One of the tenets of the Reagan theory of national betterment was to be the reliance on the "private" sector to bridge the gaps created by his cutbacks in the safety net. But as has become obvious as more children die in infancy and more homeless haunt the streets, his backers gave little more than lip-service to this principle to which he committed them.
George Bush revised this theory, placing the responsibility on his "thousand points of light"--us--the individuals his predecessor's economic policies undercut so much. His kinder, gentler America is supposed to be the citizens, opening their hearts to the suffering and pain of the euphemistically "less fortunate."
And this is rightfully where the responsibility belongs, with us, for we elected this man, we bought this package, and now we open it and gaze on its contents: hot air.
While this man and his party beat their breasts about family values, and restrict our rights (to protect our children from evil influences), their economic policies and lack of financial regulation or fiscal conservativeness have robbed many families of their savings, eliminated their chances to own a home, and forced both spouses to work full time to cover the costs of food, shelter and the S&L; bailout.
So to have George Bush refuse to hold his corporate backers' feet to the fire and require them to provide the minimum relief of "unpaid parental leave," should be no surprise to any of us. This camel's nose is already under the tent of every civilized country in the Western world, a standard across Europe. It is another page we should take from the Japanese book, for they value their children above all else for they know what these children are: their future!
KELLEY S. WILLIS