A FAMILY-CENTERED ECONOMY
Sutherland Institute is well-known for its efforts promoting the family as the fundamental unit of society. In its latest publication, the Institute asserts that sound economic policy will fit the needs and requirements of Utah families, rather than seeking to make Utah families fit the needs of economic policy.
In What is a Family-centered Economy? Dr. Allan C. Carlson explains that economies thrive when families are encouraged to be self-reliant and less dependent on government. Carlson serves as director of Sutherland’s Center for Community and Economy and is the founder of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society.
Dr. Carlson notes that the American Revolution had much more to do with a defense of “familial independence” than it did with quests for personal liberation. At stake today are Utah families’ freedom to provide for their needs, independent from poor economic conditions and intrusive government influence, and the free market’s ability to create the economic opportunity that is necessary to produce prosperity.
Commenting on the industrial revolution’s undermining of the bond between place of work and home, Carlson observes, “For most of human history, in all parts of the globe, the rule had been that one lived and worked in the same place: on the family- or peasant-farm; or in the artisan’s shop (with living quarters above). Industrialism meant the scattering of family members during the day: the father to one factory; the mother to another; the children to an industrially-organized school. The great material gains of an industrial economy came at the price of family integrity. And yet, technological advances of recent decades have created a kind of counter-revolution.”
In the essay, Dr. Carlson presents eight principles by which economic life can be organized to strengthen and reinforce the foundational social unit: the family.