Parenting in America: 25 Years Back and 25 Years Ahead

May 4th, 2012
in Op Ed

by Frank Li

Twenty-five years ago today, I became a father: my first child was born on May 4, 1987. Happy birthday, Dan!

Frank-52-Fig-1As parents, we all want to see our children do well. If they do, we are happy parents. If they don’t, our hearts get broken. This is human nature, universally!

For a child to do well, all three elements must be right: parenting, self-effort, and the environment.

There has been no better environment than America anywhere in the world over the past 25 years! But will that still be true 25 years from now? I’m worried, deeply …

Follow up:

1. Some flashback

Twenty-five years ago, I was a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University, living on a research assistantship of $1,000 a month. Life was tough. Two examples:Frank-52-Fig-2

  • (1) In order to prepare for our first child to arrive, my wife and I moved from a 1-room studio to a 1-bedroom suite, an expensive, but absolutely necessary, upgrade!
  • (2) After Dan was born, I moonlighted as a front-desk man downstairs in our on-campus dorm. It was a graveyard shift (12am-4am), at $5/hour, but good enough to buy a lot of diapers! Better yet, the job was basically duty-free, allowing me to do a lot of reading, writing, and thinking about my day-job (i.e. the Ph.D. work).

Most importantly, I was hopeful: “I shall finish my Ph.D. as soon as possible, so as to start a real life in America.” After all, a key reason for me to come to America in 1985 was to pursue a better life not only for myself, but also for my children …

2. America, the beautiful!

Twenty-five years later, I am happy to say that I have made it! For more, read: My American Dream Has Come True.

Frank-52-Fig-3What about Dan? He is on his way to make it too! In 2005, he became an Illinois state champion in swimming. More significantly, he was the only male high school graduate that year, in the entire state of Illinois, who made both IHSA’s All-State Academic Team (13 males and 13 females) and Chicago Tribune’s Scholar-Athlete Team (10 males and 10 females). He graduated from Yale in 2009, and is now a successful trader on Wall Street. I am so proud of you, Dan!

Oh, my younger son is just as outstanding as his elder brother. I will write about him in two years, when he reaches 25.

America, what a beautiful country to live in!

America, what a great place to raise kids (read: The Battle Hymn of The Tiger Dad)!

I love America!

3. Where is America today?

Unfortunately, America is deeply in trouble today! Here are two perspectives:

Are these perspectives too far away for you? Read this: 53% of all young college graduates in America are either unemployed or underemployed!

Just as a parent has the duty to provide the best for his children, even if it means a lot of self-sacrificing, a country has the duty to provide the best for its next generation. America is ignoring this obligation and doing the exact opposite: our politicians are spending the financial futures of our children for political capital today! Watch the following video:



Why is that? Getting re-elected ad nauseam! (Read: American Democracy: Massive Falsehoods at The Top!)

America needs to be saved!

4. Saving America

I believe I have most accurately identified the root cause of many American ills and provided the best solution.

Now, why should I, an electrical engineer by training and a businessman by practice, be so passionate about writing on politics?

It is my way of giving back to America!

America must be saved!

5. Closing

Unless we change soon, America will be finished, in far less than 25 years! What, then, will you say to your children or grandchildren 25 years from now?



Related Articles

Previous articles by Frank Li

About the Author

Frank LiFrank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.

Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson"(see page 31).

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1 comment

  1. Thomas Hymers says :

    Thanks for your thoughts and sharing a
    bit about your self and family. Your son was quite an athlete, but I am sure worked very hard as well. Who is the pretty lady in the picture? Congratulations on your son's success.
    You are right on wiht your comments about the debt crisis in America. There are a lot of us very concerned. Are there enough to change the direction in November? I pray there are.
    You express your self very well. I can understand your passion with that gift.

    Thank You,


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