Sunday, May 16, 2021

Joe Biden Comes Down Against Stay-at-Home Parenting; ‘Stay-at-Home Moms’ and the Government; Biden’s Plan For Government-Run Child Care Is Exactly What Most Moms Don’t Want

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Joe Biden Comes Down against Stay-at-Home Parenting:
They don’t call ’em the “mommy wars” for nothing.
For couples with young kids, work and child care can be incredibly fraught topics. There are no perfect options, just trade-offs that different couples, with different values and different work situations, evaluate differently. Sometimes it makes the most sense for both parents to work while the kids go to day care; other times it’s best for one parent to stay home or work part-time; still other couples are able to rely on family members to watch the kids rather than using day care.
Joe Biden’s American Families Plan would plop the government’s thumb heavily on one side of the scale, using taxpayer money to massively subsidize child care for the working and middle classes. Stay-at-home parents, who watch their own kids so no one else has to, would no longer pocket the resulting savings for their families. This is far outside the proper role of government, contrary to the values of many American parents, and quite possibly harmful to kids.
The plan would subsidize child care in two major ways. First, it would cap the amount that families would have to spend on day care: The “most hard-pressed working families” would get care for free, while those earning up to 1.5 times their state’s median income would have costs capped at 7 percent of their income. On top of that, the plan would provide “free universal pre-school for all three- and four-year-olds.”
The subsidies’ effect would be strongest among lower earners, who would become eligible for the biggest subsidies. But in many places even a family earning six figures could have its costs capped below $150 per week, which is less than the typical cost of care for a single child today. (Nationwide, the median household income is about $70,000, while the median income for a family of four is about $105,000.) The Biden administration itself estimates that the “average family” would save “$14,800 per year on child care expenses” and $13,000 from free preschool. --->READ MORE HERE
‘Stay-at-Home Moms’ and the Government:
Robert VerBruggen makes a strong case against Biden’s child-care proposal, and I agree with all of it except for one aside. While the proposal stacks the deck against families with “stay-at-home” parents (who are mostly mothers), he writes that other existing policies are unfair in the opposite direction: “In some ways the status quo is quite favorable to stay-at-home parents, who, for example, get an especially good deal from Social Security and Medicare.”
Policies that transfer money to these one-earner married couples are dwarfed in size, though, by policies that strongly tend to transfer money away from them, making them subsidizers rather than subsidized on net. And there are also policies that, while not transfering resources among households, have a bigger negative economic effect on large households (e.g., modern child-safety seat requirements).
Social Security and Medicare are the main issue with respect to transfers. They partly socialize the return to making the financial sacrifices entailed by raising children. (See here, here, and for more developed versions of this argument.) They are large, though hidden, wealth transfers from adults with children to those without, and from families with several children to families with few. --->READ MORE HERE
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+++++Biden’s Plan For Government-Run Child Care Is Exactly What Most Moms Don’t Want+++++

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