Skip to comments.Womenomics! Really?
Posted on 08/03/2014 12:02:58 PM PDT by Kaslin
Should more women work outside the home?
If additional women desire to do so, sure of course.
But what if those same females wish not to labor outside their humble abodes?
The answer follows just as easily: no, they most certainly should not.
I dont even need to hear the reason. You see, a woman is first a free individual with certain inalienable rights. Women are not merely cogs in the machine of their nations state.
Does that matter to the debate?
It really should.
Lets consider this issue not in America, but in Japan. A front-page feature story in The Washington Post presents the perils of childbearing and rearing in the land of the setting sun. Not the risks to the mother or child or the family, mind you, but the impact on national economic output and power.
In a recent speech, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted his new economic policies, explaining simply that, Abenomics wont succeed without womenomics. By that, he means that to end nearly two decades of economic stagnation and deflation in Japan, more women must enter the workforce.
Due to the island nations low birth rate, combined with official animosity toward immigration, The Post reports that, the population is on track to shrink 30 percent by 2060, at the same time 40 percent of its citizens will hit old age.
In addition to a drag on economic growth, this obviously presents huge budgetary problems for maintaining a welfare state wherein smaller numbers of young workers are forced to pay for larger numbers of older retirees.
Be advised that the labor participation rate in Japan is 84 percent for men and 21 points less, 63 percent, for women. In the United States, labor participation rates are lower, with 70 percent of men working, 58 percent of women working.
Meanwhile, bean counters have discovered a magic economic elixir: pushing more women into the 9-5 economy. Kathy Matsui, Goldman Sachss chief Japan strategist, points out that, If you could equalize this, you could boost GDP by almost 13 percentage points, because you would be adding 7 million-plus workers to the labor pool.
Were informed that Japan is at the low end of most statistical charts when it comes to women in the workplace. The Post cites a report by the World Economic Forum, which ranked Japan 105th out of 136 on gender equality issues.
Of course, in this same survey, Cuba bested the USA. Seems to me most women would prefer living in Japan or the U.S. to living in Cuba.
Now may be a good time to counter the notion of women at home rearing children and running the household as somehow outside the workforce. Frankly, we all know better.
And who is to determine where their highest values lie and value to whom?
Seven million women entering Japans taxable economy isnt an improvement if those women didnt want to be employed outside their homes to begin with, if they and their families valued their time at home more than the salary they can earn by working.
It follows that the most important public policy is to allow each woman and each man and each family to decide for themselves what is best. Simply: freedom. Government must stop subsidizing, taxing and regulating people into making life decisions that the prime minister or president or any other politicians want people to make.
In Japan, that means ending tax penalties for two-earner incomes as well as ending the massive government subsidies for private daycare and spending on publicly run nurseries. Yet, the Japanese prime minister is instead trying to expand those subsidies, and to have the government create 400,000 new child-care slots nationally.
Hes convinced Japanese families need more child-care to encourage more women to seek employment.
Only 38 percent of Japanese women return to their jobs after having their first baby, notes The Post, concluding that Japanese women are opting out.
By 2020, Prime Minister Abe wants that statistic to be at least 55 percent going back to work.
I wonder what Japanese women want and if anyone will ask them or simply permit them to make their own decisions.
I also wonder why, if indeed they value going back to work after giving birth to a child, their combined yen cant purchase the child-care supply they demand?
The one shining example of success in providing more daycare appears to be in Yokohama, Japans second largest city, where the mayor gets credit for solving a tremendous shortfall in child-care.
What did the mayor do? She offered incentives, dramatically boosting the number of private providers reports the Post. In short, she threw public money at the problem, but through private providers.
Thats a long way from a free market, and with decisions still made by politicians and not people individually.
Get government out of the way in Japan, and elsewhere, allowing a free market and freedom of choice for all. Then, perhaps, more women will find ways to enter the workforce. And then again, maybe they will choose not to.
Either way, we win. Because they win.
As if led by Adam Smiths invisible hand, people as a whole tend to win anytime free individuals make their own decisions without taxes and subsidies and a rat-like maze of government regulation overturning the scales of their individual judgment.
Whether those people are Japanese or American.
I think warehousing children in day care centers is a horror, but I don’t think we can put the genie back in the bottle.
I have a question. Why did women agree to abandon their children in the first place? Was it really because of a bunch of screeching feminists?
When the warehoused children reach middle-age, they will not hesitate to warehouse their elderly parents, when that time comes. They will have learned their lessons well.
Women were forced to work because of the progressive income tax and the price of everything continually rising.
All planned by our so called government.
Boy, this topic is always a conundrum for me. I was born in 1960, and headed out into the world in 1977. Yep. 17 years old. Growing up, I was taught in school and at home that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do or be.
I don’t remember feeling one way or another about becoming a wife and a mother. I did, but ‘late’ in life at 33 after I had done many, many things. I always paid my own way, I never went back home except to visit (and I LOVE my parents and sister!) I just had stuff to do beyond My Home Town.
Not a bad life, actually. I firmly believe an American (by the grace of God!) woman can have it all - just not all at once.
And now, in my 50’s, I am the happiest I have ever been. Still self-sufficient, still paying my own way and I am NOT a man hater by a LONG shot. :)
My Mom was in her 30’s during the time of Betty Friedan and, ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and all that crap, when she was supposed to be unfulfilled and hating us kids and Dad as shackles around her ankles. *Rolleyes* But, she was a strong farm gal to begin with, very capable and she worked inside and outside of our family home, was active in church and community. Had a TON of friends (there was always some family or friend celebration going on at our house.)
I think naturally Conservative women take their FemiNazi sisters and their ‘woe is me’ attitude with a big grain of salt. Sometimes a whole salt lick, LOL! Or, their life experiences are so diametrically opposed to ours, we just ignore them for the whiners that they are.
Yes, a LOT of women were snookered and a LOT of women did a LOT of damage to the Nuclear Family, not to mention the heartbreaking state of our black families.
And a LOT of those women were, and continue to be, raving lunatic feminist Democrats.
There is also a big handicap women toil under. Can never be erased.
What is that birthrate in Japan again??
In the 1990s none of my wealthy Southern Cal, coastal customers were stay at home moms, it was common for their husbands to be making 3 or 4 hundred thousand a year while the wife ran a little shop that the husband had bought for them, or perhaps some $40,000 a year job of some sort.
These were very feminist, aggresive modern women and my work was inside their homes, something that I would do that would really disturb them, is when I would look at their little 19 year old Guatemalan, live-in nanny (most were close to that description at the time) and ponder about the irony of the wife’s girls and sons being raised by a totally passive, shy, absolutely submissive peasant girl as their female role model.
You should have seen their expressions as that hit them.