Government isn’t required to Build Back Better – Press Telegram

Should we ignore the costs of the “Build Back Better” bill and simply focus on the benefits? Isn’t that a good thing? Unfortunately, the most constructive criticisms of the law reveal why the magical thoughts behind this huge and costly spending package do not improve American society.

Economist Alan Blinder urges us not to focus too much on costs, arguing: Do you oppose universal pre-kindergarten education? You shouldn’t. I can do it. Are you against more affordable childcare? Many Americans don’t. Do you think global climate change should be ignored? If so, think again. “

But these claims are weak. Supporting pre-kindergarten education and affordable child care, you can worry about climate change without believing that a strict government is the best answer. The most effective policymakers that legislators can follow to achieve these goals can create compelling examples of simply getting out of the way. Indeed, many of the BBB methods can hinder progress.

Let’s start with pre-kindergarten education and childcare. It’s certainly good that this huge spending bill promises to pay more for pre-kindergarten education and childcare, but it’s not.

First, the law doesn’t deal with why childcare is so expensive in the first place. Many who seek it conflict with improper government restrictions on the provision of such care, such as excessive vocational licenses and eligibility rules that prevent many qualified people from providing services. Just do it. Bills that truly aim to reduce the cost of child care remove these restrictions and allow parents to choose a competent provider.

BBB does not remove the restrictions, but adds more. As Casey Mulligan, an economist at the University of Chicago, explains, “This bill forces nursery teachers to pay a’living wage’and their income is’equal to the wages of elementary school educators with similar qualifications and experience. Is required to be. Care is even more expensive for all families who are not eligible for “free” child care.

How expensive is it? Well, it depends on how the regulator enforces the rule. However, Mulligan said: “Elementary school teachers earned an average of $ 63,930 a year in 2019, while nursery teachers averaged $ 25,510. By that benchmark, nursery schools have to pay workers 151% more.” Left-wing people Matt Brunig, the founder of the policy project, made a similar point that if a childcare worker is paid like a teacher, the cost of childcare for the middle class will increase by $ 13,000 a year.

On the other hand, a universal pre-K may increase mothers’ labor force participation, but it should not be blindly assumed to be good for children. According to a recent paper on the effects of a universal child care program that tracked children up to teens in Quebec, “a major, significant, non-cognitive development and health of preschoolers exposed to the new program. There was a negative shock. There was little measured impact on cognitive skills, including “increased childhood anxiety and aggression.”

To make matters worse, as some economists have pointed out, these provisions will create incentives for single parents. This is because the father’s income counts as a childcare subsidy that the mother receives only if the mother is legally a member of the family, and vice versa. This, along with the discouragement of working like an expanded child tax credit, can cause problems for children who are trying to help the government.

How about climate change? Now, again, it’s surprising that the legislature is more interested in subsidizing green companies than stopping some of the government’s own problematic behavior. For all the demonization of oil and gas companies, tax law and various agencies throw huge subsidies in their way.

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