Men Don’t Make Lunch

October 1, 2021 / 0 Comments

One of the last daily tasks for a mom with school age children is lunch. It’s not the most difficult task but it is multi-layered.  First the lunch bags must be found because the kids never get them as far as the kitchen. They need to be emptied. This can be a daunting task because of uneaten food or the leakage of the thermos. Cleaning is next and these containers alone can fill the top shelf of the dishwasher. The prep for the next day includes the assembly of the snacks, the beverage and the actual lunch. The culmination is the placement of the lunch bags in the assigned location to be ready for the morning departure. The morning departure is its own Tower of Babel but if one lunch bag is out of place then the entire household starts the day in a deficit.

This analogy is easy to understand and most adults who have contact with school age children have experienced this type of meltdown of process.  It’s the definition of infrastructure, something that is critical to the operation of everything.

Those singularly focused officials in Washington see only the road to work, the bridges and power supplies as infrastructure but before a person gets in their car and on the road to work, they must get out of the house.

As I have proposed before, Biden’s American Family Plan is infrastructure but some are stuck in the old saw of women should be barefoot and pregnant. In 1971 President Nixon’s labeled universal childcare as having ‘family weakening implications.’  While Nixon’s stance was half a century ago, last year when Idaho turned down a $6 million federal grant earmarked for children, their Republican representative Charlie Shepard reasoned “that any bill that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child, I don’t think that’s a good direction for us to be going. “

What both men were saying is that universal childcare would make it easier for women to work. According to a recent survey of 35 nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the US ranks in the bottom three on the family friendly component. I’m not surprised by the results of the survey.

Most of the country unlike Rep. Shepard has moved on from the 1950’s mentality of the stay-at-home wife as the Donna Reed Show. Less and less workers have the opportunity to stay with a job long enough to earn a pension. Companies aren’t covering healthcare costs as they once were and wages for women, despite the illegality of gender-based pay discrimination, is at best 80 cents for each dollar earned by a man.  Women must work and earn their own 401K’s and Social Security credits.

It doesn’t make sense that anyone would vote against our children. Childcare expenses suck out 25% of a young family’s income. Biden’s plan would aim to decrease daycare costs to a max of 7% of the annual income for low and middle class families.  This would be a boon for young families many of whom are also paying student loans, but that’s a topic for a different blog. Young parents by demographic have a tremendous potential contribute to the country’s economic growth and benefit themselves by earning their salaries. Heaping financial stress on them creates mental health problems and that definitely has ‘family weakening implications.’   

It’s time for Congress to embrace the old adage of women and children first. If we are a people that cares about our children then we need the American Family Plan.  No road can be paved, no bridge can be built unless the parent, the American worker can leave the house with the confidence that their most precious contribution to the next generation is well cared for.

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