Tinkering left society's institutions in tatters:
"Those who predicted the consequences were dismissed as being out of touch with reality....
[W]e came to deplore women whose main career aspiration was to have babies and raise them to adulthood.
We called their lives wasted. Then we were aghast to see our birthrate descend to levels so low our culture and society cannot survive.
"Again, we decided women should really have a career, earn good money, and not remain
'chained' to the household. But then we were horrified to see the spectacle of 'latch-key children' whose parents were not there when they came home from school, and began getting into trouble.
"Next in the interest of protecting children against savage assault by deranged parents, we began making it immoral, if not illegal, for parents to physically chastise children in any way whatever. After which, we became appalled as youthful behaviour seemed to become virtually uncontrollable, their parents seemingly unable to accomplish by reason and persuasion ideas that they used to implant with a few swats across the seat.
"The school provides another instance. First, we did away with examinations, and to our chagrin found standards notably slipping.
Then we did away with 'rote memory,' and were astonished to discover a woeful ignorance of things like geographic facts and the multiplication tables.
So, too, with history. We stopped teaching it in favour of 'social studies,' then were dismayed to see people no longer seemed to have any concern for their heritage and their past.
We decided to take the drudgery out of reading instruction by abandoning phonetics and were disturbed to observe that kids could no longer read...."
The Transformation of America