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Are American moms better workers? Critiques of motherhood have become nihilistic

Supermom? (Credit: Workin' Moms/Netflix)


December 26, 2022   7 mins

Motherhood is in crisis. And nowhere in the West is this truer than in America, famously bringing up the rear by every measure when it comes to parental leave. (Where Sudan offers eight weeks of statutory maternity pay, the USA offers precisely zero.) The United States’s unique combination of workaholism and social conservatism means that mothers are failures if they stay home with their kids (unemployed layabouts!), but also if they work outside the home (neglectful career women!). The American way involves mixing anti-abortion politics with a bootstraps insistence that if you make the decadent lifestyle choice to perpetuate the species then you’d best not expect help with that.

It’s always a challenge to balance professional and personal responsibilities, no matter your gender or nationality. The 2022 Autumn of Cough was not just a US phenomenon. But the American mother is always, at any given moment, doing the wrong thing — and, at least in theory, being shamed for it. American motherhood literature emerges, then, from that situation.

An earlier microgeneration of American moms had to contend with parenting advice. Books that explained whether you could drink a glass of wine while pregnant, or how to get your children to eat vegetables. (The answer in all matters was: be like the French.) Today’s reading material, growing out of the lockdown and school closure era as it does, is more nihilistic. The message is: it’s not your fault; everything is systemic. A portrait begins to emerge, in contemporary American mom-lit, of a mother who, rather than taking small steps to ease her suffering, wants to use her own struggles as a starting point to highlight still-greater ones. She’s not a sassy bad mom, but if she moms badly, it is because the system has (and it has!) set her up for failure.

This year, for instance, we have had New York Times parenting journalist Jessica Grose’s book Screaming on the Inside: a well-reported, head-on attack on American mothers’ struggles, which are structural, and worse for the marginalised. We have had, too, the science journalist Chelsea Conaboy’s Mother Brain, which takes a more roundabout approach. Here, too, everything is structural, everything is impossible, but extra impossible if you don’t happen to be straight or white. Arguing contrary to conventional wisdom, Conaboy’s conclusion is that being a mom (or a dad, or a non-binary parent; she doesn’t exclude) can actually make you a better worker.

These books — like the various articles, posts and newsletters making similar cases — are written not, of course, by mothers generally. They are written by a subset of American women who happen to be both writers and mothers, and who apply the liberal critiques common to the world of mainstream journalism to the intractable problem that is American motherhood. They speak to an audience of women who agree with them, but who are too resigned, too exhausted, or privately too convinced the American way is the only valid one, to materially shake things up.

And they, the writers of American motherhood-crisis lit, have a way of blurring material challenges with ambient (and at times imagined) social pressures. Health care bureaucracy and the absence of paid leave, which the writers I mention point out repeatedly, are facts. The requirement to wake up at 4am to bake “dinosaur-shaped muffins that taste like rainbows but are made of steamed arugula” is the stuff of satire but not an actual demand. The suburban writer who recounted, in the New York Times, that “pulling up with the stroller in anything besides smudged black leggings would earn me glares from other moms” at her local play area was reporting on a vibe, not a reality. Who’s to say that if she’d shown up in couture anyone would have cared?

This blurring is an issue because such nebulous plights seem to weigh more heavily on the well-off, but get wrapped up with the ones that operate the way usual plights do, namely by primarily harming have-nots. Grose acknowledges her class privilege, not in a handwringing sense but in a matter-of-fact way, noting that her experience of being able to leave a job without another lined up while pregnant related to her husband’s income. She mentions her mother being a psychiatrist, a plus when she’s having her own struggles with mental health.

The trouble with privilege disclaimers is that they inevitably go on to be about how things are that much worse for those without the same advantages. But are they always? When it comes to things like getting to spend the vomiting phases of pregnancy at home, money helps. Yet some of what Grose describes regarding the pressures to be a “supermom” are specific to the sort of milieu where families have the extra bandwidth to worry about such things. A highly stratified society might be the source of both woes, but it’s unclear whether a year of guaranteed mat leave would impact the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses of school pick-up.

That is not to say that social pressure on moms isn’t a real thing, or a bad one — or one that purely affects middle-class women. Mothers across the socioeconomic spectrum doubtless feel insecure when they look at those influencer accounts where the flawless-looking mom, surrounded by five perfect angels, holds forth about being #blessed. That is, after all, the business model — you feel bad about your own inadequate life, so you buy whatever it is their sponsored posts are selling.

Grose speaks of algorithms as foisting images of maternal perfection upon unsuspecting women, who then feel they have no choice but to scroll their feeds or even watch their television shows. One sees this a lot in even the best commentary about momfluencers: this idea that you can be minding your own business when suddenly, a white woman with a centre part and beachy waves appears before you, selling you special handbags for “busy moms”, or judging you for your own children’s refusal to try even a small amount of bell pepper. Momfluencers, though, are entirely avoidable, in a way that needing to be in a work meeting and at your child’s doctor’s appointment at the same time is not.

Is there something in the American national character that encourages perfectionism? Something in the baseline impossible situation of American motherhood that promotes aiming higher still? Is the supermom concept just a natural next step, once everyone’s striving in vain regardless? And does all of this idealism serve to obscure the unassailable material facts that no woman can wriggle out of? “Why,” asks Conaboy, “does the United States still lack [a paid maternity leave] policy, more than a century after mothers here formally began lobbying for one?” Her answer is, in part, that “the belief in maternal instinct and biology as destiny — women hold the capacity to care for children, their highest and best use — plus the absolute primacy of the maternal-infant bond”.

Her answer to this is that we must challenge the idea that biology is destiny. She objects that if “the entire infrastructure of mainstream online and in-person support groups is exclusive to birthing, cisgender women, then not only are we telling other birthing parents that they are on their own but we’re sending a message to fathers and partners that this stuff just isn’t really for you”. It’s an interesting idea, but the problem in the States seems more that the people who personally, physically, have babies — the overwhelming majority of whom identify as women — are treated as biologically inconvenient. Easier to just hire a man.

I was pregnant with my second child during Covid, and expectant fathers, or non-birthing parents otherwise identified, were not allowed to attend obstetrician appointments. This was unpleasant but understandable in the context of an inherently unequal role distribution. The reason the expression “we’re pregnant” grates — and it does — is that only the mother-to-be is avoiding sushi, not that she wants it anyway what with her morning sickness. She’s the one going through ten different dress sizes in the course of a year, and needing sensitive parts of her body stitched back together. Gender identity discourse can serve as a distraction from the material questions of how a society deals with the practicalities of perpetuating the species. And Americans seem uniquely incapable of sensibly dealing with this fact of life.

A culture that actually venerated “the absolute primacy of the maternal-infant bond”, as Conaboy says America does, would prioritise giving new moms a year home with the baby. By not offering paid maternity leave, the US effectively asks new mothers whether they want to have careers or whether they want to be present for the first months of their baby’s life. Are you going to be a businesswoman or a trad wife?

Another way is possible. In Toronto, where I moved in 2015, after growing up and spending most of my 20s in New York City, it’s normal for even the most ambitious women to take a year off work after having a baby. The women one meets at library baby time — and it is almost only women at these — are not, as a rule, stay-at-home moms. This state of affairs exists not because Canadians are somehow more enlightened than Americans about gender essentialism but because of a 1981 postal worker strike. But for whichever mix of cultural and political reasons, American mothers bemoan the status quo, without being empowered to change it.

There’s something bleak about Conaboy’s insistence, central to her book, that contrary to popular belief, being a mom actually makes you a better worker bee. All this scientific backup for the much-repeated pleas about how moms are pros at multitasking — to what end? American employers view having a child as an inconvenient lifestyle choice that they have no obligation to accommodate. Imagine going to the American boss who has groaned when you’ve shared your good news and saying, look, studies show that my brain will be sharper than ever when I get back, see you in a year! Although when you’re in that situation, your choice of words could not matter less.

American motherhood lit can at times be hazy about what’s specific to the US and what’s a broader facet of having children in the modern world. Even in countries with superior paid-leave policies, employers whinge when expecting mothers announce what’s coming. There are mothers all over the world who find themselves effectively shut out of the workforce because childcare is too expensive. And the existence of paternity leave doesn’t prevent the arrival of a baby from changing the gender dynamics in a hetero household. Some of this is just, life has its challenges, and no particular policy shift, in any direction, would make things otherwise.

And yet. The solutions to the American motherhood crisis are mundane: maternity leave obviously, socialised medicine indirectly, and maybe reduce the chance of school shooting by not effectively handing out guns to anyone who so much as ponders getting one. All of this could transpire without any sort of communist revolution. There could still be fast fashion and plastic toys and food colouring.

But US exceptionalism is a powerful drug. To change what is at this point the American way might mean accepting that other places sometimes — no, not always, but sometimes — do in fact, objectively, have the right idea.


Phoebe Maltz Bovy is a writer based in Toronto. She is the author of The Perils of “Privilege” and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast.

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Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Literary scribblings do not a crisis maketh. A large part of the crisis as explained seems to concern what others are writing. This status-obsessed mindset is the curse of literary types, who seem determined to influence everyone else and yet are obviously the least satisfied and most troubled people of all.

This points to culture – not economics – as the problem, but it probably appeals less to the author to challenge her own culture. The fact is those who don’t share the author’s culture – but do share a similar or indeed far worse economic balance – have more children. In a Darwinian fashion, cultural memes that are anti-children will die away. Indeed, the decline of the West is wholly linked to its demographic decline, its refusal to have children.

This is especially so now the Western states – from their government to employers and their literary classes – have worked out they can create new economic units without the cost of children. That’s the economic reality of the 21st century, no matter how much I protest at this awful turn of events. Many in the chattering class would have a tantrum if *potential* Trump supporters could have more children, and who wants to give more support to the upper middle class?

The simple fact is those Western states with the most generous maternity leave still share some of the lowest birth rates in the world. Even with the best support in the world, Western culture at an individual level prioritises things other than children.

At an individual level, fundamentally, you *do* choose children over other things and the value placed on having children above other things is cultural. I chose to climb mountains, which meant sacrificing some amazing work opportunities and also not having children. I then stopped climbing mountains and had children. Children, like camping at 5000m, are pretty incompatible with a lot of other nice things. Even with all the government support in the world, there will still remain more choices for those without kids and people like the author will feel like they’re missing out. There’s that worrying about what others are doing, again…

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

A good post, but I would add a factor that won’t be popular amongst some – women do seem more inclined to the fear of missing out, not running with the herd, or failing to embrace the fashionable zeitgeist.

We also lack the same amount of time to, as you did, do something else first before deciding to have children. Not considering this causes a lot of women to be dissatisfied, frustrated and angry – it was their choice to spend too long on the mountain-climbing, or what have you, but they’d prefer to act as if it’s someone else’s fault. ‘Society’ or ‘men’, probably.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I’m in my 60’s – half of my friends had no kids and the other half began ‘too late’ and bemoan that they couldn’t have more than one. Young women today still think they can get pregnant into their 40’s even though it’s a well-known fact that fertility drops dramatically after 35. For some reason, it’s tough to give up travel, bar-hopping, clubbing and yes all that freedom only to realize you have boxed yourself in in other ways years down the line.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yes I am one of those unfortunate ‘recovering’ second wave feminists who went through what you describe until I woke up to what was happening. They led us down the primrose path.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yes I am one of those unfortunate ‘recovering’ second wave feminists who went through what you describe until I woke up to what was happening. They led us down the primrose path.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I’m in my 60’s – half of my friends had no kids and the other half began ‘too late’ and bemoan that they couldn’t have more than one. Young women today still think they can get pregnant into their 40’s even though it’s a well-known fact that fertility drops dramatically after 35. For some reason, it’s tough to give up travel, bar-hopping, clubbing and yes all that freedom only to realize you have boxed yourself in in other ways years down the line.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

That was better than the article and mercifully shorter.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I was thinking that also. Straight-forward, intelligent use of language. The essay seemed tortured by a need to be clever and seem overly intellectual.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

I was thinking that also. Straight-forward, intelligent use of language. The essay seemed tortured by a need to be clever and seem overly intellectual.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

A good post, but I would add a factor that won’t be popular amongst some – women do seem more inclined to the fear of missing out, not running with the herd, or failing to embrace the fashionable zeitgeist.

We also lack the same amount of time to, as you did, do something else first before deciding to have children. Not considering this causes a lot of women to be dissatisfied, frustrated and angry – it was their choice to spend too long on the mountain-climbing, or what have you, but they’d prefer to act as if it’s someone else’s fault. ‘Society’ or ‘men’, probably.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

That was better than the article and mercifully shorter.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago

Literary scribblings do not a crisis maketh. A large part of the crisis as explained seems to concern what others are writing. This status-obsessed mindset is the curse of literary types, who seem determined to influence everyone else and yet are obviously the least satisfied and most troubled people of all.

This points to culture – not economics – as the problem, but it probably appeals less to the author to challenge her own culture. The fact is those who don’t share the author’s culture – but do share a similar or indeed far worse economic balance – have more children. In a Darwinian fashion, cultural memes that are anti-children will die away. Indeed, the decline of the West is wholly linked to its demographic decline, its refusal to have children.

This is especially so now the Western states – from their government to employers and their literary classes – have worked out they can create new economic units without the cost of children. That’s the economic reality of the 21st century, no matter how much I protest at this awful turn of events. Many in the chattering class would have a tantrum if *potential* Trump supporters could have more children, and who wants to give more support to the upper middle class?

The simple fact is those Western states with the most generous maternity leave still share some of the lowest birth rates in the world. Even with the best support in the world, Western culture at an individual level prioritises things other than children.

At an individual level, fundamentally, you *do* choose children over other things and the value placed on having children above other things is cultural. I chose to climb mountains, which meant sacrificing some amazing work opportunities and also not having children. I then stopped climbing mountains and had children. Children, like camping at 5000m, are pretty incompatible with a lot of other nice things. Even with all the government support in the world, there will still remain more choices for those without kids and people like the author will feel like they’re missing out. There’s that worrying about what others are doing, again…

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
B G
B G
1 year ago

I don’t see how how the writer’s experience is any different to previous generations. This reads as standard self-obsessed young parent stuff. I get it – I remember those feelings when our kids were growing up , but I’m left feeling an overwhelming need to say, “get over yourself”. It’s just another of life’s rites of passage.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  B G

There needs to be a conversation here in the UK too about the Brownite dream of mass feminisation of the workforce. America seems especially punishing on mothers. But here we plainly have inadequate nursery support. The WFH movement – says the civil service – is driven more by concerns for female workers – gender equality – than efficiency. Is that sustainable when public sector performance is collapsing? More astonishingly, the health unions have declared that the higher stresses of work within the NHS make it ‘anti-women’ – a dysfunctional offshoot of an earlier older male patrirachal system. This is a complete disaster we refuse to acknowledge because of the 1.2 workers in the broken NHS, fully one million are female. Over 80% of GPs are women. We desperately need a 24/7 NHS. An NHS open at weekends. Is the impossible ‘anti women’ work regime in the NHS the hidden reason we never ever will have it?? Why are we not talking about this?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“Over 80% of GPs are women.”
Is that true. It sounds like a very big success story for women. 

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I get the impression a disproportionate number of Asians are GPS too.
Yup – 32% from the various ethnic minorities:
https://bjgpopen.org/content/4/5/BJGPO.2020.0155
And about 55% are women:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/891945/general-practitioners-in-england-by-gender/

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

It’s more like a huge fail for the GP service

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Yes. A success story for them. But do we not have to ask if this new gender balance in the health service and the declared ‘anti women’ nature of the work burden today is linked to the current NHS crisis – specifically the difficulties patients are having in seeing a GP and the flood of early retirees due to work pressures and pension issues?? First the over generous GP deal with Blair ended home visits and tightened hours. Now post Covid we endure ‘remote’ online interaction instead of the better face to face meetings. Gender is o ly one of many issues bedevilling the NHS. But it is the only one we are not talking about. How will we ever get a 24/7 service and hospitals working through the weekends if the specific burdens of health care work are already – as their unions affirm – incompatible with over 90% of its staff??

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The problem is wider and more serious than the article suggests.
Many years ago, when I still listened to Radio 4, I retired female doctor called in to a phone-in on junior doctors’ hours.
She explained that the long hours was the only way in to accrue the experience you needed to accumulate over a short period of time to be a competent doctor.
It is not a 9 to 5 job if you desire to be any good. The same is also true of some other professions

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The problem is wider and more serious than the article suggests.
Many years ago, when I still listened to Radio 4, I retired female doctor called in to a phone-in on junior doctors’ hours.
She explained that the long hours was the only way in to accrue the experience you needed to accumulate over a short period of time to be a competent doctor.
It is not a 9 to 5 job if you desire to be any good. The same is also true of some other professions

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

We have one female GP at our local practice. She is favourable by comparison to her male Asian colleagues (they make you feel like you’re wasting their time despite only going once in a blue moon) however she only works two days a week.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The reason there are so many female GPs is because the working hours favour women who have children, rather than working hospital shifts.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

That’s fine, I just we had a couple more to fill out the working week so we have a better chance to be seen by someone who hasn’t lost the will to care!

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

…and quite reasonably they tend to work less than full-time as a result. Alas, it costs the same to train a part-time GP as it does a full-time GP, with inevitable consequences on training budgets – and therefore capacity over the long term. This ought to be at least partly balanced by the increased efficiency of the part time GP, but oddly there’s little sign of that.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

That’s fine, I just we had a couple more to fill out the working week so we have a better chance to be seen by someone who hasn’t lost the will to care!

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

…and quite reasonably they tend to work less than full-time as a result. Alas, it costs the same to train a part-time GP as it does a full-time GP, with inevitable consequences on training budgets – and therefore capacity over the long term. This ought to be at least partly balanced by the increased efficiency of the part time GP, but oddly there’s little sign of that.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Maybe she’s spending the other days home with her kids?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The reason there are so many female GPs is because the working hours favour women who have children, rather than working hospital shifts.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Maybe she’s spending the other days home with her kids?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Actually, according to a quick Googling, it appears that between 53% and 55% of all GP’s are women, at least in England…and perhaps in the whole UK:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/891945/general-practitioners-in-england-by-gender/
https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/analysis/workforce/why-female-gps-are-earning-15-less-than-their-male-counterparts/
That Statista source has data for the whole UK but you can’t get it without a subscription it seems.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

I did feel the 80% was pushing it.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

I did feel the 80% was pushing it.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I get the impression a disproportionate number of Asians are GPS too.
Yup – 32% from the various ethnic minorities:
https://bjgpopen.org/content/4/5/BJGPO.2020.0155
And about 55% are women:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/891945/general-practitioners-in-england-by-gender/

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

It’s more like a huge fail for the GP service

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Yes. A success story for them. But do we not have to ask if this new gender balance in the health service and the declared ‘anti women’ nature of the work burden today is linked to the current NHS crisis – specifically the difficulties patients are having in seeing a GP and the flood of early retirees due to work pressures and pension issues?? First the over generous GP deal with Blair ended home visits and tightened hours. Now post Covid we endure ‘remote’ online interaction instead of the better face to face meetings. Gender is o ly one of many issues bedevilling the NHS. But it is the only one we are not talking about. How will we ever get a 24/7 service and hospitals working through the weekends if the specific burdens of health care work are already – as their unions affirm – incompatible with over 90% of its staff??

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

We have one female GP at our local practice. She is favourable by comparison to her male Asian colleagues (they make you feel like you’re wasting their time despite only going once in a blue moon) however she only works two days a week.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Actually, according to a quick Googling, it appears that between 53% and 55% of all GP’s are women, at least in England…and perhaps in the whole UK:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/891945/general-practitioners-in-england-by-gender/
https://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/analysis/workforce/why-female-gps-are-earning-15-less-than-their-male-counterparts/
That Statista source has data for the whole UK but you can’t get it without a subscription it seems.

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I recall that when most of my fellow doctors were male we regularly worked 80 hour weeks, often working 32 hours with minimal breaks. I certainly felt put upon, but discrimination and sexism weren’t blamed, although I did struggle to sympathise with nurses over their complaints of 10 hour night shifts, which looked like luxury to me.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ibn Sina

This is what I hear. The Old Order demanded the most punishing hours and stresses as you describe. Then regulatory measures like EU Work Rules banished these Stakhanovite practices. The unions call them old anti women and ‘patriarchal’. If work in the all women NHS is officially ‘anti women’ I guess the dream of a 24/7 accessible Health Service is just that; an unachievable pie in sky dream.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ibn Sina

This is what I hear. The Old Order demanded the most punishing hours and stresses as you describe. Then regulatory measures like EU Work Rules banished these Stakhanovite practices. The unions call them old anti women and ‘patriarchal’. If work in the all women NHS is officially ‘anti women’ I guess the dream of a 24/7 accessible Health Service is just that; an unachievable pie in sky dream.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

About maternity leave… my husband’s USA company had a small office in Italy. They hired a woman who immediately got pregnant and took most of the year off, she came back after a few months and then got pregnant again. That small office of a half dozen people had to subsidize her childbearing and it was not insubstantial. They had to cover her clients, pay her while she was out and then after all this – a few months after she returned from having the second baby – she left the firm entirely. Eventually, this office was shut when they realized that operating in Italy was ‘burdensome’, France & Spain also had their own unique employment problems – high costs, lots of employment requirements.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Buena Vista
Buena Vista
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Well said, Cathy, and your post below also!

Last edited 1 year ago by Buena Vista
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

One day though that women’s children will be working and paying the end of life healthcare costs of those adults, so maybe it’s rather selfish of them not to want to help struggling young families?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The other people in that office had families that they were supporting as well…..it’s quite a lot to ask a family man to support his family and someone else’s as well…

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Would his family not have been entitled to the same maternity rights that he was now supporting?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Would his family not have been entitled to the same maternity rights that he was now supporting?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The other people in that office had families that they were supporting as well…..it’s quite a lot to ask a family man to support his family and someone else’s as well…

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Blimey. Is anyone studying what impact such employment laws and regulations are having inside a fully feminised but anti women NHS workforce?? It is staggering that this debate is not being heard when the NHS is falling apart after the covid madness and decades of mismanagement.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The company wouldn’t have had to pay her while she was out, as in Italy this is paid from central government from taxes paid by all companies.
Therefore if the office failed to find a replacement for the women for the almost two years she was off, that to me implies the company was incredibly poorly run and failed because of incompetence from those at the top rather than due to a single employee having a couple of children.
Funny how thousands of businesses survive just fine in the numerous countries with maternity (and some cases paternity) legislation

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

This sounds a bit odd. You don’t get maternity leave from the time you fall pregnant, do you?

Buena Vista
Buena Vista
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Well said, Cathy, and your post below also!

Last edited 1 year ago by Buena Vista
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

One day though that women’s children will be working and paying the end of life healthcare costs of those adults, so maybe it’s rather selfish of them not to want to help struggling young families?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Blimey. Is anyone studying what impact such employment laws and regulations are having inside a fully feminised but anti women NHS workforce?? It is staggering that this debate is not being heard when the NHS is falling apart after the covid madness and decades of mismanagement.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The company wouldn’t have had to pay her while she was out, as in Italy this is paid from central government from taxes paid by all companies.
Therefore if the office failed to find a replacement for the women for the almost two years she was off, that to me implies the company was incredibly poorly run and failed because of incompetence from those at the top rather than due to a single employee having a couple of children.
Funny how thousands of businesses survive just fine in the numerous countries with maternity (and some cases paternity) legislation

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

This sounds a bit odd. You don’t get maternity leave from the time you fall pregnant, do you?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“Over 80% of GPs are women.”
Is that true. It sounds like a very big success story for women. 

Ibn Sina
Ibn Sina
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I recall that when most of my fellow doctors were male we regularly worked 80 hour weeks, often working 32 hours with minimal breaks. I certainly felt put upon, but discrimination and sexism weren’t blamed, although I did struggle to sympathise with nurses over their complaints of 10 hour night shifts, which looked like luxury to me.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

About maternity leave… my husband’s USA company had a small office in Italy. They hired a woman who immediately got pregnant and took most of the year off, she came back after a few months and then got pregnant again. That small office of a half dozen people had to subsidize her childbearing and it was not insubstantial. They had to cover her clients, pay her while she was out and then after all this – a few months after she returned from having the second baby – she left the firm entirely. Eventually, this office was shut when they realized that operating in Italy was ‘burdensome’, France & Spain also had their own unique employment problems – high costs, lots of employment requirements.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  B G

There needs to be a conversation here in the UK too about the Brownite dream of mass feminisation of the workforce. America seems especially punishing on mothers. But here we plainly have inadequate nursery support. The WFH movement – says the civil service – is driven more by concerns for female workers – gender equality – than efficiency. Is that sustainable when public sector performance is collapsing? More astonishingly, the health unions have declared that the higher stresses of work within the NHS make it ‘anti-women’ – a dysfunctional offshoot of an earlier older male patrirachal system. This is a complete disaster we refuse to acknowledge because of the 1.2 workers in the broken NHS, fully one million are female. Over 80% of GPs are women. We desperately need a 24/7 NHS. An NHS open at weekends. Is the impossible ‘anti women’ work regime in the NHS the hidden reason we never ever will have it?? Why are we not talking about this?

B G
B G
1 year ago

I don’t see how how the writer’s experience is any different to previous generations. This reads as standard self-obsessed young parent stuff. I get it – I remember those feelings when our kids were growing up , but I’m left feeling an overwhelming need to say, “get over yourself”. It’s just another of life’s rites of passage.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Much criminality results from inadequate parenting, especially when kids are very young, i.e., before the age of 2. Society depends on there being well-adjusted children, but is too stupid to realise this. Lack of parental leave exacerbates the problem. 
About 60 years ago, the capitalists turned feminist when they realised that increasing female participation in the rat-race meant that they could practically double the cost of key consumer items, principally houses.
Prior to what was then called “women’s liberation”, primarily it was men (many of whom were problem drinkers) who were rats on the wheel. The greatest trick of capitalism was to dress up the hamster wheel as liberation, and thereby conning women into becoming as downtrodden and hollowed-out as the majority of men. 
Of course, you not allowed to say any of the foregoing lol. The foregoing is offensive to conventional (linear progress) feminist thinking; and it is just as offensive to simpering HR departments and to today’s post-union hipster pleb class (men and women alike), who collectively are dumb enough to be convinced that that bosses and employees are “in it together”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

So what’s your alternative, send women back to the kitchen sink?
The ability of a nation to fully utilise the talents, brains and energy of all it’s adult population can only be a good thing, although you seem to be suggesting otherwise, and of course blame “capitalists” for plotting the emancipation of women, rather than advances in science and medicine (e.g. the Pill) and socialists such as Barbara Castle.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I take these downticks as a sign that there’s no counter-argument, and you’d prefer women back in the home. The Taliban would approve.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The alternative would be to make it as easy as possible for mothers (or fathers) to stay at home if that’s what they wished, rather than forcing both parents to work full time simply to keep a roof over the children’s heads

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The question is: what is that adult population trying to do when they’re utilizing their talents, brains and energy?
You imply that women who are not embedded in Work Cubicle World are somehow wasting all that. Or, visa-versa, that glorified widget pushing (even in a nice office) is somehow more ‘self-actualizing’ and worthwhile than building a family.
Nah…I don’t buy either side of that coin.
The truth is you can be brainless at Work or at Home — if being brainless is your preferred choice. And equally you can be pushing your talent, brains, and energy as far as you can push them at either place, doing either thing. The choice, again, is our own.
As for the so-called emancipation of women….it hardly seems emancipating to deliberately chain one’s self (8-9-10 hrs/day…5-6-7 days a week) to someone’s else’s schedule, to do someone else’s bidding, according to someone else’s standards, for someone else’s idea of what is ‘reasonable and fair’ compensation. Trading our prime of life for a paycheck actually is more a dubious and somewhat dismal necessity if you want to buy groceries and pay a mortgage.
The idea that a ‘career’ beats parenthood & family building is and always has been foolish.
Wealth, indeed, can be a fine thing but no one on any deathbed ever said with deep regret, “I’m sorry I didn’t spend more hours at the office improving that workflow and redesigning that organization!”

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Nobody should ‘send’ anyone anywhere. But I feel that the State encouraging/subsidising women to go to work has long term problems: weaker family structure (so less able to resist those trying to destroy it AND more likely to crumble from internal tensions), lesser children (see today’s woke nutters), fewer children, higher taxes, an obsession with consumerism etc.

Sure it might increase GDP but, like mass immigration, it damages quality of life and social cohesion.

To my mind 2 days’ work per week is probably the best balance for ‘active’ mothers. But everyone must decide for themselves, yet not expect anyone else to subsidise their choices.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob N
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The only people to have escaped “the kitchen sink” are those wealthy enough to pay someone else to do the work. The rest of us have to stand at the kitchen sink and do the washing up, or load the dishwasher, whether we work an 8 – 12 hour day outside or inside the home. If you have a family they must be fed and kept clean or they will get ill and die.

It would be in the best tradition of classic liberalism to enable familes to make a free choice, without overloading them with feminist ideology or strict religious expectations (pretty similar if you ask me), or a cost of living so high both parents have to work full time outside the home to survive.

Give people the choice and see what happens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I was a stay at home mum until my youngest was 14, then I went back to work. I now work in residential childcare, utilising my mothering skills and helping children who have been denied boundaries and the necessary care that children need.
Also worth pointing out that there is a growing number of young people ending up in care that are spoilt and entitled. They are in care because their parents were too busy to properly parent and as a result A) spoilt them out of guilt and B) lost control due to not being home to enforce boundaries. These young people find themselves at risk of CCE and CSE and are frequently overconfident in their ability to look after themselves.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I take these downticks as a sign that there’s no counter-argument, and you’d prefer women back in the home. The Taliban would approve.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The alternative would be to make it as easy as possible for mothers (or fathers) to stay at home if that’s what they wished, rather than forcing both parents to work full time simply to keep a roof over the children’s heads

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The question is: what is that adult population trying to do when they’re utilizing their talents, brains and energy?
You imply that women who are not embedded in Work Cubicle World are somehow wasting all that. Or, visa-versa, that glorified widget pushing (even in a nice office) is somehow more ‘self-actualizing’ and worthwhile than building a family.
Nah…I don’t buy either side of that coin.
The truth is you can be brainless at Work or at Home — if being brainless is your preferred choice. And equally you can be pushing your talent, brains, and energy as far as you can push them at either place, doing either thing. The choice, again, is our own.
As for the so-called emancipation of women….it hardly seems emancipating to deliberately chain one’s self (8-9-10 hrs/day…5-6-7 days a week) to someone’s else’s schedule, to do someone else’s bidding, according to someone else’s standards, for someone else’s idea of what is ‘reasonable and fair’ compensation. Trading our prime of life for a paycheck actually is more a dubious and somewhat dismal necessity if you want to buy groceries and pay a mortgage.
The idea that a ‘career’ beats parenthood & family building is and always has been foolish.
Wealth, indeed, can be a fine thing but no one on any deathbed ever said with deep regret, “I’m sorry I didn’t spend more hours at the office improving that workflow and redesigning that organization!”

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Nobody should ‘send’ anyone anywhere. But I feel that the State encouraging/subsidising women to go to work has long term problems: weaker family structure (so less able to resist those trying to destroy it AND more likely to crumble from internal tensions), lesser children (see today’s woke nutters), fewer children, higher taxes, an obsession with consumerism etc.

Sure it might increase GDP but, like mass immigration, it damages quality of life and social cohesion.

To my mind 2 days’ work per week is probably the best balance for ‘active’ mothers. But everyone must decide for themselves, yet not expect anyone else to subsidise their choices.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob N
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The only people to have escaped “the kitchen sink” are those wealthy enough to pay someone else to do the work. The rest of us have to stand at the kitchen sink and do the washing up, or load the dishwasher, whether we work an 8 – 12 hour day outside or inside the home. If you have a family they must be fed and kept clean or they will get ill and die.

It would be in the best tradition of classic liberalism to enable familes to make a free choice, without overloading them with feminist ideology or strict religious expectations (pretty similar if you ask me), or a cost of living so high both parents have to work full time outside the home to survive.

Give people the choice and see what happens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I was a stay at home mum until my youngest was 14, then I went back to work. I now work in residential childcare, utilising my mothering skills and helping children who have been denied boundaries and the necessary care that children need.
Also worth pointing out that there is a growing number of young people ending up in care that are spoilt and entitled. They are in care because their parents were too busy to properly parent and as a result A) spoilt them out of guilt and B) lost control due to not being home to enforce boundaries. These young people find themselves at risk of CCE and CSE and are frequently overconfident in their ability to look after themselves.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Western societies indifference towards the value of a good family is very evident. We just don’t value it as we should. Not just quality mothering, but quality paternal influence too. Boundaries enforced with love and respect would go a long way in the west.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Western?
I suspect rather the right modifier is Modern. The suicide rate in Japan, as a for instance, is almost twice as high for men and 3X that of women compared to the United States. South Korea’s rate is 50% higher than the U.S. rate….and in India, although the suicide rate is marginally lower than the American rate, that still means that, annually approximately 164K Indians kill themselves compared to 43K in the U.S.
Modernity (or perhaps, more accurately, the moral relativism of Post-Modernity) destroys families as it destroys the values & traditions that create and maintain families. Things fall apart; the center does not hold. Nihilistic abandonment (the lack of family, the lack of life meaning) breeds — among many other things — the suicidal, homicidal, destructive, anarchic urge that we see expressed daily in this our Clockwork Orange.
In the absence of God, everything’s permissible…and nothing save a passing, feel-good pleasure matters. Hard to value family in the midst of that wilderness.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

How does the UKs suicide rate compare today to say the 30’s when religion was much stronger? Also why compare non Christian countries to the states when bemoaning the demise of Christianity?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Good question about the historical suicide trends…I have no idea. It’d be an interesting question to research, assuming you can find data that stretches back at least to the early 1800’s..given that Modernity, the Modern Era is roughly estimated to begin in the late 19th century. As a for instance, EA Robinson’s suicide poem, “Richard Cory” was written in 1897. Prufrock in 1915, The Second Coming in 1919.
But the cultural/social groundswell which was Modernity / Post-Modernity encompasses far more than what lies beneath the Western/Judeo/Christian umbrella. Certainly it was experienced in different ways in the East than the West, but the “indifference to the value of Family” noted by Lindsay S. (above) is, I believe, far more a symptom of Yeat’s “Rough Beast…its hour come round at last” than it is simple geography.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The Modern Era begins after the Middle Ages, which ended in about 1500. The Industrial Revolution begins about on your timeline, though some here will recognize textile mills in c. 1770s England as an origin point too. And we’re living through the Internet Age, or whatever it’ll eventually be called.
So you are taking Yeats to refer to a literal Second Coming which is now upon us? I’m not sure why everything you post seems so self-certain or absolute, but maybe I’m not giving you the benefit of the doubt. Are you in the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt, sir?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Good point; obviously I reference the “Late Modern Era”….what is sometimes called ‘Modernism’.
As for Yeats…and the ‘center which cannot hold’…I would think the reference is obvious. As we look at the 4 Horsemen ride roughshod over the world…Pestilence, Famine, War, Death…it would be difficult if not impossible to argue that the ‘center’ of the West is holding true, wouldn’t you agree? The blood-dimmed tide, indeed, seems loosed.
Where this ends…what’s next…whether indeed we can regain the shining city on the hill — all that remains to be seen.
As for my own certainty? Heck, I consider it akin to most. Very similar to yours. My comments are aimed at the truth, to the best of my ability (given the limits of this space & time). I would trust yours are also. And, of course, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, don’t you?
But the courtesy involved in the assumption that the Other is, indeed, speaking honestly does not mean that we grant or accept assertions that are simply untrue. You may tell me, as a for instance, that pigs fly…and though I grant that you are sincere in that belief, I would not hesitate to tell you that you are wrong.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

That’s a fair reply. I found your series of longish comments here to be full of more intensity and absolutism than most, rarely acknowledging any validity in the viewpoint of those you replied to. But that could reflect, in significant measure, my own bias, or dim illumination around my mirror, so to speak.
Since I’m in favor of more generosity of spirit and openness of exchange, I’ll try to do better at practicing that, instead of just preaching it so much. But since we strongly disagree on a few things about the America we live in, I’ll probably just let that be and not reply to you very often–unless you reply to me or seem to provoke a “passionately intense” response.
Have a good day.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Argument & Counter is how we stretch ourselves. We’d be fools to only reply to perspectives with which we agree, don’t you think?
As for intensity? Interesting comment. I don’t feel particularly intense…curious that you read my commentary in that way. Longish, though, is definitely true.
And ‘acknowledging any validity in the viewpoint of those to whom I reply’….heck, I’m always glad to do that, when it’s there. But when what I read indicates a serious lack of validity (perhaps due to a lack of experience and/or actual rational thought) … well, perhaps that’s where the ‘intensity’ comes from.
‘Absolutism’, though, is a puzzler. Not sure what it is you reference. Pigs don’t fly is an absolute …and I’m sure one with which you’d agree. But in this particular string, what I “suggest” (that Modern is a far better modifier than Western) is far from absolutist. It’s not a demand; it’s a suggestion . I’d simply argue that Modern (late Modern!) is a better causal factor than Western.
In any case, best wishes. I’m sure we’ll run into each other from time to time as these discussions progress.
[FYI…I’m not the one giving you ‘thumbs down’, by the way. Always found that practice to be silly. If I like a comment I give it ‘thumbs up’…if I dislike it, then I either ignore it or write a response.]

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

It’s pretty hard to read tone in printed characters, and I sometimes lose track of that fact.
I do wonder what argument you encountered (from anyone) that was comparable to a claim that pigs could fly, or why someone who hasn’t employed anyone (I have on a few occasions) should accept all your views as authoritative just because of that, or how your disagreements rose to the level of finding no validity in the viewpoint of all those you’ve disagreed with, though in theory you would “when it’s there”. Perhaps there could be disagreement that results from something other than inexperience or irrationality on either side.
Also, experience and rationality, when detached from kindness and empathy, isn’t a complete or very humane path to understanding, in my opinion.
Am I wrong to think you accept almost no government protection against exploitation of workers, or that if the worker agrees to do a job, it pretty much can’t be exploitation?
Would you call yourself a free-market absolutist or nearly so?
I appreciate your willingness to follow-up and discuss perceptions vs. intention. Argument and Counterargument is one way we shape and expand ourselves, agreed. But not through contentious opposition alone. Conversation is valuable too. Although this means of communication doesn’t really encourage much subtlety or depth, civility and fairmindedness are still important. I can see you have more of both than I’d given you credit for.
Best wishes to you too.
{these columns are getting narrow with our series of replies; might have to pick it up again in connection–some connection, I hope!–with another article}.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

It’s pretty hard to read tone in printed characters, and I sometimes lose track of that fact.
I do wonder what argument you encountered (from anyone) that was comparable to a claim that pigs could fly, or why someone who hasn’t employed anyone (I have on a few occasions) should accept all your views as authoritative just because of that, or how your disagreements rose to the level of finding no validity in the viewpoint of all those you’ve disagreed with, though in theory you would “when it’s there”. Perhaps there could be disagreement that results from something other than inexperience or irrationality on either side.
Also, experience and rationality, when detached from kindness and empathy, isn’t a complete or very humane path to understanding, in my opinion.
Am I wrong to think you accept almost no government protection against exploitation of workers, or that if the worker agrees to do a job, it pretty much can’t be exploitation?
Would you call yourself a free-market absolutist or nearly so?
I appreciate your willingness to follow-up and discuss perceptions vs. intention. Argument and Counterargument is one way we shape and expand ourselves, agreed. But not through contentious opposition alone. Conversation is valuable too. Although this means of communication doesn’t really encourage much subtlety or depth, civility and fairmindedness are still important. I can see you have more of both than I’d given you credit for.
Best wishes to you too.
{these columns are getting narrow with our series of replies; might have to pick it up again in connection–some connection, I hope!–with another article}.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Argument & Counter is how we stretch ourselves. We’d be fools to only reply to perspectives with which we agree, don’t you think?
As for intensity? Interesting comment. I don’t feel particularly intense…curious that you read my commentary in that way. Longish, though, is definitely true.
And ‘acknowledging any validity in the viewpoint of those to whom I reply’….heck, I’m always glad to do that, when it’s there. But when what I read indicates a serious lack of validity (perhaps due to a lack of experience and/or actual rational thought) … well, perhaps that’s where the ‘intensity’ comes from.
‘Absolutism’, though, is a puzzler. Not sure what it is you reference. Pigs don’t fly is an absolute …and I’m sure one with which you’d agree. But in this particular string, what I “suggest” (that Modern is a far better modifier than Western) is far from absolutist. It’s not a demand; it’s a suggestion . I’d simply argue that Modern (late Modern!) is a better causal factor than Western.
In any case, best wishes. I’m sure we’ll run into each other from time to time as these discussions progress.
[FYI…I’m not the one giving you ‘thumbs down’, by the way. Always found that practice to be silly. If I like a comment I give it ‘thumbs up’…if I dislike it, then I either ignore it or write a response.]

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

That’s a fair reply. I found your series of longish comments here to be full of more intensity and absolutism than most, rarely acknowledging any validity in the viewpoint of those you replied to. But that could reflect, in significant measure, my own bias, or dim illumination around my mirror, so to speak.
Since I’m in favor of more generosity of spirit and openness of exchange, I’ll try to do better at practicing that, instead of just preaching it so much. But since we strongly disagree on a few things about the America we live in, I’ll probably just let that be and not reply to you very often–unless you reply to me or seem to provoke a “passionately intense” response.
Have a good day.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Good point; obviously I reference the “Late Modern Era”….what is sometimes called ‘Modernism’.
As for Yeats…and the ‘center which cannot hold’…I would think the reference is obvious. As we look at the 4 Horsemen ride roughshod over the world…Pestilence, Famine, War, Death…it would be difficult if not impossible to argue that the ‘center’ of the West is holding true, wouldn’t you agree? The blood-dimmed tide, indeed, seems loosed.
Where this ends…what’s next…whether indeed we can regain the shining city on the hill — all that remains to be seen.
As for my own certainty? Heck, I consider it akin to most. Very similar to yours. My comments are aimed at the truth, to the best of my ability (given the limits of this space & time). I would trust yours are also. And, of course, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, don’t you?
But the courtesy involved in the assumption that the Other is, indeed, speaking honestly does not mean that we grant or accept assertions that are simply untrue. You may tell me, as a for instance, that pigs fly…and though I grant that you are sincere in that belief, I would not hesitate to tell you that you are wrong.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The Modern Era begins after the Middle Ages, which ended in about 1500. The Industrial Revolution begins about on your timeline, though some here will recognize textile mills in c. 1770s England as an origin point too. And we’re living through the Internet Age, or whatever it’ll eventually be called.
So you are taking Yeats to refer to a literal Second Coming which is now upon us? I’m not sure why everything you post seems so self-certain or absolute, but maybe I’m not giving you the benefit of the doubt. Are you in the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt, sir?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Good question about the historical suicide trends…I have no idea. It’d be an interesting question to research, assuming you can find data that stretches back at least to the early 1800’s..given that Modernity, the Modern Era is roughly estimated to begin in the late 19th century. As a for instance, EA Robinson’s suicide poem, “Richard Cory” was written in 1897. Prufrock in 1915, The Second Coming in 1919.
But the cultural/social groundswell which was Modernity / Post-Modernity encompasses far more than what lies beneath the Western/Judeo/Christian umbrella. Certainly it was experienced in different ways in the East than the West, but the “indifference to the value of Family” noted by Lindsay S. (above) is, I believe, far more a symptom of Yeat’s “Rough Beast…its hour come round at last” than it is simple geography.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

Let me add two later lines from the Yeats poem you referenced: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity”.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Great line….and I’m sure we both agree that we see MUCH passionate intensity displayed in these comments.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

I strongly agree that it’s a great line, and I stand accused by it myself at times.
As someone who reveres the teachings and example of Jesus of Nazareth but isn’t an institutional Christian (a bit much to announce, but true): I hope any real Second Coming will prove less violent than the picture Yeats presented about 100 years ago, or the weird nightmare foretold in Revelations.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I hope you’re right!

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I hope you’re right!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

I strongly agree that it’s a great line, and I stand accused by it myself at times.
As someone who reveres the teachings and example of Jesus of Nazareth but isn’t an institutional Christian (a bit much to announce, but true): I hope any real Second Coming will prove less violent than the picture Yeats presented about 100 years ago, or the weird nightmare foretold in Revelations.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Great line….and I’m sure we both agree that we see MUCH passionate intensity displayed in these comments.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

How does the UKs suicide rate compare today to say the 30’s when religion was much stronger? Also why compare non Christian countries to the states when bemoaning the demise of Christianity?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

Let me add two later lines from the Yeats poem you referenced: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity”.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Western?
I suspect rather the right modifier is Modern. The suicide rate in Japan, as a for instance, is almost twice as high for men and 3X that of women compared to the United States. South Korea’s rate is 50% higher than the U.S. rate….and in India, although the suicide rate is marginally lower than the American rate, that still means that, annually approximately 164K Indians kill themselves compared to 43K in the U.S.
Modernity (or perhaps, more accurately, the moral relativism of Post-Modernity) destroys families as it destroys the values & traditions that create and maintain families. Things fall apart; the center does not hold. Nihilistic abandonment (the lack of family, the lack of life meaning) breeds — among many other things — the suicidal, homicidal, destructive, anarchic urge that we see expressed daily in this our Clockwork Orange.
In the absence of God, everything’s permissible…and nothing save a passing, feel-good pleasure matters. Hard to value family in the midst of that wilderness.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

So what’s your alternative, send women back to the kitchen sink?
The ability of a nation to fully utilise the talents, brains and energy of all it’s adult population can only be a good thing, although you seem to be suggesting otherwise, and of course blame “capitalists” for plotting the emancipation of women, rather than advances in science and medicine (e.g. the Pill) and socialists such as Barbara Castle.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Western societies indifference towards the value of a good family is very evident. We just don’t value it as we should. Not just quality mothering, but quality paternal influence too. Boundaries enforced with love and respect would go a long way in the west.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Much criminality results from inadequate parenting, especially when kids are very young, i.e., before the age of 2. Society depends on there being well-adjusted children, but is too stupid to realise this. Lack of parental leave exacerbates the problem. 
About 60 years ago, the capitalists turned feminist when they realised that increasing female participation in the rat-race meant that they could practically double the cost of key consumer items, principally houses.
Prior to what was then called “women’s liberation”, primarily it was men (many of whom were problem drinkers) who were rats on the wheel. The greatest trick of capitalism was to dress up the hamster wheel as liberation, and thereby conning women into becoming as downtrodden and hollowed-out as the majority of men. 
Of course, you not allowed to say any of the foregoing lol. The foregoing is offensive to conventional (linear progress) feminist thinking; and it is just as offensive to simpering HR departments and to today’s post-union hipster pleb class (men and women alike), who collectively are dumb enough to be convinced that that bosses and employees are “in it together”.

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank McCusker
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago

I don’t know much about “American Moms” or American motherhood as such but I do read two American blogs – Posie Gets Cosy and Small Things. The first is written by a woman unable to have a child after an horrific accident but had one by surrogate, she also runs a small needlecraft business. The second blog is written by a woman, a home schooler, with eight children, who also runs a small business linked to her homestead.
I find both these women inspiring and comforting. Neither of them sells herself as a supermom, far from it, they share their struggles and joys with honesty and humility.

The article is fair enough as a critique of capitalism at it’s most ruthless and the effect that has on American mothers generally, but it has always been the case that most of us have to live where we live, with the rules and customs that exist there. You have to find ways to live your life with as much integrity and courage as you can within those parameters. You can only do what you can do, but if you do it with love there’s a better chance for a happier outcome.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago

I don’t know much about “American Moms” or American motherhood as such but I do read two American blogs – Posie Gets Cosy and Small Things. The first is written by a woman unable to have a child after an horrific accident but had one by surrogate, she also runs a small needlecraft business. The second blog is written by a woman, a home schooler, with eight children, who also runs a small business linked to her homestead.
I find both these women inspiring and comforting. Neither of them sells herself as a supermom, far from it, they share their struggles and joys with honesty and humility.

The article is fair enough as a critique of capitalism at it’s most ruthless and the effect that has on American mothers generally, but it has always been the case that most of us have to live where we live, with the rules and customs that exist there. You have to find ways to live your life with as much integrity and courage as you can within those parameters. You can only do what you can do, but if you do it with love there’s a better chance for a happier outcome.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

“The United States’s unique combination of workaholism and social conservatism means that-”
No, you can blame the tens of thousands of corporate lobbyists in Washington D.C for a lack of paid maternity leave.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes, an interesting idea about “The United States’s unique combination of workaholism and social conservatism”, as if it’s the mothers’ own fault and they would turn down maternity leave because they love work so much. But anyway, what’s so unique about it?
And that workaholism must be the reason so many women have two jobs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Not really. The USA, if you haven’t noticed is enormous and encompasses a wide variety of businesses big and small. Folks tend to be entrepreneurial no matter how much politicians dump on the ambitious. That said, encumbering new businesses by burdening them with ever increasing costs is not good for economic growth. If women want extra benefits they would be smart to target the companies that have the economies of scale to offer them super-duper benefits. No healthy economy should require its businesses to be ‘one-size-fits-all’. There’s a reason why the USA is so vigorous- and seemingly can pay $100 Billion to Ukraine to fight yet another European War. There is still a subset of Americans who are not interested in slowing down economic growth with a European-style welfare state. Maybe American women are just cleverer in parsing myriad possibilities ? And of course, they’ll always be the whiners (like Ms Markle!) who think never enough is done for them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

If the only way your business can survive is by forcing your employees into poverty then the country would be much better off if that business failed and their market share taken by a more productive rival.
The Americans all seem to make a big deal about the idyllic family (working dad, mum staying home baking apple pie and helping the community etc) yet they seem to do all they can to economically discourage it

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Forcing your employees into poverty”??
My goodness that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the receipt of a paycheck described as something which forces the recipient into having less money than they did before they got the paycheck.
That’s rather an exaggeration don’t you think?
The point Cathy makes is a good one. If benefits beyond the paycheck are critical, the individual looking for a job needs to be targeting those businesses which offer those benefits (and pretty much all medium+ companies do exactly that). If the skill sets are not sufficient to be employed at such a place, then employment at companies with thinner margins (and fewer benefits) becomes the solution to the unemployment problem.
No business ever forces its employees into poverty. They simply make an employment offer. And paychecks should always be preferrable to no paychecks, regardless of benefits.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

If you only offer wages that aren’t enough to live on, what else are you doing but expecting your employees to live in poverty?
Without minimum standards it simply becomes a race to the bottom with most companies offering nothing with the taxpayer having to pick up the tab. It’s just corporate welfare

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t expect my employees to do anything other than the job I’m paying them to do. How they choose to live is their challenge, not mine.
If I only offer wages that people can’t live on….and they expect to live exclusively on those wages….then they shouldn’t take the job as offered, should they? Rather they should take a job which pays more.
And if they take my job, which pays less, and then object because it’s not a living wage, then we’d have to ask why they took that job in the first place, wouldn’t we?
If I’m hiring you to clean restrooms and you expect to cover a mortgage payment, and food for 3 kids with that paycheck, you’ll be sadly disappointed.
The fact that I offer a non-living wage for any particular job does not mean that I expect my employees to live on what I pay them. As a matter of fact, it indicates the exactly opposite. It indicates I expect that they either carry a 2nd job… or someone else in the household has a 2nd income…. or they have another income source entirely. In any case, how they choose to live is not the problem that the employer has to solve when he calculates his payroll.
No employer is ever under any obligation to offer as salary what his employees would like to earn in order to live the way they’d like to live….they are only obligated to offer what the market requires them to pay (to maintain a work force).
Of course there are also legally required minimum wage standards which must be maintained, but that minimum wage standard’s connection to a so-called ‘livable wage’ is tenuous at best.
But no, what you describe is not ‘corporate welfare’. It’s Social Services or Private Welfare. The beneficiary is not the corporation which is receiving nothing from the State; it’s the individual who actually receives the government payments / state assistance who benefits.
And in no case is any business “forcing its employees into poverty.” That’s simply ridiculous.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

You are a truly disgusting human being! You think that little of your staff you want full time workers but expect the state to top up their wages in order to live.
Welfare is evil socialism unless it’s corporate welfare am I right?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

And a Merry Christmas to you and the family, my friend!
This conversation would be so much more efficient if you took the time to read what was actually written. I don’t expect the State to ‘top up their wages’….I expect that IF an employee can’t make ends meet with the salary I pay for the entry-level job they do….that they find additional income via a 2nd job, or a a 2nd income provider in the household…. or a 2nd income source entirely (stipend from Mom & Dad, as a for instance). I don’t expect the State to do a darned thing.
As for how that particular minimum wage employee will actually handle this challenge, that’s entirely up to them. We are all responsible for ourselves and the lives we choose to lead, wouldn’t you agree?
And Social Services Programs? My goodness, we, the people, already spend $1.3T annually on Social Services for those individuals who need some extra assistance. Does that somehow seem insufficient to you?
In the end, how you choose to lead your life is your business…not the State’s…not mine…not your employer’s…not your doctor’s…not even your Mom’s. And if you choose to work a low-end, entry level job, for minimum wage, then that’s your choice. No employer is under any obligation to pay you any more than the job is worth as long as that $$ figure is equal to or greater than minimum wage.
How you then choose to live with that wage is up to you. It always has been.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

And a Merry Christmas to you and the family, my friend!
This conversation would be so much more efficient if you took the time to read what was actually written. I don’t expect the State to ‘top up their wages’….I expect that IF an employee can’t make ends meet with the salary I pay for the entry-level job they do….that they find additional income via a 2nd job, or a a 2nd income provider in the household…. or a 2nd income source entirely (stipend from Mom & Dad, as a for instance). I don’t expect the State to do a darned thing.
As for how that particular minimum wage employee will actually handle this challenge, that’s entirely up to them. We are all responsible for ourselves and the lives we choose to lead, wouldn’t you agree?
And Social Services Programs? My goodness, we, the people, already spend $1.3T annually on Social Services for those individuals who need some extra assistance. Does that somehow seem insufficient to you?
In the end, how you choose to lead your life is your business…not the State’s…not mine…not your employer’s…not your doctor’s…not even your Mom’s. And if you choose to work a low-end, entry level job, for minimum wage, then that’s your choice. No employer is under any obligation to pay you any more than the job is worth as long as that $$ figure is equal to or greater than minimum wage.
How you then choose to live with that wage is up to you. It always has been.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

You are a truly disgusting human being! You think that little of your staff you want full time workers but expect the state to top up their wages in order to live.
Welfare is evil socialism unless it’s corporate welfare am I right?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t expect my employees to do anything other than the job I’m paying them to do. How they choose to live is their challenge, not mine.
If I only offer wages that people can’t live on….and they expect to live exclusively on those wages….then they shouldn’t take the job as offered, should they? Rather they should take a job which pays more.
And if they take my job, which pays less, and then object because it’s not a living wage, then we’d have to ask why they took that job in the first place, wouldn’t we?
If I’m hiring you to clean restrooms and you expect to cover a mortgage payment, and food for 3 kids with that paycheck, you’ll be sadly disappointed.
The fact that I offer a non-living wage for any particular job does not mean that I expect my employees to live on what I pay them. As a matter of fact, it indicates the exactly opposite. It indicates I expect that they either carry a 2nd job… or someone else in the household has a 2nd income…. or they have another income source entirely. In any case, how they choose to live is not the problem that the employer has to solve when he calculates his payroll.
No employer is ever under any obligation to offer as salary what his employees would like to earn in order to live the way they’d like to live….they are only obligated to offer what the market requires them to pay (to maintain a work force).
Of course there are also legally required minimum wage standards which must be maintained, but that minimum wage standard’s connection to a so-called ‘livable wage’ is tenuous at best.
But no, what you describe is not ‘corporate welfare’. It’s Social Services or Private Welfare. The beneficiary is not the corporation which is receiving nothing from the State; it’s the individual who actually receives the government payments / state assistance who benefits.
And in no case is any business “forcing its employees into poverty.” That’s simply ridiculous.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

“No business ever forces its employees into poverty. They simply make an employment offer.”
I think that’s just too simplistic. Yes, if you’re good at your job, better than others, you can negotiate your wage and benefits or move up the ladder to another company offering higher wages, though more will be expected from you. But there are a lot of jobs that can be learned pretty quickly for those whose skills are limited, and those jobs offer little in the way of wages and benefits, but they’re also services used by a large proportion of the population, so essential to a large degree, but still low value, hence low wages. The people who take up those positions are very short on choices. And if you suggest they should go and up-skill then who will take up those jobs. How many of those employers, possibly in a jam themselves, are surviving purely because of the minimum wage and no benefits? Should they survive only because they can pay minimum wages? That doesn’t sound like a solution to me. It sounds like people being pushed into poverty.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Right. It’s an extreme form of capitalism to suggest that it’s acceptable for someone, for example, to feel forced to accept a job at minimum wage with extended hours and no benefits or overtime pay, since the employee has “agreed” to that, under duress.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What duress?
As an employer I only make a job offer (with compensation). You either choose to accept or not accept that offer. The choice is yours. I, certainly, am not forcing you to do anything. I don’t even know you.
But if you come into my business, accept the offer, and the noted compensation, then that’s your freely willed choice isn’t it? I, the employer, haven’t forced you to do a single thing. I only shook your hand, said ‘welcome aboard’, and trained you how to do the job I’m paying you to do.
If you feel somehow ‘forced’ to accept that job, that’s your problem, not mine (I am definitely not forcing you to do anything…I’m simply offering to pay you for performing a job).
If you’re not skilled enough to do any other job, again, that’s your problem, not mine. I’m not preventing you from developing your skills or doing something different.
And again, if you, as employee, don’t like any of that, then you are entirely free to choose to do something else. Your choice entirely.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The duress of a job and rental market where working full time doesn’t allow a decent–not deluxe or “preferred’–standard of living.
I understand that other people’s problems, including those you choose to employ, are not your own or your legal obligation to alleviate, but why wouldn’t you want to help within your power, according to your success and good fortune as a Job Creator? Or are you just a single household, or society of one?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You’re talking about charity? Sure, absolutely; charity is a very good thing. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
But as a job creator, as a business owner with a host of financial obligations, including the implicit obligation to run a profitable business, that allows on-going reinvestment, that gives all my employees long-term employment opportunities, the pay we offer for any job is set to match (and in some cases) exceed the market. To design a payroll any other way … to build a payroll that compensates some more than others because of their life circumstance… destroys not only the integrity of the agreement between employer & employee, it destroys the business and the livelihood of all who depend upon that business.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You’re talking about charity? Sure, absolutely; charity is a very good thing. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
But as a job creator, as a business owner with a host of financial obligations, including the implicit obligation to run a profitable business, that allows on-going reinvestment, that gives all my employees long-term employment opportunities, the pay we offer for any job is set to match (and in some cases) exceed the market. To design a payroll any other way … to build a payroll that compensates some more than others because of their life circumstance… destroys not only the integrity of the agreement between employer & employee, it destroys the business and the livelihood of all who depend upon that business.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

The duress of a job and rental market where working full time doesn’t allow a decent–not deluxe or “preferred’–standard of living.
I understand that other people’s problems, including those you choose to employ, are not your own or your legal obligation to alleviate, but why wouldn’t you want to help within your power, according to your success and good fortune as a Job Creator? Or are you just a single household, or society of one?

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What duress?
As an employer I only make a job offer (with compensation). You either choose to accept or not accept that offer. The choice is yours. I, certainly, am not forcing you to do anything. I don’t even know you.
But if you come into my business, accept the offer, and the noted compensation, then that’s your freely willed choice isn’t it? I, the employer, haven’t forced you to do a single thing. I only shook your hand, said ‘welcome aboard’, and trained you how to do the job I’m paying you to do.
If you feel somehow ‘forced’ to accept that job, that’s your problem, not mine (I am definitely not forcing you to do anything…I’m simply offering to pay you for performing a job).
If you’re not skilled enough to do any other job, again, that’s your problem, not mine. I’m not preventing you from developing your skills or doing something different.
And again, if you, as employee, don’t like any of that, then you are entirely free to choose to do something else. Your choice entirely.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Not at all simplistic. Just accurate.
I have a job (let’s say, cleaning restrooms) and a compensation level I’ve tied to that job. If you want that compensation , then you take that job. Your choice entirely.
If you can find a better job, you should do so. If you take my job, then you’re accepting that compensation as offered. To take the job and then demand more $$’s is like joining me for a hamburger dinner and then objecting when I serve you a hamburger (rather than steak). That would be unreasonable.
If you do a good job, then you’ll earn raises and promotions assuming the business itself thrives (and of course the health of the business is critically dependent upon the quality of work you, as employee, produce).
If you are low-skilled and can’t find a better job…then my job is better than being unemployed. But the cold, hard fact is that I am under no obligation, legal/ethical/or moral to pay you what you need to earn to maintain your life as you’d like to maintain it. I’m only obligated to pay you what the market says I need to pay you (and what the State — per minimum wage law — requires me to pay you).
And yes, if my business (cleaning restrooms) is viable because all my jobs are minimum wage jobs, then that is a perfectly acceptable solution for me, the employer. If my business is not viable because I can’t hire anyone at that wage, then I need to pay more or change my business. In any case, the fact that my business pays only “X” does not and cannot push anyone into poverty. The exact opposite, in fact, as any wage paid is better than no wages paid.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

“But the cold, hard fact is that I am under no obligation, legal/ethical/or moral to pay you what you need to earn to maintain your life as you’d like to maintain it.”
I don’t think that’s what I’m suggesting. You’re playing games there. I’m not suggesting you pay wages to maintain someone’s life as they’d like to maintain it, like it’s some sort of lifestyle they want you to support.
And I do wonder what you would pay employees if there was no minimum wage.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Well, if you’re not suggesting that employees be paid what they’d require to maintain the lifestyle they’d like to lead….what are you suggesting? Something less than that but more than minimum wage? What is that number and how is it calculated? And would it be different for employees with 3 kids vs. 2…or 2 kids and a sick mother who lives with them….or 5 kids but the oldest is 16 and capable of getting a minimum wage job (assuming some still exist)? Would you pay a single Mom more than a married Mom? Or a married Mom whose husband is incarcerated?
The point is there are only two real points on the compensation curve: the figure required by minimum wage law….and the figure required by the market to hire the talent I need to hire. Anything else is an artificial figure which will do nothing but inflate the cost of labor over market value, while simultaneously increasing the cost-effectiveness of robotics to replace that expensive labor.
It’s why McDonalds is quickly eliminating the human labor behind the order counter. Cheaper to buy kiosk automation. And the more expensive we make unskilled labor, the lower the hurdle rate that automation has to clear.
As for what I’d pay employees without a minimum wage law….exactly what I’d need to pay them to recruit and keep talented labor. That’s it. No more. What is that number? Depends on the industry and the availability of talent …and, obviously , on the complexity & impact of the job I’m trying to fill. To pay them any more than that makes my business a bad investment for me, for the bank, and for anyone who would otherwise seek to invest in my business’s future.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Well, if you’re not suggesting that employees be paid what they’d require to maintain the lifestyle they’d like to lead….what are you suggesting? Something less than that but more than minimum wage? What is that number and how is it calculated? And would it be different for employees with 3 kids vs. 2…or 2 kids and a sick mother who lives with them….or 5 kids but the oldest is 16 and capable of getting a minimum wage job (assuming some still exist)? Would you pay a single Mom more than a married Mom? Or a married Mom whose husband is incarcerated?
The point is there are only two real points on the compensation curve: the figure required by minimum wage law….and the figure required by the market to hire the talent I need to hire. Anything else is an artificial figure which will do nothing but inflate the cost of labor over market value, while simultaneously increasing the cost-effectiveness of robotics to replace that expensive labor.
It’s why McDonalds is quickly eliminating the human labor behind the order counter. Cheaper to buy kiosk automation. And the more expensive we make unskilled labor, the lower the hurdle rate that automation has to clear.
As for what I’d pay employees without a minimum wage law….exactly what I’d need to pay them to recruit and keep talented labor. That’s it. No more. What is that number? Depends on the industry and the availability of talent …and, obviously , on the complexity & impact of the job I’m trying to fill. To pay them any more than that makes my business a bad investment for me, for the bank, and for anyone who would otherwise seek to invest in my business’s future.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

“But the cold, hard fact is that I am under no obligation, legal/ethical/or moral to pay you what you need to earn to maintain your life as you’d like to maintain it.”
I don’t think that’s what I’m suggesting. You’re playing games there. I’m not suggesting you pay wages to maintain someone’s life as they’d like to maintain it, like it’s some sort of lifestyle they want you to support.
And I do wonder what you would pay employees if there was no minimum wage.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Right. It’s an extreme form of capitalism to suggest that it’s acceptable for someone, for example, to feel forced to accept a job at minimum wage with extended hours and no benefits or overtime pay, since the employee has “agreed” to that, under duress.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Not at all simplistic. Just accurate.
I have a job (let’s say, cleaning restrooms) and a compensation level I’ve tied to that job. If you want that compensation , then you take that job. Your choice entirely.
If you can find a better job, you should do so. If you take my job, then you’re accepting that compensation as offered. To take the job and then demand more $$’s is like joining me for a hamburger dinner and then objecting when I serve you a hamburger (rather than steak). That would be unreasonable.
If you do a good job, then you’ll earn raises and promotions assuming the business itself thrives (and of course the health of the business is critically dependent upon the quality of work you, as employee, produce).
If you are low-skilled and can’t find a better job…then my job is better than being unemployed. But the cold, hard fact is that I am under no obligation, legal/ethical/or moral to pay you what you need to earn to maintain your life as you’d like to maintain it. I’m only obligated to pay you what the market says I need to pay you (and what the State — per minimum wage law — requires me to pay you).
And yes, if my business (cleaning restrooms) is viable because all my jobs are minimum wage jobs, then that is a perfectly acceptable solution for me, the employer. If my business is not viable because I can’t hire anyone at that wage, then I need to pay more or change my business. In any case, the fact that my business pays only “X” does not and cannot push anyone into poverty. The exact opposite, in fact, as any wage paid is better than no wages paid.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

Well Walmart encouraged their full-time employees to go on food stamps and buy dented goods, and Amazon imposes punishing quotas on its “fulfillment center” workers. For companies that are so big and profitable, I think that kind of worker treatment is unacceptable.
It amounts to a type of corporate welfare, where the cost of strapped workers going on assistance, or with medical issues but no health care access except the ER, gets passed on to taxpayers, since the mega-corps are not required to provide a decent level of compensation and benefits.
And when so many are overworked or in financial straits, the whole society suffers in ways that are not just monetary. I think right, left, and center should be able to acknowledge that the US is too materialistic, and also under-concerned with the material wellbeing of everyone.
I realize that’s not the case, I just think it should be.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Most companies, pushing widgets, have quotas. Compensation is typically tied to those quotas. You may not like being asked to hit a quota target, that’s entirely up to you. But if you work for a company with quotas, that’s the expectation. If you dislike it enough, I’m sure you’ll leave.
In any case, having a quota to drive productivity and worker efficiency is entirely acceptable. It’s how pretty much every business works that produces widgets. And no, it’s not a type of ‘corporate welfare’ (honestly where does this idea come from??). The corporation is under no obligation to provide you compensation you like or benefits you prefer. If you don’t like the compensation or the benefits as provided, go somewhere else. It’s really very simple.
And — If the State, in its infinite wisdom, decides to subsidize health care for everyone, then everyone pays, including corporations.
As for ‘acknowledging that the US (???) is too materialistic (???) …what on earth does that even mean? By whose standards is that being measured? And why is Bob’s concern with material goods any of Susie’s business?
The truth is, People are, by nature, materialistic (save for the odd saint who shows up every now & then). Some want more, some want less, and we all want differently. That’s life. And I’d say it’s pretty much true for all 8B of us.
But if, indeed, we were to say that 330M people living in the US are ‘too materialistic’ wouldn’t that mean that we are currently OVER concened with everyone’s material well being?? And, visa versa, if we were to somehow, magically, make 330M people less materialistic, wouldn’t that, by definition, make them even LESS concerned with everyone’s material condition?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

No. It means that the measure of worth and happiness would be too material, but the sense of duty to one’s neighbor and countrymen would be weak–even according to a monetary or materialistic standard of worth.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Again, by whose standards is that being measured? Who is to say what is “too material” (whatever that means)? And why is Bob’s concern with material goods, any of Susie’s business?
As for any of our individual concerns for our family, friends, neighbors, and community…that is, again, our business, our responsibility as individuals…and distinctly not something mandated by the State.
You and I may have a certain philosophy about how we might choose to lead our lives (materially, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually), but it is not our responsibility (thank God) to make sure that the rest of the world does what we do…or doesn’t do what we believe they shouldn’t do?
And ultimately, how we choose to lead our lives must include, as a fundamental choice, how we choose to make a living to pay for those lives: the roof over our head, the clothes on our back, our food, our transportation, and our physical and mental well-being. Those decisions are our decisions. Those choices are our choices. And we live (and die) with the consequences of those choices.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Again, by whose standards is that being measured? Who is to say what is “too material” (whatever that means)? And why is Bob’s concern with material goods, any of Susie’s business?
As for any of our individual concerns for our family, friends, neighbors, and community…that is, again, our business, our responsibility as individuals…and distinctly not something mandated by the State.
You and I may have a certain philosophy about how we might choose to lead our lives (materially, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually), but it is not our responsibility (thank God) to make sure that the rest of the world does what we do…or doesn’t do what we believe they shouldn’t do?
And ultimately, how we choose to lead our lives must include, as a fundamental choice, how we choose to make a living to pay for those lives: the roof over our head, the clothes on our back, our food, our transportation, and our physical and mental well-being. Those decisions are our decisions. Those choices are our choices. And we live (and die) with the consequences of those choices.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

No. It means that the measure of worth and happiness would be too material, but the sense of duty to one’s neighbor and countrymen would be weak–even according to a monetary or materialistic standard of worth.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Most companies, pushing widgets, have quotas. Compensation is typically tied to those quotas. You may not like being asked to hit a quota target, that’s entirely up to you. But if you work for a company with quotas, that’s the expectation. If you dislike it enough, I’m sure you’ll leave.
In any case, having a quota to drive productivity and worker efficiency is entirely acceptable. It’s how pretty much every business works that produces widgets. And no, it’s not a type of ‘corporate welfare’ (honestly where does this idea come from??). The corporation is under no obligation to provide you compensation you like or benefits you prefer. If you don’t like the compensation or the benefits as provided, go somewhere else. It’s really very simple.
And — If the State, in its infinite wisdom, decides to subsidize health care for everyone, then everyone pays, including corporations.
As for ‘acknowledging that the US (???) is too materialistic (???) …what on earth does that even mean? By whose standards is that being measured? And why is Bob’s concern with material goods any of Susie’s business?
The truth is, People are, by nature, materialistic (save for the odd saint who shows up every now & then). Some want more, some want less, and we all want differently. That’s life. And I’d say it’s pretty much true for all 8B of us.
But if, indeed, we were to say that 330M people living in the US are ‘too materialistic’ wouldn’t that mean that we are currently OVER concened with everyone’s material well being?? And, visa versa, if we were to somehow, magically, make 330M people less materialistic, wouldn’t that, by definition, make them even LESS concerned with everyone’s material condition?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

If you only offer wages that aren’t enough to live on, what else are you doing but expecting your employees to live in poverty?
Without minimum standards it simply becomes a race to the bottom with most companies offering nothing with the taxpayer having to pick up the tab. It’s just corporate welfare

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

“No business ever forces its employees into poverty. They simply make an employment offer.”
I think that’s just too simplistic. Yes, if you’re good at your job, better than others, you can negotiate your wage and benefits or move up the ladder to another company offering higher wages, though more will be expected from you. But there are a lot of jobs that can be learned pretty quickly for those whose skills are limited, and those jobs offer little in the way of wages and benefits, but they’re also services used by a large proportion of the population, so essential to a large degree, but still low value, hence low wages. The people who take up those positions are very short on choices. And if you suggest they should go and up-skill then who will take up those jobs. How many of those employers, possibly in a jam themselves, are surviving purely because of the minimum wage and no benefits? Should they survive only because they can pay minimum wages? That doesn’t sound like a solution to me. It sounds like people being pushed into poverty.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  B Davis

Well Walmart encouraged their full-time employees to go on food stamps and buy dented goods, and Amazon imposes punishing quotas on its “fulfillment center” workers. For companies that are so big and profitable, I think that kind of worker treatment is unacceptable.
It amounts to a type of corporate welfare, where the cost of strapped workers going on assistance, or with medical issues but no health care access except the ER, gets passed on to taxpayers, since the mega-corps are not required to provide a decent level of compensation and benefits.
And when so many are overworked or in financial straits, the whole society suffers in ways that are not just monetary. I think right, left, and center should be able to acknowledge that the US is too materialistic, and also under-concerned with the material wellbeing of everyone.
I realize that’s not the case, I just think it should be.

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Forcing your employees into poverty”??
My goodness that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the receipt of a paycheck described as something which forces the recipient into having less money than they did before they got the paycheck.
That’s rather an exaggeration don’t you think?
The point Cathy makes is a good one. If benefits beyond the paycheck are critical, the individual looking for a job needs to be targeting those businesses which offer those benefits (and pretty much all medium+ companies do exactly that). If the skill sets are not sufficient to be employed at such a place, then employment at companies with thinner margins (and fewer benefits) becomes the solution to the unemployment problem.
No business ever forces its employees into poverty. They simply make an employment offer. And paychecks should always be preferrable to no paychecks, regardless of benefits.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

If the only way your business can survive is by forcing your employees into poverty then the country would be much better off if that business failed and their market share taken by a more productive rival.
The Americans all seem to make a big deal about the idyllic family (working dad, mum staying home baking apple pie and helping the community etc) yet they seem to do all they can to economically discourage it

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Social conservatism…In my dreams

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Kat L

There are several states and even a few cities where you wouldn’t have to dream.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Kat L

There are several states and even a few cities where you wouldn’t have to dream.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Yes, an interesting idea about “The United States’s unique combination of workaholism and social conservatism”, as if it’s the mothers’ own fault and they would turn down maternity leave because they love work so much. But anyway, what’s so unique about it?
And that workaholism must be the reason so many women have two jobs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Not really. The USA, if you haven’t noticed is enormous and encompasses a wide variety of businesses big and small. Folks tend to be entrepreneurial no matter how much politicians dump on the ambitious. That said, encumbering new businesses by burdening them with ever increasing costs is not good for economic growth. If women want extra benefits they would be smart to target the companies that have the economies of scale to offer them super-duper benefits. No healthy economy should require its businesses to be ‘one-size-fits-all’. There’s a reason why the USA is so vigorous- and seemingly can pay $100 Billion to Ukraine to fight yet another European War. There is still a subset of Americans who are not interested in slowing down economic growth with a European-style welfare state. Maybe American women are just cleverer in parsing myriad possibilities ? And of course, they’ll always be the whiners (like Ms Markle!) who think never enough is done for them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  R Wright

Social conservatism…In my dreams

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

“The United States’s unique combination of workaholism and social conservatism means that-”
No, you can blame the tens of thousands of corporate lobbyists in Washington D.C for a lack of paid maternity leave.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

For those who are as slow as me, lit=literature. It dawned on me eventually…
Mat=maternity and trad=traditional.
Did the author go over her allotted number of characters?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Perhaps – just as you clearly went over your quota of daily tolerance.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Totally. I just couldn’t get “lit”.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Totally. I just couldn’t get “lit”.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Perhaps – just as you clearly went over your quota of daily tolerance.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

For those who are as slow as me, lit=literature. It dawned on me eventually…
Mat=maternity and trad=traditional.
Did the author go over her allotted number of characters?

Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
1 year ago

I was a radical feminist in England in the 1980s. I have rethought many of my ideas over the last few years. I had a powerful urge to have children but made decisions based on my radical feminist conditioning and ended up mothering as a single parent twice. I didn’t expect high enough standards from men especially in the area of providing for their family. I became dependent on the state which was a substitute provider. All I really wanted to do – and still do – is the mothering, home and hearth keeping that women have traditionally done since ancient times. However I felt I shouldn’t want this, that I should be earning as well. I didn’t realise it was natural and good for me. In the last few years, now a grandmother in my 60s, I believe it makes so much sense to have this urge and no longer feel inadequate for wanting to be home and children based.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue Frisby

Of course devoting most or any of one’s life to motherhood and domesticity should not be required of women. But the strain of feminism that sought to shame and discredit stay-at-home motherhood was a bad overcorrection from which we are still trying to recover in much of the so-called West.

Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What feminism has given us is the choice. Let women have careers in anything they want but I think our families and greater society would benefit immensely if those women so inclined did what comes naturally to many of us.

Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue Frisby

Feminism has not given us the choice. It is the market which has given us the choice by creating the demand for our labour outside the home. Feminism is the expression of the competition with men that has been the result. It is both real in terms of the market, and unreal because men and women need each other for their different roles as they always have done.
That dichotomy causes a tension between us at the present time, or at least it can if we let it, we can choose not to be feminists, not to play the game.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Claire D
Claire D
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue Frisby

Feminism has not given us the choice. It is the market which has given us the choice by creating the demand for our labour outside the home. Feminism is the expression of the competition with men that has been the result. It is both real in terms of the market, and unreal because men and women need each other for their different roles as they always have done.
That dichotomy causes a tension between us at the present time, or at least it can if we let it, we can choose not to be feminists, not to play the game.

Last edited 1 year ago by Claire D
Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

What feminism has given us is the choice. Let women have careers in anything they want but I think our families and greater society would benefit immensely if those women so inclined did what comes naturally to many of us.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Sue Frisby

Of course devoting most or any of one’s life to motherhood and domesticity should not be required of women. But the strain of feminism that sought to shame and discredit stay-at-home motherhood was a bad overcorrection from which we are still trying to recover in much of the so-called West.

Sue Frisby
Sue Frisby
1 year ago

I was a radical feminist in England in the 1980s. I have rethought many of my ideas over the last few years. I had a powerful urge to have children but made decisions based on my radical feminist conditioning and ended up mothering as a single parent twice. I didn’t expect high enough standards from men especially in the area of providing for their family. I became dependent on the state which was a substitute provider. All I really wanted to do – and still do – is the mothering, home and hearth keeping that women have traditionally done since ancient times. However I felt I shouldn’t want this, that I should be earning as well. I didn’t realise it was natural and good for me. In the last few years, now a grandmother in my 60s, I believe it makes so much sense to have this urge and no longer feel inadequate for wanting to be home and children based.

N T
N T
1 year ago

Written like someone who has never employed anyone. The current system in the US strikes a sensible balance. You can have the time off, but it doesn’t cost your employer more, aside from having to hold your job for 12 weeks, but still get your work done, while you are out.
You can’t have it both ways. If you want employers to not make excuses to not employ child-bearing-age women, you have to make it less onerous and risky to hire them.
An alternative might be to trade paid maternal leave for lower pay, overall. Then, once again, the cost is balanced.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Also about USA:

”mothers are failures if they stay home with their kids (unemployed layabouts!), but also if they work outside the home (neglectful career women!).”

Literally no one thinks this unless the mother uses her children to get State Welfare. A stay at home mother who is supported within the family is respected. A mother who works is respected.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Stay at home mothers are looked down upon but secretly envied, that has been my experience.

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonas Moze

Stay at home mothers are looked down upon but secretly envied, that has been my experience.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

If it’s such a sensible balance, why does no other first world country copy that system?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

To defend current practices from an employer’s perspective is one thing; but “sensible balance” to describe the US labor system or wider economy? That sounds satirical!

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Actually most first world nations do copy the American capitalist model, hoping for the same GDP impacts. And if they choose to not copy certain aspects of that free-enterprise model, they do so somehow believing that State intervention will produce a better outcome than market operation. In most cases the jury is still out on that decision.
It’s also more than a little misleading to compare economic model to economic model, nation by nation, because the security of the West, in general, is maintained by the multi-trillion-dollar defense umbrella built and maintained by the U.S.. We currently spend an estimated $800B on defense….the UK, about $59B.
China emerged from it’s economic stagnation exactly because it opened its markets and its resources to the West. Japan became a world economic power because the West essentially rebuilt the Japanese economy & industrial engines after the war.
The fact that the American State has not yet universally mandated $X for maternity leave is a minor variance, made more minor by the fact that about 55% of all businesses do provide paid maternity leave.
As always it’s a question of balance….what is it worth, what does it cost….and in the total list of things that tax payers should be paying for, is paid maternity leave anywhere in the top 50?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

To defend current practices from an employer’s perspective is one thing; but “sensible balance” to describe the US labor system or wider economy? That sounds satirical!

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Actually most first world nations do copy the American capitalist model, hoping for the same GDP impacts. And if they choose to not copy certain aspects of that free-enterprise model, they do so somehow believing that State intervention will produce a better outcome than market operation. In most cases the jury is still out on that decision.
It’s also more than a little misleading to compare economic model to economic model, nation by nation, because the security of the West, in general, is maintained by the multi-trillion-dollar defense umbrella built and maintained by the U.S.. We currently spend an estimated $800B on defense….the UK, about $59B.
China emerged from it’s economic stagnation exactly because it opened its markets and its resources to the West. Japan became a world economic power because the West essentially rebuilt the Japanese economy & industrial engines after the war.
The fact that the American State has not yet universally mandated $X for maternity leave is a minor variance, made more minor by the fact that about 55% of all businesses do provide paid maternity leave.
As always it’s a question of balance….what is it worth, what does it cost….and in the total list of things that tax payers should be paying for, is paid maternity leave anywhere in the top 50?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

“An alternative might be to trade paid maternal leave for lower pay,”
Or the government could pay it. 

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Like in every other first world country you mean? American exceptionalism would never allow it and besides, they’re the richest country on the globe they couldn’t possibly afford it!

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Why a downvote? Is that because people think government shouldn’t pay for it? And if so I’d be interested to hear why.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’ve upvoted you to put you on the plus side for now. You do realize that expressing a view that the government should do almost anything but stay out of business and labor dealings altogether will bring reflexive downvotes from some commenters here.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t mind the downvotes, I just wanted to know what it was they disagreed with. I’m also finding your syntax a bit confusing. Do you mean people want government out of business or in it. But either way, the government paying for maternity leave doesn’t affect business, except in juggling staff, which they successfully do in many countries.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Out of business and labor concerns completely, among the sort of subscribers who tend to advocate free-market, antigovernment radicalism on this site. The government “paying for” maternity leave does mean increased taxes, perhaps for businesses in particular. I was also thinking of a step that might be more achievable here at present: requiring companies of a certain size to provide maternity leave, perhaps with the govt. subsidizing it on a sliding scale according to size and profitability.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“The government “paying for” maternity leave does mean increased taxes”
Maybe not so much increasing taxes as managing existing taxes a little differently, changing priorities. If the most successful and richest country in the world doesn’t support mothers through maternity leave then I’d say someone’s against it and that reason is, I guess, the idea of keeping government out of peoples lives. And anyway, how do other countries manage to offer maternity leave without destroying the economy or the fabric of society?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I do not disagree. You might be mistaking my point of view but I’ll make a renewed effort to avoid that too.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Sure, I understand that.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Sure, I understand that.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I do not disagree. You might be mistaking my point of view but I’ll make a renewed effort to avoid that too.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

“The government “paying for” maternity leave does mean increased taxes”
Maybe not so much increasing taxes as managing existing taxes a little differently, changing priorities. If the most successful and richest country in the world doesn’t support mothers through maternity leave then I’d say someone’s against it and that reason is, I guess, the idea of keeping government out of peoples lives. And anyway, how do other countries manage to offer maternity leave without destroying the economy or the fabric of society?

Last edited 1 year ago by Brett H
AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Out of business and labor concerns completely, among the sort of subscribers who tend to advocate free-market, antigovernment radicalism on this site. The government “paying for” maternity leave does mean increased taxes, perhaps for businesses in particular. I was also thinking of a step that might be more achievable here at present: requiring companies of a certain size to provide maternity leave, perhaps with the govt. subsidizing it on a sliding scale according to size and profitability.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t mind the downvotes, I just wanted to know what it was they disagreed with. I’m also finding your syntax a bit confusing. Do you mean people want government out of business or in it. But either way, the government paying for maternity leave doesn’t affect business, except in juggling staff, which they successfully do in many countries.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Government don’t pay for it other people do

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Where I live guns are an available resource to help feed our families when times get tough. Many of us actually have family and community ties which support both parents and children, and reach out to those less fortunate, without involving the federal government. Funding the voracious wasteful bureaucracy advocated in this article would have made it impossible for us to enjoy the custom made framework that supported our early family life. Choice matters.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I’ve upvoted you to put you on the plus side for now. You do realize that expressing a view that the government should do almost anything but stay out of business and labor dealings altogether will bring reflexive downvotes from some commenters here.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Government don’t pay for it other people do

Nancy Kmaxim
Nancy Kmaxim
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Where I live guns are an available resource to help feed our families when times get tough. Many of us actually have family and community ties which support both parents and children, and reach out to those less fortunate, without involving the federal government. Funding the voracious wasteful bureaucracy advocated in this article would have made it impossible for us to enjoy the custom made framework that supported our early family life. Choice matters.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

The government actually being, of course, the taxpayer aka everyone else.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

“The government actually being, of course, the taxpayer”
Thats right. Is that the problem, that helping others leads to some sort of unhealthy dependency?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob N

“The government actually being, of course, the taxpayer”
Thats right. Is that the problem, that helping others leads to some sort of unhealthy dependency?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Like in every other first world country you mean? American exceptionalism would never allow it and besides, they’re the richest country on the globe they couldn’t possibly afford it!

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Why a downvote? Is that because people think government shouldn’t pay for it? And if so I’d be interested to hear why.

Rob N
Rob N
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

The government actually being, of course, the taxpayer aka everyone else.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Or, an alternative might be for women generally to stay home with their kids in the young years, and to pay fathers enough to support the family. That would best help support the traditional family like the one I grew up in. I still don’t see why society should have to provide for the provision of childcare that mothers should responsible for themselves.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Betsy Arehart

Yes, I’d go along with that. Or at least put the childcare money into supporting mothers at home to supplement their husbands’ wages. But as you can see from comments some see that as locking women up in the home.

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Betsy Arehart

Yes, I’d go along with that. Or at least put the childcare money into supporting mothers at home to supplement their husbands’ wages. But as you can see from comments some see that as locking women up in the home.

Jonas Moze
Jonas Moze
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Also about USA:

”mothers are failures if they stay home with their kids (unemployed layabouts!), but also if they work outside the home (neglectful career women!).”

Literally no one thinks this unless the mother uses her children to get State Welfare. A stay at home mother who is supported within the family is respected. A mother who works is respected.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

If it’s such a sensible balance, why does no other first world country copy that system?

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

“An alternative might be to trade paid maternal leave for lower pay,”
Or the government could pay it. 

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
1 year ago
Reply to  N T

Or, an alternative might be for women generally to stay home with their kids in the young years, and to pay fathers enough to support the family. That would best help support the traditional family like the one I grew up in. I still don’t see why society should have to provide for the provision of childcare that mothers should responsible for themselves.

N T
N T
1 year ago

Written like someone who has never employed anyone. The current system in the US strikes a sensible balance. You can have the time off, but it doesn’t cost your employer more, aside from having to hold your job for 12 weeks, but still get your work done, while you are out.
You can’t have it both ways. If you want employers to not make excuses to not employ child-bearing-age women, you have to make it less onerous and risky to hire them.
An alternative might be to trade paid maternal leave for lower pay, overall. Then, once again, the cost is balanced.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago