10 November 2013

Feminists Are Bad At Economics

But the American social conservatives who advocate for women to spend less time in the workforce and more time in the home rarely advocate for the creation or expansion of programs that would support their goals. They operate in a fantasy world in which it’s possible to turn back the clock to the middle of the 20th century – or a television version of it, anyway. But in the real world, poverty and inequality militate powerfully against family life, rendering marriage an unattractive option and child rearing stressful and financially perilous. Anyone interested in promoting participation in family life should thus look to the nations that have managed to do just that. [Emphasis added.]

While trying to keep track of multiple variables in economic analyses is often quite tricky, and should thus not be attempted by amateurs, particularly those who are stupid enough to be both feminist and leftist, it should be fairly clear that the existence of technology, the division of labor, and the law of supply and demand basically render the bolded assertion false.

In the first place, cutting back on the labor supply will necessarily increase the price of labor, which means that men will earn more.  Thus, household income need not necessarily decline, as long as women remain part of a household with an employed male (husband) since the husband’s increased income will compensate for a wife’s decreased income.

In the second place, demand for homemaker substitutes will decrease since there will be actual homemakers to do the homemaking.  Since most homemaker substitute fields are dominated by women (education and day care, for example), it stands to reason that a lot of women will find that they are doing the same work as before, but they aren’t getting paid directly (and therefore are not getting taxed) for the work they’re performing.

In the third place, some of the work currently performed by women could be automated.  If economic conditions encouraged this development (like making forms easier/faster to fill out), it would undoubtedly occur.

Thus, if all married women were to hypothetically quit their jobs, what would happen is that more men would be employed, those men would earn more, and the demand for what essentially amounts to substitute wives/mothers would crater to the point that those working in such professions could shift to other professions without there necessarily being any slack in childcare/homemaking.  In the event that there were not enough men and single women to take care of the current market demand for labor, technology and/or illegal immigrants could pick up the slack without too much of a problem.  Thus, there is no reason to think that an expansion of programs designed to facilitate women staying at home would be necessary, as basic economic laws would take care of the matter.  The traditional family household structure would help too, but I guess that’s just not acceptable to cultural Marxists.

As an addendum, I do find it terribly amusing that feminists are blaming conservatives for the problem brought on by feminism.  In the first place, women just wanted to work, but the evil conservative patriarchy held them back.  Then women just wanted to stay home, but the evil conservative patriarchy just won’t let them.  Of course, once women are all back at home, they’ll probably just want to go back to work.  Naturally, the evil conservative patriarchy will be there to frustrate their dreams and suppress them.