Friday, February 04, 2011

Working to Pay for Somebody Else to Take Care of Your Children

I shall summarize these lengthy economic studies quickly and succinctly so you needn't bother with reading them in their entirety.

When both parents work, there is nobody there to take care of the children.

Ergo, the feeding, raising, rearing and general "bringing up" of the child is foisted upon the government.

This necessitates a higher government spending as a percent of GDP which correlates with more labor force participation by women.


Because more and more women are working, this increases GDP per capita (which is a good thing)


Think about the two statements above.

Think about it....



What do your economic spidey senses tell you!????!!!

And you will probably realize that in essence (and with an admittedly VERY broad stroke of a brush I am painting here) women have essentially given up being stay at home moms so they may work up the tax dollars to pay government paid strangers to bring up their own children.


women have essentially given up being stay at home moms so they may work up the tax dollars to pay government paid strangers to bring up their own children.

Matter of fact, if you think about the plurality of jobs women pursue, it is simply to take care of other women's children (teachers, social workers, day care, nannies, etc.). But hey, at least they're not bothered bringing up their own icky yuck gross children. I mean, at least they don't have to spend time with them. I mean who wants to do THAT? They are too busy working up the money to pay taxes to pay some government worker to take care of their children. Thank god for outsourcing! I mean, otherwise you might have sit down dinners and conversation and a healthy nuclear family void of divorce.

Now imagine,

JUST IMAGINE (and I know this is going to be a revolutionary thought)




Then you wouldn't need to have two parents working because the government wouldn't need the taxes to bring up other people's children, because (drum roll please)....


I know! CRAZY STUFF! huh!? I mean, society should try that sometime! Oh, it would be experimental and we don't know what the results would be. But, pha, I don't have my "doctoroate in sociology" or "family psychology" so what do I know? I'm just an economist.

In the meantime I will continue to enjoy watching parents forced to slave away to pay other parents to take care of their children through forever increasing taxation so they can afford the outsourcing fee to pay governmental strangers to bring up those yucky icky gross children of theirs.

BIG Hat tip


Ed Kohler said...

Fair points. However, wouldn't we be better off, economically, if people with specialized child rearing skills raised kids on a scale of larger than one to one, while mom got back to work in a field where she brings more value than the fraction of the childcare expert's time?

This ignores the social aspects. But, there are certainly moms who would do a worse job than a childcare specialist.

CSPB said...

If both parents weren't working how they could they afford the SUV and the Bimmer, the boat, the cabin, and the nanny? Not to mention the cleaning service to keep the 3,000 sq ft house clean, which no one has time to enjoy. And frequently eating out, take-out food and the easy to prepare food for meals at home is expensive and requires dual incomes.

Simon Grey said...

"Because more and more women are working, this increases GDP per capita (which is a good thing)"

This doesn't actually translate into an increase in wages per capita. Real income per person has declined (while real income per household has barely increased). The decline in per person wages is a result of aggregate demand holding steady while the labor market increases by 40%, resulting in declining wages.

The sad part is that we have nothing to show for it. The (minor)increase in household income is more than eaten up by the government programs that parents use in lieu of actual parenting. Thus, women leaving the home for the office hasn't simply made America poorer, It has made America radically poorer, not to mention fatter, less healthy, and the host of other socio-cultural issues that crop up when children are raised by the someone other than their parents.

On an unrelated note, thanks for stopping by the blog today.

Anonymous said...

There is something else a lot people do not understand about this issue. In many cases, the after tax income of the working mother, goes to pay for a nanny or daycare. The working mother believes she is making extra money, but in many cases the after tax income is not much more then the cost of the nanny.
This issue also goes a lot deeper then you have mentioned. The child obesity problem can also be factored into this issue.The stay at home mom cooked almost all the family meals. Families with stay at home moms, did not eat huge amounts of fast food.
The destruction of the nuclear family, has all sorts of major social implications. You have just touched on the tip of the iceberg.

CSPB said...

Some great graphs.

wheelchairs said...

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Mike said...

In our family, my wife stays at home, and takes care of our 3 children. We have made some sacrifices to be able to afford to do this. However, we have 2 vehicles, the only debt we have is our mortgage which we are making extra payments on.

My wife is an excellent cook and we rarely eat out. The food is better at home anyways.

To further this, we are also home schooling our kids. I believe that the Ontario public school system is dismal (go to , pick the 'School, board and Provincial results' link, and be astounded at a pass rate of 30% in some schools - this is after 2 weeks of focusing on nothing but passing this test), and would counter the values that we feel are important.

Some of the sacrifices we have made don't seem so bad now. We haven't flown on vacation with our kids yet, but in light of the TSA getting a feel of everybody who flies this doesn't seem so bad in hindsight. We have a pop up camper and go camping. One of our best trips yet was to Myrtle Beach, and the state park right on the beach. We would walk down to the Ocean, and the kids would play on the beach for hours. The cost of the campsite was about $18 per day. It was cheaper than staying home.

S. Harvey said...

I whole heartily agree.

Of course if both the husband and wife have degrees in say engineering then its a totally different discussion, although the second spouse's income is diminished by funding the child rearing their is a huge potential to increase the household income.

If your going to breed, breed with a women who can bring home some major bacon as well...

robert of ottawa said...

Yes, but for only one parent to be able to earn enough money to raise a familly, it requires the government to NOT take half that parent's money in taxation and fees.

Anonymous said...

Unrelated, but check out this story from one Australia's typical newspapers:

You may have to read it twice to get wtf the case is actually about. Once you get that you will no doubt see the consequences of this.

- Breeze

Anonymous said...

Here's the question that never gets addressed. What happens when all of the children grow up? We may be better of with mom staying home but child rearing doesn't take 40 years unless you have a gazillion kids. Then what do women do? Sit on their butts all day while men still work?

John said...

Finally a few people are seeing it!

In the university context, one often sees an old laboratory, or classroom converted to "modern use". The process is to move out any real equipment, paint the walls, put in cheap wall-to-wall carpeting (not so fashionable now), bring in a bunch of desks (the latest fashion around our place is some ghastly combination of plum colour with fake maple) and computers, and seat females behind the computers. God knows what they do - nothing useful you can be sure of that. These females are the real foot soldiers of the New Age. They are too low on the food chain for anyone except politicians to pay attention to them; but they all have votes, and politicians one way or another will make sure that a state university, or a company receiving gov't grants, employs plenty of them. Our university used to have an actual quota. Whether it still does I don't know but the understanding is still there.

The women are actually interesting to talk to. They are never gay, in my experience. There are usually children, and always there is a man about, often not very dependable. They consider that they are raising their children themselves. This lifestyle they equate with independence and control over their lives. They vote straight pocketbook and are usually quite uninterested in politics otherwise. They are fearful - for their children and for themselves. Their salaries are low but dependability tops that. They are without ambition and apparently immune to boredom. They look down on the "mechanick arts".

One step, sometimes two, up, are women with administrative responsibilities. Often quite clever, they control the lower level with fists of iron. They are strongly networked among themselves, and the rotine business is carried out by them. Occasionally there may be a touch of political knowledge or understanding.

phil g said...

no, no, no you just don't get it. Working outside the home at some menial administrative job dealing with the stress from silly interpersonal office politics is liberating...staying at home is so last generation paternalistic oppression. Next thing you'll advocate is that the women not only stay home but cook bare footed.

Anonymous said...

What government entity was raising my kids while we both worked? We paid for daycare until they went to public school. You are correct that during those years, much one of salaries was spent on daycare. It was the other years we were worried about.

If we had some kind of assurance that my wife could resume her career after 5 or 6 years off, we might have adjusted our lifestyle accordingly and done it.

Since that assurance doesn't exist and we plan to live and work for many years to come, we didn't take that chance.

Captain Capitalism said...


No no no no!

I would NEVER suggest women stay at home and cook barefoot.

They would need to be in heels.


phil g said...

Hey the way you think

Whitehall said...

The way I see it is that a woman takes a job outside the home and pays another woman to take care of them. Of course, that paid woman is taking care of more than just one woman's kids - she's taking care of 20 kids!

So the government get taxes from the mother with a job and from the daycare worker. The government wins as do the employers who now have a larger labor pool which lowers overall wages and salaries.

Who loses? THE KIDS! Before, they shared their mother's care between their siblings - typically 2 or 3 in modern families. Now, they share a paid worker's attention with 20 other kids.

But this is supposed to be a better arrangement than one woman living and serving one man and her family by making a home.

I've never bought into that supposition.

Pulp Herb said...

This doesn't actually translate into an increase in wages per capita. Real income per person has declined (while real income per household has barely increased). The decline in per person wages is a result of aggregate demand holding steady while the labor market increases by 40%, resulting in declining wages.

When evaluating that you do need to include that household size has also dropped so it gets pretty weird sussing out just how people are or aren't doing. Plus, I find too often I'm looking at averages when presented data and averages on single end unbounded data at that which will skew averages hard from the median in most cases.

What I wouldn't give for news stories that focused more on median values...the whole "how much better the top quintile is doing" takes a big beating on medians over means for example.