Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Great Thing in the World This Christmas: The Canadians Welcoming Syrian Refugees

The Canadian government has taken the lead in welcoming large numbers of Syrian refugees to the country.

Even better, though, thousands of Canadian citizens, often organizing through their churches, have gone above and beyond the government's legal permission to immigrate to help and support the tens of thousands of families fleeing a brutal war.

The West's best response to both brutal tyrannical states and brutal persecuting religious nationalists is this open-arms response to ordinary families.  This is a good work in itself, and our best "hearts and minds" strategy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mothers Are 10% More Likely to Work if Their Mother or Mother-in-Law Lives Nearby

The headline on the story is the half of American adults live within 18 miles of their parents.

In the college-educated class - roughly a quarter of the population - the distances typically get much greater, as the Gruntleds can attest.

Hidden in the report is this interesting additional fact:

labor force participation by married women with children increased by as much as 10 percentage points when they lived near their mothers or mothers-in-law

Professional men and women tend to go where the job is, regardless of family ties. However, professional women, if they have any choice in the matter, tend to try to live near their mothers. The help that grandparents give is especially important for emergencies, more than for daily care.

This is a good idea to bear in mind when professional and managerial couples are starting out: plan to live near backup care before you have kids, if at all possible.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yay for Positive Criminology

Here is a happy new development on the way to a full-fledged positive sociology:  positive criminology.

This project comes from Bar Ilan University in Israel.  The epigraph of their webpage contains a fruitful theory of how all of positive sociology works:

Run to do even easy mitzvah and run away from any sins, for doing mitzvah leads to more mitzvah and sinning leads to further sinning.