2.11.17

UNSUSTAINABLE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION.

Pajamas Media's Susan L. M. Goldberg, "We’ve Forgotten How to Understand Stay-at-Home Moms."  Her essay is a call for sisterly solidarity.  "Women, especially those who delay motherhood in favor of a career they return to almost immediately after giving birth, simply can’t comprehend what it means to stay at home with a young child all day, every day."

Read on, though, and you see the laws of conservation in political economy at work.  "Many women do spend at least part of the day at home with their children while they’re young. However, economic changes forced onto our culture by second-wave feminism and the “greed is good” era have made two working parents the rule, not the exception."

You could substitute "You go, grrl" for "greed is good" and you get the same thing, when you expand labor force participation.  "Thus, to hope that a family can 'get by' on one income with current levels of labor force participation by women is to hope that the laws of conservation in economics don't work."

And getting by, Ms Goldberg notes, involves outsourcing much of the dirty work, sometimes to cheap labor.
What’s worse, career culture has forced us to outsource the care and feeding of babies as young as six weeks old to women barely out of high school. These women earn minimum wage. In other words, we think changing diapers, making bottles, pumping breastmilk, feeding, clothing, playing with, educating and maintaining the general physical, mental and emotional health of a human being is worth approximately $7.25 per hour.
That's reality for a lot of people. Power couples with large incomes -- to the extent that they're not reconsidering whether it's worth it -- still have the means to farm out their spawn to Harvard Prep Day Care.

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