Comment 41570

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 04, 2010 at 14:05:25

The rise of the dual-working parent family will probably be seen in coming decades as a major setback for workers. While today's rhetoric is still filled with nasty capitalist arguments (you're not a person if you don't work) wrapped in feminist fluff, a clearer long term view shows that all the whole, it led to more work at lower wages much faster than it raised anyone's standard of living. Median wages, in real terms, have been stagnating since the 1970s (when much of this began on a large scale), and since then it's clear that whatever increase in the (material) standard of living of average families exists, it's due to more work (overtime, or two working parents) or more debt, not the spectacular boost in productivity we've seen in the same time (from which the benefits have clearly gone upward).

A century ago, people were literally dying to shorten the workday and work-week. The nine-hour movement, beginning in Hamilton as well as other places, is hailed as one of Canada's first examples of labour organizing.

This isn't to say that I think women belong only at home raising children. But I do think both parents should have that option. However, I have a hard time seeing 80 hours of compulsory servitude per week between a pair of parents to be a step back, both as a worker and a parent.

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