were more important then the general good of society. The Japanese have a better take on groupism than Americans. At least the Japanese attempt to minimize confrontation and obvious ill-feeling among group members. Americans tend to single out (for immediate punishment) children involved in misbehavior--to "make a lesson of them."
The book quotes conservative Orrin Hatch as having eventually come around to realizing the benefit to the nation of good quality childcare. He has come to realize that adults cannot productively function in the workplace if they have to be concerned about their children's welfare during the day. Daycare in America has come to mean "the freeing up of parents" as much as it has "the education of the preschooler."
The quotation on page 175 about the "national child-care corporations" which have emerged in the U.S. in the past fifteen years is chilling in its implications for the future. These "McChildcare" and "Kentucky Fried Children" franchises are not a pretty picture. One can envision a generation of toddlers being trained to push pictures of Big Macs on a computerized cash register so that they will be pre-wired for maximum output at the MacDonald's counter. Unfortunately, however, like so many other small businesses in America, Mom and Pop day-care centers--and there are plenty of them--are pulling up stakes every day. In addition, the question still remains: "What do Mom and Pop really know about child-rearing, besides the fact that they may have had a few children themselves? The answer may be, "Nothing," which is why the U.S. needs to better subsidize preschools in the manner of Japan and China.
A look at the Chinese preschool, Dong-feng, reveals that what might appear as "worker ethic dogma" can be seen as American. For example, the preschool teacher in Nanjing who admonished, "A preschool teacher should never waste time. Unstructured time leads to trouble . . . it is important for teachers to organize their