Well, at this point there don’t seem to be a lot of normal people by Vance’s standard. Only 14 percent of children grow up in “leave it to the beavers” families with a working dad and a stay-at-home mom when they first married. (Only half of the kids were in families like this even when “Leave It to Beaver” was on TV.)
It’s true that women without a college degree are less likely than female college graduates to have a job – but it’s also true for men, suggesting that low employment is more related to lack of work. opportunities and, of course, the cost of child care. than with traditional values.
Plus, if Republicans were really concerned about imposing elite values, they would call for giving families enough to live without sending mothers to work. In fact, this House statement denouncing Biden’s plans specifically condemned child tax credits proposed to provide “social assistance without work.”
The logic seems to be that providing childcare is bad because it’s a liberal plot to force mothers out of the house and take a job, but giving families unconditional help is also bad because it would allow mothers to stay at home rather than find a job.
Now there is a real question about what form family support should take. Why pay for child care? Why not just give the money to families and let them choose whether to use it for child care or to stay at home?
One quick answer is that the Biden administration is already providing families with financial assistance unrelated to daycare; indeed, his plans will likely cut child poverty in half. Childcare assistance would be a supplement.
Another quick answer is that the child care market arguably performs as poorly as the health care market, for many of the same reasons: lack of information, lack of confidence, etc. Just giving people money to buy health insurance doesn’t work; Just giving people money to buy child care would probably work badly too.
Nonetheless, we could and perhaps should have a debate as to whether parents who choose not to place their children in day care should be given money instead. But that’s the way to think about it. And I guarantee you Republicans will not engage in this debate; they come to bury aid to families, not to improve it.
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