A silver lining in the economic cloud

The consequences of the global depression aren’t all bad; more women might actually stay home to raise their children. But once it becomes clear that a working mother doesn’t actually make any net profit from her job, it should be readily apparent that she is only “working” in order to socialize and avoid the harder work of raising her children:

Every day, dozens of middle-class mothers decide they cannot afford to return to work after having a baby. It’s not because they believe a woman’s place is in the home — many love their jobs and want to return to well-paid careers — but because it’s cheaper to stay at home.

In the past 12 months, on average, household bills have soared by 20 pc, National Insurance has risen by £70 a year, £545 in child tax credits has been taken away, and child benefit was frozen. Childcare costs have rocketed, too. According to children’s charity the Daycare Trust, parents pay 25 per cent more to send a two-year-old child to nursery than five years ago.

And the situation is going to get worse. From next year many families earning more than £25,000 will be stripped of even more child tax credits because of Government cuts. And from January 1, 2013, any household with a higher-rate taxpayer paying 40 per cent tax will lose child benefit worth £1,752 a year.

Figures Aviva has compiled for Money Mail show the cost of childcare is already so high that a mother of two children earning £25,000 a year — and with a husband earning £43,000, just over the higher tax threshold — would have just £300 left a month once childcare and the commuting costs have been taken into account.

And after child benefit is stripped away next year for families with a higher-rate earner she will have just £153 a month left from a month of full-time work — a figure which will drop further if childcare costs and fuel prices keep rising. Her husband’s salary must cover all bills, housing costs, clothes and food and savings.

This article highlights something I pointed out some years ago, which is that about half the female participation in the workforce is detrimental to society. It lowers wages, it harms the development of children, it decreases the quality of marriage, it increases infidelity and divorce, and it reduces workplace productivity. And all for nothing. There are no positive societal consequences from the increased involvement of women in the workforce; many suffer and no one benefits except for four relatively small groups.

1. Daycare providers. An industry exists where one wasn’t required before.

2. Corporations. The increased supply of labor has pushed media male wages down to a level last seen in 1968.

3. Divorce lawyers. “Compared to non-working women, those with a full-time job have a 29 per cent higher odds of divorce.”

4. Retired old men. In 1950, 45.8 percent of men over 65 worked. In 2000, 17.5 percent did. In 1950, 86.9 percent of men 55-64 worked. In 2000, 67.3 percent did. Young mothers are leaving their children in daycare and working in order to pay for old men to play golf. This is not the most sustainable of societies, and as Instapundit likes to say, that which cannot continue won’t.

There are exceptions to every rule and about 30 percent of women have always worked. But society needs middle class young women to marry, stay home, and raise children. It doesn’t need them making Powerpoint demonstrations and having affairs with the married sales manager.