Here’s an example where policy makers have decided that people should care more for their elders. In China it has been deemed necessary to introduce an Elderly Rights Law to address the growing problem of lonely elderly people, by ordering adult children to visit their ageing parents. The law has been applied immediately: the BBC tells us that a 77-year-old woman brought the case against her daughter and the court in Wuxi has ordered the latter to visit her mother once every two months.
Imagine the visits, if you will – their excited surprise and warmth after one month and thirty days, their light humour, the imaginative gifts so sensitively thought-through, the hours passing in laughter and delight… er, no? What do you mean, you think the daughter might be reluctant and the elderly mother somewhat vindictive? Hmm, one might almost think family relations was a domain unsuited to policy intervention.