November 6, 2014

"Liberals like Obama... apply the 'wave the magic wand' school of policy analysis..."

"... as in 'If I could wave a magic wand, there would be no trade-offs in life. Child care would be plentiful, staffed by Ivy League graduates, convenient to everyone’s homes, and dirt-cheap. Moms would be able to work while their kids were young, and never feel a tug of regret. Or, they could choose to stay at home for a few years and return to the workforce without missing a step or a paycheck.' This is the sort of talk that liberals and progressives have been feeding eager audiences for decades. It glides past economic realities without so much as a backward glance. How, for example, are you going to get those highly educated college grads to work in day-care centers when they expect large returns for their very expensive educations? Is the pay going to start at $100,000? Where will the money come from?"

Writes Mona Charen in "Choices We Don’t Want Women to Make /President Obama is eager to free women from child-care responsibilities" (via Jaltcoh).

ADDED: To be fair to Obama and his ilk, I don't think they ever express a desire to put Ivy League graduates in day care jobs. The Ivy League graduates are all supposed to have brilliant careers, not simply the dignity of work and a "living" wage and nice benefits. Who are those hoards of women who are supposed to staff the day care facilities for the higher class of women who've gone to the finest schools, all right? Charen seems to want to make the magical thinking sound as absurd as possible. But in doing so, she's missing the class politics that is, I think, even more embarrassing to lefties. I remember once, years ago, back in the day when I attended "femcrit" sessions in Madison and Cambridge, bringing up this problem. I was not trying to be confrontational, only to talk plainly about who would do all this child-care work so the higher-achieving women could soar. There would be so many new jobs to draw women into the workplace. I got stone-cold stares. That was something no one wanted to talk about — plentiful low-status jobs for women.

95 comments:

Rumpletweezer said...

If you really care about helping people, shouldn't you be willing to put in the effort to understand how your policies actually affect them?

rhhardin said...

The point of magic wands is that a hand never has to touch anything to make it happen.

MadisonMan said...

The last person I would want to watch my kid is an Ivy League Graduate...not an ounce of common sense in most of the ones I have met.

Moose said...

No sorry. This is like calling Obama a socialist. He's not. He's weded to Democratic dogma about as much as the Clintons. He sees it as a means to an end. That end being power.

Jane the Actuary said...

I think his magic wand thinking is more about wanting child care and preschool options which, by virtue of being government-paid, are both cheap and so utterly fantastic that women don't hesitate for a minute when it comes to deciding to return to work after the baby is born. That, based on the full context of the quote. ("Women stay at home because available options aren't good enough" or something like that.)

I think it's too generous to Obama to assume that he wants women to be able to stay at home and easily return to a high-powered career afterwards. He just doesn't want women to stay at home, period.

http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/11/thats-not-choice-we-want-americans-to.html

Bobby said...

How, for example, are you going to get those highly educated college grads to work in day-care centers when they expect large returns for their very expensive educations? ... Where will the money come from?"

I know this one. Most liberals say they would simply make those "very expensive educations" less expensive, perhaps even free. Now this "highly educated college grad" can work in day care because he doesn't need to worry about needing to start at $100,000 to pay back his loans. This is a sufficient answer for them.

If you then point out that you've just shifted the costs from government-funding day care centers to universities and then ask them how will the government get the money to pay for those "very expensive educations," they invariably call for reducing university salaries (this gets odd, because they refuse to admit it would probably reduce the quality of the education, though they believe this very strongly when they're talking about public school teachers) or more commonly increasing taxes on the rich.

It seems that everything is possible when you're dealing with other people's money.

--Bobby

Anonymous said...

The NAMBLA DayCare Centers will watch your children for free.

Anonymous said...

At the NAMBLA DayCare Centers there are a lot of hands-on activities.

Anonymous said...

At the NAMBLA DayCare Centers your children's horizons will be widened. Horizontally.

Anonymous said...

At the NAMBLA DayCare Centers your children will be opened to new experiences.

Birches said...

What will the government do — mandate that employers offer women who took perhaps years off to care for children the same pay and promotions they would have earned had they remained in the workforce?

Yep. People on fb were blowing a gasket, saying Obama doesn't respect SAHMs. Then some others were said, "No. He just doesn't want mother's to get a raw deal because they stayed home." And I said, "Do we mitigate the negatives when other people change their career paths midstream?" Because that's what it is. It's entering a new field middle aged. I know plenty of people who have done it, but no one seems to give a crap that they don't get credited for their prior work experience in another industry.

That speech was pandering at it's best.

Anonymous said...

At the NAMBLA DayCare Centers everyday is 'Pony Ride Day'.

chillblaine said...

Lena Dunham should open a chain of day care centers. "Little Pebbles Day Care."

Tank said...

Crack is looking for a job.

In fact, many, many young black men are out of work. This is the perfect place to put them, taking care of the elite's children.

Win win.

Amy said...

A very liberal family member had a nanny of questionably legal immigration status. She watched the child for years one-on-one, while HER OWN child (coincidentally of the same age) went to a crowded lower-level day care. The irony was apparently lost on the parents.

The details are always fuzzy in these social agendas. You're not supposed to point out the emperor's nakedness.

traditionalguy said...

The old Stone Cold Stares treatment. But then internet blogging became a good communications tool...until Talking Heads reintroduced the stares or at least serious frowns.

Sebastian said...

"Who are those hoards of women who are supposed to staff the day care facilities . . . "

You mean, "hoards" as in binders full?

carrie said...

Fantasy vs. reality. Only women who have had children and bonded with their children should be allowed to make policies about child care and child rearing. Rearing children should be equal to having a career. However, feminists have decided to measure a woman's worth by her paycheck, which is sad and leads to a lot of unhappiness. If you have a job, you are replaceable and your co-workers will forget about you within weeks of your leaving. There are substitutes for mothers, but not replacements, and children will never forget their mother if the mother took the time to bond with them and to raise them. The happiest female retirees that I know were stay at home moms or moms that made sacrifices in their careers for their children.

MayBee said...

JtheA: " He just doesn't want women to stay at home, period."

It was kind of late-90's thinking, but I remember when the cool kids were all, "Who would *want* to stay home with kids?"

And I guess for him personally, his own mother chose living in a different country over staying with him. And his Grandmother supported that little family.

Henry said...

The magical formula formulated by the president is that the childcare will be both cheap and of incredible quality.

The cheapness and incredible quality are both mandatory. Without cheapness it can't serve a great swath of families. Without incredible quality, it can't promise the educational benefits that every single study of early childhood education show are transitory at best.

DanTheMan said...

Equality:
50% of Fortune 500 CEO's are women
<1% of roofers, coal miners, sewage treatment workers are women

Paco Wové said...

"more commonly increasing taxes on the rich."

That's the answer I would have expected; grabbing the nearest Koch brother and squeezing him like a tick.

madAsHell said...

Who are those hoards of women who are supposed to staff the day care facilities for the higher class of women who've gone to the finest schools, all right?

Service Employees International Union - SEIU

MayBee said...

Overall, I agree with Mona Charen's commentary. It's about big ideas that apparently have no consequences.

I also don't like the modern idea that if you aren't working for a paycheck you aren't contributing to society. I mean, if you aren't contributing to society, that's a completely separate issue.

Whoamusanyway said...

Who are those hoards of women who are supposed to staff the day care facilities for the higher class of women who've gone to the finest schools, all right?

Well just because they said they wouldn't compromise with the mystery tramp doesn't mean they won't.

Levi Starks said...

It rather seems that there are two groups pitted against one an other. One side sees only reality, while the other seems incapable acknowledging reality even exists.
It would be fabulous if everyone had the benefit of a college degree, but at the end of the day, someone still has to clean the bathrooms at the truckstop.

mccullough said...

Who considers these jobs low status?

hawkeyedjb said...

Your dreams, my money.

I'd really like to get rid of that paradigm.

Bob Boyd said...

Obama to the 99%:
The 1% don't think you're fit to shine their shoes, but I do.

Jane the Actuary said...

To address the update: I don't think Obama assumes that lower-class women will work at these daycare jobs, because the mantra is "high quality" - and one of the things that makes a mom hesitate about daycare for the kiddos is when the staff is all dumb as doornails.

Brennan said...

The drive for free pre-kindergarten schooling is less about freeing women from the burdens of child development and more about quantifying the economic output that women have provided for thousands of years. The push is to have these figures added to GDP to show that GDP is increasing.

1) Government borrows and spends for pre-K schooling.
2) Household dollars are freed to flow into the economy.
3) Women are freed to continue working if they choose.

Child development at home doesn't show up in GDP. Progressives are trying to drag your lady parts out of unquantified life of child development at home.

Anonymous said...

You might ask how NAMBLA DayCare Centers can provide all of their services for free. The answer is simple, really: all of our workers are volunteers. They do it just for the Love of Children. Indeed, parents often laugh and say it seems like our volunteers love their children as much as they do; the truth of it is, they might even love your children MORE.

YoungHegelian said...

"I was not trying to be confrontational.....

....just cruelly neutral. Yet for some strange reason, my fellow academic feminists remained unimpressed by my insight."

hawkeyedjb said...

Raising children is not a good occupation for the mothers of those children (not a choice we want them to make), but it's a great occupation for those who are not the mothers of those children.

Huh?

campy said...

"one of the things that makes a mom hesitate about daycare for the kiddos is when the staff is all dumb as doornails."

But when the staff is 90% minorities, any reluctance to use them can be denounced as racist.

The Drill SGT said...

Liberals want wonderful, Swedish DayCare, so that all women are free to work outside the home. Ignoring the fact that primarily, Swedish women are employed taking care of OPK. Other.Peoples.Kids

and in government jobs in general...

The US has a much higher ratio of women in executive jobs...

Shanna said...

Women stay at home because available options aren't good enough" or something like that

This is a fundamental misunderstand of why women stay home. It is a luxury, for most, and they often sacrifice the chance to make more money and live a little bit more lavishly in order to do it.

Anonymous said...

At NAMBLA DayCare Centers you can be sure no child will be left behind.

Anonymous said...

Although NAMBLA DayCare Centers are free, we just wish to remind you that our Annual Ointment Drive is coming up, and we can use your help...

Brent said...

I support the Obama Magic Wand Bill. My wife should get credit for the last 12 years she stayed at home, including dropping out of college, to raise our children. The graduate level degree of her choice must be conferred on her by the college of her choice, and a company must higher her as if she had gained experience after college.

I just hope she doesn't choose to be an entry level surgeon, because that could be bad for the patient. On the other hand, we could just write a law that says the patient can't be harmed by a former-stay-at-home mom entering the work force with a deemed degree and surgery experience.

Michael K said...

I have called this left fantasy "magical thinking" for years.

It is an interesting social experiment when high IQ professional women turn their high IQ children over to low IQ child care workers to raise them.

These high IQ lefty intellectuals all believe Stephen Jay Gould's thesis that we are a "blank slate" as infants and nurture is the most powerful force in developing the individual. It just doesn't compute but the left is not much on math anyway.

John Lynch said...

This is why I call political feminism just another special interest group. It's not about low status women, or women who stay at home. It's about the minority who pursue careers in government and in large corporations. It's not about small business owners, or any of the other myriad ways people make a living without working in a large organization.

It's HR feminism. This is the feminism I find boring.

YoungHegelian said...

Back in the mid-80's, my immediate co-workers & I sat down and actually worked the numbers on how much a woman with two kids & a white collar husband had to make in order for it to be worthwhile for her to continuing working versus stay home with the kids. When we counted in tax burden, aggravation, commuting and, finally, the enormous costs of two kids in day care, we decided about $60K (DC metro area salary) was the cut-off point. Less than $60K, just stay home with the kids.

AJ Lynch said...

Libruls are so fing stupid. For example, they point to the GI Bill as a wonderful govt program and it was. But they don't tell you it gave the same exact benefit to every veteran [i.e. my father who was the son of a coal miner and GHW Bush could each get the same exact benefit]. And it was the same, flat amount for everyone - meaning you could use it to go to a cheap college or an expensive college. Now the govt programs are all siding scale based on family income, the cost of the college you select, how much your parents have saved up, etc. Libruls have made these programs into ginormous works programs due to the complex rules.

Hagar said...

Oh, mama mia!

Horde - Golden Horde, etc.

Hoard - buried coins, etc.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

Know your place, you uncredentialed peasant.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... I got stone-cold stares. That was something no one wanted to talk about — plentiful low-status jobs for women.

But Professor, don't you see, with a $15 minimum wage those jobs wouldn't be so bad (even if they were low status), and add on top of that the hulking gov. structures giving handouts/safety nets expected to be used frequently, and really what's the problem? Nevermind the fact that the market doesn't support a $15 wage for some jobs, we'll just pass a law. Anyway how many of those academics do you think had maids, landscapers, etc. that were recent (illegal?) immigrants?
If they can't be used as a cudgel against ideological opponents the Left isn't overly interested in class conflicts. That is not news.

Hagar said...

ah,
Golden Horde - large number of Mongol horsemen.

n.n said...

Keep the daycare workers green. Recycle illegal aliens.

There are also special interests as noted by betamax3000, that will offer special, if dysfunctional (i.e. rape, but not rape-rape) care. But whatever you do, don't leave your children at a planned daycare center. The mortality rate is known to approach and even exceed unity. Not even the military is so proficient in their planning. Don't let your child be the next Lena Dunham or Jude Jordan (RIP).

That said, the American education product is the most expensive in the world, but does not even place in the top 10 globally. There is no fear of depleting lower class reservoirs. And with liberal fiscal policies that cause catastrophic currency collapse, it will not be just a marginal education that causes a progressive class shift.

Tank said...

Michael K said...

I have called this left fantasy "magical thinking" for years.

It is an interesting social experiment when high IQ professional women turn their high IQ children over to low IQ child care workers to raise them.


They're right, IQ is almost all a matter of genetics, so it does not matter (from that perspective) if the child care workers from age 1 to 4 are low IQ. (Says Tank whose kids were all "privileged" [through family economic sacrifice] to have Mrs. Tank "at home" until they went to school.)

Hagar said...

Catherine the Great was a "limousine liberal."

EDH said...

Obama's Magic Wand is the new Bill Clinton Cigar.

Birches said...

Liberals want wonderful, Swedish DayCare, so that all women are free to work outside the home. Ignoring the fact that primarily, Swedish women are employed taking care of OPK. Other.Peoples.Kids

Truth.

Birches said...

This was one of the comments on the NR article.

Obama speaks of "affordable, high quality child care" vs. mothers staying home to raise their own children. Aren't they the same thing?

Astute.

Bob Boyd said...

EDH said...
Obama's Magic Wand is the new Bill Clinton Cigar.

Bill just left a stain on a blue dress.
Obama will leave a stain on the Blue Model.

Owen said...

Betamax3000: every one of your comments is a threadwinner. Lordy me.

"Sebastian" said...
"Who are those hoards of women who are supposed to staff the day care facilities . . . "

You mean, "hoards" as in binders full?

11/6/14, 9:16 AM

I had the same thought when I saw "hoards." A rare solecism.

Several folks on this thread have commented on how driving women out of the home will generate apparent GDP growth (and of course taxable revenue streams). If everybody can get work looking after other people's kids, we may arrive at the perfect economy. It's hardly novel: when the French Republic had too many people without work in the 1800's, it sent half of them out with shovels to dig holes, and the other half out to fill them back in. Problem solved.

Doug said...

Althouse said I got stone-cold stares. That was something no one wanted to talk about — plentiful low-status jobs for women.
Typical feminists ... ignore what doesn't support their faulty gynoview.

Doug said...

Betamax,

Whoopi wants to know if that is DAY CARE day care.

BrianE said...

I think it's reasonable to assume liberals would prefer to not hire cheap illegal Mexicans to mow their yards, pull their weeds, watch their children, cook their meals, clean their houses and all the other menial tasks that consume daily life.
I think it's reasonable to assume they want cheap legal Mexicans to do those things. Hence 'immigration reform'.
So I do think they have a plan for all of this. Add to this economic mix, cheap labor with government subsidies and you have subsitence living at it's finest.
When traveling through Europe years ago, I noticed that many of the service jobs were held by immigrants- immigrants from their colonial and former colonial holdings. This lower class was the perfect component-- they were already versed in the culture of the mother country and upon immigrating knew their role and place.
It didn't matter so much if they acculturalted since they knew their place. At the same time, they may have already adopted the traditions of the mother country. I think that's changed in the recent years and the new immigrants are more likely to import their old culture, mostly intact into the new country.
When immigrants come to a new country and are willing to acculturate to their new home- great.
When immigrants come to a new country with the goal (conscious or not) to change the new country to an image of the old one-- that's not immigration, that's invasion.

Freeman Hunt said...

My thoughts on the matter.

I had enough moms from my offline life, who I didn't know read my blog, tell me that they appreciated that that I think it expresses the thoughts of many stay at home parents.

CatherineM said...

McCullough- the women(and men) leaving their children in the care of others

Freeman Hunt said...

When I wrote that I put "it's my opinion that it's good for families to have a stay-at-home parent while the children are young," to be diplomatic. I actually think it's better to have one all the way through until the children leave. So many social, philosophical, emotional, and other issues come up in adolescence. It's ideal if there is an undistracted adult on call to discuss these things at a moment's notice.

John Lynch said...

Freeman Hunt has a blog?

See ya.

Freeman Hunt said...

I almost never post there anymore.

John Lynch said...

Aaaaaaaaw.

I miss Synova, too.

Freeman Hunt said...

I prefer commenting here. The blog demands a slightly longer form essay, and the presence of young children is not conducive to writing essays. I like the interaction of commenting. I love this blog and think that Althouse facilitates especially good discussions and attracts especially good commenters.

So my blog isn't worth a frequent stop. It's got some good old posts but nothing new.

virgil xenophon said...

YH@9:53am/

And did you calculate in the vastly increased wardrobe costs, refresher hairdos, etc that work outside the home entails? Not to mention the costs of a second car? purchase & operating)

virgil xenophon said...

@John Lynch/

Go visit Freeman's blog, hit the archives circa 2009 (iirc) and search for a post entitled "He is not coming." One of the GREAT thought pieces of the 21st Cent so far..

John Lynch said...

He is not coming.

MadisonMan said...

I feel somewhat ashamed at having laughed at each of Betamax3000's posts in this thread.

Peter said...

How much analysis does it take to realize that when a Liberal says something should be "affordable," it means the price should be low not because the actual cost is low, but because someone else will be made to pay for it?




Sky said...

One of the partners at my old firm said not to take more than 6 weeks of maternity leave, lest I get "too attached" to the baby.

Shouldn't a mother be too attached to her baby? Who will be too attached to it, if she is not?

But most of the BigLaw firm partners agreed with her, and this is the social world of the Obamas. Nothing is more important than you, even your own children. It's an incredibly destructive attitude.

Æthelflæd said...

Yesterday, I had discussions with my various children about the Martin/Zimmerman case, racial profiling, the TSA, Flannery O'Connor, how not to get beat by your man in basketball, what to say to a bossy-pants, and abortion. All in a typical day for me. I have a pretty good idea why some people might not want me to stay home with my kids.

Revenant said...

*Men* will do the low-status jobs, silly. The high-status jobs will go to women who attended wonderful colleges and went on to brilliant and emotionally satisfying careers.

Jupiter said...

It is peculiar that a school of thought calling itself "feminism" takes as a guiding precept the idea that exercising the one capacity that is uniquely female is degrading, and the only activities that are rewarding are those that males pursue. I suppose there is a certain logic here; if society is structured by men, to suit their interests, then must it not follow that they saved all the good stuff for themselves?

The reality is that nature structured biology so as to force mammalian females to devote themselves to caring for their offspring if they wanted to have any. Males are under no such biological necessity. The social construct of monogamous marriage is actually an immense and fairly successful effort to correct that natural imbalance, by requiring men to provide for the children they father. What we see in modern have-it-all feminism is an attempt to press the issue to the final barricade, forcing men to provide for children they did not father, so that women can be free to pursue whatever activities they may find enjoyable. The Revolt of the Old Maids.

This is a doomed effort. Sisterhood would, perhaps, be powerful, if it existed. But the natural ally of a woman who wants to raise children is a husband, not some other woman. The Other Woman is her mortal enemy. This is why "women" as a group vote for Democrats, but married women tilt Republican. The supposed War on Women is actually the backlash against the War on Marriage.

LilyBart said...

Important question: if we raise taxes to pay for the daycare of all these women so they can 'earn more money later', how will women who want to stay home with their kids (happy to make the trade-off) be able to afford to do so?

Liberals never value the stay at home mom. Like that odious Hilary Rosen who said of Ann Romney, "she never worked a day in her life".

Rusty said...

Thank you Freeman, that was a good read and accurate.


MadisonMan said...
I feel somewhat ashamed at having laughed at each of Betamax3000's posts in this thread.

Me too. If I were a standup comic i'd streal every one of those.

Titus said...

Moms in redneck Arkansas are very different from fab ivy educated moms in Cambridge.

If a redneck southern baby mama walked by a fabulous ivy educated northeastern-there eyes may meet briefly-in disgust.

Not to mention their choice in designer bags, shoes and clothes.

And hair, natch

The south is gross and biggest taker states, and oldest in the U.S. We Northeasterns pay for their taking.

Southern Pigs.

Titus said...

The south also has the least educated and fattest people in the country-natch.

Freeman Hunt said...

Moms in redneck Arkansas are very different from fab ivy educated moms in Cambridge.

One of my three best friends is a "fab ivy educated mom[ from Cambridge." She was one of the people who said that that post expressed her own thoughts.

But I'd better go get back to buttering the pigs.

Birches said...

So diplomatic, Titus.

Right on, Freeman. My spouse says that we put our most talented contributor in charge of our most valued assets. It could sound like pandering, but it's not.

Kirk Parker said...

DanTheMan,

Coal miner? Icky, dirty coal??? Of course no self-respecting womyn would be involved with that horrible, earth-raping trade!

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

The beauty of funding free day care with government deficit spending is that the kids end up paying for their own care.

Lydia said...

To be fair, Obama's comments in that speech about child care were not directed toward the economically well-off, but the "millions of Americans don’t yet feel the benefits of a growing economy where it matters most -- and that’s in their own lives. There are still a lot of folks who are working hard, but having trouble making ends meet."

If you read his full speech, I think it's clear that he's not pushing an anti-stay-at-home-moms agenda at all.

Larry J said...

carrie said...
Fantasy vs. reality. Only women who have had children and bonded with their children should be allowed to make policies about child care and child rearing.


Are fathers allowed to participate in this discussion and policy making?

RecChief said...

Freeman Hunt said...
My thoughts on the matter.


Thanks for letting us know about your blog. I just read "He is not coming", and am planning on reading more when time allows.

By the way, I've been calling for an Adams for several years now, but I had Sam in mind.

I think we need a Sam first but hopefully we can find a John Adams at the same time.

Unknown said...

If you contribute to the idea that the best and brightest are above the stay-at-home role, are you not creating a society wherein that role is not valued? -- Freeman

Michael K said...

"We Northeasterns pay for their taking."

Titus certainly sounds like big time tax payer.

MadisonMan said...

The beauty of funding free day care with government deficit spending is that the kids end up paying for their own care.

Excellent!

campy said...

"Are fathers allowed to participate in this discussion and policy making?"

No.

Revenant said...

The south is gross and biggest taker states, and oldest in the U.S. We Northeasterns pay for their taking.

Ironically, it is the high federal taxes left-wingers love that causes that to happen.

The government can only transfer your money to another state because you insisted that it take a big chunk of your money.

So, to sum up: tee hee!

chillblaine said...

"Moms in redneck Arkansas...Southern Pigs."

Titus is showing us his misognyny. Rose McGowan recently commented on this, saying that, "gay men are as misogynistic as straight men, if not more so.”

iowan2 said...

Prioritizing assets.

Why do radical leftists nut jobs (Democrat Party) lack the ability to prioritize their assets?

It is none of my business how you run your life. How about this? It is unconstitutional for the federal govt to meddle in how you run your life.

The fact is the radical leftist nut jobs (Democrat Party) Don't believe that normal people can rear children, the Dems believe in their heart that the govt is the solution to the problem of dis affected children. Every single Dem repeats the same catechism, "early childhood education" "quality affordable day care". This despite the fact that the research of the last 50 years shows absolutely no lasting benefit of early education programs. So why the constant Dem mantra? An unfounded belief the govt is superior to family. This is proof of why the Federal govt has no business in education. There should be a wall erected between the federal govt and all things education.