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by Christopher Chantrill
June 28, 2006 at 11:01 pm
IN THE US THERE is a swelling movement of women who are wondering if career and children are a sensible combination, indeed whether, as Carolyn Graglia puts it, market production has any moral or economic advantage over domestic production.
Now British working mothers are beginning to wonder too. Writes Camilla Cavendish: For me, the desire to be with my children is physical, like an elastic band stretching. I cant be away for too long.
And now theres a poll to back her up.
This week, a YouGov poll of 1,736 mothers in First magazine demonstrates how profoundly unhappy many mothers are with living this way. More than half feel guilty about time spent away from their children. Two thirds think that mothers should stay at home with their babies and toddlers during the first few years — though nationally, less than half do. A third would like to reduce their working hours, and more than a third say they would give up work altogether if they could.
How did we get to this point, where mothers have been tossed into the workplace and told that it is good to leave their children to a childminder? And where they are exhausting themselvesfor what?
Here we have the most prosperous society the world has ever seen, and mothers are running themselves ragged?
There seem to be two trends on a collision course. The National Center for Health Statistics says that in 1995 6.6 percent of couples were childfree, up from 2.4 percent in the 1980s But wealthy hedge fund managers are going for four and five children, and many people are saying that three is the new two.
We live at a time of greater opportunities for women, of greater job flexibility, of higher average incomes, than at any period in history. Yet we increasingly talk as though we have no control over our lives. We are the first generation to feel that we cannot afford to bring up our own children.
Yes, what is that all about? In the richest society we say we cannot afford to bring up our own children? Who are we kidding?
There is this to think about. When women are at work, governments get revenue from their market production. And they get more control over the nations children. Its all about power, as the postmodernists say.|
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State
Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures
The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since
1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and
philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West
Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its
characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then,
once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital