• rmacculloch

Do Kiwi Parliamentarians believe in love and family as a way to reduce youth crime? Short answer: no

How many of our Members of Parliament have explained that the best way to reduce youth crime is to implement policies that promote strong family values? Not one that I know of. Maybe this relates to the definition of a politician, namely "a person who gives speeches about the importance of family yet barely spends anytime with theirs".

Kiwi right-wing politicians are just as guilty as left-wing ones on this matter. So what are Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman's views on this matter? In many interviews, Heckman stresses his concern for the family unit rather than emphasizing the need for public programs. Whatever the program, he says, “the whole activity has to engage the family .. Nobody wants to talk about the family, and the family’s the whole story”.

Heckman has shown, for example, that disadvantaged children benefit the most from early childhood interventions, yet even in public programs for targeted populations, his desire is to incorporate parents. “These childcare programs that I’ve looked at are only successful when they kind of ‘turn on’ the parents. They get the mother informed, and they get the mother engaged," he explained. "That’s the secret for them…It’s engaging the family, and frequently, the mother is the family .. We want to harvest the powerful force of love and attachment to the child. That is such a powerful force,” he said, adding later, “I wish the family would get back into more of the center of our lives".

In spite of Heckman's Nobel Prize winning "evidence based research" on the role of the family, you wont hear our Kiwi MP's give you Heckman-style "narratives". Why? Since most of our MPs don't want to "privatize" helping others - they want to "nationalize" it - and claim that it is yet another reason for State intervention. Policies based around love and the family would make many of our politicians redundant.