These are all important points. But they can sound pretty abstract to men and women who are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to arranging their work and family lives. For more than two decades the demands and hours of work have been intensifying. Yet progress in adopting family-friendly work practices and social policies has proceeded at a glacial pace.
Today the main barriers to further progress toward gender equity no longer lie in people’s personal attitudes and relationships. Instead, structural impediments prevent people from acting on their egalitarian values, forcing men and women into personal accommodations and rationalizations that do not reflect their preferences. The gender revolution is not in a stall. It has hit a wall.
[ . . . ]
Between 1990 and 2000, however, average annual work hours for employed Americans increased. By 2000, the United States had outstripped Japan — the former leader of the work pack — in the hours devoted to paid work. Today, almost 40 percent of men in professional jobs work 50 or more hours a week, as do almost a quarter of men in middle-income occupations. Individuals in lower-income and less-skilled jobs work fewer hours, but they are more likely to experience frequent changes in shifts, mandatory overtime on short notice, and nonstandard hours. And many low-income workers are forced to work two jobs to get by. When we look at dual-earner couples, the workload becomes even more daunting. As of 2000, the average dual-earner couple worked a combined 82 hours a week, while almost 15 percent of married couples had a joint workweek of 100 hours or more.
[ . . . ]
This is where the political gets really personal. When people are forced to behave in ways that contradict their ideals, they often undergo what sociologists call a “values stretch” — watering down their original expectations and goals to accommodate the things they have to do to get by. This behavior is especially likely if holding on to the original values would exacerbate tensions in the relationships they depend on.
In their years of helping couples make the transition from partners to parents, the psychologists Philip and Carolyn Cowan have found that tensions increase when a couple backslide into more traditional roles than they originally desired. The woman resents that she is not getting the shared child care she expected and envies her husband’s social networks outside the home. The husband feels hurt that his wife isn’t more grateful for the sacrifices he is making by working more hours so she can stay home. When you can’t change what’s bothering you, one typical response is to convince yourself that it doesn’t actually bother you. So couples often create a family myth about why they made these choices, why it has turned out for the best, and why they are still equal in their hearts even if they are not sharing the kind of life they first envisioned.
From the County Manager Report on the budget shortfall facing Lyon County, NV.
We have received correspondence, telephone calls and personal visits from our constituents asking that we not cut or eliminate services or raise taxes.
Sorry, but we can’t have it both ways.
We can’t keep vital services going and not raise revenue to pay for them. Everyone has got to be willing to pitch in a little extra to provide for those things that we can only provide collectively, or face the fact that this county is going to dry up and blow away.
“I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
“Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Full report below the jump.
“People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad,” Santorum said, “but paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with — it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.” (ABC News)
Aside from the iPad red herring, I am fed up with this straw man that people expect “free” medical care. We all know health care costs money. What we are saying is that the inability of some to pay for their health care should not preclude them from receiving it. By Rick’s reasoning, a person dying of thirst or hunger has no right to food or drink unless they can pay for it, regardless of how much extra food and water others may have. Aside to Rick: Not everyone can afford an iPad. An iPad is what is commonly referred to as a luxury. Health care is not a luxury. It is a right.
“Suffering, if you’re a Christian, suffering is a part of life. And it’s not a bad thing, it is an essential thing in life … There are all different ways to suffer. One way to suffer is through lack of food and shelter and there’s another way to suffer which is lack of dignity and hope and there’s all sorts of ways that people suffer and it’s not just tangible, it’s also intangible and we have to consider both.” (Link)
How very Mother Teresa of him:
“The suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example of misery and suffering.”
I’ve got nothing.
“Unemployment benefits, I think they’ve gone on a long, long, long time. We have to find ways to reduce our spending on a lot of the anti-poverty programs and unemployment programs. But I would far rather see a reform of our unemployment system, to allow people to have a personal account which they’re able to draw from as opposed to having endless unemployment benefits.” ( Iowa debate, August 2011 - Link)
What Mitt really means is that he doesn’t think employers should have to pay into the Unemployment Insurance fund. As far as those “personal accounts?” Many people have a personal account they can draw on in the event of an emergency. It’s called a savings account. Of course, one would need to have held a job that actually paid enough to salt away some money every paycheck. Even if one had been able to do so, it’s pretty much a given that said savings account would eventually run dry in the event of long-term unemployment (which accounts for 42.9% of the unemployed. (link - pdf)
Clueless. Absolutely clueless.
“The threat to our culture comes from within. The 1960’s welfare programs created a culture of poverty. Some think we won that battle when we reformed welfare, but the liberals haven’t given up. At every turn, they try to substitute government largesse for individual responsibility. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity. Dependency is a culture-killing drug. We have got to fight it like the poison it is.” (Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008)
Of course, always left out of this argument for “individual responsibility” is the fact that single people with no children are rarely, if ever, granted welfare benefits. Unemployment is required to be paid for 26 weeks, with extensions up to 99 weeks authorized by Congress.
Mitt and the rest of the Republicans ignore the fact that welfare pays far less than even a minimum wage full-time job, so what is the incentive exactly?
Regarding the “dependency” meme: I once sold cars for a living. I didn’t last long. While I made one “full commission” sale (to a drug dealer!), most were nickel and dime sales wherein my commission was a measly $50 per vehicle. One of the things the car dealership did do was pay their sales staff minimum wage against their commission. This was done to prevent, and I quote the sales manager, ”sales people from fainting from hunger at their desks.” Were we “depending” on our employer to keep us alive even though we weren’t “productive” sales people? Yes indeed, and the employer saw the wisdom in it! Needless to say, as a single mom trying to house and feed my daughter and myself, this wasn’t going to cut it. I went back to waiting tables where I was paid minimum wage and “depended” on the generosity of my customers to make up the difference. I certainly wasn’t getting it from my employer.
But I digress.
You know, even if they don’t have compassion for the poor because they’re not wired that way, 2 out of 3 of their Bosses have made it pretty damned clear as to their expectations.
From the comments at this post at Pharyngula:
One has to admit the Bible sometimes has useful invective.
1 Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
2 to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
3 What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?
4 Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
or fall among the slain.
That would be Isaiah 10: 1-4 (NIV)
Then there is what Jesus had to say:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
That would be Matthew 25: 34-45 (NIV)
See also my previous post: Are we a Christian nation?
Serving Dinner Tuesday – Sunday from 4pm
The holiday season is here and most of us look forward to celebrating with family and friends. But so many of our neighbors and friends right here in Dayton are struggling this year. We don’t need to tell you that the economy has hit Lyon County hard. Js’ wants to help and you can too.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
In late 2009, a movement was born to get people to pull their money out of the “too big to fail” banks and move to a local bank or credit union. I thought it was a good idea, but once I started looking into it, I demurred. It was convenient being with my Big Bank. I could move money easily from my checking to my savings or to my VISA credit card or to my mortgage. I had no monthly fee, but I did pay $3 a month for online banking and bill pay. Plus, I have a couple of family members that work for the Big Bank and in my mind I didn’t want to offend them. So I sat tight.
A couple of days ago I got a notice from my Big Bank that they were about to make a change to my checking account. What could that be? I wondered. Were they going to eliminate my monthly fee for online banking? Lots of banks offer it and don’t charge for it. Hmm…let’s go see.
I popped open the notice and this shiny slick extolling all the virtues of my check card (pdf) were listed, one by one. Well, hell, I know how great my card is. I use it all the time, I thought. There has to be more to it than this.
There was more. Indeed.
It wasn’t enough for Wells Fargo that they hold our mortgage and get $400 a month in interest. It wasn’t enough that I’ve got a balance on my credit card and they get interest from that too. Hell, it wasn’t enough that they charged me $3 a month just for the privilege of banking online. It wasn’t enough for them that I almost never entered the hallowed halls of their banks, thereby helping to keep their labor costs down, or that I almost never wrote a check, saving them the time and cost of processing that paper, and used my checkcard for nearly every purchase I made out of my checking account.
Not enough for them. Nope, the greedy bastards want to start charging me for saving them money. Really?? Fuck that.
Early this week I moved my money to the same credit union Sweetie uses. As soon as is humanly possible, I hope to move my mortgage as well. With the credit union I have no checking account fees, no charges for online banking and bill pay, and lo and behold, they’ll actually give me money back for using my VISA check card at least ten times a month. Huh.
Buh-bye Wells Fargo.
I went through the drive-thru at the Starbucks near work this morning. I placed my order – this morning I was craving an apple fritter – and informed the barista that I had my own cup for whatever dark roast they had on brew.
As I pulled up to the window I snapped off The Skeptics Guide to the Universe (recorded at TAM) and pulled out my credit card.
“It’s your lucky day!” the barista gushed. “The car in front of you has paid for your order!”
“Wow, that was really nice of them,” I replied.
As she handed me my fritter and poured my coffee I thought, Why not do the same for the person behind me?
“I may as well pay it backward. Can I do the same for the car behind me?”
The barista told me the amount, and it wasn’t much more than I was going to pay anyway, but, truth be told, I was willing to pay for a car full of vente triple mocha frappaccinos. Really.
I handed her my credit card, and she said, “You’re number three. Let’s see how far we can take this.”
I drove away feeling happy – just being part of this chain of strangers doing something for someone they don’t know. That person who paid for me didn’t know me, my politics, my religious beliefs, nada. Same for me and the guy behind me. It was nice, and it was just the touch my psyche needed in this time of blistering negativism.
As I walked into work, I reflected on that brief display of kindness and thought:
That’s what Social Security is like. I’m (We’re) paying it backward, in a sense. I’m paying it backward for the people who are behind me in time. They started their lives before I breathed my first, and they will likely die before I breathe my last. It is as it should be: an unending chain of care and concern.
We must not let it be destroyed.
But an awful lot of Americans think they will be trust fund babies someday if they side with the rich. They don’t have any plan for this (maybe buying lottery tickets) but they are sure it will happen just the same. So they are okay with making other people poor and the poor can starve but this will make them better off (they‘ve read the talking points and can be heard on the radio if they can‘t read). Selling off public assets is fine with them as they think this will cut taxes. It won’t of course as the government will pay to rent them back for twice the cost and other public resources will simply be lost forever.
Every time I hear someone talk about “privatizing” a government service or contracting it out, this is exactly what I think. We’ve still got to pay for it. But instead of having some kind of control, we just become renters and the landlord holds all the cards. Yeah, that makes sense.
“Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Let’s allow people to opt out of paying taxes that support the DOD or any specific goverment program they don’t like – maybe the war on drugs, for example, or NSA domestic wiretaps, or the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay – on condition they, uh, keep the money for themselves.
In fact, let’s allow them to opt out of paying taxes for any government services, at all.
And let’s require them to stash that money away in the same place they stash anything they want to put by in case of future need, these days.
In some kind of market fund, say.
Or any other sort of investments that appeal to them.
I say we take this one step further.
Beyond “requiring” the Government-Ain’t-Good-For-Anything types to invest their tax dollars for future need, we must require that if they wish to partake of any public services or infrastructure that they pay as they go.
If Mr. GAGFA wants to travel on any public roads (and that includes the gravel road in front of my house since it is maintained by the county), there will be a fee. At every stoplight or stop sign, at every on-ramp to every freeway, there will be two lanes: One lane will for the those of us who see the value in pooling our money for the common good and who will have a certified Tax Pass that allows each us unlimited travel on all public roads. The other lane will be for those operating under the delusion that they can do it all themselves. Before they can drive on that road, a fee will be collected. Everytime.
Public parks will be free to those with Tax Passes. Non-taxpayers and their dependents will each pay a fee to enter. Regardless of age. No group, family or senior discounts. Same goes for public libraries, national parks, public beaches, etc. Hey, there’s no free lunch!
If Mr. and Ms. GAGFA want to send their kids to the public school around the corner or any school receiving taxpayer subsidies (this would, of course, include charter schools), no problem! All they have to do is cough up the annual per student costs that would normally come out of tax dollars and other non-state revenues. In the state of Nevada, depending on the county you live in, that figure could range any where from $9,538 in Clark County to $32,343 in Eureka County. Per child. Got more than one kid? Again, no group discounts allowed.
Furthermore, if Mr. or Ms. GAGFA are business owners they must hire only people who can prove they have not been educated on the public dime.
If Mr. GAGFA’s house is broken into, or his car stolen, or he is mugged at the ATM, or worse, one of his family members is assaulted or murdered, he can hire a private investigator to find the criminal, pay a lawyer to prosecute the crime, pay the judge and jury to adjudicate the crime, and then throw the convict in the private jail that Mr. GAGFA has built in his backyard out of his own funds. Or he can pay the local government to find, prosecute, and incarcerate the criminal. Of course, the number of police on his case, regardless of the severity of the crime would be determined by Mr. GAGFA’s ability to pay the hourly rate. He would then be required to pay the local court system to prosecute (again, by the hour and number of personnel involved), and to pay the local prison system an annual fee to incarcerate the convict. I mean, why should I have to pay to incarcerate that criminal? He didn’t hurt me! And after all, Mr. GAGFA can do it all himself, right?
If Mr. GAGFA has a heart attack, I sure hope he has his own private EMT on speed dial.
Supermarkets will have two sections: One section for us Tax Pass holders where all food stuffs will have been inspected and confirmed to be safe for consumption. Food will sport expiration dates and list the ingredients and nutritional content. Mr GAGFA will be required to shop in the No Burdensome Regulations section where nothing is subject to any kind of governmental oversight or safety inspections whatsoever. No date stamps, no ingredient listings, no nutritional content, nada. Allergic to peanuts? Go ahead, take your chances! And no, Mr. GAGFA doesn’t get to shop in the Tax Pass section. Period. In order to get food that has been inspected, he will have had to pay for that food inspection service well ahead of time. By the time the food has made it to market, that window of opportunity will have passed.
Oh, and when that 500 square mile wildfire threatens to take out Mr. GAGFA’s town, I hope his lawn hose is at the ready.
It all feels so damned futile.
I swear, DB just about had me in tears with this one.
Desert Beacon: The Assembled Wisdom’s Annual Year End Posture Parade
. . . Nevada Republicans have mastered the art of the perpetual campaign. Governance requires some negotiation. Campaigning assumes posturing. Postures are important. Postures are evidently more important than funding the Desert Research Institute, more important than keeping our museums open for tourists, more important than funding K-12 education such that teachers and aides aren’t laid off. Postures allow the candidate to return to the hustings with prideful announcements like, “I voted against new taxes.”
No candidate is going to mount the dais and proclaim — “I helped gut the DRI budget for earthquake monitoring and research.” At least this doesn’t seem to be a particularly good opener for an address in Wells. No candidate is going to grab a microphone and say, “I voted for a budget which meant that about 1,800 employees of the Clark County School District were laid off.” No candidate in Washoe County would lead remarks with “I voted to make the University of Nevada a prime target for other universities and colleges around the country to pick off the best faculty members and researchers.”
Imagine a candidate proclaiming “I did my job in the state legislature, I made it more difficult for Nevadans in rural areas to find health care services, and I wanted to make it even more difficult for them to find mental health care.” Or, “You should return me to my desk in Carson City because I fought for a budget that made the lines longer at the DMV, and that required local governments to tighten their belts such that the people in County Clerk’s offices had to be furloughed periodically no matter how much work needed to be done for the District Court.”
[ . . . ]
It’s easy to chant “No New Taxes,” it’s harder to explain to parents why their first grader is in a classroom with 35 others. It’s easy to recite “No New Taxes,” but harder to explain why a person had to sit and wait for someone to be available to process a commercial driver’s license. It’s easy to intone “No New Taxes,” but rather more difficult to explain why the local library has cut back on its after school reading programs for children. How easy it is to chant “No New Taxes” but how difficult to provide a rationale for pot-holes, disintegrating pavement, and unplowed winter roads. Easy is saying “I voted against new taxes,” hard is saying “Sorry, but the state park near you is going to have to close down for a while…find something else to do with your family.”
And, it’s easy to piously proclaim one’s love and affection for “first responders,” those heroes in uniform who protect our lives and property — it’s harder to explain why those self-same individuals should give back wages and benefits when the “sacrifices” come at the expense of one side of the coin and the benefits accrue to the other. It’s the same old Something-For-Nothing sloganeering — the perpetual campaigners love those first responders, but not quite enough to require that those who depend upon their services provide an appropriate wage, decent health care, and reliable retirement benefits.
Perhaps next round someone will help the population translate the No New Taxes mantra. Yes, we can have no new taxes — but what that really means is No New Classrooms, No New Road Maintenance, No New Park Services, No New Museums, No New Research Facilities, No New Public Health Services, No New Monitoring of Out-patient Clinics, No New Police and Fire services, No New Rural Clinics, No New Forestry Camps, No New…Anything. And, there’s even a good chance that not only will nothing be New — we’ll have trouble even keeping what we already have.
Las Vegas Gleaner: Alrighty then, that went about as well as could be expected
There are more Democrats than Republicans in the Nevada Legislature. In America, that means Republicans win. So it’s semi-official: no new taxes.
The media still must spend a few weeks manufacturing the requisite sturm und drang over the final process by which Sandoval/teabagger supremacy will be confirmed. Will there be a special session? Or two? Perhaps someone somewhere cares.
But in the end, your Nevada Legislature will do nothing meaningful to help anyone escape crushing financial pressures or find a decent job. On the contrary, they’ll be throwing people out of work, thank you. There may be very little that Nevada’s governor and legislators can do to help the economy, but they can hurt it, by emulating Herbert Hoover at his worst, so they’ll do that.
On Sunday, Jon Ralston was still hopeful, but he used today’s column to address the special election for CD-2, so who knows if he still holds out that same hope.
I’m sure my “fire” will come back. But right now? Gah.