Female Breadwinners and the Power of the Market

Fox got it wrong. Freer markets have made freer women.

Are female breadwinners bad for America? Is caveman punditry bad for Republicans? These are the questions in the wake of a new study on women as family breadwinners and of a controversial Fox Business Network segment in which several male contributors deplored the trend as a sign of society's downfall. Unfortunately, the Fox panel hosted by Lou Dobbs fed straight into left-wing stereotypes of conservatives as chauvinistic males threatened by strong women. In fact, the discussion touched on some valid concerns: to the extent that the rise of female breadwinners is due to the increase in single-mother families, it does reflect worrisome developments. But other aspects of this trend are far more positive—and they bolster the libertarian/conservative argument that markets, not government, are the best path to female empowerment.

The Pew Research Center report, “Breadwinner Moms,” reveals that mothers are now the primary breadwinners for 40 percent of American households with children under eighteen, a record high. Yet this figure is made up of two very different phenomena: single-mother families, currently 25 percent of households with children, and married mothers who are their families’ primary earners, currently 15 percent of the total. In the Pew survey, mothers in the second group were disproportionately white and college-educated, with a median total household income of nearly $80,000 a year (about the same as for male-breadwinner families). Women in the first group were younger, disproportionately black or Hispanic, less educated than other mothers, and much poorer: their median annual family income was just $23,000. 

To some extent, the concerns voiced on the Fox panel had to do with single mothers and marriage disintegration (with passionate commentary from Juan Williams, the veteran journalist who is black and may be especially aware of the tragedy of father absence in the black community). Yet there was also rhetoric with clear and jarring overtones of hostility to female empowerment, even in married-couple families—with RedState.com blogger Erick Erickson invoking the animal kingdom to argue that it’s natural for males to be in “the dominant role” and that anyone who approves of women as breadwinners is “anti-science.”

Leftist websites quickly picked up the segment as an example of right-wing sexism, with plenty of sarcastic jabs at Erickson’s alleged expertise in biology. In fact, Erickson fully deserved the backlash—which also came from his female colleagues at Fox, notably Megyn Kelly. Invoking the animal world to justify traditional roles for women and men is an easily lampooned cliché with little scientific basis (the animal world’s varied and complex sex roles are hardly a model of family values, given that in some 60 percent of primate species the young are reared by single moms). Erickson also touted some dubious statistics, claiming three quarters of Pew survey respondents said that “having mom as the primary breadwinner is bad for the kids and bad for marriage.” In fact, three quarters agreed that the growing number of women working outside the home had made it harder to raise children while half agreed this trend had made it harder to have a successful marriage. But only 28 percent (down from 40 percent in 1997) agreed that it is generally better for the marriage if the husband earns more than the wife. In another Pew poll a year ago, 54 percent of men and 68 percent of women disagreed with the statement that “a pre-school child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works,” and only 18 percent of men and women alike agreed that “women should return to their traditional roles in society.”

Like any social shift, the evolution—or revolution—in women’s roles has had its costs and challenges. We are still trying to figure out the new rules, especially for men. The course of nontraditional marriage not always does run smooth: studies find that both husbands and wives are somewhat more likely to experience psychological problems when the wife earns more. (Whether this is due to innate traits or learned cultural habit is too early to tell; the pattern is by no means universal, and undoubtedly depends to some extent on whether the spouses freely choose this arrangement or are unwillingly thrust into it.) But the changes of the last half-century have also freed women’s talents and vastly expanded their choices and opportunities—and, in many cases, have also broadened men’s opportunity to be involved fathers.

The market economy with its dynamic flexibility was key to those changes. Anti-discrimination legislation undoubtedly played a role in opening more doors to women; but one rarely recognized fact is that systematic sex discrimination in the workplace had also been partly the work of government. Historian Allan Carlson, a strong social conservative, has noted that the sole-breadwinner family of the 1950s was enabled by the efforts of progressive reformers and government-backed labor unions to institutionalize the idea that the male head of household should be paid enough to support a stay-at-home wife and children. The “family wage” rested on built-in, intentional discrimination against women; its decline, along with the loss of union power, partly accounts for the decline of high-paying traditionally male jobs where pay had been artificially inflated. This is a fact liberals fail to understand when they lament that the narrowing of the gender gap in pay is due partly to the drop in male earnings.

The Pew study’s findings on female breadwinners attest to the power of the market and to its elastic capacity to respond to changing circumstances. That is something conservatives should celebrate—and appreciate as a rebuttal to the left’s women-as-victims rhetoric. 

And most conservatives do, despite attempts to tar them with the sexist brush. The day after the Lou Dobbs panels, Media Matters, the left-wing watchdog group, claimed that other Fox News hosts on the widely watched discussion show, The Five, had backed Erickson and agreed that the rise in female breadwinners was linked to society’s downfall. But that was pure spin: the negative commentary on The Five had to do with single motherhood. At the end, after acknowledging the problem of family breakdown, co-host Andrea Tantaros noted that “every family that’s not a single-mother family has to do what’s best for them.” What better message—for women, men, and families alike?

This article originally appeared on Real Clear Politics.

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  • Sevo||

    "Unfortunately, the Fox panel hosted by Lou Dobbs"...
    That's all I need to read.

  • mtrueman||

    I only needed to read the title.

    Markets have done women no favours. The kinds of jobs women do traditionally and continuing today are the lowest paid in our society. Women's work is typically caring for those who are too young, too old, or too weak or disabled to care for themselves. Consider two jobs, the first is to sit all day wearing an Italian suit, tapping away at a keyboard and talking to people over the phone. The second is wiping the snot off the faces of pre-school children. You're almost certainly going to find a woman doing the snotty jobs; if it were a man, and you were so inclined, you'd sneer at his sexuality.

  • cw||

    I'm a grown man and I've done that very job of "wiping the snot off the faces of pre-school children." I also know many women who own businesses that have nothing to do with the "too young, too old, or too weak or disabled."

    When you write "Markets have done women no favours" (Canadian?), I see thinly-veiled sexism; i.e., women can't be productive without government assistance.

    Funny how progressives come out sounding so unenlightened and regressive.

  • mtrueman||

    "I'm a grown man"

    I'm a grown man too, and I never meant to imply that all women are employed in care giving and none are business owners.

    The fact remains that women typically do some kinds of work and men do others. Another fact is that women typically get some 85 cents to a man's dollar in wages. I don't care what progressives sound like. I don't speak for them.

    My question is, that if it isn't market forces, then what is it that decides that the work women do today and have always done - snot wiping for example, is worth less than the work done today and traditionally by men - bond trading for example.

    I wouldn't say that women can't be productive without government. I didn't mention government in my comment, and I think you are barking up the wrong tree here, throwing me in with progressives for some reason.

    I'm sure markets have done something positive for women, but where it counts most, in the pay cheque, women's work (the work that women are most likely to do because of their physical and emotional constitution) just doesn't seem to be valued as highly as men's. Isn't that a function of the market? If it isn't. tell me. I'd like to understand.

    Finally, I should add that the Feminist movement has done much to secure equality in the work place. The demonstrations, the bra burning, the lobbying of legislators - I think we can acknowledge that these efforts have played their part.

  • Fluffy||

    Wiping snot noses isn't valuable in the marketplace because any fucking moron can do it.

    It's like waiting tables. Actually, it's BELOW waiting tables because when customers in restaurants get unreasonable, you can't put them in time out.

    Domestic work just isn't valuable. Sorry. "Important" and "valuable" aren't the same things. Water is important. I'd die without it. But it's not valuable, in most circumstances, because it falls from the fucking sky for free.

    When my kid was a toddler I took him to play group and sat there with the play group moms. And you know what? That wasn't work. I did not receive any compensation for going there, and did not deserve any. Because sitting around watching toddlers play and occasionally giving them a snack and then picking up after them counts as leisure. Sorry.

  • Redmanfms||

    When my kid was a toddler I took him to play group and sat there with the play group moms. And you know what? That wasn't work. I did not receive any compensation for going there, and did not deserve any. Because sitting around watching toddlers play and occasionally giving them a snack and then picking up after them counts as leisure. Sorry.

    MARKET FAILURE!!!!!!

  • HellsBells||

    Then I have to ask, Fluffy, why are nannies, child care workers and housekeepers so expensive and such a huge industry?

    Don't misunderstand, I don't think you deserve a paycheck for taking care of your home and family, but obviously wiping other kids' snot and taking care of kids without molesting them is valued in the free market.

  • mtrueman||

    "Wiping snot noses isn't valuable in the marketplace"

    You're making my point for me. The marketplace puts a price on woman's labour 85 cent to a man's dollar. Thanks for nothing marketplace!

    If your idea of leisure is wiping snot off the faces of children, I'll pass next time you get around to inviting me over for the weekend.

    I'm curious about your idea of leisure. A bunch of kids in high school get together on the field and throw around a football. That's leisure. College kids doing the same, that's leisure too. Once they graduate college, the same activity becomes work? They have the compensation to show it is.

  • Redmanfms||

    Do you know as little about economics as you do about everything else?

    You're making my point for me. The marketplace puts a price on woman's labour 85 cent to a man's dollar. Thanks for nothing marketplace!

    In the case of "wiping snotty noses" Fluffy explained why that is quite well, you just chose to ignore him and argue with something else (that you fabricated). The service, while necessary, doesn't mean it is valuable because of the prospective pool of people capable of performing the task.

    This is the same reason fast food employees are paid less than aerospace engineers.

    I'm curious about your idea of leisure. A bunch of kids in high school get together on the field and throw around a football. That's leisure. College kids doing the same, that's leisure too. Once they graduate college, the same activity becomes work? They have the compensation to show it is.

    Correlation fallacy, surprise, surprise. I guess it shouldn't shock me that you latch on to one word and then construct an strawman out of it.

    Professional athletes get paid to play kids' games because they add value to the franchise owner (gasp, people buy tickets to games with money). The same is not true of high school. Much debate is found regarding college players being paid, as they can add significant value. As it stands, the "market" isn't failing those kids, anti-market laws are.

  • mtrueman||

    "Do you know as little about economics as you do about everything else?"

    Less actually.

    But I made a simple point that nobody here has refuted, namely that the marketplace has determined that a woman's wages are 85 cents to man's dollar. Somehow women are expected to be thankful for this inequity. As the wise Colonel Saito, commandant of the prison camp on the River Kwai always said, "be happy in your work." Once women decide to forget about equality and embrace this wisdom from the East, they will recognize their 'work' for what it truly is, ie leisure, and be thankful for what little scraps they finagle out of their bosses.

    If you disagree with Fluffy about what is leisure, and what is work, take it up with him. Leave me out.

    But it is interesting that you would take exception to the anti-market laws against football players and miss the blindingly obvious. Women produce something of great value and are subject to anti-market laws that are far far more onerous than those that affect athletes, or anyone else in society. A woman who cleans the face of a child is adding value to the child, just as the used car salesman adds value to to the car he is trying to sell by cleaning it. But unlike the used car salesman, the woman has no free market to sell what she is best capable of producing. Every legislature in the world has passed anti-market laws against the sale of the children she produces. I suspect, deep down, you are just another slaver.

  • Redmanfms||

    But I made a simple point that nobody here has refuted, namely that the marketplace has determined that a woman's wages are 85 cents to man's dollar.

    This is accounted for in numerous ways. One, men tend to work longer hours (even in the same field), thus they get compensated more, they also get promoted more quickly because they accrue work experience faster. Two, women take off work for long periods of time to have children which has nearly the same effect as the first item, only more pronounced. Three, women frequently pick jobs that grant more schedule flexibility, which typically pay less.

    Once women decide to forget about equality and embrace this wisdom from the East, they will recognize their 'work' for what it truly is, ie leisure, and be thankful for what little scraps they finagle out of their bosses.

    You are the only one here categorizing the work women are capable of doing. You've already argued that men who perform traditionally female jobs are less manly for doing so.

    I don't actually agree with Fluffy that caring for children is leisure. It's actually a rather large business and I know a number of women who make very comfortable livings operating daycares.

  • Redmanfms||

    A woman who cleans the face of a child is adding value to the child, just as the used car salesman adds value to to the car he is trying to sell by cleaning it. But unlike the used car salesman, the woman has no free market to sell what she is best capable of producing.

    Yup, there aren't any daycares or babysitters....

    Women aren't relegated to simply cleaning snotty noses. A women who finds her compensation for "cleaning the face of a child" unsatisfactory can herself be a used car salesman.

    You're the only one here fixated on maintaining women in traditional gender roles.

    Every legislature in the world has passed anti-market laws against the sale of the children she produces. I suspect, deep down, you are just another slaver.

    Non sequitur.

    Her "improvement" to the child is the saleable commodity in your example, not the child itself.

    But I knew I could count on you to make a fundamentally dishonest argument, because you are a tedious mendacious twat.


    But do tell mtrueman, what's your solution for this perceived problem? I can already guess, but I'm not a strawman-constructing lying weasel like you, so I need my suspicion confirmed before I destroy your proposal.

  • mtrueman||

    "what's your solution for this perceived problem?"

    I don't have a solution. I don't see anyone else offering one. All I get is a lot of twisting and turning attempting to justify the status quo inequity, ex women's work isn't actually work at all, or any moron could do it, or, as you say, if a woman wants higher pay, she should get herself a sex change operation. (become a used car salesman) None of this impresses me, and I don't blame women for not accepting these lame excuses. As I originally posted, the market is a place where all of women's constitutional strengths are discounted, and seen as liabilities.

    The only challenge to the way things are I've seen has come with your boo hoo hooing over the plight of the college football player. VICTIMS! they are, the only characters in this drama worthy enough to spark our righteous anger. Meanwhile the fact that woman's most valued, most indispensable contribution - her capacity to bear and raise children is seen as a handicap, is subject to vastly greater state regulation than any man. Time and time again I see libertarians shy away from issues that challenge our world, and prefer to take comfort in the tautological nostrums on offer by academic economists and corporate drones. I am so disappointed.

  • Redmanfms||

    I don't have a solution.

    Of course not, because that would require you to make an honest, good faith argument.

    All I get is a lot of twisting and turning attempting to justify the status quo inequity, ex women's work isn't actually work at all, or any moron could do it, or, as you say, if a woman wants higher pay, she should get herself a sex change operation.

    Not what I argued you dishonest shithead, but you continue to demonstrate your sexism.

    I notice you ignored my entire statement about childcare. You did so because it doesn't gel with whatever stupid narrative you've invented.

    Also, there are plenty of traditionally male jobs (specifically manual labor) that have low pay, for the same reasons as the "snot-wiping" jobs, the pool of potential workers is huge. You just choose to ignore reality that low-skilled jobs don't pay as well so you can fixate on some completely imagined difference in views of male and female roles.

  • Redmanfms||

    The only challenge to the way things are I've seen has come with your boo hoo hooing over the plight of the college football player. VICTIMS! they are, the only characters in this drama worthy enough to spark our righteous anger.

    What the fuck are you on?

    Burn that strawman, burn!!


    Meanwhile the fact that woman's most valued, most indispensable contribution - her capacity to bear and raise children is seen as a handicap, is subject to vastly greater state regulation than any man.

    WTF?

    1. Women can actually make money from their capacity to bear children. It's called surrogacy.

    2. To an employer a woman taking significant amounts of time of to have children doesn't get the employer's work done. Her capacity to have children is at best innocuous and at worst, will result in the employer losing her productivity while still having to pay her wages for weeks/months/years.

    3. While men cannot bear children, they can and do raise them. That sexist weasels like you sneer at them for doing so in no way affects that ability.

    4. What. The. Fuck. does "state regulation" have to do with "the market?" Oh that's right, fucking nothing.

  • Redmanfms||

    Time and time again I see libertarians shy away from issues that challenge our world, and prefer to take comfort in the tautological nostrums on offer by academic economists and corporate drones.

    How are libertarians shying away from the issues that challenge our world by discussing them? What more do you want, eh? It's almost like, oh I don't know, you are fundamentally incapable of honesty.

    The only person in this thread guilty of tautology is you. When I argue that, in fact, your specific example of female job (childcare) pays quite well you completely ignore it. When I show that, in fact, a woman can be a car salesman you respond with a idiotic sexist screed claiming that women are constitutionally incapable of that job and they require a sex change to do it. Heads you win, tails we lose.

    I am so disappointed.

    Disappointed that you are without scruple or shred of honesty? Tis true. Tis true. I too am disappointed that you are a lying fucking weasel who cannot, even when granted the opportunity, make a good faith, honest argument.

    At this point, this tautological tail chasing exercise of yours is pointless. You pose hypothetical examples that are answered (and you ignore). Why low-wage jobs are low-wage has been explained to you (which you also ignore). I'm sure you'll come back in here and present some more fallacious and dishonest argument and twist my responses to project your own prejudice, feel free.

  • mtrueman||

    I'm still waiting for you to refute my original post here, that thanks to the free market, where labour is given its price, women receive some 85 cents to a man's dollar. All you're willing to do, apparently, is twist and turn, going to great lengths to justify this deplorable state of affairs. It's boring and you are coming across exactly like the empty talking heads that appear on the TV. (That's not a complement. Parroting TV platitudes is not what I expect from Reason readers.)

    1. You should check out the laws regarding surrogacy. Woman tries to earn a little money in Michigan and she faces a huge fine. When was the last time an athlete anywhere was fined for playing football? Your ignorance is expected. Your willingness to turn a blind eye to the injustices that women are subject to is inexcusable.

    2. Women having children are still producing something, human life, something that is of irreplaceable value to our society yet the market place sees fit not to reward. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

    3. I never disputed this. I just like to sneer. You too seem to enjoy sneering. (Thanks for calling me a sexist, by the way, I can add it to liar, psychopath, troll, anti-semite, communist, progressive, liberal, slaver and all the other insults that are heaped upon me here.)

    4. State regulation or legislation usually tends to restrict a free market.

  • mtrueman||

    Apologies for my overly long reply, but I will conclude with some brief personal thoughts here. and a sincere word of advice to you:

    You know I've noticed, you seem to take the qualities that the market values for your own values. I'm sure this is a big mistake. Markets are great for distributing diamonds and luxuries, but when they intrude on the what we all hold dearest, they lead to mischief, such as the discount to women's labour I've been talking about. As I've said, instead of facing this head on, you've only been willing to excuse it. Time for you to grow a moral backbone.

  • Redmanfms||

    You know I've noticed, you seem to take the qualities that the market values for your own values. I'm sure this is a big mistake. Markets are great for distributing diamonds and luxuries, but when they intrude on the what we all hold dearest, they lead to mischief, such as the discount to women's labour I've been talking about. As I've said, instead of facing this head on, you've only been willing to excuse it. Time for you to grow a moral backbone.

    So, is this nonsensical (and dishonest) bullshit going somewhere?

    Out with your fucking positions and proffered solutions shitheel.

  • Redmanfms||

    I'm still waiting for you to refute my original post here, that thanks to the free market, where labour is given its price, women receive some 85 cents to a man's dollar. All you're willing to do, apparently, is twist and turn, going to great lengths to justify this deplorable state of affairs.

    I gave an explanation.

    You should check out the laws regarding surrogacy.

    Again, not a function of the "injustice of the market."

    Women having children are still producing something, human life, something that is of irreplaceable value to our society yet the market place sees fit not to reward. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

    So what are you arguing about, huh? Is it society, the state, or the fucking market???

    Regardless, women are rewarded for having children. The reward isn't always monetary.

    This shit keeps getting covered with you and you continue to ignore it, then accuse others of making tautological arguments.

    State regulation or legislation usually tends to restrict a free market.

    So, how is that an example of the market failing women?

    Oh that's right, it's not. It's an example of an anti-market force failing women.

  • mtrueman||

    "I gave an explanation."

    I never asked for your explanation. There's a reason for this. I find your thoughts on this matter to be banal and unenlightening. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you've offered nothing that can't be found easily on a TV chat show.

    Still, I have to thank you. During this discussion I came up with an interesting thought about women, work, the markets and their place in society. It's not the solution you keep asking of me, but all the same, it's something. Here it is:

    A woman's greatest productive capacity - her most valued and indispensable contribution - lies in child bearing and raising. This is not rewarded in the free market. A woman can raise brood of children over her lifetime without receiving a cent in wages.

    Now, when a woman wants to receive wages, she goes to the job market and sells her labour, typically at 85 cents to a man's dollar. Why is her labour discounted? Usually because of her fulfilling her capacity as a child bearer/rearer: In the market place her greatest productive asset is transformed into her greatest liability when it comes to earning wages.

    She's double screwed is one way to look at it. Or triple screwed come to think of it.

  • Redmanfms||

    The kinds of jobs women do traditionally and continuing today are the lowest paid in our society.

    This has changed as of late.

    Why? Markets and advances in technology.

    Consider two jobs, the first is to sit all day wearing an Italian suit, tapping away at a keyboard and talking to people over the phone.

    Women can and do this job, though it may not be in an Italian suit.

    The second is wiping the snot off the faces of pre-school children. You're almost certainly going to find a woman doing the snotty jobs

    Is this because women are naturally drawn to this sort of work, or because of "markets doing women no favors?"

    if it were a man, and you were so inclined, you'd sneer at his sexuality.

    This tells us all we need to know about you, doesn't it?

  • ||

    You are a fucking moron.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Unfortunately, the Fox panel hosted by Lou Dobbs fed straight into left-wing stereotypes of conservatives as chauvinistic males threatened by strong women.

    You misspelled "inevitably".

    Dobbs is a fucking moron.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's like Young never saw the 1983 cautionary tale Mr. Mom.

  • Rich||

    “every family that’s not a single-mother family has to do what’s best for them.”

    They most certainly do *not*!

  • Rich||

    OT: “No one should believe that we are simply going willy-nilly and using any kind of data that we can gather,” [Janet Napolitano] said.

    What a half-assed attempt to mitigate concern!

    “I think we need to do a better job of explaining to the American people exactly what is kept, what are the real restrictions on how—I’m just talking now for DHS, Department of Homeland Security–how we use it, how long we can keep it, how we share it, all those thing,” she explained.

    However, this is merely what I *think*; there will in fact be no explanation forthcoming of exactly what we do.

    Continuing to study Obamaese ....

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Speaking of DHS, I saw one of these driving around the other day.

    WTF does the federal security guard agency need Tahoes outfitted with laptop stands and prisoner cages as if they were an actual police agency patrolling a town? They're fucking security guards. If they need to transport someone they've arrested, call the local PD. All they need is a Smart car with a handle light. No need for that "Police" lettering either.

  • ||

    I see those all the time since they "protect" a federal building in downtown Seattle. Completely ludicrous.

  • ||

    I see those all the time since they "protect" a federal building in downtown Seattle. Completely ludicrous.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    200% ludicrous!

  • HellsBells||

    From Wikipedia:

    Powers. - While engaged in the performance of official duties, an officer or agent designated under this subsection may -
    (A) enforce Federal laws and regulations for the protection of persons and property;
    (B) carry firearms;
    (C) make arrests without a warrant or in plain clothes for any offense against the United States committed in the presence of the officer or agent or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if the officer or agent has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony;
    (D) serve warrants and subpoenas issued under the authority of the United States;
    (E) conduct investigations, on and off the property in question, of offenses that may have been committed against property owned or occupied by the Federal Government or persons on the property; and
    (F) carry out such other activities for the promotion of homeland security as the Secretary may prescribe.

    I suspect they will be adding "Mall cops" to the ranks any day now.

  • Agammamon||

    I can see the need for *one* of them, left sitting in the garage until needed like an old school paddywagon.

    The normal patrols can ride around on bikes or Segways the rest of the time.

  • np||

    I’m just talking now for DHS, Department of Homeland Security–how we use it, how long we can keep it, how we share it, all those thing,” she explained.

    Yeah, you see, we at DHS don't need to store all of that data on you, cuz we can just ask the FISA to get it for us through the NSA:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1357.....denied-it/

    Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he met with NSA officials and witnessed domestic Internet traffic being "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. Only NSA-cleared technicians were allowed to work on equipment in the SG3 secure room, Klein said, adding that he was told similar taps existed in other major cities.
  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yes, that kind of talk is right out of Obama's playbook. "We need to wind down the war on terror." "We should close Gitmo." "We should restrict our drone attacks to imminent threats." Well then just do it, fucktard. It's like Obama wants us to think that he's really a good guy, but his hands are tied by the President.

    I'm sure Napolitano could take actions today to clarify much of this information. She doesn't really want to, she just wants to talk about it and get the subsequent fawning approval from our idiot media.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's a way of staying in campaign mode and avoiding actual governing.

  • Sevo||

    "Well then just do it, fucktard. It's like Obama wants us to think that he's really a good guy, but his hands are tied by the President."

    'I could take the easy way, but...'
    Richard Milhous Obama

  • Lord Humungus||

    I hope y'all signed up for Rand Paul's suit against the NSA
    http://www.rand-2016.com/nsa_lawsuit_signup16.aspx

  • Contrarian P||

    If you've never gone willy-nilly, you really should give it a try.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I think we need to do a better job of explaining to the American people....

    Keep fine tuning the narrative, and everything will be okay!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "single-mother families, currently 25 percent of households with children, and married mothers who are their families’ primary earners, currently 15 percent of the total."

    So, in other words, apples vs. oranges. But "40% of families have a female breadwinner" sounds more affirming and optimistic than "a quarter of families are broken homes where the father is absent."

    "The day after the Lou Dobbs panels, Media Matters, the left-wing watchdog group, claimed that other Fox News hosts on the widely watched discussion show, The Five, had backed Erickson and agreed that the rise in female breadwinners was linked to society’s downfall. But that was pure spin: the negative commentary on The Five had to do with single motherhood."

    To many proggy commenters, that is a distinction without a difference. Single motherhood is a valid lifestyle choice, and the harms of broken families are simply a regrettable coincidence which only evil right-wingers would wish to harp on.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    To many proggy commenters, that is a distinction without a difference. Single motherhood is a valid lifestyle choice,

    Not just valid, but one to be celebrated--far too many progs consider men to be nothing more than sperm donors and ATM machines.

  • lap83||

    Are women "freer" or have many just exchanged one obligation for another they like less?

    http://ideas.time.com/2013/06/.....work-less/

    According to a recent Pew poll, 67% of all mothers would ideally forego full-time work in favor of working part-time (47%) or not at all (20%). By contrast, only 25% of fathers would choose part-time work (15%) or not to work (10%). Among all women who describe themselves as “financially comfortable,” only 31% would ideally work full-time and another 34% wouldn’t work at all. And among married mothers, only 23 percent would ideally like to work full-time. These are large percentages of different types of women who would choose family or personal priorities over full-time employment.

  • Hyperion||

    According to a recent Pew poll, 67% of all mothers would ideally forego full-time work in favor of working part-time (47%) or not at all (20%)

    And now the real data:

    100% of women who actually have to work for a living, will whine incessantly that they want a good man to take care of them so that they can stay home all day while watching soap operas and chatting with their friends on facebook.

    100% of stay home women, housewives, err... I mean domestic engineers, will whine incessantly that their life is meaningless and that they need to work to give meaning to their life.

    Such is the state of da wiminz folk, from time immemorial, until forever.

  • lap83||

    I think the saying "the grass is always greener" applies to all humans, not just women.

  • Sevo||

    + at least 1

  • ||

    Hyperion, have you ever actually talked to a real-life women? If so, have you talked to more then one?

  • Drake||

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with Hyperion - I've heard both complaints, sometimes from the same woman.

  • np||

    Historian Allan Carlson, a strong social conservative, has noted that the sole-breadwinner family of the 1950s was enabled by the efforts of progressive reformers and government-backed labor unions to institutionalize the idea that the male head of household should be paid enough to support a stay-at-home wife and children.

    It's ironic that conservative tradition relied upon proggy coercion, but those two, protestantism and social reformation, were intertwined early on. A good lesson that probably won't be learned about utilizing state power.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well, the sole male bread winner isn't *that* traditional, anyways. Most women at the Founding participated in pre-Industrial Revolution manufacturing industry, and many continued to participate in the economy from the home and/or at the farm.

    What is new is both parents being away from the house for the formative years of their children's lives, having delegated that responsibility to the public school.

  • SIV||

    So Mr Slate was paying Fred Flintstone an "artificially high" wage because of progressivism?

  • C. Anacreon||

    OT: So this past week, I had to fly to DC, and who's on the plane with me but Al Gore! They held up our flight for an hour without telling us why, then he comes on the plane with several suitcases, and they took out people's bags from the overhead to check them so there would be room for Al. Next -- apparently the only seat left on the plane was a center seat in coach -- they asked for First Class volunteers to give up their spot, and some sap actually gave Al his seat.

    As we waited for the door to open to let us off, I was literally shoulder to shoulder with Gore -- I mean, my right shoulder was pressed against his left shoulder. I could have said or asked him anything, but I couldn't think of anything to say (other than asking about ManBearPig, and I didn't want to go there). Amazingly enough, no one else on the plane was bothering him either -- except one dowager, who on the jetway told him he looked better in person, to which Gore replied "that's the benefit of low expectations!"

    He was shorter than I expected, pretty average height. He was wearing a blazer and blue jeans, which I guess in his mind says "I'm businesslike but down-to-earth."

  • ||

    You should have told him that the hoodie would have been a more fitting choice of attire.

  • C. Anacreon||

    That's much better than what some of my coworkers in Oakland/Berkeley suggested I should have said, the most common of which was to tell Gore "thanks for the Internet."

  • Agammamon||

    Or "hey fuckhead!"

  • General Butt Naked||

    they asked for First Class volunteers to give up their spot, and some sap actually gave Al his seat.

    Oh jesus, what a fucking bootlicker. I can't really think of any wonky heroes I have that wouldn't offer cash for a seat, so that probably wouldn't happen to me. I mean, people like von Mises understand things like scarcity (and he's dead).

  • Atanarjuat||

    what a fucking bootlicker

    QFT.

    Isn't Gore worth a few hundred million? I thought you took a private plane at that point. Surely the stimulus funds bought one of his green ventures an executive jet.

  • Redmanfms||

    they asked for First Class volunteers to give up their spot, and some sap actually gave Al his seat.

    Meh.

    But this:

    They held up our flight for an hour without telling us why

    And this:

    then he comes on the plane with several suitcases, and they took out people's bags from the overhead to check them so there would be room for Al.

    would have pissed me right the fuck off.

    My response, "Fuck you asshole, your shit can go to checked baggage." I'd have been fucking LOUD about it too.

  • HellsBells||

    And promptly arrested, strip searched, cavity searched and placed on the no fly list.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I would have mumbled "release the chakra"

  • SugarFree||

    I would have farted the entire time.

    Like reached down into some primeval part of myself and summoned forth every fart I never let out while getting a blow-job and just strip the paint off of his stupid robot face.

  • Sevo||

    C. Anacreon| 6.15.13 @ 3:06PM |#
    "OT: So this past week, I had to fly to DC, and who's on the plane with me but Al Gore!"

    The gossip columnist in the Chron gushed that 'he was treated just like everybody else!'
    Which, of course is better than the twit deserves.
    PS: You could have asked him what his tax break was on the sale of his TV network.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Love to see that if you can pull the quote and reprint here. Was it Leah Garchik? I tried to search the Chronicle but they force you to get a subscription to even read one gossip column.

  • Sevo||

    "Was it Leah Garchik?"
    Yes, it was. I still get the dead-tree thingee; force of habit with a cup of joe in the morning, so I don't have a link.
    BTW, Nevius comments (today) on the 'family friendly' legislation are further evidence of his stupidity.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You should have gotten all, "Dude! Did you just touch my junk? What the fuck? What are you, some kind of homo? Hey everybody! Al Gay-or here just brushed his hand across my penis! You sick pervert..."

  • Lord Humungus||

    I know one or two gals mothers who make the majority of the cash. The boyfriend doesn't do squat except for play video games, eat, and watch the kid while she works. And then once she comes home, it's back to the video game console.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Retarded FB comment of the day:

    How can you people be so dense???

    Voting FOR somebody is an expression of LOVE.
    Voting AGAINST somebody is an expression of HATRED

    You people voted AGAINST Obama.

    Comprende ahora?
  • ||

    Well, there's certainly no shortage of things to hate about Obama.

  • Lord Humungus||

    RAAACIST!

  • Calidissident||

    What ... the ... fuck?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Sounds like worthy of a defriending, but the lulz must be worth keeping him/her.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What is that even in relation to?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    One of my wife's FB friends from when she used to work at a hospital put up a link critical of ObamaCare. FB being FB, this started a flame war on the merits of Obama as a President. The lovely commenter above popped in to remind everyone that they are racist if they don't suck O's dick enough, and that people who prefered McCain to Obama are idiots. When a libertarian-lite minded person posted that they voted against Obama and not for McCain... well, that mental diarrhea happened. It got more retarded from there.

    My wife thought reading the comments to me in a variety of portentious fake accents (typos and all) would be the height of hilarity. It's a nice reminder of why I never log into my FB account, at any rate.

  • Sevo||

    How about a link to:
    "Andy Puzder: Of Burgers, Bikinis and ObamaCare"
    "Mr. Puzder says his health-care consultants have calculated that it's cheaper to offer his company's 21,000 U.S. employees more expensive health-insurance plans than to drop them into state exchanges and pay the penalty for not covering what ObamaCare regulators deem are "essential health benefits."
    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....97208.html

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's on a level of thinking far, far beyond the capacity of most of those participating in the discussion.

    To put this in perspective, at one point someone started arguing that single-payer would eliminate those harmful vaccines which cause autism from the market.

    SERIOUSLY

  • General Butt Naked||

    To put this in perspective, at one point someone started arguing that single-payer would eliminate those harmful vaccines which cause autism from the market.

    I could imagine a world in which going to a private doctor was illegal and the public system was so broke that no one got vaccinated, but I don't think that's what they meant.

  • Sevo||

    "I could imagine a world in which going to a private doctor was illegal..."
    IIRC, that was exactly the case in Canada until some judge said otherwise.
    It certainly was the intent, and I remember discussing it in Vancouver with a Cnd MD some years back; he mentioned that the 'people' had made the choice. I asked whether he understood that the choice meant bankruptcy for the nation; he agreed.

  • Ted S.||

    I remember asking my Canadian friends why they were forcing people to go into exile to take care of their own health care needs. They didn't appreciate the question.

    As I like to joke, Canada's #1 national sport is ice hockey. Canada's #2 national sport is America-bashing. Most of them responded by participating in Canada's #2 national sport.

  • Heedless||

    I always liked Robin Williams' description: "Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party."

  • Sevo||

    "Canada's #2 national sport is America-bashing"

    Sevo and wife went to Vancouver and listened to the bus tour guide claim that Canadians swore the idiot who started the 'free' medical care program was considered the 'best Canadian' in some poll or other.
    Could be, but I wouldn't brag about it; doesn't help the rep.

  • C. Anacreon||

    As a physician nothing scares me more than the "vaccines cause autism" crowd. The only study that ever supported this concept has been exposed as a fraud, and the author went to prison. Yet the Playboy bunny who fronts this movement continues unabated, and now uses "personal experiences" and reports from "scientists" who have less credibility than callers on Coast to Coast with George Noory to support her dangerous cause.

    And the reason this is scary? Because of these assholes we could see the return of some pretty scary diseases, not to mention putting some kids unnecessarily in risk of pain and death. I could rant for quite awhile about why there are more diagnoses of autism than there used to be, but I know one thing for certain: it's not because of vaccinations.

    Fuck these people suck.

  • ||

    My BiL had a poor reaction to one of the vaccines (TDap I believe), and the arm he got the shot in atrophied and he never regained use of it, as such he and my sister aren't getting any vaccines for their kids (which I partially understand), but I know other people with no family history of negative reaction who are freaked out by it.

    Unfortunately, I think these parents feel that choosing to get a vaccine with a very small potential for harm is worse than the much greater risk of the child suffering incidentally due to inaction. It's really aggravating.

  • Sevo||

    "I could rant for quite awhile about why there are more diagnoses of autism than there used to be,"

    Could it be that no one has yet defined "autism" specifically?

  • Heedless||

    The Lancet needs to be fucking closed down. Bad enough that the study was a complete fraud, but it had 12 subjects.

    12!

    Lyndon LaRouche wouldn't publish something so flimsy. So yeah, Jenny McCarthy is an asshole, but she's not really in a position to know better. Richard Horton (the Lancet's editor-in-chief) is.

    I'd say there's a special room in hell waiting for him, but the universe is not nearly so just.

  • Sevo||

    Heedless| 6.15.13 @ 11:23PM |#
    "The Lancet needs to be fucking closed down. Bad enough that the study was a complete fraud, but it had 12 subjects."

    Yep. That in no way qualifies as a study; it is a bias confirmation.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Jesus.

    You're right to stay away from that shit. Unless you have a bunch of extra IQ points to lose.

    Fucking people.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Voting AGAINST somebody is an expression of HATRED

    Normally I stay away from Facebook conversations AND conversations about Facebook conversations, but this is somewhat irksome. Presidential elections aren't popularity contests. If one votes against a candidate there is a possibility it's because the voter does not agree with said candidate's proposed or expected policies as much as a dislike for his haircut or, God forbid, race.

  • SugarFree||

    There's a simple, low-cost and utterly effective solution to the problem of single-motherhood: Abortion.

    Scrape away those little angels to spare them the torment of being raised in a household without the shiftless lay-about that drunkenly ejaculated into their mother.

    For those poor unfortunates whose mothers insist on bringing them into a world where they only have one parent to care for them instead of the two opposite-sex individuals that Almighty God intended, there exists a huge pool of men the birth vessel can be paired with. Of course, I'd never suggest that they just be forced to marry a random member of the state or federal prison population. They can have their choice of any incarcerated man of the appropriate color. He'll be released as soon as the ink dries on that 100% heterosexual covenant marriage certificate.

  • Redmanfms||

    I think the solution is deep dish with a side of circumcision.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Deep dish is legit, and circumcised is the best!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Scrape away those little angels to spare them the torment of being raised in a household without the shiftless lay-about that drunkenly ejaculated into their mother.

    You jest, but I've heard this exact argument from the mouths of several people who really should have known better.

  • Acosmist||

    thou seemst wroth.

  • SugarFree||

    Nah. Just try to solve some problems by looking at THE BIG PICTURE!

  • Virginian||

    I wonder how many of these "breadwinners" are employed in government make work jobs, or enjoy lots of subsidies. A woman I work with at one of my jobs was complaining that her raise took her family out of food stamp range, and now she had to pay for groceries for her kids.

    Lady is otherwise very hard working and intelligent, but damn was she pissed she had to put food on the table with her own money now.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Military judges says Obama's remarks on sex assault cases are improper command influence, and the two defendants in the case cannot be punitively discharged lest the public thinks the judge was just obeying orders from the President.

    If other military judges apply the same reasoning, no sex-assault defendants can get a punitive discharge, only an administrative discharge which lets them keep their benefits.

    http://sistertoldjah.com/archi.....entencing/

    Have any of the soldiers here heard about this one?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Hilarious.

    Whatever happened to 'I can't comment because this is a pending case'? Oh, that's right. This is the one scandal that President NeverMyFault thought he could grandstand on.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I say, as well!

    Where's the bean footage, Mr. President? What have you got to hide?

  • Sevo||

    Oh, and what are your passwords? If you haven't done anything wrong, why you can post 'em!

  • Sevo||

    OT.
    Not everyone at the NYT is licking the Chi Com boot. This guy questions whether forcing farmers into stack-a-prole housing will mean increased prosperity:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06.....ml?hp&_r=0
    I think that's a good question.

  • Rhywun||

    The Great Leap Upward. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Sevo||

    One thing is stairs.
    Wife and Sevo were in China several years back. The guide in Chongqing mentioned that the lower apartments in the highrises were particularly prized, since there were no elevators.
    I didn't get a count, but some of the buildings he pointed to looked like 10 stories or close to that.

  • Rhywun||

    The People's Exercise Plan

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    One constant of Chinese history is that they've barely been able to grow enough food to feed themselves. So let's pave over what farmland exists to create soon-to-be slums! Brilliant!

    The sliver lining, of course, is the inevitable massive increase in the population of Chinese sex workers, which will drive brothel prices down even lower.

  • Sevo||

    Heroic Mulatto| 6.15.13 @ 8:33PM |#
    "One constant of Chinese history is that they've barely been able to grow enough food to feed themselves."

    The other constant is the Chinese government's meddling in 'agricultural policy' from the 'first emperor' or close to it.
    Highly recommended: "A History - China", John Keay.
    Be prepared to deal with 'modern' China in the last hundred pages of a 500-page book.

  • C. Anacreon||

    From the comments section in the NY Times article:

    The Chinese Revolution produced the single greatest total improvement in human living standards of any time or place in human history. It ended chronic famine, abolished female slavery, overcame mass illiteracy, redistributed land from parasitic landlords to the actual peasant farmers who made it produce, wiped out epidemic opium addiction, dramatically increased lifespans and reduced infant mortality rates, and expanded access to education. It accomplished this while becoming the most economically egalitarian country on the planet.

    Simplistic talk about the horrors of "central planning" only reveals an ignorance of the actual economic history of China.

    I replied to the comment that this supposedly wonderful change occurred with only 45 million people dying, and raised the question of a cost/benefit analysis (even if it is true). But the Times comments are moderated, so I doubt it will be let on (hasn't been approved yet).

  • Calidissident||

    Another gem:

    Eric Margolis
    Tempe, AZ

    NYT Pick

    "This has everything to do with Capitalism and nothing to do with China. How do you think London was created? Enclosure acts forced people off the land and into the factories and gin soaked lanes. I fyou think this has to do with Maoism or Chinese state control, you know nothing of your own history"

    And after Googling his name (It seemed familiar, and it turns out there's a guy by the same name that writes articles that LRC publishes, although I'm pretty sure it's not him) I think he's a professor at ASU (there's a professor there by the same name and the guy who made this comment is from Tempe)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    When anyone says, "You know nothing of your own history," it's a pretty good indication they don't know anything about the history of what they're commenting on.

  • ||

    No, your comment's been posted. I wouldn't assume moderation means anything we would post is automatically turned away, especially when the author of the piece it's commenting on might be sympathetic to Chinese economic control.

  • ||

    *sympathetic to criticisms of Chinese economic control.

  • ||

    Ergh. You know what I meant.

  • Rhywun||

    It ended chronic famine

    Just... wow.

  • Calidissident||

    That was simply insane. The Great Leap Forward was responsible for one of the greatest famines in history, and Mao ended famine?

  • Sevo||

    "The Great Leap Forward was responsible for one of the greatest famines in history, and Mao ended famine?"
    And then the asshole went on to cause millions of deaths in the cultural revolution.
    What a guy!

  • Rhywun||

    2 + 2 = 5

  • Sevo||

    C. Anacreon| 6.15.13 @ 10:10PM |#
    "From the comments section in the NY Times article:
    The Chinese Revolution produced the single greatest total improvement in human living standards of any time or place in human history...."

    I didn't read that far down in the comments.
    What in hell do you say in response to a claim like that?
    'Are you totally ignorant of Chinese history?'
    Is that what you ask? What else? How can someone (supposedly educated) make such a claim? I don't know.

  • Fluffy||

    You see this a lot with leftists, although usually it's with the Soviet Union.

    They talk about the "miracle" of Soviet growth rates, even though if you took growth rates achieved under the Czars from 1880 - 1914 and applied them to the period of 1918 - 1990, Russia would look like Coruscant by now.

    The alliance system that led to the First World War was mainly Britain's fault, but buried down in there somewhere was also the Kaiser's fear of Russia's growth curve. He anticipated Germany being buried by Russia by 1930 and saw only a limited time frame in which to break the Russian Empire.

    And the Czar's economic system was still partially feudal, and burdened by aristocratic and bureaucratic rent seekers.

    So the glorious Soviet growth rate was really just a fraction of what had been achieved by a bunch of yokels stupid enough to get conned by Rasputin. That's how dumb the Romanovs were, and they were still better than the Bolsheviks.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So in a shitty economy with high unemployment 15% of families with both a husband and wife have the wife making the most money. And in some percentage of those homes that is probably due to the husband losing his job and wife retaining hers. In 85% of married households the man is still the primarty bread winner. This isn't even a fucking story. Let's just announce stats without context so we can have some imginary social bs we can talk about.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I realize this story did mention the unscientific inclusion of single moms in a study about "primary" bread winners but it seems like that is the point were the article should have ended.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Unfortunately, the Fox panel hosted by Lou Dobbs fed straight into left-wing stereotypes of conservatives as chauvinistic males threatened by strong women. In fact, the discussion touched on some valid concerns: to the extent that the rise of female breadwinners is due to the increase in single-mother families, it does reflect worrisome developments.

    Aren't, by necessity, ALL families "single-mother families." It is impossible for ANY family to have more than one mother. I think you mean single parent families where that parent is the mother.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    It is impossible for ANY family to have more than one mother.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/155583180X

  • Calidissident||

    The word "single" in this instance is referring to the mother's relationship status, not the number of mothers in the family. Also, as Cdr implied with his link, lesbian families have two mothers (I know only one is the biological parent, but that doesn't mean the other isn't also a parent) and then there's polygamous families (granted that's rare/illegal in the US)

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Heck, with adoptions, neither may be biological.

  • Fluffy||

    Although the conservative response has been kind of pathetic, the feminist triumphalism has been even more annoying.

    I'd be a little bit more impressed with the "independence" of all these female-led households if that independence wasn't the product of massive transfer payments.

    These women haven't learned to live without men. They simply use state violence to obtain transfer payments from the set of all men, instead of trying to convince one man to form a household with them. Golf clap for all that. Pat yourselves on the back, ladies.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'd be a little bit more impressed with the "independence" of all these female-led households if that independence wasn't the product of massive transfer payments

    It's a little bit like "independent farmers" that would go broke without ag subsidies and cut-rate water from reclamation projects.

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