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Diversity in Modern Society

  1. Daycare should be tax deductible.
  2. Students who get involved in Big Brother/Sister programs pay no interest or negative interest on their loans.
  3. Increase number of after school clubs and activities.
  4. Introduce a mentor role at schools, adults who carry some responsibility for troubled kids. Beyond a teacher or councilor.

All of these are a means to substitute for bad parents.

  1. A parental responsibility act. Have a kid? It’s on you to raise them right.


And where are you getting the money from?

And by what standards will your parental responsibility act hold people to? Who agrees the standard?

(Some of your suggestions incidentally were similar to some of the remit of the Sure Start programme - but the current British government has severely cut funding to that over recent years)


This already exists in many states. NY has it in place in high schools (not sure about lower grades).


Yup, it exists - where there is funding - in some British educational and social care settings as well.

But it’s absolutely not revenue neutral.


It would help a lot if he just paid his due. I am not sure, do these people pay taxes over their stock earnings?


I think tax deducting daycare would be a pretty small cost so I’d deficit that.

Reducing interest rates on student loans doesn’t cost anything.

I’d divert police funding for community centers. Prevention being better than treatment.

I’d increase payroll taxes by 0.05% to pay for the mentors and encourage AARP members to take those role with pension bonuses.

Parental responsibility would incorporate punitive elements (fines when your kid gets in trouble, arrests for those who don’t pay child support) and incentive elements (like $2000 tax credit when your kid graduates high school).

You’re welcome America.


And surely those are “tweaks”?


I was honestly just joking based on previous conversation. :wink:


They’re more than tweaks. They intended to be better than spend more and stop Trident.


That’s OK but it’s a genuine question. How much taxes do billionaires pay given that most of their wealth comes from stock investments? I really don’t know.


I think this is, at best, purely semantics now.

How is a 0.05% increase in payroll tax “more than a tweak” and increasing middle and high-earner income tax rates - as the Scottish Government has actually, not theoretically, done - something to be so casually dismissed?

The cost of making daycare tax-deductible is so negligible as to barely make it worth mentioning while simultaneously being so revolutionary it elevates it to the hallowed level of “more than a tweak”? You can’t have it both ways Jim.

There’s nothing fundamentally different to me saying we need to change our spending priorities and invest in early years social welfare, healthcare, public health and education than what you’re saying here.


You already can be arrested for not paying child support. It’s the only form on non-federal debt you can go to jail for I believe.


My son’s school started that this year. It’s an idea based on the Harry Potter houses: each child reaches into the sorting hat, pulls out a colored bracelet and is assigned a “house.” They also get an older child to mentor, a group of teachers to mentor the house. I believe the PTA and parents are involved as well (school just started so I’m shaky on the details) but it’s a great idea.


Yes, it absolutely is - but that’s not what Jim is advocating. He’s suggesting a higher level role, above that provided by a teacher or counsellor, specifically intended to target “troubled kids” and to effectively substitute for “bad parents”.

That’s a position that requires a lot of training and support. It carries with it a significant degree of responsibility because, if you get that wrong, in kids who are already - by definition - socially vulnerable, the consequences are potentially severe. That type of mentoring isn’t something that can automatically be done by a well-intentioned amateur. It needs resources. And that needs money.

And I absolutely agree we should fund those programmes.


I know what he’s suggesting, I’m just saying that by enacting this at a lower level can lower the need for it at a higher level later.

Regardless, every kid deserves a mentor, especially if they don’t have one at home.


Yes, I agree - but many schools in the UK provide this sort of support already, so this is already the baseline. If we’re going to utilise this to achieve “better parents” it’s going to need something more - or utilised differently - than what we’ve already got in place.

I think these are great ideas. But I’m just trying to follow Jim’s logic in how he decides an idea phrased one way is idealistic fantasy and the same idea phrased another way is the revolutionary saving grace we’ve been missing for so long.


This is exactly the principle I was talking about earlier incidentally - investing in prevention rather than cure/response … but it needs front-loading of investment, and patience over the medium to long term to see the benefits.


A little more seriously. I really admire what LeBron James is doing. The school he just opened with Akron Public Schools has a longer school day and longer school year along with a presence from Akron-Canton Food Bank at the school to help at risk kids.


It’s not baseline in the US; or at least not that I’m aware of. At last count I have six nephews and three nieces spread across four states and none or their parents have mentioned anything like it.

But as for better parenting, part of that is changing the way society seems to be willing to let men off the hook for fathering children and then abandoning them. If we can get to a place where that act is shunned rather than casually accepting would be a good start. To be honest, I don’t know how we get there, though.


That’s interesting in itself.

It’s by no means universal in the UK either but we do a lot of work with schools to support some of our kids with rarer diagnoses, and a lot of it is in the area of accessing mentoring/counselling support. It’s relatively rare now for us to come across a school, especially at secondary level, that doesn’t have something of this sort in place.

(And the reason we need to rely on it is because the Government has systematically cut funding to the child and adolescent mental health services that previously took on this role - another example of a short-term economy with a longer-term consequence)

I think the complicating factor in that, as you touched on earlier, is that for many of those kids they may be better off without the sort of father who’s prepared to abandon them being forced to hang around and be a reluctant dad to them.