At the Office or In the Kitchen ?

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My oldest is at the big 7 and he’s not sure how he feels about getting hugs and kisses anymore.  Let’s be honest….he is the least affectionate of all my kids so I’m not really sure he ever really dug getting hugs and kisses.  It’s not his love language…his language is “words of praise.”  Any-hoo, I was having one of my sentimental moments today (which happens several times daily) thinking about some of the funny words my oldest used to dream up when he was a year old.

Our youngest just started walking so I’m constantly reflecting about the older ones and what they were like when they were 1.   I looked at this giant 7 year old and told him I loved him and he asked, “Why?”  Befuddled, I went with instinct and told him,”It’s my job.”  And he responded,”But, why?”  And I thought about this for a millisecond and said, “In case you forget.”

There are plenty of times out there in the world when we’ve been stomped on, failed miserably or been rejected by others.  We may not feel very loved.  And that’s when it helps to know that there is someone out there who loves you…someone who values you on this planet.  Mom (and Dad, of course).

But, it’s those moments in the kitchen when you tell your little guy you love him for no other reason but it’s your job to remind him he’s loved that have the deepest imprint.  He’ll tuck that in his heart and take it with him to his first date, first party, first job.  If you’re in the cubicle at work, perhaps you can call him from your cellphone but it’s not the same as looking into those baby blues and telling him….the visual imprinting on his heart and mind just isn’t the same.

The picture of mom’ s loving face isn’t the same as the cellphone call…just keeping it real.

Stay-At-Home Moms are Not Keynesians

Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American [Aviation, Inc.]'s Inglewood, Calif., plant  (LOC)

Patrick Fagan, former Heritage Foundation scholar who is now with The Family Research Council writes about a little known fact about GDP titled “The Family GDP: How Marriage and Fertility Drive the Economy” which can be found in the Spring 2010 issue of The Family in America.  That little known fact has to do with the unpaid human capital that stay-at-home moms contribute to the economy.  If you didn’t know it already, “Moms are the Engine of the Economy.”  If you need to be convinced, Mr. Fagan’s article could help you down the road to conversion.  The link to the journal is here and you can read part of his article on The Ruth Institute blog here.

Brandon Dutcher, VP of Policy at The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs wrote an op-ed in The Oklahoman referencing Fagan’s article.  Quoting Dutcher in his op-ed who is quoting Fagan:

“The married homemaker who focuses her attention on the children, hearth and home has rarely been acknowledged for the economic force that she is,” Fagan says. “Paraphrasing Teddy Roosevelt, who rebutted those who claimed she is a parasite, the married mother at home is the economy.”

How so? “First, she raises the future labor force; second, her at-home labor saves the family money; and third, by tending to details on the home front, she both allows and motivates her husband to be fully committed to his occupation, job or profession.”

Fagan says the Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker once suggested to him that “the married mother at home exerts a more far-reaching impact on the economy than the married father in the workplace” (emphasis mine). After all, “the mother contributes to both the present and future economy, but especially the future through the more highly productive children she raises.”

Fagan also states that mothers contribute the necessary next generation of human capital to the economy.  In my humble opinion, this is the gift that keeps on giving.  The high quality human capital that stay-at-home moms contribute creates a stable and durable economy.  Stay-at-home moms are in it for the long-run.  Mom’s efforts pay dividends in the future if she raises high-quality kids and this effort is duplicated throughout generations.  However, if we teach our daughters to be workers instead of mothers, we increase the number of Keynesians.  And thus, we have women who want to raise up government instead of children.

Two Income Trap and 50-Percent Money

Spot-on book by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter about why families aren’t making it on two incomes.  If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware of some of the reasons, some of which lead to the nonsensical result of earning less than your outlays.  Failure to accurately account for taxes, a second car and gas, work clothing, etc. could have a working mom earning McDonalds wages after everything is netted out.

My husband, who is a tax policy economist, recently figured out that everything we earn for the rest of the year is 50% money.  What does that mean ?  Well, we’re in the child tax credit phaseout and have reached the level of income where our marginal rate is now 50% such that we keep 50% of everything we earn for the rest of the year and send the other 50% to our friends in Washington.  I’m no great economist but I did learn about the trade off between labor and leisure and this recent nugget has me thinking pina coladas.  Since we don’t have 9 to 5 jobs but instead are business owners who have to drum up our own business, I am feeling quite tired and think I’ll take a nap and tell Washington to shove it…..they’re not getting my 50% money.