Friday, March 24, 2006

Progressive Kids - Make One for the Team!

Ruth Conniff at The Progressive helped me think about child care, birth rates, work, policy, capitalism, more kids ... with her "Stop Feeding the Work Monster" She writes several things that struck me as especially interesting such as,

In Foreign Policy Longman, a fellow at the New America Foundation, writes that liberals, secular humanists, and feminists are going extinct. The reason is that people with liberal values are having no children, or only one, while conservatives and fundamentalists are breeding like mad--and creating a far more conservative future. "This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism. Among states that voted for President Bush in 2004, fertility rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry," Longman writes. ...

There's not much we can do about the demographic trends. But at the very least, before it's too late, we dwindling numbers of feminists and progressives need to get our act together and start arguing for a more humane, child-friendly society instead of taking the side of profit-mad business, which is in no danger of losing its hold on power, and certainly doesn't need any help from us.

Quoting former New York Times Economics reporter Anne Crittenden, Mr. Culliff also wrote,
"Caring for children or elderly parents isn't just a lifestyle decision; it's a societal necessity." Yet the American corporate model of work demands that your loyalty to your employer come before any such human concerns. "In many industries the ideal worker continues to be someone who has no family (or is willing to act like it)." Not surprisingly, mothers don't find the tradeoff worth it. Some find that asking for a more flexible work schedule, in exchange for less pay, means not just resentment or condescension but being fired. It doesn't have to be this way "Studies show countries with family-friendly policies, like paid leave and universal preschool, have less of a wage gap because women can combine paid work with family time."

Good writing and good thinking! Indeed the rough edges of our current globalized hyper-capitalism has to be tempered with wise policy. The Bu$hCo Theocracy claims to care about family values yet this sort of kid friendly approach is rejected by many from the right. I'm unable to supply another lefty kid right now but if I can find a sharp and sexy young liberal that has a thing for seasoned Scots I'd be willing to work at balancing the demographics. Make one for the Team! Peace ... or War!