Childcare costs are super high — and why liberals prefer it this way
Annual childcare costs are a tremendous burden for the average family. This plays into the hands of the big-government cheerleaders…
I saw an article on social media, shared by a mother, about how expensive childcare is for the average family:
In news that will come as no surprise to parents, the latest report is out confirming that childcare is still expensive as hell for the average family. The Center for American Progress – an independent, nonpartisan policy institute – recently issued its yearly childcare cost report, along with fact sheets for all fifty states, and the bottom line is: Childcare is expensive AF.
Their solution is for politicians to pass laws that reduce the total childcare burden to no more than 10% of a family’s income. As a consequence, the economy will receive a “significant” boost. The boost is supposed to come from fewer women quitting their jobs to stay home with their kids until they’re old enough to be ushered into the school system.
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The article links to a frightening analysis that argues that a 26-year-old mom who leaves the workforce for five years to stay at home with her kids will lose out on $467,000 over the rest of her life. We are supposed to infer from this that it’s really bad for a young mom to stay at home with her kids for those five years. But what can she do? Childcare costs are so expensive that it’s more affordable to stay home.
Woe is us!
If you follow the line of reasoning through this web of articles, they all lead to the same, but contradicting, conclusions: we need bigger government and fewer children.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM?
Politicians are supposed to vote on financial aid in the form of tax credits to offset painful childcare spending.
But for the government to give greater financial relief to families, it needs to collect more taxes. This is evident, because the tax money it collects today is already spoken for. There’s no wiggle room. Over two-thirds of the budget is consumed by politically non-negotiable spending categories.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report on the 2016 federal budget, 70% of the entire $3.85 trillion federal budget went to the following categories:
- Social Security ($910 billion)
- Medicare ($588 billion)
- Medicaid ($368 billion)
- “Defense” ($584 billion); and
- Interest on the debt ($241 billion).
So, to fund bigger subsidy payments for families who pay for childcare, the government will either need to redistribute the 30% of the budget that’s leftover (unlikely), or raise revenue. There are three ways it can do that: higher taxes, inflation, or debt.
MORE MONEY, MORE BUREAUCRACY, MORE GOVERNMENT
However it gets the money, the government will need to staff a larger bureaucracy to administer the family subsidies. This means more government workers. As the number of bureaucrats grows, so will their reach. The desire for greater regulatory control over the details of our lives is irresistible for tenured, lifelong bureaucrats. That’s because expanded federal regulation demands even more bureaucrats to oversee the rules. To get a raise, you need to get promoted. This means hiring more bureaucrats under you to justify the need for more managers.
So, number one, articles and studies and blog posts that call on the government to provide greater financial assistance are already exercising the impulse for big(ger) government that is innate in a welfare society that is under the control of the welfare state.
But the reason this is even a problem in the first place is because it is already so hard for dual-income families to afford childcare — much less a single-income family! Why is this the case?
You have seen the articles and headlines about stagnating household incomes. This chart shows the problem: American productivity has steadily increased since the end of World War II, but around 1973, American wages suddenly quit benefiting from this increase.
GOLD STANDARD AND THE CENTRAL BANKS
The answer is clear to anyone familiar with economic history: in 1971, Nixon ended the last semblance of a gold standard. This broke the final remaining restraint on central bank inflation.
The wealth produced by American workers’ increasing productivity since 1971 has been siphoned off through inflation and diverted to the beneficiaries of inflationary central bank monetary policy: the government and big banks, first, and industries connected to those two sectors, second.
Because of inflation, real, inflation-adjusted wages are stagnating, and families are having a harder and harder time staying afloat, much less getting ahead.
But are the public school textbooks hostile to central banks? Not at all. They believe in them. They promote them as saviors of the economy, the ultimate tool in our toolbox for fighting economic recessions. This was how the bankers and politicians who traveled to Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1910 to invent the Federal Reserve promoted it, and that’s the view the government-controlled education system has promoted ever since.
And yet, it’s central bank policy that has made it increasingly difficult over the years for a husband to support his family as the sole bread-winner. To sustain the lifestyles they desire, most middle class families need two incomes.
Then what happens to the children?
Off they go, into daycare, at increasingly younger ages. This plays right into the hands of the liberals. The sooner they can gain control over the children’s education, the sooner they can begin breaking the parents’ authority over the children — what they believe, and who they should obey. Teachers, bureaucrats, politicians, scientists — they are taught to obey anybody but their own parents, who are supposedly ignorant about most things.
Unlike government-certified experts holding Ph.Ds, of course.
AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION
There is an alternative solution, however, that will reduce the burden on families: stay out of the workforce for fewer years, and then later in life.
“Less obviously, but still intuitively: having a child later reduces the lifetime cost of career interruptions. Someone who works from age 25 to age 67 and takes two years off at age 30, for example, would see his or her wages reduced for 35 years, but taking two years off at age 40 means wages are only reduced for 25 years.”
But a mom who doesn’t have children until she’s 38 is past her prime child-bearing years and less likely to conceive. Her fertility is on the decline. But even if that’s not the case, she is unlikely to have more than one or two children because she is already advanced in years.
Women who have fewer children helps solve “Earth’s People Problem” and takes care of those pesky “extra kids” people are having, to use Bill Nye’s words.
But this is a problem. Fewer children means fewer tax-paying citizens over time. This eventually forces the government into a budget crisis. This leads to a legitimacy crisis which results in a loss of faith in big government.
Childcare makes it possible for both parents to work full-time. The liberals love this because it lets them take control over the children at an even younger age. The sooner they get them, the less likely the children are to depart from their liberal indoctrination. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
But the high cost of childcare makes some mothers decide to quit work and stay home in those early and formative years. This angers the liberals because the parents become a stronger authority in the child’s life.
So, they launch a counter-assault in blogs and articles controlled by the mainstream media. The message: increase the size of government to offset these costs.
Liberals love bigger government.
The public school system promotes the liberal worldview which favors government intrusion into every aspect of our lives. It is a cheerleader for the very institution that has crippled wage growth since 1971 and helped drive wives into the workforce in the first place, beginning in 1913: the central bank.
Yet, the liberals also want population control. They want moms to work more and have fewer children. This policy eventually undermines big government because it starves it of tax money as the population shrinks.
The liberal worldview fears population growth. It sees it as a curse. This is in direct conflict with the Bible, which views population growth as a blessing from God. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock” (Deut. 28:4).
Population growth points towards the end of history: judgment day. The liberals want to pretend there is no God and substitute the messianic state and its rulers in place of God. And yet, they fear the end of history. This results in contradictory policies that eventually undermine their entire worldview and drive it into collapse.