Friday, June 17, 2016

With Flexible Policies, There is No "Happiness Penalty" for Parents

A study by sociologists Jennifer Glass, Robin Simon, and Matthew Andersson compared the happiness levels of parents and non-parents in 22 countries.  In the U.S., parents pay a happiness penalty in several ways.

In other countries, though, there was no gap.  What those countries, such as Norway and Hungary, offer are flexible policies, such as paid sick leave, which help parents make work/family balance work better.

Moreover, the policies that helped most were not the big-ticket items that some countries have tried.  Direct subsidies to parents, for example, were less effective than leave policies that were available to parents and non-parents alike.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Another Small Step to One United America: Southern Baptist Convention Urges Members to Remove the Rebel Flag from Church

The Southern Baptist Convention, which was born to preserve slavery and only apologized for that position in 1995, has taken another step toward the national mainstream: proposing to ban the rebel flag from its sanctuaries.

The SBC is a congregational polity, so it lacks the authority to require its member congregations to do anything.  But the convention as a whole has taken a stand, and urges its thousands of local branches to follow suit.

Good News: Support for Assault Weapons Ban Grows

Very few countries in the world allow civilians to own assault weapons, and only one does so with practically no restrictions (that one would be the world leader in mass shootings).  Guns and Ammo made a list of the "10 Best Countries for Gun Owners," and even in that list only five readily allow semiautomatic weapon ownership at all.

Most Americans support a ban on assault weapons.  That proportion ticked up to 58%, as it does after each mass shooting.

The experience of Australia in effectively ending mass shooters gives all countries hope.