]]]]]]]]]]]]]]     GOVERNMENT-KENNELED CHILDREN      [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ 
                Letter to the WSJ by Larry Gabbert,          (8/18/88)
                   Lawrence, Kansas, 8/15/88

     As a parent, I applaud your July 29 editorial "Save the Child-
ren..." Child rearing is not the gvernment's job and part-time parent-
ing should not be subsidized by the taxpayer. However, now that soci-
ety seems to value gross income and the things it can buy over profes-
sional parenting, it is crucial that government and tax law play a 
subjective and minimal role in institutionalizing this trend.
     Ideally, parents should rear their children. Some parents know 
the value of this and accept a lower standard of living to do it. Any 
government or tax law that subsidizes the "warehousing" of children, 
especially pre-schoolers, should be directed at only those low-income 
single parents and working couples who must work. If we subsidize the 
broad range of middle-income working couples, let us also subsidize 
those middle-income couples who choose to live in a smaller house, and 
drive older cars so that at least one parent is there to nurture the 
children.
     Sen. Dodds's Act for Better Child Care will bureaucratize child 
care by claiming to give a little assistance to working parents. Fifty 
years ago. social security was started to give a little assistance to 
people when they retire. That small assistance program has been trans-
formed into the giant catch-all welfare program it is today.
     Government should be extremely circumspect when it does anything 
to underplay a parent's role in rearing his own child. Children are 
not shortchanged because they have a smaller house or older cars. They 
are shortchanged when the parent chooses, or the government subsidizes 
and therefore encourages, the "warehousing" of children. If single 
parents or couples must work to maintain a minimum standard of living, 
these are the ones federal aid should address. The broad middle class 
must examine its priorities and compare living standards and career 
ambitions against the child's basic need for a nurturing parent or 
two. When the baby arrives, you have embarked on a new career. It is 
not a part-time job. Children are not poodles; they do not raise them-
selves. Kenneling should be done only as a last resort

     Larry Gabbert, Lawrence, Kansas 
     [not an AtE subscriber]

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