Compensating for Care of the Family

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Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a freelance writer who blogs about culture, philosophy, politics, postmodernism, and religion. He is a inactive to the group Catholic blog Vox Nova. Kyle lives with his wife, son, and daughter in North Texas. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Socialism!

    More seriously: IIRC, I read a few years ago that blue-collar/working-class women were more likely to be Stay At Home Moms than well-educated women. The reasoning was a harsh fact that they did not have enough earning potential to justify working. My other recollection is that people hotly disputed this information when they received it and wanted to call bullshit and it is upper-middle class women who are more like to be Stay at Home Moms because they have rich husbands or something and can afford it.

    I don’t know if it should be paid but I wish our social safety net was set up to better handle the loss of dual income but this is one of those cognitive hypocritical areas of the right-wing brain. Our conservatives want a spouse (almost always the woman) to stay at home but don’t want to enact any government policies to make this more feasible.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      The reasoning was a harsh fact that they did not have enough earning potential to justify working.

      I have gone through this calculation with several young women who found themselves pregnant; they each thought they had to work, the family needed their income. After crunching the numbers; about half realized that their jobs would cost their families money, not bring extra money in to the household.

      Of that group of women, some still opted to return to work; and here, it’s about their own lives, and the potential for future earnings. Taking time off to stay home can be a big hit on your future wages.

      As to compensating people for raising children, I don’t know. Our whole focus discussing families having children seems pretty warped; we don’t have a lot of discussion about children being the seeds of the future, we have discussion about young adults making bad decisions, shitty schools, etc. (I often wonder if there’s a link between how often we talk about failing education and children hearing talk of failing education, so they figure it’s not worth learning?)

      Right now, I’d say we’re much more interested in providing for the old and the rich then children. So if compensating child care helps refocus that discussion, great. If it slides into the 47%/1% discussions in a shaming sort of way? Meh. If stay-at-home mothers and fathers are moochers instead of performing one of the most important of duties? Double meh.Report

  2. Interesting question Kyle. Aren’t there already programs for that? Such as welfare, food stamps, and medicaid?

    I would argue that the expansion of the State and women’s equality were at least part of the cause for the need of two parents/adults to work in a household. Inflation may have a bit to do with it too. Once equality for women occurred in the workforce – women started working – real estate prices rose based on two adults in the household working. So now even if only one adult is working the real estate prices are based on two people working. There are wasteful programs in government and overlapping of certain programs in the government that can either be eliminated or revamped which could reduce taxes. Plus there are needless taxes and regulations that can be eliminated in both the local, state, and federal levels.

    My short answer is no.Report

  3. Avatar kenB says:

    often requires both parents to work

    I think the bolded word needs to be fleshed out a little more. Required in what way? Required in order to have a certain standard of living, perhaps, but in most cases I’d guess it’s not required simply to provide the true basic needs. I recall reading an op-ed piece in the NYT a few years ago detailing how little money you actually need, as long as you’re willing to give up many of the conveniences that we now treat as standard (but that we didn’t a few decades ago, or that weren’t even available).Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

      “I recall reading an op-ed piece in the NYT a few years ago detailing how little money you actually need, as long as you’re willing to give up many of the conveniences that we now treat as standard (but that we didn’t a few decades ago, or that weren’t even available).”

      Hey look, it’s the Welfare Queen argument.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Some of the married folks I know who have two parents that work have both parents making something close to parity. Maybe one of them makes more, but the other gets better benefits, and it mostly works out for them.

    Some of the married folks I know involve partnerships where one of the two parents has a less traditional post-high school learning experience and work makes this person about enough to cover day care, the second car/insurance, and that’s pretty much it. *I* would think that this wouldn’t cover such things as “stress” or “hassle” but I keep my mouth shut.

    There is a part of me that wishes that three or four of our families would pool our resources and buy one of the half-million dollar houses downtown (instead of 3 or 4 $200,000 houses) and we could all be each others’ support system allowing the ones good at cooking to cook, the ones good at cleaning to clean, the ones good at making money to make money, and the kids are always with someone who loves them very much.

    And, of course, a pony.Report

    • JB, the wife has a friend in Vancouver who is a part of just such a group. There are, I think, four or five families that have pooled their resources, bought a large-ish plot of land in the city and begun building a home. It seems like it’ll be a great way for them to live (I don’t know if it would work for me, but there are definite advantages).

      Of course, it wasn’t easy. There were a ton of hoops they had to jump through for city hall. The Powers That Be were a little wary of allowing the construction of the home.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

      “we could all be each others’ support system allowing the ones good at cooking to cook, the ones good at cleaning to clean, the ones good at making money to make money, and the kids are always with someone who loves them very much. ”

      In other words, “it takes a village”.Report

  5. I’m pretty good with not letting kids starve.Report

  6. Avatar dhex says:

    maybe subsidize day care via a means tested tier of some kind?

    direct payouts for successful spooging seems like, in addition to being discriminatory against the childless/childfree/blessed among us, a total mess of an idea.Report

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