Moral Contradictions

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Banging your head against the wall causes headaches

MSNBC runs an article printed in Newsweek by Judith Garner entitled "Mommy Madness". She provides an in-depth look at the "Modern Mom" and all the stresses and anxieties that come with fulfilling multiple roles. At first I was skeptical because of course life is hectic if you're a working mom... that's a choice. Garner doesn't portray it that way... she refers to the economic squeeze of the middle class where the wife has to go to work just to make ends meet even if they want to stay home. She mentions that with women working an average of 40 hours and men working 51 hours per week that Americans have the longest work-week in the world.

Some of her conclusions: (found on page 6)

  • We need incentives like tax subsidies to encourage corporations to adopt family-friendly policies.
  • We need government-mandated child care standards and quality controls that can remove the fear and dread many working mothers feel when they leave their children with others.
  • We need flexible, affordable, locally available, high-quality part-time day care so that stay-at-home moms can get a life of their own.

    Folks, family values are not just telling kids not to have sex until they're married and not to drink until they're 21... it's providing the means for families to live comfortably and without worry. It means higher real-wages for both men and women (the rate of increase has significantly dropped since 1975). It means more affordable housing. It means affordable healthcare.

    I don't have the answers to how we can achieve these things. However, I know politicians would be making a more worthwhile investment investigating these questions instead of telling us how far down we can wear our pants.

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