Five Best Wednesday Columns

On multicultural parenting, immigration reform, and Christians in the Middle East

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Amy Chua on Multi-Cultural Parenting  Amy Chua, better known as the Tiger Mom, notes at USA Today that while "a unique American strength has always been to absorb the best of many cultures ... when it comes to raising our kids, we are strangely close-minded." Chua argues that parents can best prepare their children for a world that is becoming increasingly more integrated and, thus, more competitive, by "building on what we do well while being open to what works elsewhere and bringing it to America." She observes that Asia is already taking hints on more lax parenting from the West where, she writes, "our kids learn to be leaders." Chua suggests that the way to combine the best features of Eastern and Western parenting styles is, "more structure when our children are little (and will still listen to us), followed by increasing self-direction in their teenage years." Right now, on the other hand, "the average American child spends 66% more time watching television than attending school."

Ronald Brownstein on Politicians' Reluctance Towards Immigration Reform  Polls consistently show that "most Americans believe immigrants who are in the United States illegally should be provided a pathway to legal status if they take steps such as paying a fine or learning English," writes Ronald Brownstein at National Journal. Still, "most Republican and Democratic elected officials alike remain convinced that providing illegal immigrants any route to legal status is a losing cause politically." Despite the President's recent initiation of an immigration reform conversation, there is a small chance that any reform will make it through Congress. This, perhaps, is because those opposed to paving the way for earned citizenship are louder and more "intense" than those who are in favor, though they are in the minority and "politicians who support legalization worry that counter-arguments, such as the claim that it allows amnesty for law-breakers, will undermine the initial public support."

Holman Jenkins on 'Internet Data Caps'  The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins observes that "the Microsoft-Skype deal is one more business plan that treats broadband as basically an unmetered resource." But, he asks: "What if that calculation is faulty?" Major broadband providers are already capping subscribers' usage and, despite arguments that this makes the market for broadband monopolistic, Jenkins points out that this is something other industries, like airlines, get away with all the time. The truth is, though, "the number of customers likely to encounter their usage caps are few," he argues. "Instead, raising a red flag to users may actually have its most productive effect upstream. If it gives the Netflixes, Googles, Amazons and Microsofts a keener incentive to figure out how to send video over the web without swamping the network, we'll all come out on top."

John Eibner on Christians in the Islamic World  "Non-Muslim communities have become endangered species throughout much of the Islamic world," explains John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, at The Boston Globe. But while "the most sensational acts of anti-Christian terror command headlines--for a moment," most are unacknowledged. This "long-standing pattern of violence often committed in the name of an Islamic jihad against non-Muslims," has motivated an exodus of Christian and Jewish communities out of the Middle East. "If present trends continue, it is conceivable that, within a generation, strong, viable Christian communities will cease to exist in the region of Christianity's birth." Eibner argues that President Obama can use his ties with Muslim leaders to "make the eradication of religious supremacy" a focus of the UN. "The abolition of slavery and segregation in the United States, and apartheid in South Africa, could not have been achieved without a public campaign against white supremacy," he points out. "Similarly, the commendable goals articulated by Obama in Cairo cannot be achieved by turning a blind eye to religious bigotry in the Islamic world."

Annie Lowrey on Poaching Global Talent and Keeping It Here  Immigration reform could be the "one last shiny, fat apple hanging right in front of our faces, one last endeavor that could bring us fast, costless, and easy growth," proposes Annie Lowrey at Slate. "The United States can grown faster by stealing the rest of the world's smart people." The evidence that "super-immigrants" can aid our country's productivity, such as the fact that "immigrants with college degrees are three times as likely to file patents as the domestically born," is largely ignored, the restrictions on employment-based green cards to the U.S. remaining extremely tight and pushing many skilled immigrants to "give up and go home, taking their know-how and business ideas with them." Though the White House acknowledges that this system lacks value and only creates more homegrown competition for the U.S., a comprehensive reform bill is unlikely to pass. Lowrey insists Democratic politicians need to differentiate between programs for super-immigrants and "how to deal with the millions of less-skilled and undocumented workers," in order to "pick the low-hanging fruit."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.