Britain wants Parents to choose Work over Raising their Children

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 24th, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time children didn’t have much of a childhood.  In feudal Europe they were born on the land their parents worked.  And they worked the land, too, as soon as they were physically able.  There were no child-labor laws then.  The landowners’ children no doubt enjoyed their childhoods.  As they didn’t have to work.  The wealthy few enjoyed their lives.  While the masses labored away in physical labor.  With no chance of leaving the land they were born on.  For who your parents were determined your lot in life.  With no way to change that.

Until the British ushered in the modern world.  The rule of law.  Representative government.  The Industrial Revolution.  Laissez-faire capitalism.  Free trade.  The necessary things that allowed a middle class.  The chance of upward mobility.  And the nuclear family.  The working father.  The stay-at-home mother.  And children the parents dedicated their lives to raise.  Where children were wanted and loved.  And not just the pain in the ass they are today (see Parents ‘to be able reclaim up to £1,200 of childcare costs’ posted 3/19/2013 on BBC News UK Politics).

Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world, with many people with two or more children saying it does not make financial sense for both parents to work…

To be eligible for the new support both parents will have to work – or the one parent in the case of lone parent families – and each parent must be earning less than £150,000 a year.

In two-parent families where one parent does not work, families will not receive support – which is said to underline the government’s support for making work pay…

Mr Cameron said too many families were finding paying for childcare “tough” and were “often stopped from working the hours they’d like”…

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said he wanted to help “every family to get on in life”.

He said: “The rising cost of childcare is one of the biggest challenges parents face and it means many mums and dads simply can’t afford to work.

“This not only hurts them financially, but is bad for the economy too. This announcement of a £1bn investment in childcare will make sure it pays to work.”

Making work pay?  Working the hours they’d like?  Can’t afford to work?  What’s more important in Britain?  Family?  Or paying taxes?

Taxes are so out of hand that parents need childcare because they can’t get by on one income.  Like they did before.  But they can’t now.  Why?  What’s the big difference between now and then?  Taxes.  The government grows.  It gives away more stuff.  A college education.  Health care.  Pensions.  But that generosity costs money.  And with an aging population there is only one way to pay for this generosity.  Raising tax rates.  And adding new taxes.  Creating such a large tax burden it leaves people with less disposable income.

The tax bite grew so much that if you were middle class and wanted children it took two incomes.  Making children more of a nuisance than the pride and joy of parents they used to be.  So we become dumping children off at childcare.  Where they entered a cold, institutional childhood.  Instead of the warmth of a nurturing stay-at-home parent.  Is it any wonder why society has become more violent and crime ridden?  Children who see themselves as a burden.  Perhaps feeling unloved.  Or unable to feel empathy.  Perhaps even a little bit angry.  Put it all together and you get societal decay.  And a disincentive to having children.  Leading to an aging population.  Requiring further tax rate hikes.  And new taxes elsewhere.  Which makes it even more difficult to raise children.  So that additional government spending to address one problem only exasperated the problem they were trying to solve.  No.  To help families the state needs to reduce the tax burden.  Not increase it.  Which means they need to cut government spending.  Not increase it.

This would help families raise children.  Even allow a stay-at-home parent.  Which will allow children to grow up in a warm, nurturing family.  Not a cold, sterile, state childcare system.  Where parents will chose their children over having a second income.  Even if it means less tax revenue for the state.  However much that may displease the state.

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The Mean Grownups are Taking Away our Children’s Twinkies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 12th, 2012

Week in Review

It could be the end of an era.  And of happy childhood memories for future generations of children.  Who may not know the joy of a delicious Twinkies snack cake.  Otherwise known as childhood nirvana.  The best part of taking your lunch to school.  The best part of coming home from school.  Soon to be no more.  All gone.  Instead, sadness.  And weeping (see Hostess Sends Layoff Notices to All Workers by Jacqueline Palank posted 5/7/2012 on The Wall Street Journal).

Hostess Brands Inc. on Friday sent out letters notifying its more-than 18,000 workers that they could be laid off in the next two months.

The maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread on Friday mailed out WARN Act notices to all of its employees, a Hostess spokeswoman confirmed to Bankruptcy Beat Monday. The federal WARN Act requires companies to give employees 60 days notice before closing a facility or ordering mass layoffs. However, sending the notices doesn’t mean a company is definitely going to lay off the recipients.

“The conditional WARN notices were sent to alert employees that a sale or wind down of the company is possible in the future. There are no immediate actions being taken,” spokeswoman Anita-Marie Laurie said Monday in an emailed statement. “Our goal is to emerge from bankruptcy as a growing company with a strong future—one that continues to provide good jobs with competitive wages and benefits.”

Hostess’s future remains uncertain, largely dependent upon the outcome of negotiations with its two big unions over the fate of their labor agreements as well as upon its search for new capital…

Together, the Teamsters and BCTGM represent 14,101 of Hostess’s 18,400 active workers.

Grownups.  Once again spoiling children’s happiness.  Do your homework.  Take your bath.  Make your bed.  Clean your room.  And now this.  The greed of grownups.  Threatening a childhood institution. 

Where’s the government bailout?  Like GM.  And Chrysler.  Oh, wait a minute.  These snack foods aren’t vegetables.  They’re delicious.  The very opposite of vegetables.  Which is why kids like them.  But, alas, they’re not ‘healthy’.  Like a stick of celery.  Yum.  And with this administration’s ‘war on fatties’ I guess we can say goodbye to these 18,400 workers.  Perhaps they can get some government retraining for a new career.  Something more healthy.  And wholesome.  Like picking vegetables.  That we can force feed to our kids.

And soon our children will go to bed.  Dreaming of a happier time.  When they looked with joy at the Twinkies Mother put in their lunch bag.  Others will dream of the stories they heard about those magical times that they never knew.  And children everywhere will try to fall asleep curled up in the fetal position.  In a pool of their own tears.  Because the mean grownups took away their Twinkies.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #81: “Gross pay is a myth.” – Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 30th, 2011

The sooner Kids don’t Believe in Santa Clause the sooner they get Clothes as Gifts

When we were young the world had unicorns.  A jolly fat man in a red suit gave out toys once a year.  The Tooth Fairy paid us for our baby teeth.  Thankfully after they had fallen out.  And an Easter Bunny left hardboiled eggs for children on Easter morning.  Because kids love hardboiled eggs.  As well as the occasional piece of chocolate.

But that was once upon a time.  In a far distant land.  Our childhood.  And as we left our childhood we learned some hard truths.  They weren’t real.  Except unicorns, of course.  But Santa Clause?  The Tooth Fairy?  And the Easter Bunny?  Just childhood myths.  Existing only in our childhood.  Until the day our parents killed them.  Just to save a buck. 

Raising kids is expensive.  And these things just added to the cost.  Especially in large families.  The sooner your kids didn’t believe in Santa Clause the sooner you could wrap their clothes as gifts.  And skip the expensive toys.  Because Daddy worked hard enough.  And the money from that second job could buy Mommy some nice things for the house.  Or a new car.  Besides, there are only so many hardboiled eggs Daddy can eat.

Progressivism replaced Rugged Individualism with the Feminization of Men

Speaking of myths, there is another one many of us remember from our childhood.  Daddy’s paycheck.  He may not have earned a lot.  But he kept almost everything he earned.  And he could raise a large family.  Kids grew up with lots of brothers and sisters.  But then something happened.  And Daddy couldn’t do that anymore.

Government began to grow.  You can probably blame this on a war.  But probably not the one you’re thinking about.  Unless you’re thinking about the American Civil War.  For that war killed a generation of fathers.  Leaving a lot of children fatherless.  To be raised by widows.  During the 1870s and 1880s.  Some who would go on to enter politics.  And served in the federal government.  Joining the Progressive Party.  Which began the ending of rugged individualism.  And the feminization of men.

This was the founding of the nanny state in America.  Boys who lost their fathers in the Civil War had no male role models in their lives.  They were surrounded by women.  And went from rugged individuals to refined dandies.  In the Northeast, at least.  Overly sensitive to other people’s feelings.  Overflowing with empathy.  And filled with a mothering instinct.  Learned from their own doting mothers. 

(These Civil War widows went through unspeakable hardships.  Losing husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.  The Civil War killed approximately 2% of the population.  Some 620,000 people.  That same percentage of today’s population would equal some 6,000,000 people.  They lost so much that they doted on their remaining children.  As any parent would.  This is not a condemnation of their parenting.  These widows should be held up in the highest regard.  It’s just a story of numbers.  Such a large generation of fatherless children was destined to change the body politic.)

The Term ‘Gross Pay’ has gone the way of the Unicorn

The fatherless children of the Civil War began the growth of the federal government.  Where the best and brightest would make everything fair.  And better.  Woodward Wilson greatly expanded the federal government.  Then it was FDR‘s turn.  And then LBJ.  Every time government grew so did the cost of government. 

Wilson gave us the first income tax since the Civil War.  And gave us the Federal Reserve System.  FDR gave us the New Deal (including Social Security).  LBJ gave us the Great Society (including Medicare and Medicaid).  All expensive programs.  All requiring heavy taxation.  And where did those taxes come from?  Daddy’s paycheck.

During this period of expanding government a new term entered the American lexicon.  ‘Net’.  As in ‘net pay’.  If you got a pay raise or a bonus, your wife didn’t ask how much your raise or bonus was.  She asked how much will you ‘net’.  After taxes.  That part of the check you actually got.  Because by this time the term ‘gross pay’ went the way of the unicorn.  (Yes, I know unicorns don’t exist.)  Gross pay is a myth.  It may have existed at one time.  But now the term is meaningless.  Because of all the taxes taken out of your paycheck.

High Taxation and Inflation make it difficult for Daddy to Raise a Large Family Today

The gap between ‘gross pay’ and ‘net pay’ is now very large.  It is a very big part of the reason that Daddy can’t raise a large family anymore.  Even with working nights for a little extra money.  Now it takes two full time wage earners to raise a large family.  And a booming child care industry.

But this growth of government took spending to such heights that taxing alone could not pay for it.  So they borrowed a lot of money.  And printed a lot.  In fact, they were printing so much that President Nixon took us off the ‘gold standard’.  Which was the only real restraint on printing money.  And once he did, they printed away.  Giving us permanent inflation.  And a faster growing CPI.  Which shrank our shrinking paychecks even further.

It’s the one-two punch of high taxation and inflation that makes it difficult for Daddy to raise a large family today.  On a single paycheck.  Thanks to an ever rising CPI.  And an ever shrinking net pay.  It’s gotten so bad that kids often get socks and underwear for Christmas.  From Santa Clause.  Even when kids still very much believe in him.

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