というタイトルは釣りだが、マンキューが「A good read」としてリンクしたインタビュー記事でジェームズ・ヘックマンが家族の大切さを説いている。

Gonzalo Schwarz: Many commentators have said that it is not possible to achieve the American Dream any more in the United States. Do you think the American Dream is alive and well?
Dr. James Heckman: Ask any immigrant. They are grateful for the chances that America has given them. ... Those who deny that the American Dream is achievable ignore the myriad success stories and the mindset for personal growth that America offers.
S: When people talk about the American Dream they do so in the context of the current academic and policy discussion on income mobility and inequality. How would you characterize the current research in this field? What are some of the key issues with the literature and public discussions around these issues?
H: The current research in the field is shoddy. It has gained traction because it appeals to the negative image of American society held by leading opinion makers like the New York Times and the Atlantic. In truth, the evidence based on the IRS data is deeply flawed and has been incorrectly analyzed. Take “The Opportunity Atlas” promoted by the New York Times. It claims that “zip code is destiny.” Careful statistical analysis of the data shows otherwise. The same can be said of the academics who write about the growth of the Top 1%. Careful studies show much less growth in disparity than what is picked up in the popular press and by populist politicians. A new “wisdom” has emerged: large samples more than compensate for faulty or missing data. The wisdom of this crowd is that sample size trumps careful data analysis.
インタビュアー:アメリカンドリームについて人々が語る時、所得の移動可能性と格差に関する学界や政策の現行の議論を背景に語っています。この分野の現在の研究の特徴をどのように捉えておられますか? この分野における幾つかの主要課題と、その課題を取り巻く一般の議論はどんなものでしょうか?


S: Without going into detail, what do you think are the main barriers to income or social mobility? (Could be micro level such as agency and family structure or on a bigger scale in terms of labor markets, entrepreneurship, etc.)
H: The main barriers to developing effective policies for income and social mobility is fear of honest engagement in the changes in the American family and the consequences it has wrought. It is politically incorrect to express the truth and go to the source of problems. Public discourse, such as it is, cannot speak honestly about matters of culture, race, and gender. Powerful censorship is at play across the entire society.
S: In your research you discuss the key importance of family structure for social mobility. Why do you feel so strongly about this issue?
H: The family is the source of life and growth. Families build values, encourage (or discourage) their children in school and out. Families — far more than schools — create or inhibit life opportunities. A huge body of evidence shows the powerful role of families in shaping the lives of their children. Dysfunctional families produce dysfunctional children. Schools can only partially compensate for the damage done to the children by dysfunctional families.
S: Your work on early childhood education is constantly cited as a justification for universal preschool education. Is that a policy you have recommended or what is your main focus and potential solution when you promote the importance of early childhood education?
H: I have never supported universal pre-school. The benefits of public preschool programs are the greatest for the most disadvantaged children. More advantaged children generally have encouraging early family lives. The “intervention” that a loving, resourceful family gives to its children has huge benefits that, unfortunately, have never been measured well. Public preschool programs can potentially compensate for the home environments of disadvantaged children. No public preschool program can provide the environments and the parental love and care of a functioning family and the lifetime benefits that ensue.
インタビュアー:子供の早期教育に関する貴兄の研究は、全員への就学前教育を正当化する際に常に引用されています。貴兄はそうした政策を推奨されたのでしょうか? もしくは、子供の早期教育の重要性を訴えた時、主な焦点と解決案はどこにあったのでしょうか?


S: In your work a key component to childhood development and human capital is parental engagement. Because of the school closures and stay at home mandates in many states, children and their parents are staying at home which should increase the level of parental engagement. Do you think that this will be helpful for childhood development as it pertains to that specific issue or because of the heterogeneity of the quality of parental engagement and capacity of some parents to develop quality engagement, the end result could be more inequality as some kids will have a higher quality of parental engagement than others?
H: To those who have more will be given. For stressed families where the single parent is still working, the early childhood environment will likely worsen.
インタビュアー:貴兄の研究では、子供の成長と人的資本にとっての重要な要素は親の取り組みでした。多くの州で学校が閉鎖され外出禁止令が出されたことにより、子供とその親たちは家にいますので、親の取り組みのレベルはますます上がると思われます。このことは、重要な要素が改善するという点で子供の成長に有益だと思われますか? それとも、親の取り組みには質的なばらつきがあり、親の中には質の高い取り組みを提供することができない者もいることから、一部の子供への親の取り組みが他の子供より質の高いものとなることによって、最終的には格差が拡大することになるのでしょうか?