Love & Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work

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9781890626433: Love & Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work

In too many families, the parents' hand has given way to the Invisible Hand in the raising of children. In a new book from Spence Publishing, a distinguished economist warns that by misapplying libertarian economic and political principles to the family, we undermine the only institution that produces the honest, self-governing citizens upon which a free society depends.

Dr. Morse recalls an important fact that most political thinkers overlook: we come into the world not as rational adults but as babies. And babies are self-centered and impulsive-cute, but not noble, savages. The family's job is to care for these helpless creatures while teaching them trust and self-control. She then shows why neither private day-care, government, nor a single parent can do this job as well as a committed mother and father. She concludes by explaining why basing family life on the political and economic philosophy of individual autonomy rather than the personal philosophy of love is a prescription for individual unhappiness and social chaos.

Most Americans, whatever their politics, share the libertarian view of personal liberty as the right to do as one pleases. We are thus a ready audience for advocates of the "laissez-faire family," each member of which pursues his own self-interest rather than the good of the others. Dr. Morse, whose own libertarian views were shaken by the experience of motherhood, exposes the sham of "guilt-free" parenting, showing that a free society can be sustained only by families grounded in self-giving love.

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From the Publisher:

JENNIFER ROBACK MORSE taught economics for fifteen years at Yale and George Mason University before moving to California, where she combines her vocation as wife and home-schooling mother with writing and lecturing. A research fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford and the author of numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals, Dr. Morse contributes regular columns to Forbes magazine and the National Catholic Register.

Review:

"A brilliant piece of intellectual exploration." -- Michael Novak

"A magnificent defense of marriage and family." -- First Things

"Economists, theologians, philosophers, and business people will do well to meditate deeply on her insights." -- Rev. Robert A. Sirico

"This book will reward all readers who care about economic theory and want to understand its limitations as well as its uses." -- Richard A. Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law

"This important and persuasive book may itself be part of the solution." -- National Review

"You can read it in a day, but what it says may stay with you for a lifetime." -- Thomas Sowell, The Hoover Institution

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Jennifer Roback Morse
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