Blame the Parents
Statistically, parents really do spend less time with their families, these days. Because of this:
- Social conservatives, and some others who blame Hollywood, the music industry, and public schools for the decline in “family values”, condemn parents for not spending more time with their kids to offset those bad influences.
- Teachers, in a dramatic demonstration of how to serve as an irresponsible role model, prefer to blame parents, not themselves, for the decline in public education’s results. Those parents just aren’t spending the time with their offspring that they once did.
- Police like to blame parents for the trouble kids get in after school…they’re not spending enough time with them as role models.
- Technophobes blame newfangled televisions, video games, the net, and mobile phones for, well, anything cultural or behavioral…and blame the parents for not screening such entertainment, not knowing what the kids are seeing.
And, statistically, there’s no question that there’s some strong correlation between the amount of time parents spend with kids, or families in general spend together, and many other things, like drug use and success later in life. The more family time, the better-off the kids are.
It isn’t clear which way the causal relationship goes, but there’s certainly something happening there.
Prosperity-haters therefore blame most of society’s problems on how Greedy Materialists in America spend all day working, both parents, therefore leaving the children in the hands of day care help that is luck to keep the kids healthy and sane, much less serve as good role models and teachers.
If only they were willing to do without many of the nice things in life, like a second car and TV, they’d raise better kids.
They’re halfway correct.
The problem isn’t that people are so greedy as to wish to have decent lifestyles for themselves.
Working Man’s Burden
The actual cause of this decline in family time is taxes.
You thought the title was simply hyperbole to drag you in, didn’t you.
The typical main breadwinner in the US pays about 28% of his income in Federal taxes.
The typical second earner in the US brings in 27% of the first earner’s income, after taxes.
This means that the second parent is actually gone all day just to pay the first parent’s taxes.
And that’s only counting Federal taxes taken directly out of each earner’s check.
It doesn’t count the massive local tax burden they both pay for the public school that is failing their children, the state income taxes, and the many other tax and regulatory burdens we all shoulder outside of the direct hit on our paychecks.
But what it all adds up to is that, if not for high governmental costs, the second earner would not have to work at all, and yet the family would still have more money than it does now.
One of You Labors ONLY For Government
In fact, the second earner’s ENTIRE after-tax income is only a fraction of their household’s governmental burden.
Just cutting the tax and regulation-compliance burden in HALF would allow the second earner to stay home completely, or both earners to work far less than they currently are, and therefore spend more time with the kids…or even each other.
The greed is not on the part of the people who want to live better lives, but the government bureaucrats and the selfish people who support their massive spending (calling for expanded government, voting for politicians who bring home pork), therefore a tax burden so huge that people need to spend all day working, neglecting their families.
The death of the family is yet another problem caused by Big Brotherment, not simply bad parents.
Social conservatives, cops, teachers, and everyone else who is concerned about absent parents and family values should focus first on freeing parents to do something other than toil for the tax man.