By now you’ve heard it:
And I’ll pull out the key quote:
Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.
I can’t let it pass. Whether or not Obama misspoke, he is wrong and wildly out of line.
Assume he intended to say exactly this: It’s not his choice to make. As my 16-year-old son said tonight, “I thought he was pro-choice.” First, it sounds as if he believes that every person should maximize their earnings, I suppose so we can maximize our tax payments. He isn’t clear there. Second, this line came in a part of the speech advocating government-subsidized child care. So he is advocating putting more very young children under government supervision. No thanks.
Assume he meant to say: “…And that’s not a choice we want Americans to have to make.” (I think this is what he meant to say.) So he is saying that a woman shouldn’t have to risk a lower lifetime earning potential because she opts out of the workforce and works less over her life? How do those who choose to stay in the workforce react to that? This makes no sense–I don’t see how you incentivize workers if those who work more earn the same over their lifetime as those who come and go out of the workforce. If he is merely advocating increased government-funded childcare, he is trying (once again) to increase the number of people who feel they wouldn’t be able to survive without help from the government.
But in both cases, he is either taking away a choice (to stay home and choose to work less) or he wants to insulate people from the results of their choices. Neither is appealing.
The government shouldn’t be in the business of restricting choices. Yes, I know it happens all the time. That is what the tax code does. I despise it.
The second, though, seems to be a mindset really prevalent in today’s progressivism: No matter your choice, all outcomes are equal. All paths lead to exactly the same destination, the one “we” choose. And if that doesn’t worry you, I can’t help you in this blog post.
Have the baby or not…no difference.
Work or stay home…no difference.
Marry the dad or not…no difference.
Work hard to get ahead, sacrifice…no difference.
There is only one yardstick in Obama’s world, the bank account. And one measurer, the government.
The problem is that actions do have consequences. The choices we make, make us. Shielded from these consequences, borne through life in a grey sludge of equal outcomes, we will never learn and grow and become who we were created to be. I do not choose that.
The funny thing is that our president, who likes to tout “settled science,” utterly disregards studies like the ones I cited in an earlier post, about maximizing marital satisfaction and also the marriage premium that exists in the US today. And just yesterday I ran across this study that suggests that the most productive workers in the US are moms of two or more kids! What is he complaining about?
I’d like to know what you think about this. I’m unhappy but not surprised. Even Darcy knows that “This is my choice to make, not the government’s.”