PDF No Exit: What Parents Owe Their Children and What Society Owes Parents

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When the daycare closes because carers are sick and good daycares will be small, and this will happen in them , someone has to stay home with the kid. Work hours are in the US long — being in daycare hours a day may be fine — being in daycare 12 hours a day is very unsatisfactory for most kids and most parents. Second, good daycare provision helps out people who go to work. This has been the welfare state soluition, because the welfare state is greedy for growth and taxes, and stay-at-home parents generate neither. But its good I think for people to spend lots of time as q says with their kids, and for kids to spend a lot of time with their parents.

Work dominates peoples lives, to the detriment of family. Greg Hunter I am with Not Me. I know I would be different if I had children, or so all of the people that have children tell me. But we chose not to have them, because the world is becoming more decadent and desparate as the population grows.

If you would like to save more than 5k per family, abandon Medicare and Medicaid and have your elderly parents die in your own home instead of placed in an old folks purgatory. Providing a tax credit for houses has certainly improved home ownership, but that does not mean that hiqh quality houses have been built. Providing Isnt the problem with this proposal that it assumes that there is just one caregiver — what happens if care is shared? To claim the benefit does on person have to give up work,. It does just go to one person. The point of it is to diminish the hit in terms of long term financial security that the primary caregiver experiences.

Of course, what if people practice equal-split parenting say they both decide to work a 30 hour week? Then, on her proposal, the parent who has worse long term propects as a single person is getting the benefit. That seems fair enough to me. Is that the one? The human race has continued for a long time before the present without guaranteeing a cash prize to those who procreate.

What are the odds of that actually happening? That sounds pretty primitive to me, and something society should set its sights on working beyond, not building upon. One short follow up — of course there are presumptions everyone makes. I assume that each morning the sun will rise and that the world will continue to revolve about the sun — yes, I take the yearly cycle for granted too.

One can hardly live life without a few presumptions. Ophelia Benson So is that why people have children? So that there will be a next generation and an economy? See, I always thought it was because they wanted to. But apparently this view is all wrong. The issue dsquared raises is this: if your plans can be executed effectively only if other people bear significant costs, and you know this, is it ok for you to make no contribution to those costs? I think that whether it is ok depends on lots of contingencies, and I do not think that single people have an oblgiation, absent some social coordination like taxation to help parents out.

But I do think it is absolutely fine for a legitimate authority to redistribute the costs of childrearing in a way that gets a better calibration between the benefits people get from it and the costs they bear. Now, your important point, Ophelia, and one that I agree with, is that parents get a whole lot of benefit non-financial benefit out of having kids. The question is: how should that benefit be weighed when we are doing a full audit of the distribution of costs and benefits?

Well I did think that was implied in your text, Harry, yes. I did frown and puzzle over it a bit, thinking I must be wrong, but I kept getting the same reading.


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People not having children is also a financial benefit to people who do, for instance. Fewer children in the public schools and otherwise using up resources. John Kelsey This idea would create an incentive for more people to have children, and to have them younger. Some people might decide to have children as a way to support themselves. What would prevent this? Is there a reason to think that the people who were incentivized to become new parents would be particularly good at it?

But remember two things. Second, the proposal is only one transfer. There are loads of other transfers simultaneously going on, including lots of other government programs and lots of rent-producing features of the labour market. So its not as if this money is going to parents and there are no flows the other ways. This attitude seems to me to misfounded. Fairly quickly after the population peaks, job creation turns negative, as does the rate of household formation. As a consequence, few or no new office buildings, factories or residential buildings are demanded.

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Construction companies go bankrupt, as do logging companies and any other companies whose business depends on construction demand. Any company with fixed geographic infrastructure with consequent fixed costs faced with declining aggregate demand from a declining population will suffer pressure on its operating margins. If they were thin to begin with, the company will go broke. Airlines will fail. Large retail operations, broadcasters fewer thousand eyeballs at the same cost per thousand means lower ad revenues , magazine and newspaper publishing, railroads, will all become significantly less profitable, if they survive.

Their investors will lose money. In general, capital investment will nosedive. There is little incentive to build new production facilities in the face of declining aggregate demand. Interest rates will plummet.

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We will be in a demographic-driven deflation. The banks holding your money will have their own problems. They have fixed infrastructures and declining customer base, too. A recipe for widespread bank failure. And so on, and so on.

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We have an economy built for an expanding population. We have an investment climate which assumes an expanding population. If the population stops expanding and starts shrinking, there will be considerable difficulties adjusting. In the process, you can lose your shirt. This is worst case thinking, of course.

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But before you blithely dismiss the risks of a declining poppulation, you need to look at the worst case. So we can get away with not thinking much about it and being less pro-natalist. So in the end Ophelia hits it on the nose, really.

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There is no way to quantify or qualify the actual costs and benefits of child rearing in hard terms. I think some of us just get tired of the for the children arguments at every turn, from censorship to additional tax burdens. Two things. First, although I glossed over it, Alstott makes a powerful case against mandating family friendly workplaces, and offers this as an alternative. Its also not at all clear that the workplace policies net toward parents, thoguh obviously in some places they do.

Second, paying for public schools is not a transfer to parents.

At worst its to children. Did you go to a school?

No Exit : What Parents Owe Their Children and What Society Owes Parents

Jake McGuire Definitely agree with that, Harry. But then for one thing I think the most urgent new program to add in the US is a national health. Public schools, for example — and yes, they do provide a benefit to parents who have lower daycare costs as a result of the child being in school much of the day.

Social Security. Medicare and Medicaid. Welfare programs. Moreover, someone with no child is likely to have a work career without interruptions to raise children, which means an uninterrupted stretch of taxpaying, which benefits all. No income means no income tax, which means the parent who takes off to be a primary caregiver is not contributing to society during the period of time he or she is out of work.

The costs are easy. Child rearing is an incredibly expensive proposition. Not even close. There is a lot more on this topic in the Price of Motherhood. I must run and put the kids to sleep. Do childless people owe you the difference? Are childless people expected to pay you for what you presumably did because you wanted to? That makes a lot of sense. Laura Should the childless be rewarded for not having children? Since when is being childless the default?

And yes, the childless should pay. Well, at least for the needier breeders. Yes, the child bearers do get some benefit from the little tots, but the childless also get a lot of benefits from not having kids — sleep filled nights, a full bank account, and apparently the belief that they are single handedly making the world a better place. Actually, I am surprised that Ophelia you would take this position. Who do you think bears costs for having children?

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What Kind of Society? Bureau voucher women workers workforce workplace accommodations Workplace Programs. Jacob S. Alstott is a Professor of Law at Yale University.