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|Copy Link||June 18, 2014|
The fact that the EU have been taken in by the day-care lobby has been a well-known fact for lots of us for a long time. How bad the situation has become can be assessed from this short pamphlet, which has just been published.
But over the years, the EU Commission has produced many more reports, as far as we can see all lauding what they call Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). Get an idea of the magnitude - here!
A couple of recurring arguments in favour of ECEC are:
In view of the fact that toddlers don't practice much reading or maths while at preschool, hardly more than those who are at home with their parents, we find the claims of the above-mentioned studies, that preschool children do better in these two subject ten years later, lacking credibility.
|Copy Link||June 16, 2014|
During June 12 to 15, an event called Nordic Forum on feminist issues was held in Malmö, Sweden, where lots of dissatisfied women, primarily from the Nordic countries, delivered talks on various aspects of how hard it is to be a women, not only in third-world and Muslim countries but also, right here, in Scandinavia.
In a side session our sister associations Haro from Sweden and SAMFO from Denmark ran their own show where perhaps a Mrs. Rebecca Walker from somewhere in the USA probably was the keynote speaker.
See and listen to her heart-and-mind-grabbing lecture - and the subsequent discussion - on what it means to become a mother and how the feminist movement, as we know it, must evolve in order for it to become more relevant to more women - and to their men - here!
Perhaps her message can be summarised as her becoming a mother was the single greatest experience of her life up to that point. It even surpassed her previous high point in life (her graduation from university). Consequently, her message to the world's feminist leaders is that their movement must acknowledge this fact and that lots of women want to raise their children by themselves and not farm them out to strangers for care.
|Copy Link||May 7, 2014|
We have just discovered a crowd calling themselves daynurseries.co.uk, which seems to function as a contact-maker between British parents on the one hand, looking for child-care services, and such service providers on the other. We found the group due to this attempt at comparing quality and costs of day care between Britain and the rest of Europe.
True, we find the comparison interesting up to a point, but unfortunately also lacking and heavily biased in defence of Britain's service providers whom we are convinced are doing as best they can under the circumstances. For instance, we dislike the use of the term "free childcare" as a description of heavily tax-subsidised childcare as in the Nordic countries. Where do the investigators think the money for the services is coming from? From outer space?
They should know that there is no such thing as a free lunch!
|Copy Link||May 7, 2014|
With a bit of help from like-minded people out there, we have just discovered this truthful report from a presumed British mother who may still be living in Sweden, looking after her toddler at home, full time.
We find her description of the response she triggers in working parents bang on and like her suggested solution to Sweden's day-care coercion problem: recognising the family as a unit in the tax system instead of the family members as individuals.
To that we would only like to add the need to abolish Sweden's hefty day-care subsidies (amounting to ca. 92 per cent of the production cost of the service) and replacing them with tax-deductibility against parents' incomes.
Then we would no longer have to debate whether or not our day-care services are macro-economically sound. Then the extent to which parents would buy into the scheme would provide the answer implicitly!
|Copy Link||April 27, 2014|
Over the years, many pedagogues and sociologist have investigated subject question in efforts to come up with a conclusive answer. In fact, our Archive is full of references to such high-reaching attempts. But now we feel compelled – belatedly – to draw your attention to another such investigation, this time a meta-study carried out by Sweden's National Institute of Public Health - here!. "Belatedly" because the study was made as early as in 2008…9 (published in September 2009) but we discovered it only the other day.
As can be read under "Conclusions", the deduction from it is that the majority of children do benefit from day care cognitively but that no robust conclusions can be drawn in the psycho-social area due to inconsistent findings in the individual studies examined.
We have no problems accepting as a fact that day care can be beneficial cognitively in individual cases but so can home care! However, extrapolating the former finding into a general assertion that day care beats home care cognitively for most children is another matter altogether! Our opinion is that that amounts to overstating one's case, that the cognitive effect of day care is every bit as difficult to assess broadly as the psycho-social effect is.
Further, there are more aspects of the issue to consider than the two mention so far, including the desires of parents and children, the physical health effect, the potential threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria, and the macro-economic effect. When doing that, we argue that the balance swings over to the opposite side.
|Copy Link||April 1, 2014|
About a year ago, the eight regional governments of Australia agreed to launch a tax-financed 15 hrs a week day-care scheme for the country's toddlers, but already now, only a year later, there is apparently a move afoot to cut that back to 12 hrs in a presumed effort to save public money.
That looming "threat" prompted philosophy professor Susan Krieg of that country to write this opinion article in an effort to stop that reversal, referring to Sweden's full-time day-care arrangement as a model to copy.
Note that Krieg's initiative prompted this association's Bo C Pettersson to comment.
While we actually think that 15 hours of communal day-care a week might not be so bad, we still worry that this modest level will only be the first step in Australia's move towards nationalising its children, the way Sweden has nationalised its. And finally, we find it heart-sinking to note that the writer describes our universal day-care arrangements as an "unquestionable right" Sweden's children "enjoy" (?), apparently not realising that that right means that they have lost the possibility to be with their parents when they are small.
|Copy Link||January 29, 2014|
We in this association (Children's Right to Their Parents Sweden) have long been frustrated by the writings of foreign journalists about our country's child-care-related policies, especially when they brand them as commendably "generous" solutions the rest of the world would be wise to adopt.
Our hearts tend to sink when we read that kind of unjustified praise because we realise that we are dealing with a journalist who is not very clued up on a number of important issue-impacting aspects and that we are pretty powerless when it comes to remedying such shortcomings (there are limits to how much you can cram into a one-page rebuttal).
But then, occasionally, the opposite occurs; we read stuff by foreigners who have spotted the Potemkin village those policies actually represent - and take heart again!
This elevation of spirit happened when we read this article in yesterday's issue of Britain's paper The Daily Mail, where the writer warns her/his countrypeople of copying Sweden's political solutions in the field discussed.
We in Children's Right are grateful.
|Copy Link||December 27, 2013|
Whenever we, directors of Children's Right Sweden, make contact, we always ask ourselves: "What more can we - reasonably - do to get our message out into the wider world about the outrage that our government is using its law-given powers to force parents to hand over their children to the nearest crèche for care, against parents' will.
On such "reasonable" idea that came up was to write to Human Rights Watch (HRW), which we have just done, as follows:
Hello there, all you hard-working staffers @ HRW!
We in Children's Right To Their Parents Sweden operate in your field, in Sweden (although, admittedly, only in a small sector of the vast field of human rights abuses you involve yourselves in, internationally at that). We focus on the violations of the UN Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on Children's Rights being perpetrated in the field of child care – in Sweden – only.
As you may know, the Swedish state and local municipalities, in cahoots, offer parental leave and communal childcare, which lots of politically ignorant nationals and foreigners view as 'generous'.
Since the tax money required by those authorities, for them to be that 'generous', is collected under the threat of force from citizens, those services represent outrageous discrimination of all those parents who, for different reasons, want to care for, raise and educate their children by themselves; they are forced to contribute huge amounts of money in taxes towards services they are not using and don't want to use, thereby making it harder for them to do what they REALLY want to do!
We know that the perception of Sweden abroad, in the field discussed, is that Swedish parents prefer their small children to be taken care of by day-care centre staff over being looked after by themselves, but how hard can it be for all those foreigners to realize that that is a gross misrepresentation of the facts! No sane person puts a child into this world only to have something to hand into the nearest day-care centre!
In every opinion poll we have ever come across, from the beginning of the day-care society we got then, up to the present time, on questions similar to: "Whom do you think should look after small children, day-care staff or the parents themselves?", an overwhelming majority of Swedish parents has always answered: "the parents!", and still do, despite 40 years of day-care coercion!
In summary, we in Children's Right need your (HRW:s) help to expose the violations of human rights being perpetrated in Sweden in child care, both domestically and internationally!
Sweden is not the role model in child care it is widely regarded as being!
Children's Right To Their Parents Sweden
Let us see if we'll get a response from HRW and, if so, what it will contain, in which case we'll let you, dear reader of this page, know.
|Copy Link||December 2, 2013|
One of the young men interviewed for the article: Sebastian Luna, 18, on the campus of Claremont McKenna College where he is a student. (13-09-08)
When parents and psychologists discuss the difficulties - and dangers - young people face in and around puberty, the focus has so far mainly been on girls, but now, Rosalind Wiseman, a political scientist who later came to take a keen interest in the psychological and behavioural problems associated with growing up, has apparently, at least for the time being, turned her attention to boys and written an interesting story in this week's issue of Time Magazine about the challenges boys face during that limbo period between child- and adulthood.
Read it - here!
Wiseman finds that the difficulties and dangers boys face are not very different from those of girls, but she does see a difference in how the two sexes handle them. That is, while she finds girls being far more likely to bring their tribulations up in discussions with a trusted friend – or even a parent (haha) – she finds boys exhibiting the opposite tendency: to bottle up in attempts to fight their spiritual ghosts by themselves.
If you, Dear Reader, happen to be a parent and have experience of both sexes in your children, please don't be fooled by the above-mentioned attempt at summarising Wiseman's findings - and dismissing it - and the article - as a truism! Her report contains far more interesting stuff than what the above summary suggests, so please read it!
|Copy Link||November 27, 2013|
As you, 'foreigner', reading these lines know, Sweden is a role model to many developed countries for child care and that moves are afoot, out there, to copy Sweden's solutions in the field mentioned.
One such country is Canada and one of that country's provinces which is beavering away particularly energetically in the indicated direction at this time is Ontario, whose government held a press conference, early in September, to present a couple of reports which were alleged to show conclusively how beneficial full-day institutional childcare is to small children.
But our friends at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada got suspicious and decided to examine that massive amount of report pages involved, to be able to draw their own conclusions. And true enough, they found that the reports the provincial government based its cheerful conclusions on, if anything, pointed in the very opposite direction.
Read the Institute's finding - here!
It was a long time ago that I read a critical review as annihilating as this one! My hat is off in deep respect to Andrea Mrozek & Co at the Institute for an investigative job outstandingly well done!
PS: Ontario's government scares me! How can it be so important to the people in it that government employees take over the upbringing and education of the province's children, their own included? Did they really put children into this world only to have something to hand into the nearest crèche?
|Copy Link||November 22, 2013|
…asks journalist Margaret Wente of Canada's daily, The Globe and Mail in this insightful article on Sweden's social policies, comparing them to those of her own country and to those of the USA.
She arrives at the conclusion that if a woman values income, professional success and the social respect that tends to follow from that kind of choice, she should choose to live in North America, but if she instead favours work-life balance, more time for family, kids and personal development, she should choose Sweden.
On the whole, I found Wente's description of those policies of my country unusually true to the facts of the matter and her conclusions from them reasonable. But she doesn't appear to understand the extent to which our government utilises its coercive, legislative, powers to impose its behaviour-altering social policies on its unsuspecting citizens, top down, using misleading, propaganda-like, arguments that would have put any private company, resorting to similar tactics, before a court of law for fraud in no time.
Another way of putting this would be to say that Swedish parents have never, in any election, asked its political representatives to put their children under political care. It has just happened due to a combination of false political propaganda and tacit agreements among our political parties never to make child care an election issue.
On this latter point there is a lot of misperception abroad. Lots of people "out there" think we Swedes have asked our government to relieve us of our children. Well, we haven't!
Not only do the Swedes pay dearly for the benefits Wente calls 'generous' in financial terms; especially small-child parents pay for them also by being forced to lead incredibly stressful lives by forcing them to hold down paid jobs even when their children are small - and by making them ill through contagion from crèches to a frightening extent.
So please Ms. Wente, let the scales fall from your eyes and realise how hard small-child mothers' lives are in Sweden!
|Copy Link||November 15, 2013|
That is an interesting question journalist Kay S. Hymowitz addresses in this interesting article in the Dallas News paper.
As you can see, she thinks the decline in traditional families, headed by a man and a women, emotionally bonded together, these days being replaced by single parents, having to perform, single-handedly, what two adults previously were able to share between them, is a major explanatory factor in boys' poor academic performance compared to girls.
I think Hymowitz is onto an important explanation! Boys develop slower than girls biologically and cerebrally. Therefore they tend to lag behind their sisters initially, learning- and school-wise. But I do think that they catch up fairly well later, provided, of course, that they haven't become delinquent in the meantime.
|Copy Link||November 8, 2013|
By chance, we have just stumbled across this interesting list of recent psychology studies, representing fundamental truths ,as we see it, of how children develop mentally and how we parents should coast along.
True, many of the studies listed plug conclusions that many of us see as truisms, but don't get over-cocky! A bit of repetition and confirmation never hurts.
|Copy Link||November 4, 2013|
Children at Stockholm's Nicolaigården preschool,
which avoids gender stereotypes.
In its November 4 issue, the US news magazine Time ran a story on how Swedish toddlers are looked after in crèches and how the staff there is under strict governmental orders to counteract boys' natural instincts to be rowdy and play rough - and instead encourage them to express their more feminine behavioural tendencies - while treating girls in the exact opposite way, of course.
The writer's reaction to this politically imposed project is well summarised by the above-written heading; she appears to be very divided on it.
Read the mag's interesting article on our native country - here!
We in this association are upset about the way in which our successive governments have experimented with our children's developments for more than a generation, the current one continuing in that tradition! It is not up to Government to shape our children's personalities but a cherished duty we, parents, want to keep for ourselves. Not least because we, the parents, are, by law, responsible for the outcome, the government and its local lackeys not!
The political project described is created on the false premise that we parents don't do a proper job when it comes to teaching our sons to treat girls with consideration and respect and our daughters self-esteem and self-defence! We, Swedish parents, find that point of departure grossly insulting!
Another aggravating thing is that in reports from Sweden in international media, the mentioned one included, foreigners are given the impression that the Swedish general public wants its freedoms limited in favour of its government, but it is not so. The political sector gets away with its gradual expansion of power over the citizens by making sure that those sensitive issues never figure in our elections while the general public is too blasé, politically, to notice.
|Copy Link||October 31, 2013|
That is the interesting question the South African daily paper, The Mercury, asks in this interesting article.
We day-care-critical Swedes are inclined to answer affirmatively; Swedish children have a way, these days, of taking up too much space.
One reason is the one the article identifies: the fact that our country, Sweden, was the first in the world to adopt anti-smacking legislation, but there are others:
Another is the fact that we were also the first country in the world to adopt legislation that purposefully made it financially impossible for families to let one parent stay at home with the children, the first few formative years,
A third the fact that we were also first in the world to adopt no-fault divorce.
All these measures were taken in order to weaken families, if not stamp them out, and force parents to hand their children over to the State's local obedient but responsibility-free servants in crèches and schools for care, upbringing and education.
A couple of further points about our anti-smacking law: Physical abuse has been punishable by law in Sweden since the middle ages and such treatment of children by grown-ups, particularly their parents, has always been regarded by courts as particularly condemnable. So, we didn't really need that law. Further, that law does not only outlaw smacking but also "other denigrating treatment". Personally, I think it is this add-on that is the most troublesome, since the meaning of it is so vague. Parents realise that their own interpretation of it would not carry any weight, should they ever be reported to the "Authorities" for mistreating their children. They realise that that meaning would be decided by those "Authorities", over their heads, regardless of what they themselves think about the matter.
That "rubber phrasing", more than anything else, I think, has made Swedish parents painfully unsure of what their mandate is vis-à-vis their children. Many don't even dare to say 'no' to their children over anything for fear of that conflict ending up before a court of law and they be judged as having "denigrated" their children.
The Soviet Union may have collapsed but Sweden's political elite does its best to preserve that federation's totalitarian heritage.
|Copy Link||October 24, 2013|
Thanks to attentive thinkalikes out there, we have just discovered this interesting article in yesterday's issue of Canada's large daily, The Globe and Mail, in which the writer, in glowing terms, holds up Sweden as a model for her own country's child-care arrangements.
To us, day-care critical Swedes, the praise our country gets for its industrial-scale child-care solution is unbearable! The writer calls our 13 months parental leave system 'generous' and praises our formal daycare, kicking in after expiry of that leave period, for offering better care quality than parents ever could.
On discovery, this association's board member, Bo C Pettersson, almost shot through the roof and smacked up the following comment to the paper's website:
Reading this glowing report of the Swedish child-care
arrangements is unbearable due to its many misleading statements, e.g.:
1) Our parental leave system is not ’generous’! Sweden’s tax payers pay dearly for it.
2) Our institutional child-care system, that kicks in after the initial parental leave period, is characterized by an unduly large measure of familial coercion, which is not in keeping with the concept of personal freedom. This coercion is achieved politically by a combination of taxation effects (single-income families always pay more in taxes than dual-income ones do, so much so that the former category ends up below subsistence level) and hefty tax subsidies going straight to our municipal childcare establishments in order to make that care option irresistible.
That combination makes the vast majority of Swedes discover that they are financially unable to keep their small children at home, despite the fact that about the same majority of people would want to do so, if only their government would allow them.
So please, ignorant Canadian journalists and left-wing politicians: stop misleading your fellow countrymen & -women on the issue of child care!
As you Dear Reader may know, we have many more arguments against our country's day-care coercion scheme in store than Pettersson, in the interest of brevity, made use of, but we hope his subset sufficed.
|Copy Link||August 19, 2013|
Thanks to on-the-ball scouts out there, we have just become aware of this interesting description of a piece of contemporary Swedish child-care-related history, titled An International Child-Care Related Policy Model, written by Swedish MP, Tuve Skånberg, who is a Christian Democrat, representing the south of Sweden.
He explains, from the inside of Parliament, the political battles that preceded the child-care allowance Swedish parents had access to for six pathetic months in 1994 and also the battles that led to its revocation such a short time later.
Those of our readers who tend to think that, these days, there are hardly any ideological differences left between left and right in politics should absolutely read the article.
We certainly like the author's contribution to our historical understanding but are less enthusiastic about the political solution to the day-care coercion problem he plugs: a tax-financed child-care allowance (1), payable to parents of small children who do not use our outrageously tax-subsidised municipal child-care services. True, an allowance à la Skånberg would be better than nothing and certainly better than the current situation, but it doesn't inspire to jumps for joy since there are so much better solutions available.
The one we promote in this association involves (a) family taxation, meaning that parents should be allowed to choose joint taxation if they so wish, taxation that grants tax reductions in proportion to the number of dependants who have to subside on that joint income (2) and (b) abolishment of today's hefty tax subsidies going straight to our municipal child-care establishments but replaced by tax reductions for the expenses families may incur for outsourced childcare.
Such a solution would beat our current system – and also the author's proposed one – in macro-economic and personal-freedom terms – hands down!
But don't get us wrong, we like Skånberg's contribution to popular enlightenment!
|Copy Link||July 15, 2013|
A journalist of the daily paper The Australian has recently visited Norway as a guest of the Norwegian government and filed this glowing report in his paper on his host country's social services on his return.
It's the usual story; the writer focuses solely on the benefits side of the calculation and ignores the cost side completely.
This association's Bo C Pettersson has sent in a critical comment for publication, but for every day that passes our hope of getting our deviating opinion across shrinks a further bit.
Epilogue, two weeks later: Chucks! Of course Pettersson's comment wasn't published, so here it comes, instead:
Letter to the editor of The Australian
Thanks to alert scouts in your country, I, a Swede, was made aware of an article written by Paul Cleary headed ”Norway is proof that you can have it all”, published on your website on July 15 - here!
The article describes, in glowing terms, Norway’s lavish childcare benefits, primarily consisting of about a year of tax-financed parental leave at almost full pay and heavily tax-subsidised childcare in day-care centres thereafter. What I found so chocking was that Cleary, apparently, made no attempt whatsoever at identifying any drawbacks from these two schemes. His host during his prior visit to Norway, that country’s government, must have been very pleased with his help at extending Nordic propaganda to such far away a country as Australia.
By failing to examine these schemes critically I argue that Cleary failed in his journalistic duty.
For instance, Cleary failed to mention that in order to get 80 to 100 per cent of your previous pay in parental leave benefit, you must first have held down a paid job for at least eight months. If you haven’t, you get a pittance instead. He further failed to mention that in order to maintain that higher level of benefits, any subsequent children must be born within 30 months of the elder sibling. If the next child is born one day too late, the relay stick drops, resulting in even previously working mothers' being reduced to that pittance in benefits.
I think Cleary should think long and hard about the appropriateness of the government manipulating people’s lives in these arbitrary ways and to this extent.
And finally, the writer fails to mention that formal day care in Norway is tax-subsidised to the extent of approx. 85 per cent of the true cost of the service, resulting in an artificially elevated demand for it that reduces overall national affluence, not increases it as Cleary seems to think. And it wouldn’t go amiss if he were to realise the extent to which those subsidies falsely make home making look near-worthless, economically.
True, Norway can ”afford” to squander public money the way it does due to its oil income, an inflow that effectively hides its government’s wasteful management of its finances, but wasting valuable resources must not, never ever, falsely be elevated to a virtue, the way Cleary attempts to. Not in this world where there is still unbearable famine and poverty!
Bo C Pettersson, board member of Children's Right To Their Parents Sweden
We do think it is pretty outrageous that the editors of a respected paper such as The Australian lend themselves to Cleary's kind of one-sided propaganda and purposefully prevent the paper's readers from getting a much-needed balancing description.
|Copy Link||May 30, 2013|
The writer of this opinion piece in yesterday's New York Times' issue, journalism-professor Tom Edsall, obviously thinks so, as do, apparently, many of the on-line commentators to the article.
Our on-the-ball co-director, Krister Pettersson, discovered the article and smacked up this contrasting view, which was subsequently defended by his colleague, Bo C Pettersson (footnote) (see the next few posts, following Krister's).
For us, defenders of our hard-won prosperity and personal freedoms, all the misguided praise Sweden gets for its welfare policies from political ignoramuses in the rest of the world is debilitating! These proponents seem to depart from the unspoken, but false, premise that tax money, spent on social services, is free. They all seem to focus only on the benefits side, ignoring the cost side!
But as every macro-, business- and home economist knows, one must sum up both columns and compare the two sums before one can decide whether to go ahead or not. And, in the case of political expenditure projects, one must, to the evaluation, add the effect on personal freedom of every public expenditure scheme!
We in this org are all for citizens' organising poverty relief jointly through taxes, by the political sector, but dead set against the enormous waste of the citizens' money that arises out of the political sector fraudulently buying votes for the voters' own money for still-born political projects from an unsuspecting and politically ignorant population, waste that, in the next "economic round", reduces our joint financial ability to aid the poor!
Footnote: As far as both Krister and Bo C know, they are not related, despite their same family name, but would not have objected to so being ;-)
|Copy Link||May 23, 2013|
"Everybody" knows that a popular export from Sweden is the idea that small children should be looked after by people other than their parents so that all adults have paid jobs to go to.
In the so-called "developed" world, this idea seems irresistible to elected political representatives and journalists alike, but a population section which is rarely asked for its opinion in this matter is the general public and the parents themselves. But now, our like-minded organisation across the pond, the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, has just conducted a poll in which respondents were asked for their favourite care arrangement for children under six: care at home or by a competent care giver.
Seventy-six per cent of the interviewees preferred home care, only eighteen per cent preferred 'professional' care.
Read more about the institute's poll - here!
The poll brings to mind similar enquiries conducted in Sweden, the inventor of industrial-scale childcare, over the years, in which people have consistently expressed a massive preference for home care over institutional care when given the opportunity. Despite this preference, 80 per cent of Sweden's preschoolers are in institutional care because our successive governments, since the late 60s, have purposefully made home care private-economically impossible.
This is deplorable totalitarianism in the guise of democracy!
|Copy Link||May 21, 2013|
That is a question Bruce Bawer asks himself in FrontPage Magazine - here- after having read Swedish blogger, Jan Sjunnesson's recently published book titled The Swedish Story, in which Sjunnesson expresses his deep concern over how socialistically overpoliticised his beloved native country has become in his lifetime.
From Bawer's reading-inspired article, it is obvious that he too is deeply concerned by developments in Sweden, not necessarily due to any particular emotional bonds with that (i.e. my) country but due to the undeservedly good name he finds Sweden having acquired for its social policies throughout the rest of the world and the disastrously bad example he finds Sweden being, politically, to the rest of the world!
This writer agrees well with Bawer, but he (Bawer) may have missed the extent to which Swedes are also concerned. But the dissenters (of which this writer is one) have a huge problem in coming across to the general public in the media. It is as if our elected representatives and our journalists have reached a secret pact, the aim of which is to silence all opposition to the profound societal transformation those two parties seem hell bent on imposing on the rest of us, whether we, those others, the silent majority, like it or not!
|Copy Link||April 10, 2013|
The Netherlands rank first and Romania last among 29 developed countries examined in a UNICEF report on the well-being of children, imploring budget-slashing governments to spare a thought for future generations.
The investigation covered aspects of the issue such as Material Well-being, Health & Survival, Education, Behavioural Patterns and Housing Standards & Safety and these where weighted together into overall scores.
As can be expected, the report listed Nordic countries in the next few positions but perhaps not in the order you, dear reader, expected (Norway (2), Iceland (3), Finland (4) and Sweden (5), leaving Denmark, surprisingly to us Northerners, in the 11th slot 'only').
Sweden came out high in Material Well-being and Health & Survival but alarmingly low in Education.
Read a summary of the report - here - and the full report - here!
A word of warning is appropriate here. The investigation attempts to balance the above-listed inherently incomparable aspects of the issue numerically. As you, dear reader, understands that cannot be done without subjective judgements entering the picture. Further, there is the curse in policy-making of the difference in short- and long-term effects of different measures making its presence felt. For instance, hefty public spending on "soft" issues vis-à-vis children today might well result in a higher score for child well-being tomorrow - but in a worse outcome the day thereafter due to depleted financial resources, both private and public, preventing the country involved from upholding the standards it had set its mind on.
This comment of mine brings me back to the opening paragraph of this news item. For governments to be able to spend more on child well-being, which UNICEF wants, they must first stop a lot of existing, wasteful, spending, of which there is a plethora of examples, to release funds for the purpose the report champions. But that is easier said than done due to all the citizens 'out there' having adapted their lives to the present taxation, benefit and subsidy systems, the 'winners' of which would scream to high heavens in protest if their governments tried to withdraw their benefits, an outcome no elected representative, concerned with re-election, would want to face.
Consequently, elected representatives must be made aware of the high return requirements on public spending to resist the temptation to waste expensive public money on low-yield areas so resources will be available for higher-yielding ones, where child welfare, in many of the countries investigated, undoubtedly is one such area.
|Copy Link||March 15, 2013|
Our friend, Jonas Himmelstrand, has just visited London and spoken to a parliamentary committee concerned with family policies about the adverse behavioural effects in later years of lots of communal childcare in the toddler period.
– Long hours in nurseries or with childminders tend to lead to bad behaviour in subsequent school years, poor learning results, a nightmare for teachers to cope with - and mental health problems as the children go through puberty, he said, and urged the committee to push for curtailment of all out-of-home childcare subsidies and instead ease the bias in the tax and benefit system against those who stay at home to bring up their children.
Read The Daily Mail's interview with Himmelstrand - here!
Himmelstrand is dead right. We can only hope that his audience in Parliament took heed.
|Copy Link||March 7, 2013|
Apparently, a Bill, prepared by Britain's current Coalition Government, proposing that same-sex marriages be permitted in Britain, is currently being processed by that country's Parliament. The advocates' main argument in support of the bill seems to be that it will strengthen the institution of marriage in the U.K. "But this is nonsense," says a long-standing friend of ours, Dr. Patricia Morgan, in a report she has just submitted to the handling parliamentary committee in which she provides convincing statistical indications from other countries, including ours, Sweden, that such a move will have the opposite effect, i.e. make marriage less desirable and actually reduce people's propensity to get married.
Read Christian Concerns' story about Morgan's move - here!
I must say, I find the issue of same-sex marriages difficult to make up my mind about. On the one hand, I want to be as tolerant as I can be, on the other I also want our statutes to reflect the population's perception of morality. In addition, if the British Parliament passes the Bill, what will the next liberalisation step be: polygamy, bestiagamy?
But I do agree with Morgan in her outright dismissal of the proponent's main argument (that same-sex marriages would strengthen the institution of marriage). It would do nothing of the sort!
|Copy Link||February 17, 2013|
The U.S-based non-profit-making organisation, World Congress of Families, has staged no less than six such conferences over the past few year in various major cities throughout the world. This year's get-together will be held in Sydney, NSW, Australia 15-18 May.
Of course we would have loved to participate but feel forced to decline due to financial and time-related constraints, but if you, dear reader, have the opportunity and the means to participate, please do so! Initiatives like these must be encouraged in every way!
With this notice we wish the organisers of World Congress of Families VII 2013 in Sydney a smashing success.
|Copy Link||October 29, 2012|
Most of us Swedes, especially us in this association, have long had the hunch that small-child rearing and simultaneous paid work are predictors of ill health for women. We tend to think that a women must focus on either or (i.e, either on having a child and staying at home with it for a few years or on not having children and focusing on a professional career instead).
Now, a study, conducted by Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, our leading medical university, bears us out, indicating that working small-child mothers are much more likely to be put aside on disability pension than other women are and those running the highest risk of that fate are lone small-child mothers.
Read the blog Family Edge's notes and comments on the study – here!
The researchers' own solution suggestions are predictable in their political correctness: Either more (politically imposed) gender equality, fewer work hours for mothers or more tax-financed support for lone mothers with children.
Our own solution suggestion includes:
Our proposed solution would be the best, macro-economically, prosperity-wise, employment-wise, personal-freedom-wise – and female-health-wise, but long-standing political indoctrination, pulling in the opposite direction, makes our self-appointed enlightenment mission a tough one. But we are beavering on and have no intention to throw in the towel – far from it!
A further, illustrative, point to make is that the study Family Edge highlights has been all but totally ignored by the media here in Sweden, so much so that not even we, who are very interested in the subject, had picked it up before now.
Many thanks, Helen, for tipping us off!
|Copy Link||October 27, 2012|
That is the headline of a blog post, written by a woman named Mary Barr who apparently has visited my country (Sweden) and got back to her home country, the U.S., and written this glowing report about my country's politically imposed childcare arrangements.
Note that a Swedish man, calling himself 'Stefan' has commented on the article, as has this association's board member, Bo C Pettersson. If you read the story and the two comments, we don't have to waste space and time on commenting on it here.
Note that the article kicks off from another much noted and self-lauding article a career women named Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote, some four months ago, in an American journal, in which she laments the plight of American women, having to choose between career and domestic bliss, an initiative we made a note of - here!
|Copy Link||October 27, 2012|
The high and rising cost of childcare means that going out to work full-time is now hardly worthwhile for a growing number of British "second earners" in middle- and low-income families, a major study will reveal this week.
That is the message of this news article in today's issue of Britain's Sunday paper The Observer (footnote).
The beginning of the article is quite spirit-elevating but the end of it has the opposite effect when one realises that the writers' suggested solution to the problem is that the taxation and benefits systems must be tweaked even more, so that an even larger share of the cost of childcare is borne by the general tax-payer community, not by the parents needing the service.
How difficult can it be for the journalists of The Observer to realise that tax-subsidising certain services to boost consumption of them never results in higher prosperity for the community at large, for the simple reason that selling one's product at below cost has never, in the history of mankind, resulted in anything but poverty and ultimately in bankruptcy?
How difficult can it be to realise that the way to go is to make outsourced childcare services tax-deductible in the hands of the parents buying them?
Footnote: Note that the article contains links to further articles, including a leader, about the matter.
|Copy Link||October 24, 2012|
Illegal immigrant children in Sweden will be allowed to go to school as of July 1 next year, the Swedish government announced the other day, after having struck a deal with the opposition Green Party.
– Children without a residency permit will have the right to education, from kindergarten to secondary school, it said in a statement.
Read more about the matter - here!
In Sweden, immigration is an explosive issue. We accept more refugees and their dependants than any other country in the world, relative to our population but we consistently fail to give these immigrants the opportunity to earn their own living (for reasons I cannot go into here). Consequently, the vast majority of these newcomers do not contribute towards our government's tax revenues but instead become a burden on our common purse.
Lots of people have figured this out and are angry about it but all our established political parties, all seven of them, refuse to let this issue become an election one. But this steadfastness backfired in our latest election (in 2010), which brought in an eighth party, immigration-critical Sweden Democrats, to Parliament.
I too am frustrated by the political establishment's refusal to bring the immigration issue up onto the table but am still proud of my countrymen's & -women's compassion for destitute people. When it comes down to individual hardship case reports in the media, the vast majority of Swedes want the needy to stay, and organise demonstrations in the streets to get that message across to the powers that be.
|Copy Link||October 21, 2012|
The Swedish Education Act was revised in 2010. One of the changes that was sneaked through Parliament with next to no public debate was a virtual ban on home schooling, making such education acceptable only in 'exceptional circumstances'.
But now, a Jewish family in Gothenburg has won a first-instance court case, granting them the right to homeschool their children, since the court found that such 'exceptional circumstances' were indeed at hand.
Read The New American's report on the matter - here!
As the story linked to points out, the battle is not won yet. The Gothenburg Municipality, the claimant in the case, is likely to appeal the verdict, and predicting the rulings of higher courts is dicey. But no doubt, Sweden's home schoolers and their supporters in- and outside this country are now more hopeful than in a long time.
Let it be said that we in this association, although not pushing the homeschooling issue for 'strategic' reasons, are appalled by Parliament's ban thereof and embarrassed by it in the eyes of our foreign friends.
|Copy Link||September 28, 2012|
Most adults have the notion that child poverty is closely linked to single-parent families and official statistics bear this hypothesis out. Our friends at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada have investigated the matter and published this fact-rich report on it.
In my country, Sweden, the proportion of lone-parent families is even higher than in Canada and the economic hardships of that category even more obvious, despite massive tax-funded help in the form of child and housing allowances, almost free day care, and, in the most dire cases: welfare grants.
Young people falling in love and wanting to live together must realise that co-habiting or getting married does not change life nearly as much as getting children. If the feeling of mutual dependence has not made itself felt before, it will do so when the first child arrives. Then the mother gets dependent on the father for subsistence, general services and support, while the father gets dependent on the mother for doing her bit so he becomes able to concentrate on all those surrounding responsibilities.
If there are two loving and cooperating parents then getting a child has the potential of becoming the most joyous event that can ever take place, while the opposite, finding oneself alone as both carer and breadwinner in one, has the tendency to kill that joy, to sabotage it.
In my country, Sweden, our governments have leant over backwards, using legislation, taxation, benefits and propaganda, to lure young people into believing that they don't have to get married, that the State is perfectly able to serve as the family they and their children need, but this is an outrageous con-trick, as so many parents and children tragically discover later, when it is too late to repair the damage. As a result, we have more single-parent families than any other country on Earth.
|Copy Link||September 13, 2012|
A pressure group calling itself the International Council on Women's Business Leadership, a member of which is the former Minister of Business and Enterprise, Maud Olofsson, recently presented a report to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (footnote), urging that country to implement a childcare system based on the Swedish model.
Read more about that move - here!
The Swedish childcare model the group apparently is pushing for can be described as a combination of heavily tax-subsidised day-care services and high taxes on everyone to pay for them. That combination effectively prevents parents from looking after their children by themselves the first few personality-forming years. Consequently, the model is behaviourally highly manipulative and hence at odds with generally accepted conventions on human rights, such as the U.N. and European ones. Therefore, the group's recommendation to the U.S. government is indeed a bad one.
Footnote: in view of the fact that Ms Clinton is her country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the group must have approached the wrong official.
|Copy Link||August 23, 2012|
Swedish left wingers and socio-liberals have long been advocating communal child care also after hours and over weekends but so far, 'only' 130 of the country's 290 municipalities are actually offering the service, the rest citing weak demand and lack of financial resources as reasons.
But now, our news agency TT has surveyed the field and discovered that no less than an additional 30 local communities will do so, this year, pushing the total of so service-minded municipalities to 160.
Read the Swedish English-language paper The Local's report on the matter - here!
As you, Dear Reader knows, we in Children's Right are very critical of the way our government uses its taxation and subsidisation powers practically to force small-child parents to hand over their precious ones to outsiders for care. Hence we agonise over the realisation that even more children are about to be subjected to this politically prescribed treatment. But, on the other hand, we also realise the unfairness of providing heavily tax-subsidised child care only to Mon-to-Fri, 8-to-5 workers when even odd-hour workers are obliged to contribute financially to the service even though they are unable to use it.
This undue coercion of Swedish parents must be solved at a more fundamental level for the benefit of all parents!
|Copy Link||August 11, 2012|
A four-year-old boy in Malmö, Sweden, was left on his own for several hours after the preschool staff having taken the other kids to the theatre and forgotten about him.
– This is a scandal! We, parents, leave the most important things in the world to us in their care. Such things simply must not happen, one parent told a visiting reporter.
Read the Swedish English-language paper The Local's report on the matter - here!
The Swedish-language section of this website is well stocked with reports on similar incidents, about children running away to find mum or dad, about children being locked in and forgotten – or lost during excursions. Some of those incidents are more frightening than others.
We can't stop ourselves from comparing the relatively mild public reactions to these incidents when they happen in a day-care setting with what the response is likely to be to a parent exhibiting similar negligence. We are pretty certain that, in this latter case, the media would be full harsh calls for her to loose custody of her child and be incarcerated for life.
Why does the general public apply these very different yardsticks to the same misdeeds, depending on who the perpetrator is?
|Copy Link||July 29, 2012|
As a follow-up on this kick-off by an American career woman, the wife of the U.S.' recently appointed ambassador to Sweden and self-appointed feminism activist, has filed this report on her impressions so far of what life is like for Swedish women and for herself in the strange land she has ended up in.
We highlight her story here not because we find it representing the ultimate in political or sociological analysis but because we always find foreigners' impressions of our country interesting. In addition, we find her unassuming approach to her subject endearing.
|Copy Link||June 28, 2012|
Thanks to on-the-ball scouts out there we in Children's Right have just become aware of this interesting lament from an American career woman, complaining that she found herself forced to resign from her prestigious position in the US State Department in order to save her adolescent boys from delinquency.
Her solution to her dilemma, having to choose between a professional career or domestic bliss, boils down to her advocating governmental intervention to legislate a 50-50 division of all professional positions and domestic chores between men and women in order to provide equal opportunities to women to those men, purportedly, have enjoyed throughout the ages.
This kind of writing makes me, a man, so tired; I don't know where to start objecting. Because if you start off from the wrong point, you either bore your reader to death or leave him/her dumbfounded. It is chancey to pick up from the right knowledge level.
But to be outrageous, I am inclined to cite "Borat", the fake "Kazakstanian foreigner" in the U.S: "Women, even if they are professors, are less intelligent than men for the simple reason that their brains are smaller!" ;-(
|Copy Link||June 21, 2012|
An American writer and mother of three, Pamela Druckerman, has lived in Paris for a number of years and got so impressed by how French children behave that she has written a book about it, soon to be published in English under the title Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.
Her message is that French parents don't go over-board in pandering to their children, as Anglo-Saxonian descendants throughout the world are inclined to do (due to the guilt they feel over the fact that they don't have time for their offspring, due, in turn, to pressure of paid work and domestic chores).
The book has been reviewed, interestingly, by Britain's The Economist - here.
It sounds as if not only English speakers in the developed world should take heed but, even more so, we Scandinavians, because we, due to purposeful governmental policies, forcing parents to hand over their children to public crèches and forcing mothers into the paid workforce, have less time to spend with their children than any other people in the rest of the world!
|Copy Link||June 16, 2012|
The federal German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel (footnote) wants to introduce a home-care allowance to parents looking after their children at home instead of handing them over to government-subsidised day-care establishments, but when the Reichstag was about to vote on the issue, the opposing MPs walked out , so robbing the assembly of the quorum it needed to decide on the issue.
The opposition wants the government rather to spend the money involved on further subsidies to the country's day-care establishments.
Read more about that blow in the Gulf Times - of all media - here!
It is unfortunate that neither the German government nor its opposition seems to realise that the way forward is to abolish all tax subsidies to day-care establishments but make child-care expenses tax-deductible in the hands of parents.
That kind of solution would make the child-care issue self-regulating in terms of maximal prosperity and lead to maximal personal and familial freedom.
Footnote: As you may know, the federal German government consists of conservative / liberal, i.e. non-socialist, coalition and its helmswoman, Merkel, is born, raised and educated in the former East Germany – and yet heads her country's most socialism-antagonistic political party! This makes her an interesting woman I would love to meet one day.
|Copy Link||May 28, 2012|
Yesterday afternoon, we in Children's Right Sweden conducted our annual members' meeting. As the on-the-ball people we are (haha ;-) we did it per telephone conferencing to save the participants, who are widely dispersed across our elongated country (see your map book), from having to travel physically to a central point.
After a bit of initial uncertainty it then worked quite nicely. So now we have a partially renewed board of directors, headed by Kerstin Åkesson from Kungsör. The full line-up of board members you can see - here!
True, renewal of our board of directors was the main item on the agenda but we certainly also spent time on discussing another important issue: What more can we, realistically, do to alert the general public, our media representatives and our elected representatives about our cause (the inappropriateness of what we call Sweden's "daycare coersion").
Like so many times before we arrived at the conclusion that this website and our presence on Facebook are fundamental, as is diligent writing on the childcare issue in the established media and on the Web.
We also discussed the possibility of organising at least on seminar in Stockholm on our subject during the next 12-month period but will have to discuss that in greater detail before any such thing might materialise.
In discussions like these we get reminded of our limited resources, solely funded by member fees – and staffed by people who try to run things in their spare time – as we are. But we are also fully aware of that strategy's advantages.
|Copy Link||May 21, 2012|
…asks the weekly news magazine, Time, provocatively, in its latest U.S. issue (1), referring to an apparently vigorous movement in that country, known as Attachment Parenting (2), calling for mothers and fathers to do more for their children, emotionally and intellectually, than many have been doing since the feminist movement of the late 60s and beyond (3).
The magazine's front page features an attractive women in her best years, offering her alleged three-year-old son (4) a swig from her breast in front of the camera and all, suggesting that mothers should make themselves available for that kind of thing far longer than most hitherto have.
The mag carries several articles on Attachment Parenting, ranging from an attempt at explaining what the movement is about to interviews with mothers who have bought into the idea and are trying to live accordingly. You can read them all - here - and Attachment Parenting International's review of those articles - here!
|Copy Link||May 18, 2012|
In today's issue of Britain's newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, a Mr. Neil O'Brien of the conservatively minded think tank Policy Exchange writes an informative article on the way that country's tax-sponsored childcare systems work and compares them interestingly with those of other similar countries.
Among other things, we foreigners learn that the British Government runs the following childcare schemes: Early Years Education; Employer Supported Childcare Vouchers; the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit; Child Tax Credit; Child Benefit and Sure Start Children’s Centres.
Read the article - here!
All those programmes suggest insanity! A huge cleanup operation must be instituted with the aim of letting parents retain the money they need to subsist and to look after their children without undue governmental interference and without the required money making a round trip through the government's tax coffers.
Such a move would (1) decouple families from the government, i.e., liberate people; (2) simplify their lives; and (3) elevate their overall affluence.
It is incredible to us Swedes that a supposedly conservative / liberal coalition government like the British lends itself to the caretaking of this lunacy without more protests and criticism than we have heard so far!
|Copy Link||April 26, 2012|
We just discovered this lecture delivered yesterday by Canada's well-known developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeldt, who is no stranger to Sweden, on subject topic.
In it he certainly addresses an important new phenomenon which is rapidly changing the way grown-ups interact with children, a phenomenon which not only offers new and interesting learning possibilities but also poses grave threats to the mental health and stability of children.
|Copy Link||April 25, 2012|
According to this article in today's issue of the Scottish Daily Record, child day care in Scotland can cost parents as much as £12,000 a year, making that part of the world one of the costliest in the area discussed.
So, the writer makes a case for tax subsidisation of child care, similar to Sweden, so that more parents would be able to afford the service and afford to go to work.
Unfortunately, the article doesn't say whether these child-care fees are tax-deductible or not, a factor which has a great impact on parents' profitability calculations. We hope they are deductible but suspect the opposite. If they are not, they should be made so. That would be a far better solution macro- and private-economically than Sweden's 92-percent tax subsidies of its municipal child-care services!
|Copy Link||April 25, 2012|
– In studies from the U.S. to Sweden, pay discrimination can't explain the disparity of income between men and women. Women earn less because they work fewer hours, writes columnist Kay Hymowitz in today's issue of The Wall Street Journal – here!
Ms Hymowitz is right but there are other explanations for the pay gap. For example, women in general are not as inclined as men are to enter the career race in order to maximise their incomes and professional status. They tend to value other things in life more.
|Copy Link||April 19, 2012|
…writes Conservative British MP, Elizabeth Truss on the Conservative Home blog - here.
The article is interesting because it describes the Dutch system of publicly sponsored child care, a system which this editor was blissfully ignorant of.
True, the Dutch system looks interesting but a disappointment is that it too apparently involves hefty tax subsidisation, just like the British and Swedish systems. As we have written many times before, a far better approach would be to let child-care service providers charge out their services at cost prices plus a reasonable profit and make those charges tax-deductible in the hands of parents. That kind of approach would lay the foundation for maximum prosperity and neutrality in behavioural influence on parents.
|Copy Link||March 31, 2012|
It certainly looks that way, judging by a report titled Could gender equality in parental leave harm offspring's mental health?, written by three female researchers at Sweden's most prominent medical research and treatment establishment, Karolinska Institutet, recently published on line by the International Journal for Equity in Health.
On the basis of statistical data, the researchers arrive at the tentative (1) conclusion that boys from gender-traditional families (i.e., maternal dominance in child care) run less risk of depressions than boys from gender-equal families do, while girls from gender-unequal families (i.e., maternal or paternal dominance in child care) fare similarly better in terms of absence of anxiety disorders than girls from gender-equal families do.
Read the group's report - here!
In classifying families as gender-traditional, gender-unequal and gender-equal, the researchers have essentially relied on data revealing how mothers and fathers shared their tax-financed parental leave (2) between themselves. But we in this association are of the firm opinion the a far more important factor, determining the mental health of our youngsters during those painful adolescent years, is the extent to which parents either take care of their children by themselves, over the longer haul, or let transient day-care staff do that caring and upbringing on their behalf while they themselves slog away to satisfy their personal and professional ambitions.
As psychologist John Bowlby said as early as in the 1950s and his disciples keep on saying today, attachment between the child and a grown-up (quite acceptably, perhaps even preferably, a parent) is fundamental to the child's progression through childhood and adolescence to adulthood with a good mental balance.
In other words, what we are saying is that the main reason why Sweden's adolescents are exhibiting more mental problems these days than ever before is our governments' long-standing attempts at dismantling families and at taking over the parents' roles as attachment figures in the eyes of my country's children. The balance, or otherwise, in how mothers and fathers take out their parental leave is, we argue, merely a secondary indicator of a more fundamental, politically imposed, societal problem.
|Copy Link||March 25, 2012|
A political science-led research team at the University of Virginia recently conducted an in-house poll among 181 heterosexual professors on campus with small children, asking them to rate various child-care-related chores on a 1-5 scale how much they enjoy doing them. It turned out that the women's overall score was 10 per cent higher than the men's.
Read a personalised article about the survey in The New York Times - here!
Is anyone surprised? Women's maternal instincts have deep biological roots, not easily changed by political decrees. But that does not stop our political class from trying to change us citizens, to make men more like women and vice versa, despite the fact that how men and women divide up the chores between them is none of the government's business!
|Copy Link||February 22, 2012|
…writes a Mrs Tamzen Isacsson, a journalist of British extraction now living in Sweden, in today's issue of Britain's The Daily Telegraph - here- in response to the noise Britain's PM, David Cameron, has made lately (see e.g. here) over the Nordic countries' "generous" childcare schemes, enabling (footnote) mothers to go (back) to work after childbirth and -rearing far earlier than they otherwise would.
From my recounting so far, one might get the impression that Isacsson is critical of Sweden's childcare policies but, alas, she is not. She has swallowed the entire bait cast out by Sweden's political and medial establishment, hook, line and sinker.
Again, Yours Truly is overwhelmed by fatigue – but recovers somewhat thanks to this insightful commentary.
Footnote: I would rather call it "forcing".
|Copy Link||February 18, 2012|
– Denmark is a paradise for small-child parents, writes Lucy Rock in today's issue of Britain's daily, The Guardian - here - lauding that Nordic country for offering childcare to parents at a maximum of 25 per cent of the actual cost of the service, stating, in apparent seriousness, without a hint of irony, that "the government makes up the difference".
This kind of mindless reporting makes Yours Truly totally exhausted. Does she really think the government is generous enough to pay the rest without recovery – guess from whom? The parents, of course, by taxation!
The problem with offering a good or service at say 12½ percent of its cost of production is that it encourages overconsumption of that good/service, resulting in unnecessary poverty and unemployment, not in the affluence and wealth the writer thinks it yields.
How hard can it be to understand at least that much macro-economics?
|Copy Link||February 14, 2012|
The Swede, Jonas Himmelstrand, is not only a fervent advocate for more freedom in preschool child care, he is also an ardent advocate for the possibility to educate one's children at home if the parents see good reasons for doing so. So, this is what he and his wife, Tamara, have been doing over the last few years, interspersed with court cases where the two parents have tried their best to fight Sweden's statutory obligation to hand over their children to the government's schools for education.
The conflict seems to be escalating however; recently the Uppsala municipality, where the family lives, threatened the family with a fine of US$ 26,000 unless they surrender their children to the government's education apparatus, something the Himmelstrands apparently are not prepared to do.
So, the latest news on that front is that the family has emigrated to Åland, a semi-autonomous province of Finland, only a stone-throw eastwards away from Stockholm, across the Gulf of Bothnia, where home schooling is legal.
You can read more about the Himmelstrand case - here.
We in Children's Right are truly chocked at the way our compulsory education programmes can manifest themselves. As Himmelstrand says in the interview linked to, our country's ban on home schooling must surely be seen as violating the letter and spirit of the European Convention of Human Rights, which, has constitutional law status in Sweden since 1995.
|Copy Link||February 10, 2012|
We Swedes read in British papers that Britain's PM, David Cameron, seems impressed with much of what his political allies in Sweden under Fredrik Reinfeld are doing in office. No doubt much of the alleged admiration stems from the fact that Sweden has weathered the economic storms of the last few years far better than Britain has.
But not everybody is in awe of Sweden; a writer named Lars Tragardh (I suspect he is an expatriate Swede) has filed this critical commentary in today's issue of The Guardian, warning Cameron & Co that the Swedish societal model, with its big government and extreme individualism, is incompatible with U.K. traditions and attitudes.
I think Tragard is right – in the short term. But over the long term, incremental political changes are of course able to change British thinking just like they have changed Swedish.
Since WWII, British governments have copied quite a few political solutions from Sweden's usually Social Democratic governments, particularly when our neighbour to the south-west has been ruled by Labour, but it would indeed be ironic if the current conservative government of Britain were to continue the tradition of copying Sweden's left-keeping policies.
|Copy Link||February 9, 2012|
In an effort to encourage more home-makers to seek paid jobs and to create more jobs in the domestic services sector, the – since the autumn of 2006 – new socio-liberal government of Sweden introduced, in mid-2007, tax breaks to the buyers of such services amounting to as much as 50 per cent off the labour charge.
This move has spawned a rapid growth of that industry since then. Now there are firms in that field of all shapes and sizes, offering services such as cooking, cleaning and child minding to the more affluent Swedes at sharply reduced rates.
Now we learn, from articles like this one, that Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, has become interested in the scheme and wants to investigate if it might be worth introducing to his own country.
We in this association are divided over the issue, as we usually are over political moves. On the one hand we like the fact that the tax cuts do create more jobs, even if they are lowly paid. Macro-economically, it makes sense. But on the other, we get irritated over the fact that it constitutes yet another additional complication to a taxation system that was already way over the top in that regard, a taxation system that was and is in desperate need of movement in the opposite direction.
In the article linked to, we notice a number of euphemisms delivered by Cameron about the social policy moves his government has introduced since taking office in May 2010, including "encouraging women to go out to work", "helping parents of two-, three- and four-year-olds with nursery care" and "providing [tax-subsidised] parental leave".
We are more inclined to say that his government is apparently bent on forcing women to hand in their children to nurseries and on forcing them to go out to work – so that his government will get higher tax revenues so it will be able to pay for it all.
Tax-financed social benefits are able to increase affluence and general well-being provided they offer value to patrons exceeding their cost of production. Now, neither tax-financed parental leave, nor nursery care of children generally reach that level of value.
|Copy Link||January 12, 2012|
Johan Lundell, secretary-general of the Swedish pro-life organisation Ja till Livet! (in Eng. approx: Yes to Life!) recently participated as speaker at a seminar in Rome, Italy, organised by the Christianity-promoting organisation Zenit.Org, on the subject of where the world is heading, culturally, spiritually and religiously, as governments become ever more secular in their thinking and decision-making.
Lundell's paper can be described as an attempt at painting another picture of Sweden as role model in this development than the rosy one foreigners usually get from Swedish government agencies and from unsuspecting journalists.
Read thoughtful journalist Edward Pentin's uptake of Lundell's message - here!
Apparently, Lundell did a good job at the seminar at painting that contrasting picture, as did, apparently, Pentin in reporting it!
Even though Lundell's list of wrongs is long, I would still like to add another couple of points:
Perhaps Sweden's hope for salvation lies in the more informal channel of communication that the Internet provides.
|Copy Link||December 15, 2011|
Sociobiology is rather a new academic subject which tries to explain animal – and human – behaviour not only from social points of view but also from Darwinian, genetic, ones.
Perhaps one gets away with saying that the subject was born in 1975 out of the book Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, written by biologist Edward O Wilson, but since then, other celebrities, such as Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker, have done much to establish the subject as something both academics, educated in 'competing' subjects, and politicians have to take seriously.
But in Sweden, recognition of the subject has been slow in coming, not only in academia (since fighting intruders from 'outside' is a basic human instinct ;-) but also in politics (since the subject reveals that there are limits to the extent to which human behaviour can be modified with econo-political carrots and sticks) and - lately - also from gender theorists (since the subject inevitably leads the the conclusion that there are genetic behavioural differences between men and women, something these theorists deny).
More about the subject and its development in Sweden can be found - here!
– But what does sociobiology have to do with this associations subject of interest, family politics, you might well ask yourself. Answer: one of the most fundamental likenesses sociobiologists find between man and beast is the way all of us, regardless of intelligence level, are genetically predisposed to do all we can to protect and nurture our children so that they survive and become successful adults. For us to do that it obviously suffices to be equipped with a brain the size of a mung bean. Man's handball-sized one represents gross overkill in this regard.
In other words, sociobiology teaches us that handing over our children to strangers for care and upbringing is against human and animal nature. Small wonder then that sociobiology is fighting an uphill battle for recognition in Sweden.
PS: For ease of future reference, a link to the above-mentioned article on sociobiology in Sweden is also inserted into our Archive, i.e., more specifically - here!
|Copy Link||November 19, 2011|
…writes New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman in this piece which is inspired by OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) which compares educational achievements among final-grade pupils in secondary schools in developed countries. The PISA researchers have found that having parents who take an interest in their children's progress at school and who read to them, especially in the first years of school, do far better than their peers, not only in language-related subjects but also in maths and science.
Now, a problem in my country, Sweden is that ever since the late 1960s, our government, has pursued policies aimed at weakening the family and at public servants' taking over duties vis-à-vis children that parents used to have. Among many unfortunate effects, this has led to Swedish parents' not taking much interest in their children's education and not reading much to them, effects which probably explain partially Sweden's poor showing in those comparative PISA studies.
|Copy Link||November 9, 2011|
Canada's Quebec province stands out among its counterparts in that country for its lavish social benefit programmes, including a generous 7-dollars-a-day childcare service. But it also stands out for its public debt which, relative to GDP, ranks fifth in the world, only lagging behind seriously troubled nations such as Japan, Italy, Greece and Iceland. To make matters worse, the demographics of the province, with a fertility rate of only 1.74 children per woman, 0,26 children short of replacement level, are not encouraging, suggesting that the next generation of Quebeckers will be hard pressed to pay for it all.
That can be said to be the gist of this report on the policies of the province compiled by our friends over there: Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
The case of Quebec serves as a perfect example of the familiar political malpractice condemned - here
|Copy Link||October 12, 2011|
…by spending public money lavishly on various social benefits programmes to ensure popular support for their current political incumbents while pursuing policies that discourage citizens from having the children required to pay for those benefits tomorrow.
That can be said to be the gist of this report by the Spain- and U.S.-based Social Trends Institute, a report nicely summarised in this newsletter by our friends at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
Admittedly, Yours Truly has not yet read the report but get the impression that neither institute is criticising the governments of the world's 'advanced' countries strongly enough for their fraudulent ways of passing the bill for their current political fortunes on to future generations.
|Copy Link||September 30, 2011|
I know, it sounds like a joke but it is actually true; a South Korean TV team has just visited Sweden to acquaint itself with our country's famous (?) family policies and in that round contacted us in Children's Rights for an alternative description to the one they inevitably will get from our official bodies.
They found us through this English-language section of our web site. It is indeed somewhat exhilarating to realise that we have readers as far away, geographically and culturally, as in South Korea!
So, yesterday, the team paid a visit to a home maker of our recommendation who refuses to hand in her two-year-old to outsiders for care, and Yours Truly made himself available for an interview about what is wrong with Sweden's family policies and what should be done about it.
It was a pleasant activity in every way! Despite the late day of the year, the weather was glorious and I found the team members being very charming indeed, although we, of course, had a fair amount of language problems to cope with.
It left both of us dissidents feeling good, that we did what we could to paint another - truer - picture, than the official one, of Sweden's, on false grounds famed, family policies. So, if South Korea embarks on a different route than Sweden has done in the field concerned, our home maker and Yours Truly are likely to try to take the credit for it ;-)
|Copy Link||September 20, 2011|
Britain's politicians and media representatives are hell-bent on providing "more affordable child care" (a euphemism for putting even stronger pressure to bear on parents to hand in their toddlers to crèches and to take up paid work instead of looking after their children by themselves) despite the fact that a recent study shows that no less than 81 per cent of the respondents think that small children should be looked after by their parents at home.
Predictably, the parental respondents (as opposed to the childless ones) lamented the economics they are subjected to, purposefully making it next to impossible for families to get by on a single income and thus very difficult for one of the parents to stay at home with the children during those important formative years.
Read Jill Kirby's musings on the contents of the report and the way it was received by British media - here!
The situation Kirby describes is eerily similar to the Swedish one. Ever since Sweden turned towards communal child care in the early 1970s (see this attempt at describing the relevant historical development) the Swedes, like the Brits, have consistently said they think small children should be looked after by their parents at home, but equally consistently, our elected representatives have made such child care impossible through a purposeful combination of taxation measures and benefits. And like in Britain, Sweden's journalists have tagged along obediently by highlighting governmental propaganda, suppressing negative findings, and abstaining from critical analyses by themselves.
The British and Swedish media are clearly falling seriously short of their mission in the field of family policy!
|Copy Link||September 14, 2011|
That is the message of this excellent opinion piece written by a Ms. Libby Simon, retired social worker, child welfare specialist, and freelance writer, from Winnipeg, Canada.
We in Children's Right couldn't agree with Simon more, but we do have further arguments in support of Simon's conclusion to offer. However, we also know how it is; one is rarely able to treat one's subjects fully on the web if one wants to retain at least some readership.
|Copy Link||September 9, 2011|
The Australian government has just announced plans to increase (female) workforce participation by reducing taxation on dual-income families, a move which, if made, would subject single-income families to even more discrimination than they already are faced with.
These plans have inspired our likeminded contact group, Kids First Australia, to produce this video in protest.
Please have a look at it and "Like" it so that the group can get back to their elected representatives with a good showing of support from viewers.
The group's effort brings to mind this opinion piece just published in this association's web site's discussion department, describing how the policies Kids First don't want introduced in Australia were imposed on the Swedes a long time ago.
|Copy Link||September 4, 2011|
We have just discovered Australian public speaker and debater Bill Muehlenberg, who apparently does not even shy away from voicing politically incorrect views on homosexuality and homosexuals' right to adopt children or to undergo in-vitro fertilisation. Read this piece as a sample of the outlandish (?) views he holds on the subject.
We in Children's Right feel compelled to admit that Muehlenberg's concerns are worth serious consideration, particularly in the light of the fact that the basic tenet of the current wave of feminism (that men and women behaviourally are the same genetically, that the differences in behaviour and interests that we all are able to observe, are due to undesirable social indoctrination after birth) has been proven false as a result of recent advances in the biological sciences. Men and women behave differently right from the start of life (which is something Yours Truly is thankful for ;-)
Muehlenberg also operates a web site which appears to be packed with interesting stuff.
We in this org. wish him lots of success in his fight against the omnipresent political correctness that makes all of us look like fools.
|Copy Link||August 23, 2011|
A writer, Katrin Bennhold, has, in an opinion piece in today's issue of The New York Times, noticed that in Paris, London and New York, it is easy to find toddlers in playgrounds being looked after primarily by immigrant nannies, presumably because the children's parents are at work. While in Stockholm, on the other hand, hardly any toddlers (or their minders) can be seen out and about because just about all children are in government-sponsored crèches. While yet, in Germany, it is again easy to find toddlers in public playgrounds but in that country they are looked after by their mothers who obviously do not work (for money).
The article is a strongly argued plea for the rest of the world to follow Sweden's example in this field, i.e. to use tax money to expand the childcare industry so that all mothers who want to work for money would be able to do so.
But what Ms Bennhold does not say, presumably because she does not understand it, is that Sweden's solution to the problem forces mothers to "abandon" their children and take up paid work – to pay for their government's seemingly generous offer of "free" childcare.
By all means, build up a childcare industry in Germany but let private operators do it and let them charge for their services at market prices. And make the costs of such child care tax-deductible in the hands of the parents. That is the way to go to achieve the highest economic efficiency and the best tax neutrality between home care and bought-in care.
|Copy Link||August 16, 2011|
A quarter of all British children live in single-parent households, the parent overwhelmingly being the mother. Unemployment among the young is in the region of 25 per cent, and about as many have never seen their mother or father ever having worked.
Among these facts blogger Gilad Atzmon finds the fundamental reasons for the riots that have shocked Britons lately.
Listen to his train of thought on this video recording, which is only 6 minutes long.
We in Children's Right make a note of Atzmon's message because his argument can be seen as underpinning our own shouting at our elected representatives about the importance of government policies' supporting traditional mum-and-dad families and the dangers involved in doing the opposite.
But of course, Atzmon is not the only Brit to argue along similar lines. This news item brings to mind sociologist Patricia Morgan and her book The War Between the State and the Family where the theme is similar.
|Copy Link||August 3, 2011|
That is the message of this interesting opinion article, written by our old acquaintance from Rockford, Illinois, USA, also founding director of The Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, as well as of the affiliated World Congress of Families: history Dr. Allan C. Carlson.
In it, Carlson puts focus on an unfortunate loss society has suffered as it has evolved from a primarily agrarian and family-centred economy to an infinitely more market- and money-oriented one: the loss of common goal and purpose for the family as a whole.
As the writer points out, this loss underlies much of the fragmentation, separations and strife that is so prevalent in today's families. He even goes as far as showing - convincingly - that this lack of common goal is a major factor in the low birth rates that practically defines the so-called "developed world" of today.
Carlson's recipe for repair contains a range of components from what families themselves can - and should - do, to steps only our governments can help us with.
A well underpinned and well presented article which everybody who is interested in history, economics or family politics should read!
But Yours Truly has a couple of minor points to make:
Firstly, I find Carlson too unappreciative of the living-standard-elevation that the combination of work specialisation and trade money has brought, as mankind has progressed from self-sufficiency to market trading. True, family cohesion has suffered in that process and I am with Carlson all the way in his wish to recoup as much of that cohesion as possible, but I, not, at the expense of that hike in living standards.
Secondly, Carlson proposes Income Splitting (footnote) between spouses and generous tax credits to families with dependants as solution components. That's fine, but I would go even further; I propose Family Taxation (footnote) and re-establishment of the principle that no, body or family, should ever be subjected to taxation before that body or family, as the case may be, has reached subsistence level.
Footnote: Income Splitting, as English speakers know the term, means that spouses are able to share income - and "pension points" - between themselves for the purpose of minimising total income tax and balancing pension benefits, whilst Family Taxation means that the family should be the subject of taxation, not the parents individually. That is, the family should be taxed as the family business it is, on the balance between income and deductible expenses - and the family at full liberty to distribute the surplus among its members as it sees fit, i.e., without political intervention.
Family Taxation wins over Income Splitting by underscoring the joint life project nature of establishing a family, by removing the need for the home maker to earn pension points in her (!) own name and by killing off the tiresome gender equality debate.
|Copy Link||July 9, 2011|
That was the topic of this interesting discussion that took place as part of what might be called Sweden's Summer Week of Politics (Almedalsveckan) earlier today. Participants were sociology drs. Samantha Callan of the Centre for Social Justice and Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics, and socioliberal politician cum chair person of Liberal Women's League of Sweden: Bonnie Bernström, under the stewardship of political editor-in-chief of the conservative Swedish paper Barometern: Ulf Wickbom.
Callan stressed the importance of fighting child poverty and pointed out that such poverty is three times more common in lone-parent families than in two-parent dittos, despite massive transfers of money via the taxation and benefits systems to that category of families - and underlined that both Sweden's and Britain's family policies contribute strongly to family disintegration.
While Hakim exploded the myth that Sweden is a world leader in gender equality by reminding the audience that despite forty years of purposeful, top-down, gender-equality-promoting policies, Sweden still sports more job segregation and a wider pay gap between men and women than most countries do.
Bernström did her best to defend Sweden's current family policies but in so doing sounded more like one of its founding - socialist - mothers than the principled liberalist she projects herself as being.
We in Children's Right are very happy with Wickbom's, Callan's and Hakim's contributions but are alarmed by Bernström's! There are obviously many aspects, facts and figures about the matter that she is unaware of. Her performance reminded us of how much there is still for us to do.
|Copy Link||July 1, 2011|
We note with satisfaction that this association's every-other-year member, Jonas Himmelstrand, board member of our sister organisation Haro, has been travelling the world lately to put on record other views on how small children should be taken care of than the day-care lobby's.
Yesterday, he was in Brussels, Belgium to take part in a workshop on UNICEF's Innocenti report, The Child Care Transition, and delivered this critical commentary.
With these words we extend our deeply felt appreciation to Himmelstrand for his valuable contribution to popular enlightenment on the extent to which the internationally famed, Swedish, family policies have actually failed to deliver the benefits it was supposed to deliver.
We in Children's Right have little to add to Himmelstrand's discussion on the psychological, social and cognitive consequences of our country's childcare policies but have many supporting arguments to offer in the areas of popular opinion, constitutional law, overall societal affluence, bacteriological health and the link between parent-child bonding in the early years and adolescent psychological well-being later.
|Copy Link||June 27, 2011|
A preschool in the Södermalm district of Stockholm has decided to ban the pronouns 'him' and 'her' when referring to the children and instead to use the word "friend" or their own gender-neutral invention 'hen'.
Read more about the school on Life-Site News' web site - here!
How embarrassing! Is there no limit to how far gender equality politics and political correctness is able to take people? What will the rest of the world think of us Swedes?
|Copy Link||June 24, 2011|
Scandinavia's solutions to child care are not worthy of the admiration they seem to enjoy abroad, certainly not before the disadvantages of them are understood properly. That can be said to be the gist of this opinion article, written by our friend Jonas Himmelstrand, and published in The Irish Times in response to a previous debate instalment we made a note of - here!
We are pleased to note that both our board member, Krister Pettersson, and our chair(man), Bo C Pettersson, have entered the fray as commentators and hope you, Dear Reader, like their respective comments. If not, please let the two of them know!
|Copy Link||June 9, 2011|
That is the heading of this opinion article in today's issue of The Irish Times in response to this report from a seminar on family policies held on May 26 in Dublin, Ireland, which painted a critical picture of Scandinavia's, in the rest of the world famed, childcare policies.
What the writers of the article don't seem to understand is that Scandinavia's children score highly in OECD's and UNICEF's rating tables because those tables are designed to gauge the effects of those very policy measures while ignoring a host of other - more negative - effects, including those on affluence, employment and personal-freedom.
Or put differently, the social policies of the Nordic countries may have saved their underprivileged children from the worst consequences of poverty and parental neglect but they have also made the population at large poorer, put bewildered adults out of work and prevented loving parents economically from caring for their children by themselves.
|Copy Link||June 3, 2011|
Traditional wisdom has it that men are interested in women primarily for the sex they can have with them, while women look for men they can feel safe with and emotionally close to.
How to reconcile these widely held notions with the statistical facts that the rate of marriages in the so-called "developed" world is falling while that of mere cohabitation is rising, is the subject of this interesting opinion article in today's issue of Canada's Ottawa Citizen, written by our acquaintance over there since years back: Andrea Mrozek of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
As already stated, Yours Truly finds the article interesting, well written and well argued - but also frightening and unpleasant in its crassness, suggesting that love and sex are "commodities" that are traded by men and women on something resembling a market. Surely, the cross-gender attraction that easily arises has more aspects than the sex the parties are able to have with one another!
But perhaps, Mrozek is only trying to shock us to drive an important point home: that if young people, sooner or later, want to get married (which statistics say they do), they have to start thinking differently about sex.
Please judge for yourself!
|Copy Link||May 28, 2011|
Sweden operates oppressive policies to coax parents to hand their toddlers over to day-care centres for care and the reputation for gender equality the country enjoys abroad is largely misleading, attendees of a seminar in Dublin, Ireland, heard last Thursday from business consultant Jonas Himmelstrand from Sweden and Dr. Catherine Hakim from London, England.
Read a report from the seminar in The Irish Times - here!
We in this association are grateful to Himmelstrand and Hakim for their assistance in setting the record straight!
|Copy Link||May 21, 2011|
Thanks to friendly scouts "out there", in the big wide world, we have just become aware of this interesting commentary on Swedish political developments. True, the article is primarily about the abortion issue and whether or not medical staff should be granted the right to refuse participation in abortions for moral reasons, topics which are not this association's primary ones, but it also carries interesting criticism of liberalism, the political school of thought that dominates our country's political discourse.
The article writer's argument, that liberals have a tendency to "tolerate the craziest of views and creeds but not the core values of Christians and Jews", does strike a resonant chord with this writer, who has always considered himself a liberal, if not libertarian.
The argument brings to mind a conclusion about liberalism that came to me, years ago, after having followed the actions of liberal office holders closely: the fact that such politicians don't seem get much help from their basic ideology when it comes to taking stands on concrete political issues cropping up. In such real-life cases, liberals seem able to end up at any random points on the political scale, from left to right.
Others might attempt to explain this unpredictability of liberals on the basis of relativism, the more or less outspoken belief that there are no absolute truths, only varying degrees of probabilities, an attitude towards the world and life which seem particularly common among liberals.
A fact which, I think, confirms this volatility of principles among liberals is that the Liberal Party of Sweden (Folkpartiet) aided the Social Democrats and the extreme leftists here in imposing what we call The Daycare Coercion some forty years ago on Sweden's parents and children. Without that assistance, that unfortunate coercion would not have happened.
Now, fighting that coercion is this association's main mission!
|Copy Link||May 16, 2011|
Most foreigners have the impression of Sweden as being a successful and harmonious country which has managed better than most to combine market economics with a lavish, tax-funded programme of social services. That impression is correct up to a point but scratch the surface and you find human rights violations and heavy-handed political coercion that frightens visitors used to another power balance between citizen and state - in the citizen's favour.
That, approximately, is the theme of this article in the current issue of Crisis Magazine, written by a Mr Alex Newman. In it, the case of young Dominic Johansson, who was nabbed by the police - only minutes before he and his family were about to take off for his mother's native country, India, for good - features prominently. As can be read - here - Dominic was put in a foster home, primarily because his Indian mother and Swedish father had kept him away from the appointed government school and home-schooled him instead, pending their long-planned emigration to India, the home-schooling aspect of the issue constituting a breach of law in Sweden.
The article puts focus on a number of important human rights violations perpetrated by the Swedish government against its people. We, regime critics of Sweden, are grateful to the writer and to Crisis Magazine for their help in exposing them.
Interestingly, the Swedish traditional media seem to toe the government's line perfectly in the Dominic Johansson case by not informing the general public about it. If you want to follow it, you have to browse the Web for private blogs or foreign media. This silent, voluntary, self-censorship is scary!
|Copy Link||May 6, 2011|
A judge in Quebec, Canada, has ordered a three-year-old and a five-year-old to attend state-funded day care, following claims that the children lacked proper “socialisation.” - and their two elder homeschooled siblings into public schools, all on what appears to be shaky legal grounds.
Read LifeSiteNews.com's report on the case - here - !
Admittedly, it is dicey to draw conclusions from incomplete facts but the case looks like a repeat of things happening in Sweden over and over again: In cases where the legal guardians' ways of looking after their children come under question, the courts attach much greater weight to the statements of testifying 'experts' on pedagogy, psychology and sociology than on the parents' judgements of what is best for their own children.
Consequently, such proceedings often confirm many Swedes' worst suspicions: that the state is busy taking over our children!
|Copy Link||May 4, 2011|
In January last year - here - we asked the mothers visiting our website to take part in a survey by subject organization of how life is for the mothers of Europe, the problems they face and the solutions they would like to see.
The survey, which attracted 11 000 mothers, is now summarised and the findings documented in this press release and this report.
The report offers a number of interesting facts and conclusions, including:
Please not that this association, Children's Right, has as many male members as female ones, so mothers are not alone in holding these views; their men stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them on this.
How much longer must Sweden's and Europe's children, mothers and fathers wait for policies to be adapted to the needs and desires of us, the people?
|Copy Link||April 27, 2011|
This association's every-other-year member, business consultant and policy debater, Jonas Himmelstrand, has got this piece into Canada's daily paper the National Post in which he explodes a number of myths about Sweden's, in foreign lands famed, social policies. Among other things, Himmelstrand points out that Sweden's youth are plagued by more psychological disorders now than ever before, on solid grounds suggesting that these disorders stem from the shakier emotional bonding parents and their children achieve as a result of the state bringing up the country's children these days.
The publicising of the article was perfectly timed in view of the fact that Himmelstrand is scheduled to speak at a conference organised by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada on May 5 in Ottawa. Read more about the event - and sign up for it if you have the opportunity - here!
A job well done, Himmelstrand! We can only hope that Canadian paper readers - and conference participants - take heed.
However, personally, due to the bee I have in my bonnet about the economic aspect of the issue, I would have made a bigger number than Himmelstrand did out of the devilish combination of so high taxes that a normal Swedish family cannot get by on a single normal income, inverted consideration of support burden in the income taxation system (meaning that a single-income family always pays more in taxes than a dual-income one does, at the same total income) - and tax subsidies at the level of 92 per cent of cost, going to formal child care and to that form of care alone.
This evil (?) policy combination prevents both rich and poor toddler parents from looking after their own children when they are small. (Rich ones because it does not make private-economic sense to them to decline the government's 'generous' offer of child care and the opportunity to earn another income which is taxed less than if that income hade been added to the main breadwinner's. Poor ones because they simply cannot get by on the net of just one income after income tax).
This kind of political coercion is simply unworthy of a nation that aspires to personal freedom for its citizens - and it certainly does not deserve the praise it gets abroad!
|Copy Link||April 7, 2011|
"Keep taxes on couples high so mothers don't get the idea into their heads that they can afford to stay at home with their kids when they are small!"
That is Institute of Marriage and Family Canada's, Andrea Mrozek's, conclusion about the current brand of feminism's agenda at a more fundamental and covert level, underpinning her conclusion with this opinion piece in Canada's daily, the National Post.
As usual, an excellent-quality enlightenment effort by Mrozek and her org! But of course, there is more to say about the matter than there was room for in the article, such as that lower taxes on Canada's tax payers would not only enrich those payers; they would also enrich the entire Canadian society by reducing the Government's expenditure burden more than its loss of tax revenues would represent.
In other words, higher or lower taxes is not only a matter of one party's gain at another's expense. Higher taxes in high-tax countries like Canada require returns around twice their tax costs to be macro-economically justifiable. Clearly, Universal Day Care, which is where much of that extra tax revenue will have to go if Mrozek's opponent and her think-alikes are to have their way, does not measure up to this profitability requirement (as can be seen, inter alia, here).
A juicy aspect of the reasoning Mrozek argues against is that it comes from a taxation professor (footnote) in her country. She (the professor) should be familiar with the phenomenon that causes this profitability requirement but clearly is not.
But the overarching message of Mrozek's article is how far her opponent and her like-minded left-wing feminists are prepared to go to prevent so many of their own sisters from having their way in choice of lifestyle, a point Mrozek brings home beautifully!
Footnote: I had no idea there are such people and such academic positions!
|Copy Link||April 2, 2011|
Two of our likeminded friends in Canada, Helen Ward of Kids First Canada and Andrea Mrozek of Institue of Marriage and Family Canada are interviewed by Life-site News about that country's Liberal Party's pledge to increase public spending on communal child care by CA$ 500 million a year until total spending reaches CA$ 1 billion per year, if it gets into power.
Thankfully, our two Canadian cooperants protest against the plan on the grounds that it would be grossly unfair to the majority of Canadian parents who prefer other forms of child care and that $ 1 billion a year will not suffice by a long shot anyway to provide tax-subsidized day care to all of Canada's toddlers, thus making the proposed scheme doubly unfair.
But the incumbent Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff, claims that his party's plan would increase parents' choice, saying: "Families don’t have choice in child care when there’s a shortage of high-quality, affordable child-care spaces,”
Read Life-site News' article about the matter - here!
This kind of blatant attempt from a political quarter to utilize voters' misguided instinct, that tax money is free and cheap, is alarming reading! Is he as ignorant about macro-economic matters as it sounds or is he merely lacking scruples?
|Copy Link||March 31, 2011|
Thanks to friends "out there" we have just been made aware of this video, showing Dr. Gabor Maté of Vancouver, Canada, telling an audience how important it is that we parents make time for our children and show them our love - and the risks we expose our children to when we let others, who do not carry the actual responsibility for the results, provide the attachment and guidance children need to become successful adults.
The observant reader will notice that Dr. Maté is co-author of this book and we in Children's Right would like to point out that we, on this site, carry quite a few additional highlights of Maté's appearances and writings. Use our search facility at left to to find them.
Maté is an important truth-sayer. It is truly unfathomable that his and other thinkalikes' views on how children should be taken care of do not take a stronger hold, neither in Canada nor in Sweden, that the Universal Daycare juggernaut is so hard to stop!
|Copy Link||March 8, 2011|
Britain's current liberal-conservative government wants to make state pensions more equal, i.e. less dependent on the taxes citizens have paid in during their working lives and also raise the overall level quite significantly, reports that country's paper The Daily Mail - here.
The biggest winners of the proposed scheme will be that country's home makers.
Ever since the election campaign that brought the Liberals and the Conservatives to power in May last year, Cameron has been praising families for their importance to society and home makers for the important work they do. Presumably, the proposed change in Britain's pension scheme should be viewed against that background.
|Copy Link||Fabruary 11, 2011|
– The cost of family failure continues to be a huge charge on the public purse, argues the UK think tank, The Relationships Foundation: £41.74 billion a year, i.e., £1,364 per tax payer.
In the estimate, the organisation has included items such as tax credits and benefits to lone parents, housing and council-tax benefits, additional health service costs, foster parent care costs, additional costs of juvenile delinquency and criminality, and costs of supplementary education of the disadvantaged.
The group points out that if Government were able to get rid of these problems, it would comfortably find financing for the £20 billion-a-year savings programme it has received so much flak for from left-of-centre media representatives in recent months without any additional burden on tax payers whatsoever.
Read or download the org's report (from) - here!
|Copy Link||Fabruary 8, 2011|
Day care of children in Finland costs, on average, approx. € 1,000 a month a child, of which parents pay approximately 20 per cent as parent fees. The full-day cost per child is approx. € 1,400 a month. The parent fees are not tax-deductible.
The Finnish home-care allowance, which is available to all children aged 0-2 and has been in place nation-wide since 1997 as an alternative to the formal variety is on average, approximately, € 500 a month for the youngest child and another € 250 for its older home-staying sibling. These amounts are net of taxes.
The Finnish population is approximately 5 million people and the age groups of children are approximately 60,000 per age.
Only approx. 35½ per cent of mothers of small children are working, despite their government's heavy tax subsidization of formal child care, the remainder are at home, looking after their young ones by themselves and living off their husbands and the home-care allowance.
Finns pay on average approximately 41 per cent in income tax on incomes exceeding approx. € 4,560 a year.
These figures can be extracted from a doctoral dissertation in economics titled The effect of child care subsidies on the labour supply of parents which will be up for disputation in a day or two in Helsinki. Read up on the candidate and his paper - here!
The candidate's message: Increase the home-care allowance by € 100 a month and another 4 percent of the currently working mothers, approximately 8,000 women, would go home to look after their children instead and this would cost municipalities more than keeping them in paid work and their children in tax-subsidized crèches. A change in the opposite direction will obviously have the opposite effect.
The candidate's estimate of the sensitivity of motherly labour supply to the size of the home-care allowance is fine, but his conclusions about the economic effect on society at large is way out for more reasons than we can spend space on here. If I were the opponent at his upcoming disputation, I wouldn't pass him!
|Copy Link||February 7, 2011|
That is the message of this opinion article in today's issue of Canada's daily the National Post, written by Dave Quist, manager of the Canadian think tank Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.
Since we have been advocating family taxation for our country, Sweden, for years, it was rewarding to read Quist's plea for the same solution for Canada.
Quist mentions the main argument in favour of family taxation (FT): that it can nicely eliminate the unfair effect of our two countries' current system, individual taxation, which invariably leads to a single-income family always paying more in taxes than a dual-income one does, at the same total income!
But FT has more to offer than economic benefits: e.g. in the social field by promoting familial cohesion and thus contributing to a better home base for children and adolescents, benefits most "developed" societies sorely need.
|Copy Link||January 27, 2011|
In Sweden as in the U.K., children's achievements in private schools are falling while those in 'conservative' private schools are still fine.
British teacher Katherine Birbalsingh attributes these declining results in our public schools partly to proven education methods (such as teacher lecturing) being abolished in favour of individual fact finding with heavy reliance on the Internet and group work, and partly to absence of parental assistance at home due to the economic need for them to work for money, away from home.
Listen to Ms Birbalsingh's thought-provoking lecture on the subject on YouTube, i.e. - here!
There we got another argument supporting our criticism of today's day-care society: Parents become largely unable to help their children with their homework! But this conclusion flies in the face of other, allegedly more scientific, studies, e.g. Sweden's pedagogy professor, Bengt-Erik Andersson's (1) longitudinal study made in the late 1980s (2) and early 1990s (3) of over 100 children in which he found that day-care children did better at school than home-care children did.
|Copy Link||January 27, 2011|
The Canadian governments, both federal and provincial, have gone too far in the taking over of familial duties and in robbing parents of the financial resources they need to shoulder them, argues Andrea Mrozek and Peter Jon Mitchell of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada in this opinion article in today's issue of that country's paper, the National Post.
A very good article indeed, laden with sharp observations as it is of a stealthy political process that by no means is solely confined to Canada but is at work in all so-called "developed" countries, ours (Sweden) included.
|Copy Link||January 21, 2011|
Over the past couple of days, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, hosted a multi-topical conference in London which he and his apparatchiks called the UK Nordic Baltic Summit. A part of it was devoted to labour-related and social policies where representatives from the Nordic countries got unfortunate opportunities to promote their destructive taxation and childcare systems to coax more women out into the paid workforce.
A home page has been set up for the conference - here - and a list of papers read on labour- and social-policy-related topics can be found - here.
In particular, we want to draw your attention to Norway's Henriette Westhrin's paper titled Equality Pays and to Sweden's Monica Renstig's More Women in the Workforce – What to Learn from Sweden as examples of papers giving false impressions of the wisdom of the policies they describe.
As we have written many times in the past, elsewhere on this web site: Taxing families so highly that they cannot get by on a single income and using much of the tax money thus collected to subsidise child care heavily - which is what the Nordic countries do - is not the way to create wealth, personal freedom and happy children!
|Copy Link||January 10, 2011|
As we have written elsewhere on this site, the centre-right government Swedish voters elected into office in 2006 introduced a domestic child-care allowance in mid 2008 as an alternative to the otherwise strongly promoted formal day-care system Sweden is so famed for abroad.
Now, last autumn Sweden's Ministry of Social Affairs commissioned the country's Bureau of Statistics to investigate the extent to which this new option has been adopted by the country's municipalities and by their eligible parents, but for some reason the bureau's report has only hit the news now.
In essence the report reveals that the scheme has been introduced by 109 of the country's 290 municipalities and that a paltry 1.8 per cent of the eligible parents have opted in.
These results have inspired our left-wing media to call the scheme "a fiasco", urge the government to withdraw it and resume its promotion efforts in favour of formal child care. But the proponents defend the allowance and call it a freedom-related success.
Read the Swedish English-language paper The Local's write-up about the matter - here!
There is an obvious reason why only 109 out of 290 municipalities have implemented the scheme: the rest are primarily run by left-of-centre politicians and they have always preferred industrial-scale child care over familial ditto. And there is an equally obvious reason why only 1.8 per cent of the eligible parents have opted in: the terms are miserly compared with the government's lavish spending on the communal variety of care. And finally, the meagre turn-out is intentional. Our centre-right government has never wanted a bigger turn-out than what it has got. The allowance was and is a proverbial meat bone thrown at us protesters against the on-going nationalisation of our children with the intent to pacify us.