer employees leave to have families with single and childless employees expected to pick up the slack, while similar accommodations are not extended to employees who have other kinds of hobbies and interests. Businesses offer benefits such as subsidized medical insurance to spouses and families of employees, while you can't just add your buddies to said medical insurance. The products and services provided by big business also make it much easier to have a family--being able to order many goods and services online is a godsend when you have a small child you can't take with you on errands. Their support for greater immigration of young workers is also pro-family as it expands the dating pool; I know many people who have married immigrants who were here on student or work visas and might have otherwise remained single.

It seems that businesses do what they need to attract employees and customers while maximizing productivity. I do not think they are biased against families.

Most companies only have family leave for working mothers. Which do you think is more beneficial for a young child: having a mother at home throughout childhood, or having one at home for three months before daycare takes over?

Same with immigration. Do you think that it would be easier to have a family when both spouses share a cultural history? Do you think the kids get a more consistent set of values from which to learn?

You could always claim you and your buddy are in a domestic partnership, or I suppose you could just get married altogether. Insurance doesn't make a distinction between these.

As far as online shopping goes, it certainly doesn't seem that unmarried/childless shoppers are put out by its presence. It's worth noting that some of the biggest upstarts today (e.g., Tinder or Uber/Lyft/etc.) are marketed specifically for the Sex and the City demographic.

You put all of these things together and it starts to look like they are concessions to try to maintain a sense of normalcy rather than a continuation of a true family-friendly society.

I have not seen any evidence that having a mother at home throughout childhood is beneficial for children. Most research I have seen suggests children of working moms are on average better off in terms of adult happiness and earnings; they get more independence and a working female role model. I think parents today are already too involved with their children (hence the term "helicopter parenting") and children on average would do better with working parents and more independence.

Regarding immigration, people generally marry others that they share personal values with. Not all Americans have the same values. Some people may find that they share more values with an immigrant than the Americans who they have dated. Others may find immigrants too foreign; they are not forced to marry them. Expanding the dating pool increases the number of choices people have and therefore gives people a better chance of finding someone who they share values with.

Speaking of expanding the dating pool, Tinder does that too. Lots of new marriages now start from online dating. In previous eras, those people might have never met and married. So even products that are geared for single people can lead to more family formation down the line. The recent decline in fertility is due entirely to falling marriage rates (i.e. the difficulty of finding a partner) rather than delayed fertility within marriage. So "pro-family" should mean making it easier for people to find partners, and online dating certainly does that.

Well, the research I have seen shows the opposite (yes, two can play at this game). Single mothers ought to be the epitome of a "working female role model" yet their children score the worst of any group in school and also are more likely to commit crimes.

Tinder, first and foremost, is not a dating service in the vein of, for example, Their advertising makes clear that they are an app designed to encourage hookup culture. But let's set that aside, it's a problem in and of itself but not really relevant to the central point.

The question is why exactly you associate decreasing marriage rates with the difficulty of finding partners. Now obviously this is strictly a cause and effect, can't get married if you can't find someone to marry. But why should it be the case? After all, as you note, we have more options now than ever before to increase the dating pool. It certainly seems that finding potential spouses is not actually the problem.

It follows then that the root of the problem is either a difficulty in calibrating one's standards or downward social pressure for casual dating but against marriage.

I would posit that it is a combination of both: it seems every week one of the coastal publications features an article either celebrating young single women or denigrating less-young single men as inappropriate suitors for less-young single women. This may be skewed for simple demographic reasons ("journalists" particularly in the culture pages tend to be young single women and large cities attract young singles) but on the other hand people aren't exactly looking to rural flyover states and the South (where marriage rates for young people are much higher) for cultural advice. And since we don't have a massive gender inbalance there should not be any reason why matches cannot be made, other than a person's conception of their market value relative to their dates.

Note that I'm not blaming women for this phenomenon: we have more beta males in our society now than ever before. But there's clearly more to the story regarding marriage rates and it's also pretty clear that there is little motivation on the part of our cultural overlords to encourage higher marriage rates, Exhibit A being the immigration policies that you claim help to increase the dating pool.

Well I googled effect of working moms on children and the research is generally positive, here’s a summary: I agree that single motherhood is bad, but single motherhood with a working mom is still often better than single motherhood with a stay-at-home mom (indeed getting single moms to go work was one of the major goals of the 90s welfare reform).

I also agree that marriage rates are lower because people’s standards have become higher. However, I think lowered marriage rates due to higher standards is not a bad thing in the way that lowered marriage rates due to restricted choice is. In the past, marriage rates were higher because of lower standards, but this also led to lower-quality marriages and higher divorce rates (divorce rates are much higher in flyover country).

Our standards regarding our material quality of life are now far higher than they were in the past, and as a result people sometimes feel economic anxiety today despite having an enviable standard of living by past standards, but the solution to this is to improve our economy to meet those higher standards rather than reducing our standards to what they were in the past. Ultimately, progress is about creating an environment where people can have high standards, and meet them.

Single mothers were encouraged to work in the 90s because of their effects on welfare usage, not because it was better for the kiddos. (I wonder how the same sort of campaign would be received today, but that's neither here nor there.) In any case I think we agree that two-parent households are better than one-parent households regardless of employment status.

I am not convinced however that high standards in mate selection is not a problem. A woman in her mid-40s who suddenly realizes she should have settled down earlier is not any less put out as one who spent her 20s and 30s trying to settle down. The practical effect is still the same: one less marriage, one less family, one more politician trying to convince us this problem can only be solved through immigration.

What you're looking at is the marital version of the Tocqueville effect and as with your analogy with living standards you assume that such an increase is perpetually feasible.

"The practical effect is still the same: one less marriage, one less family, one more politician trying to convince us this problem can only be solved through immigration."

It's also one less divorce. In sum: so what? What is the problem? Immigration is only a good thing. There's no evidence it reduces family formation, not that family is all that great to begin with.

It's actually approximately 0.5 less divorces, if you take the conveniently oft-repeated statistic at face value. In spite of the government's best efforts, millions of couples around the country are still making their marriages work. (People like you who view the institution as nothing but a detriment to everyone involved are the desired result of these best efforts.)

The problem is not that immigration reduces family formation but that it reduces the quality of families. There is data to suggest that families with one immigrant parent divorce at higher rates than those with zero or two immigrant parents. Marriage is primarily a cultural and religious institution; it's not a corporate structure for tax purposes. You need people with a common background (a shared culture) to make it work. This is to say nothing of the fact that immigrant marriages further the state's goals of fragmenting the population through demographic replacement.

"You need people with a common background (a shared culture) to make it work. "

No you don't. Tons of people make it work just fine.

" This is to say nothing of the fact that immigrant marriages further the state's goals of fragmenting the population through demographic replacement."

Piss off and shove your Tiki torch. The State is not some homogenous AI out to get you and your white community. There is no evidence that immigration 'fragments' America or that being fragmented is bad.

Weren't you just using the high divorce rate as a bludgeon? Which is it? Are people just going to get divorced anyway or are tons of people making it work?

As far as evidence goes, we seem pretty fragmented right now.

'Single mothers ought to be the epitome of a "working female role model"'

Why would anyone believe that?

Or do you honestly believe that 'Single fathers ought to be the epitome of a "working male role model"'?

I'm not the one glorifying single mothers in media, or for that matter creating government policies that encourage single motherhood.

If you find someone publishing a book, article, etc. singing the virtues of single fatherhood or even acknowledging its presence though you let me know because I'd love to see it simply as a matter of novelty.

You guys are talking past each other. "Working moms" have a positive effect on child development; "single moms" (a subset of Working moms), a negative effect.

Perhaps possibly maybe TC himself failed to frame properly: is the culprit that Americans perceive as arrayed against them themselves and their legitimate interests "Big Business" . . . or is it chiefly our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment eager to entertain us all to death?

And/Or: because tech tyrants and tech cheerleaders prefer to believe that geography and location count for little or less (just as "climate" itself is no real phenomenon in the air conditioned virtual worlds that technophiles inhabit), perhaps American disaffection with its corrupt and corrupting elites has a lot to do with regard for the elite preserve known as the DC-to-Boston Corridor and all the institutions housed therein, with ample Left Coast representation to fill in any gaps?

Enjoy our summertime temps, everyone (or as Nat King Cole put it: "You'll wish that summer could always be here!")

Well for people that have had real jobs with real responsibility, this is a ridiculous question - of course businesses do not hate families.

But it is an unspoken rule to not take any leave and not take your kids to any medical appointments. Single people will whine that they are their to take up slack. But if you do have a boss that is a parent, they may be more empathetic to situations like this.

It is optimal for an employer to hire single people, so yes, business can be anti-family in an implied sense.

This is embarrassing and Tyler should really delete this entire post. Nothing in that nonsensical OP demonstrates the point. Paragraphs of blather.

This guy is a cuck. Why post this whiny drivel?

There are more than enough voluntary workaholics and barren loins for companies to benefit from their dedicated talent.

If for no reason other than virtue signalling and recruiting, almost every big business encourages work-life balance.

Even the US military has engaged in a massive campaign to make military life easier on families.

But really what we mean by families here is benefits for women. In the nearly defunct model of the working man and stay at home mom, these policies were unnecessary. Long hours for the wage earners were the norm. The modern pro family movement is to ameliorate the career disadvantages of motherhood. Unmarried or childless women tend to outperform women with children.

Opportunity costs. Who knew?

A couple of quick clarifications:

I do not think business leaders twirl mustaches and plot the demise of the family. Nor do I think even a complete embrace of pro-family policy (whatever that might be) would change the antagonism felt by families. I think there are social feedback loops going on right now that are antagonistic towards family formation and sustainment. The foundational issues are far larger than business.

That said, businesses are giving their own small turns of the screw. Amazon could have built HQ2 in all manner of cities with international airports and the other amenities for they 50K $100K positions ... yet they chose DC and NYC where those salaries cannot even afford the typical local mortgage without going over traditional thresholds. Now maybe Amazon really needed to be co-located for all their potential talent ... but I doubt it. After all, this is one of the largest providers of web services on the planet. I think they could manage to make this work in a city like Indianapolis or St. Louis just fine. But management is willing to foist some of the worst commutes and unaffordable housing markets in the nation on their employees.

I think Amazon's decision was not wrong, and certainly not illegal, but it is anti-family. Both directly for its employees, indirectly as it makes it ever harder for families in NoVA to form and buy housing, and implicitly as reinforces economic trends that are hard on families.

Amazon does not hate families. But if it did, it would not behave all that much differently.

And as I originally noted, implicit antagonism has long been used as a standard to adjudicate claims of racism and sexism. It is essentially taken as granted that if you disproportionately harm one group and have no specific remedy to offset that harm, then you are anti-group.

We either need to throw out or popular and legal theories regarding discrimination and animosity or we need to apply them consistently with families.

Piffle. Amazon's HQ2 location isn't going to employ that many people. Further, have you considered that the people who already work for Amazon that would work at HQ2 might like to live in a place like NYC?

The only 'foundation issue' that really matters for families is the fact that having children is a terrible decision that completely ruins peoples lives and this is not only more obvious but there are more and more better things to do with one's life.

I'm just using Amazon's own numbers, duly reported with full fiduciary responsibilities by them in legally binding documentation. Whether or not they actually bring that many jobs is not material, those numbers are what everyone is making choices around.

The retention rates for NYC and DC are both terrible. NYC, for instance lost (per the census department) 35,923 people last year. That was net. If we look at the foreign immigrants, the numbers are even worse for NYC. Every year about 1% of the current population vacates the place. After all, about 3/8ths of the population are foreign born. The DC metro area is similar though it has a strong dollop of racial politics confounding the issue dating back to before the civil war.

This is why, continuously, the major population growth in the US is in the burbs. The cities have exceedingly few children of their own and are sustained in population only when the children of the interior or foreigners migrate in; the majority of whom will leave the city within a dozen odd years.

The majority of NYC or DC residents will stay there only if they feel they have few other options (e.g. foreign born who need co-linguistic support nets) or end up on top (i.e. the wealthy, powerful, and prestigious). For the great masses of workers, they tend to decamp out of the cities and often out of the most economically vibrant metro areas. The only time we saw any real deviation in this trend was around 2007 when economic conditions were so bad that young adults were trapped in cities they disliked, as they promptly reverted to type and moved out just like generations before them. Even the children of immigrants rarely stay in the family unfriendly environs of the metropoli.

But heck, suppose Amazon needs to be in DC for some reason. Even within DC metro area, there are far more family places for Amazon to build. They could have opted for out on the Silver line. The land is cheaper, the Metro goes downtown, and they could have gotten cheaper flights to everywhere. People who wanted to live more cheaply could not have atrocious commutes and parking costs would have been far less. Those who wished to live in the city could manage the train in about 40 minutes (adding maybe a third to downtown commuters' round trip) while those wishing to drive (i.e. live the styles preferred by the vast majority of American families) would not face the hurdles of HOV only on 66 and the general hell that is the Beltway and GWP traffic. Heck, Amazon already has a bunch of facilities out that way, and of course there is the fun that so many of the government employee pools are moving westward for exactly these reasons. And if they set up shop out there, they would only be near firms like ManTech which, you know, employee the same sorts of people Amazon says it wants to hire.

The reason to go with Crystal City is not because it will be convenient for employees, but because it will be convenient for Amazon leadership. It places HQ2 much closer to the center of power in DC (Capital Hill and the Pentagon). It means they will be flying into DCA, just like all the other power brokers. It means that when other power players need to be brought inside, it can be done far more quickly. Certainly it is choice that signals that we are important enough to buy up a few blocks of the priciest real estate.

These may be compelling business reasons. But it isn't about employee satisfaction. It certainly is not a corporation trying to be family friendly.

Whatever one wishes to say about kids, the data are pretty clear. Folks who have em live longer, with less morbidity, and in generally equal or better reported happiness. With completion of child-bearing years, the most common dissatisfaction is not having had enough kids. Basically every other woman has one fewer kid over her lifetime than she wants.

I mean I suppose your viewpoint is consistent if you disvalue people's happiness and are not a fan of giving people the opportunity to pursue happiness. Seems silly to me.

So yeah. Amazon made a choice to locate a bunch of jobs in one of the least family friendly places in the DC metro area. By itself, it does not do a whole lot, but it is certainly another turn of the screw.

I get what you are saying, and I don't necessarily disagree that corporate practices do not support those that wish to have a traditional family, though I think that same argument could be made about many different groups and your focus on family is somewhat circumstantial in this case. For instance, Amazon very likely under-hires Latinos, women, non-native english speakers, artists, etc. They do not adequately support these groups through their various hiring practices, HR policies, and office locations. Okay, now what?

As for your dichotomy of city versus the suburbs, what you are really asking Amazon to do in this instance is to value the desires of families over those of the young. If Amazon placed their campus in a DC suburb that could only be driven to, they would be biasing against a large group of young professionals that desire to live in the city and not drive everywhere. This happens to be the type of worker Amazon would like to attract: young, talented professionals. You are asking them to support one type of lifestyle over another because you prefer one of the lifestyle choices over the other.

If you want to influence corporations into being better workplaces for families, you need to propose and push for policies that influence them without undermining other populations as well. Merely calling corporations anti-family is not really helping the situation in any way and is a myopic view of situation: corporations are ambivalent toward humanity and only a small group of people is encouraged by their practices.

Lastly, just to nitpick: There is ample research that states that having a family increases a person's sense of fulfilment, but significantly decreases a feeling of happiness. I can't necessarily judge your other statements concerning the impact of children, but I know this one is not accurate, at least by the several studies I have seen in the past.

As I said in the initial post, when we evaluate a company like Amazon for how it treats women, Hispanics, or other minorities, we use metrics that look at how underrepresented these individuals are. We talk about implicit biases and merely having the result of some minority-blind policy are insufficient to prevent the finding of a "hostile work place". I make no claim that Amazon is wrong for what it does.

I just am pointing out that if minorities feel antagonism because their employer ends up acting in ways that are hostile them (e.g. promoting on English proficiency) society notes that and has called such things "microaggressions" and "hostile workplaces". Major corporations are antagonistic to families.

I don't know if Amazon is making a wise business decision. I do not know if there is sufficient return to be had from family friendly policies to want external nudging or laws to steer places like Amazon.

But people are not even bothering to consider the effect of modern business habits on families. Even if your comment you find it exceedingly hard to engage with the actual facts on the ground. I did not contrast Crystal City with some far flung burb with only car access. Let's grant that Amazon needs direct metro access if they build in DC. Going out on the Silver line still gives them Metro access. As noted it adds maybe 20 minutes to commutes for anyone coming in from over the river and less for people coming from from metro stops in NoVa. This is, maybe, a third of total commuting time. Moving out towards the end of the Metro, however, will drop commutes from the residential areas where the bulk of families want to live by over 50% (and over 80% on bad traffic days). And this is my point. Amazon could meet 90% of what the "young, talented professionals" want without making life difficult for the families those young talented professionals will become.

Right now, corporations are picking policies that favor the young and unattached and the powerful & wealthy. They directly oppose the stated preferences of the median American family and often of the median family they employ. If they are making a choice to favor some other group, okay, then they are being antagonistic toward families. Nothing immoral about that. But something to consider when we discuss policies and the role of corporations in society.

As far as happiness research, there is a strong body of evidence that having children decreases happiness in the short term. It rebounds later in life with a net wash or benefit in total lifetime happiness. If you measure only the immediate years or even until the child leaves them home, you are correct. If you measure out through grandchildren and senescence, people are happier having had kids. Fulfillment or similar measures rise and drastically increased throughout the lifetime.

And again, the most common fertility outcome in the US is for women and their partners to wish that they had been able to have more kids. You are of course free to disregard the desires of people but our society has made it more challenging and costly to achieve one of the significant desires of most Americans.

Big business offers single-price health insurance that covers my family regardless of whether and how many children I have. That's a pretty hefty subsidy for me compared to my childless colleagues who perform the same work.

A nightmarish avalanche of weak reasoning and illogic.

So much so that you couldn't be bothered to provide a single example.

The entire thing is the example.

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