What Women Want: To Make You a Sandwich

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National Review's Carrie Lukas:

Anyone with half a brain can peruse the National Organization for Women's wish list and promise ever more government handouts. Instead of more NOW-approved trinkets, why not consider what women themselves say they want and offer policies to help achieve these goals?

Yes, let's consider. You might, looking at actual poll data in which pollsters actually ask women what they want, come to this conclusion: Women are distinct human beings. Single women obviously skew more liberal than married women. Women are more likely than men to have a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton. Majorities in '04 and '06 voted Democrat; you might plausibly infer that some women support the Democratic agenda. But you'd be wrong. Because, Lukas explains, what all women really want are right-wing economic policies:

The appeal of full-time work has fallen considerably among those mothers who are employed: In 1997, nearly one-third of working mothers described full-time work as their ideal, compared to just one-fifth of working mothers today…

Financial pressure keeps many mothers reluctantly in full-time jobs. To reduce that pressure, policymakers should cut spending and lower taxes…

Not all people in the set "women" are also part of the set "mothers," but never mind – we're all pre-pregnant! Lukas may be right to claim that people raking in more money will respond by cutting their own hours. I'm skeptical. There are many, many ways to encourage women to stay out of the labor market. Increasing their take home pay is probably not one of them. Conservatives who believe women belong at home—that the will to work is an evil seed the ghost of Betty Friedan plants in our soft brains as we sleep at night–would do well to support soul-crushing taxes and strive to reduce, not increase, the after-tax wages of married women.

The polling data Lukas cites may indicate that, despite their tendency to hysteria, women respond rationally to incentives. If married women's incomes are considered the "second" income, and the second income is hit with a punishing tax rate, many women will likely choose to stay at home. What women say they want with regard to hours worked may reflect the present payoff to work, not a shared vision of hearth and home.

So candidates take note: Listen to women, not to the professional feminists. There's a difference.

I happen to want exactly what Lukas wants—lower taxes, less spending—and that's in part because I'd prefer women to be financially independent and well rewarded in the labor market. But it's a bit of stretch to claim that a candidate who agrees with us will be "listening to women." Women skeptical of subsidized day care are weird, warped, mutant beings: Be proud of that.

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  1. Uh-oh! We need to ban witchcraft so no woman has the power to make me a sandwich.

  2. At the time that I write this comment, the “pre-pregnant” link doesn’t work properly. But it makes women sound like tribbles.

  3. Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head over this stuff, Kerry. Let the men work this out. 😉

  4. Well I for one would really appreciate a sandwich about now.

    Sorry, I missed lunch.

  5. I have to brag about something: My wife actually likes packing my lunch. It’s one of those cute couple things. So, indeed, my wife does want to make me a sandwich.

    Then again, she also wants to make money.

  6. Yeah, Yeah, now would you shut up, Kerry, and get me that sandwich already.

  7. If married women’s incomes are considered the “second” income, and the second income is hit with a punishing tax rate, women will likely choose to stay at home.

    But how long do you think its gonna be that the WOMAN’S is always thought of as the ‘second’? My wife has more education than I do (well, more USEFUL education), and, once she gets outta school and into the workforce, will almost certainly make more money than I do. MUCH more. Furthermore, a not-insignificant number of my (married or at least paired-up) male friends find themselves in the same boat – increasingly, its the missus who’s the real ‘breadwinner.’ If conservatives were able to try the sort of Rube Goldberg tax-shenanigan bit of social engineering that you describe above, it may blow up in their faces in a pretty hilarious way, with hordes of less-ambitious MEN dropping out of work to watch soap operas and eat bon-bons. This would give me the dual satisfactions of being able to follow my true calling as a gentleman of leisure and watch Lukas’s (and many other NR patriarchal dopes’) head explode.

  8. “Conservatives who believe women belong at home-that the will to work is an evil seed the ghost of Betty Friedan plants in our soft brains as we sleep at night–would do well to support soul-crushing taxes and strive to reduce, not increase, the after-tax wages of married women.” Are there conservatives who are not only OK with women not being at home but who actually think it is a good thing? Nearly all the ones I’ve read are certainly coy about it at best…This seems to me to come from the conservative=religiously orthodox mindset of American conservatives (European ones are not so like this, unless you’re in Poland).

  9. Interesting. Having just run the trap with the “second” income, how it’s taxed at my “primary” income rate (the “ouch dammit at least use a wee bit of lube!!!” rate), I find this interesting in a coincidental type way.

    Then again, it may just be that Kerry is the she coon of women’s lib, and Mama don’t want nobody messin with the deal she’s got.

  10. I love how she mixes and matches survey data here:

    Just 20 percent of mothers described full-time work as their ideal, while half wanted part-time employment and 29 percent wanted no paid job at all.

    Unfortunately, most American women today aren’t able to follow these preferences. The Department of Labor reports that 70 percent of women with children under eighteen are employed, including 57 percent of women with children under three. Only about a quarter of working women have part-time arrangements, which means many women – particularly women with small children – wish they could work less than they do.

    Because, once again, mothers are synonymous with women. Ugh. Stop mixing and matching sets dammit!!!

  11. Women skeptical of subsidized day care are weird, warped, mutant beings: Be proud of that.

    Two questions about this concluding sentence:

    1) Huh?
    2) What does subsidized daycare have to do with the rest of the piece?

  12. Carrie Lukas of National Review stating that women are perfectly happy living as unpaid maids and baby factories, eh?

    They call African-Americans who plays Yes-man to caucasians an “Uncle Toms,” correct? What do you call the likes of Carrie Lukas?

    A “Stepford Wife” perhaps?

  13. Single women obviously skew more liberal than married women.

    That’s because any libertarian fantasies a formrly childless woman might entertain are expelled from her body along with the afterbirth.

    What does subsidized daycare have to do with the rest of the piece?

    Calm down, Dan. You’ll understand it once Kerry Howley has children.

  14. You beat me to it, Handsome Dan. Honestly, though, I don’t think that would even occur to many religous conservatives. Women make more money? As Borat would say, ‘WHAAT?!?’

  15. In all seriousness, my ex-wife and I avoided the second income trap by my staying home and looking after the kids. I was a “Mr. Mom” (god, I hate that term. The movie didn’t help).

    Of course, the cattery I was running out of the basement of our house was off the record, so wasn’t a problem. Others may not want to go that route though.

  16. Are we talking the Reuben sandwich? The King of All Sandwiches?

  17. I thought women already earned more than men?

  18. What does subsidized daycare have to do with the rest of the piece?

    It robs Petra to pay Pauline. Subsidized daycare takes scarce childrearing money out of a free market in daycare. Nevertheless, it can be justified in the name of good political intentions, like every other counterproductive program.

  19. Are we talking the Reuben sandwich? The King of All Sandwiches?

    Mmmmm… Yes, truly a object worthy of worship.

    Gorram it, Pro! I just ate and I’ve made me hungry again!

  20. “Of course, the cattery I was running out of the basement of our house was off the record, so wasn’t a problem. ”

    What is a “cattery”?

  21. Carrie might have tried to address the fact that Republicans haven’t done much to cut government spending. In fact, judging from the Reagan and Bush, Jr. years in particular, the conclusion is that they love to increase it.

    How many women, with or without children, want to cut government spending? Voters overall continue to vote for lower taxes and higher government spending, all across the country.

  22. I have to brag about something: My wife actually likes packing my lunch.

    you make me sick…

    oh wait you were talking about food.

  23. Shit. Full-time work isn’t my ideal, but we need the paycheck. The falling appeal of fulltime work just shows that the novelty is wearing off and the depressing reality is setting in.

    ProGLib, the real question is, mustard or thousand island? Because while I am perfectly happy with either corned beef or pastrami, I find that nothing destroys my spirits faster than thousand island dressing.

  24. Just 20 percent of mothers described full-time work as their ideal, while half wanted part-time employment and 29 percent wanted no paid job at all.

    Unfortunately, most American women today aren’t able to follow these preferences. The Department of Labor reports that 70 percent of women with children under eighteen are employed, including 57 percent of women with children under three. Only about a quarter of working women have part-time arrangements, which means many women – particularly women with small children – wish they could work less than they do.

    OH MY! You mean.. more people have to work than want to work? That is shameful. In a country as rich as ours, every person who wants to do unpaid work or not work should be able to do so!

  25. oops, make that:
    Just 20 percent of mothers described full-time work as their ideal, while half wanted part-time employment and 29 percent wanted no paid job at all.

    Unfortunately, most American women today aren’t able to follow these preferences. The Department of Labor reports that 70 percent of women with children under eighteen are employed, including 57 percent of women with children under three. Only about a quarter of working women have part-time arrangements, which means many women – particularly women with small children – wish they could work less than they do.

    OH MY! You mean.. more people have to work than want to work? That is shameful. In a country as rich as ours, every person who wants to do unpaid work or not work should be able to do so!

  26. That’s because any libertarian fantasies a formrly childless woman might entertain are expelled from her body along with the afterbirth.

    You know, Jen, bring that up a few more times and I’ll begin thinking that I hit the mark just a little too well.

  27. lunchstealer,

    Thousand Island? That’s rank heresy. Russian dressing is canon.

  28. I’d like a beer too, if that’s not too much trouble.

  29. “Are we talking the Reuben sandwich? The King of All Sandwiches?”

    No. The Monte Cristo, you loser. ?

  30. The sandwiches you’re talking about don’t even have French toast, and none of them put two different mealtimes on one plate. It’s like eating a jackalope.

  31. The Monte Cristo could lick the Reuben any day of the week!

  32. You know, Jen, bring that up a few more times and I’ll begin thinking that I hit the mark just a little too well.

    You’ll think that anyway, because it flatters you to view yourself as some bold freethinking genius rather than an attention whore. The first time Mommy told you not to pick your nose in public, you shoved your finger in even deeper and said “I’m defying the pointless etiquette laws here in the echo chamber!”

  33. If married women’s incomes are considered the “second” income, and the second income is hit with a punishing tax rate, many women will likely choose to stay at home.

    Ummm, the same applies to male spouses of high-earning women. Yet another reason to forbid the government to arbitrate who is married, and who is not, and treat all taxpayers as individuals.

  34. What the hell is a monte cristo? Hold on, let me Google it.

    Errr… Pass. French toast with turkey and swiss isn’t my flagon of mead.

  35. If we want working women, who take jobs because their husbands’ incomes aren’t high enough to support the whole family, to have the choice to say home, we need to cut the income tax. Because single earners who can’t support a family on that income pay such vast amounts in income tax, and at the top brackets that National Review is always so hot to cut.

    Since we already know their opinion about people too poor to pay income taxes – those lucky duckies – we can safely assume that they’re not talking about cutting from the bottom.

    You know what? To help those low-income moms, we’d better take a whack at the dividend income tax, the capital gains tax, and the inheritance tax, too.

  36. Akira,

    You’ll understand when you finally eat one.

  37. I have to brag about something: My wife actually likes packing my lunch. It’s one of those cute couple things. So, indeed, my wife does want to make me a sandwich.

    Does she toss your salad, too?

    * Ducks, runs out of room. *

  38. Dan is like a Monte Cristo…a rule bending attention whore.

  39. I meant Dan T. Jeez. Why the hell do we have to have policies that promote anything? Why do we have to do “something” about women in the workplace or in the home? Goddam it, I’m hungry and cranky now.

  40. Akira –
    SugarFree is right. I had my first Monte Cristo at 15 with powdered sugar and raspberry sauce. It’s one of those things where my attitude toward it was
    “It’s just so crazy, it might WORK!”

  41. Lamar,

    Really, that’s out-of-bounds.

    Akira’s googling is a bit wrong. The Monte Cristo is a triple-decker ham, turkey and swiss sandwich on white bread that is cut diagonally, battered and deep-fried. It is often dusted with powdered sugar and served with raspberry preserves.

    It is not for every taste, but it is at least original. Dan never is.

  42. To help those low-income moms, we’d better take a whack at the dividend income tax, the capital gains tax, and the inheritance tax, too.

    Actually, Joe, that’s a good idea, at least the dividend tax part. I’m all for eliminating double taxation, aren’t you?

  43. The Monte Cristo is a fine sandwich, but I’m afraid that it does not compare to King Reuben.

    Still the name is great, as is the eponymous novel.

  44. Other Matt,

    Oh, yes. Those lower-income families, who don’t earn enough on the larger income to cover the rent and bills, would be so much better off if their dividend income was untaxed. That would help them out a lot.

    As for “double taxation,” money is taxed when one party pays it to another. I’ll buy the “double taxations” argument when shareholders and board members are fined and imprisoned when their companies commit felonies, and can be individually sued for the actions of the company. You know, never.

  45. What is a “cattery”?

    I raised purebred Himalayan cats and sold them for profit.

  46. BTW, the Monte Cristo is indeed an excellent sandwich, but it has nowhere near enough sodium to be called the King of Sandwiches.

    The Reuben wins (with mustard as Zeus intended).

  47. Ouch! Did Dan T. fart in the elevator or something? I thought that he was just one of our garden variety trolls. You know, fun to kick against the wall every now and then, but not to kick under a bus or anything.

  48. Look, I’m a mustard fan, but the original Reuben was made with Russian dressing. Granted, Thousand Island is an abomination, and I’d certainly eat a Reuben with a nice mustard without much complaint, but Reuben with Russian is canon.

  49. Here’s an acceptable Reuben sandwich recipe from Emeril. Note that he makes his own Russian dressing, which is key. Bottled dressings and mayonnaises are for sinners.

  50. Pro Lib,
    I defer to your knowledge of Reuben history but I must remind you, respectfully, that the original Caesar dressing did not include anchovies. These things can be improved on.

    Not that I don’t like the Russian dressing and yes 1000 makes the angels weep.

  51. I gotta go heretic and insist that my Reuben be made with seedless rye. Me no like caraway, unless we’re talking aquavit.

  52. Where are all these sandwich-making women?

    I’m hungry dammit!

  53. “…would do well to support soul-crushing taxes and strive to reduce, not increase, the after-tax wages of married women.”

    Working mothers already have a soul-crushing tax on their after tax wages: Child care.

  54. URKOBOLD has reported that obesity can cause taint whithering complications.

    hier

  55. A sandwich would be good, but right now I’m more in the mood for an aynrandwich.

    That’s when you spend a minute coolly looking over the sandwich, appreciating its elegant beauty. Then you stub out your cigarette and seize the sandwich roughly, crushing it to your lips in a proud, fierce display of your ownership of it.

  56. I forgot to mention that they randwich revels in this, of course.

  57. THE randwich

  58. Wayne –

    A “cattery” is a place where people spend their time breeding cats. It’s kind of like a farm, except for the fact that farms serve a social and economic need for society.

    SG

  59. Stevo,

    I’m trying to figure out what sort of ingredients a randwich would have. Russian dressing is out, of course. Given Rand’s love of things man-made, I see Spam and Velveeta having key roles. Maybe with some horseradish for zesty, righteous anger. No subsidized ingredients, either, so corn, sugar, and cow cheese is out.

  60. Are out.

    And VM, that’s disgusting. I’m glad I didn’t post the Reuben recipe on Urkobold today.

  61. What, no love for the Broodwich?

  62. Apropos of Kerry’s article, there’s always the Manwich.

  63. lunchstealer,

    It’s has 666 different meats.

  64. Hey Kerry! You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!

    If some sissy chick tried to take my job I be all like, “hey, Missy, go knit me a sweater before I slap you in the face!”

  65. That’s because any libertarian fantasies a formrly childless woman might entertain are expelled from her body along with the afterbirth.

    Wrong again, Jennifer. Life begins at conception, you slayer of innocents.

  66. I’m trying to figure out what sort of ingredients a randwich would have.

    Not sure, but a proper randwich must tower above the tablescape like a beacon of purposeful rationality, floating effortlessly like a ballerina, far above the mundane lunch spread, the drab offering of the second-hander clerk lurking behind the deli counter.

    (Hmm, it’s harder to write this Ayn Rand stuff than I thought.)

  67. That’s the best post title I’ve seen since a couple of weeks ago when the Poorman had “I’m Ron Paul, Bitch!”

  68. I’m trying to figure out what sort of ingredients a randwich would have. Russian dressing is out, of course. Given Rand’s love of things man-made, I see Spam and Velveeta having key roles. Maybe with some horseradish for zesty, righteous anger. No subsidized ingredients, either, so corn, sugar, and cow cheese is out.

    Every good sandwich needs meat. This one has a special meat: Rearden Meat.

  69. Of course, the cattery I was running out of the basement of our house was off the record

    What is a “cattery”?

    A “cattery” is a place where people spend their time breeding cats.

    I was in a similar situation. In the basement of my home, I once maintained a gallery. It too was strictly off the record.

    But the authorities eventually found out. They said I could not own a harem for breeding purposes, and they released all my gals.

  70. Wrong again, Jennifer. Life begins at conception, you slayer of innocents.

    Parasitic life may begin at conception, granted, but doesn’t start to feed — indeed, lacks the biological capacity to feed — on its mother’s libertarian impulses until the ninth month. Don’t spew your faith-based garbage at me, about how a single fertilized cell is as destructive to maternal libertarianism as a full-fledged infant. There is no scientific basis for that.

  71. This one has a special meat: Rearden Meat.

    You win.

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