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December 15, 2006

Comments

Survey data is worthless. That proves nothing.

What other occupations pay well but are difficult to enter for non-collusion reasons? What is their long term trends? That would be a better metric than simple survey data.

No, Arnold Kling said that "wealth is becoming more concentrated because fewer people are focused on achieving enormous wealth," and here we see that compared to a generation ago, MORE people seem focused on acheiving wealth, the opposite of what Kling said.

Kling is making up stuff because he can't deal with the simple idea that if someone is making a lot of money, it probably means the market is inefficient.

I'd also take issue with his comment about "barriers to entry." With respect to career, the biggest limiting factor is going to be the motivation or determination of the individual. The only difference between an investment banker and a doctor is the educational investment that has been made, in terms of time and money; and since the government loans, funds, or subsidizes education as needed, this leaves the commitment of the individual as the primary barrier to entry.

Barriers to entry do not exist when it comes to career choices unless there is a prohibitive physical or mental handicap. Could I go train to be a doctor right now? Absolutely. A Lawyer? Yup. I currently fly jets for the Air Force. I didn't get to where I am because it was easy, and my biggest barrier to entry was myself. I suspect that's true of most people

HS, what do you propose the solution be? Do you want the government to break up businesses that obtain any form of monopoly power?

You seem to be bitter about i-banking for some reason, but if you looked around, you would see that a lot of businesses in this country have partial monopoly power.

H.S. wrote: and here we see that compared to a generation ago, MORE people seem focused on acheiving wealth, the opposite of what Kling said.

Or, the answer has changed over the years, simply because it has become more acceptable to say, "I want to be well-off."

I just don't see many people back in the hippy-dippy 70's being willing to admit to their desire to be capitalist stooges.

I have a feeling that the new generation coming up now is more materialistic and narrowly career focused than others. This just confirms it. And if the government starting breaking up monopolies, that would be great. But since government is in the pocket of big business, that will never happen.

It's funny how people see monopolies everywhere, except when it comes to the only true monopoly of force in the region - government.
I fail to see how some people making more money than others indicates market inefficiency. Now of course our market isn't completely free, and there are many artificial barriers (such as patent/copyright legislation) preventing unadulterated competition (which would tend to drive down prices).

People are focused on money because the cost of reproduction has gone up by a factor of 4 since the boomers were being born in the 1950s.

What they care about is avoiding becoming a statistic of the race replacement of the nation that was the US.

Jim's got a good point about life being much pricier than it used to be. Not sure how much race has to do with it though.

How many times in history have there been demographic shifts as sudden and profound as the demographic shift now occurring?

You can quibble about the definition of "race" but the reality is undeniable.

Bowery's website is like HS on crack.

Hey Bowery, you ever see what one of those houses was like back in '54? My grandmother's Levitt house was less than 1000 s.f. It was a cape, with 2 bedrooms, a living room, a galley kitchen, and an unfinished attic. It was built on a slab foundation. She paid $5000 for it back in '48.

So, yeah, my house is many multiples more costly, but I live in an absolute mansion compared to her.

Ditto for cars. A '54 Chevy was a deathrap. It emmited more pollutants just sitting in the driveway than a modern car does over 100k miles of driving. Modern cars hace literally twice the horsepower, yet still get twice the mileage. And that '54 Chevy was ready to be junked at 50k miles. Modern cars are almost indestructible under normal driving and maintenance.

So... you can't make straight up comparisons.

We've got a lot of these '50s houses in the near in suburbs of Chicago. They're an easy walk to the train, so the land they sit in is worth more than the homes themselves. Generally, people buy them and donate the structure to the fire department, which then burns it down as a training excercise. You bulldoze what's left and build a McMansion in its place.

That's the point that we are at: a 1000 s.f. 2 bedroom ranch built on a slab with no garage is obsolete. The houses from the '50s were built like crap to begin with, and deserve their fate. It's called progress.

Are we to call it "progress" then if only 1% of the population could afford to have children so long as the houses in which they lived were proportionately more luxurious?

James, your argument would carry more weight if you could demonstrate that home ownership were significantly lower now than it was in the 50's. That may be true of certain regions, but not the nation as a whole.

That's the point that we are at: a 1000 s.f. 2 bedroom ranch built on a slab with no garage is obsolete. The houses from the '50s were built like crap to begin with, and deserve their fate. It's called progress.

A house like that serves its purpose perfectly well, especially since most have had significant renovations over the years. It's just that people today all seem to want huge McMansions, which is amusing given the way that families today are a lot smaller than in the 1950's.

The cost of having children has gone up in part because the standards have risen. Thirty years ago:
- no one thought much of it if a ten year old kid came home to an empty house, or if you left a couple of seven year olds alone in your car when you went shopping
- there were no safety seat laws, so you could have a bunch of kids if you could fit them in your station wagon
- using unlicensed daycare wouldn't mark you as a member of the underclass
- demographics made hiring babysitters easier

and so on. As for the house thing, yeah - you could buy the same 1000 sqft house that the middle class had in the 1950s for not much money at all. Guess what social class your kids will belong to? You're not really buying square footage, though that's part of the package - you're buying neighbors, neighborhood and all...

Not that all this makes having kids impossible. My wife and I have three and might have more. I'm guessing though that we'd already be up to four if we were living thirty years ago.

There are a number of factors contributing to the decline of reproduction among the K-strategy population -- not all of them traceable strictly to housing costs of course. I thought that a factor of 4 increase in the price of a house would be sufficient for most reasonable men to see the merit of interpreting the demographic collapse that did occur as at least significantly controlled by that fundamental parameter. We can argue about the quality of the houses etc. and then we can get into arguments about why people would demand much higher quality houses when there is no clear effect on the quality of a child's prospect, blah blah blah.

The point is that there is race replacement going on at levels that are profound -- particularly if one considers the fact that the carrying capacity is _not_ thereby increased as it was during, say, the demographic shifts from paleolithic to neolithic cultures.

If you want to split hairs about the quality of houses, and ignore the dumpsters full of fetuses and the dumpsters that never even got a chance because of no conception -- we can discuss the "feminism" of, say Hindu, Muslim and Hispanic/Catholic cultures compared Northern European cultures -- and you can tell us all about how it is going to be fine -- just let us wait for the US to work its magic because it is know for sure that there are no genetic contributors to reproductive behavior because guys like Lewontin, Gould and Jesus tells you so...

On the topic of the r-K spectrum...I rather wish Rushton had mentioned Game Theory (The prisoners dilemma) when talking about the Big Three Races. To be more specific, when Blacks and Whites (E.Asians would be better but the 'debate' is all B-W) live together in a society, Blacks are more likely to choose the "Defect" Option than the "Co-operate" option.

Anywayz ..rather Off-Topic....

Game theory's not a bad point. I've often thought we'd have socialism (the warm and fuzzy Western Euro kind, not the totalitarian Russian kind) by now if it weren't for diversity. Sailer had a nice point about how diversity decreases trust. He's right, of course. Queens probably has the least strong borough identity of any of the boroughs.

Kling is full of shit. I'd throw puppies in a wood chipper for the right money.

"There are a number of factors contributing to the decline of reproduction among the K-strategy population -- not all of them traceable strictly to housing costs of course. I thought that a factor of 4 increase in the price of a house would be sufficient for most reasonable men to see the merit of interpreting the demographic collapse that did occur as at least significantly controlled by that fundamental parameter."

I think by K-strategizing he means whites and Asians, referring to groups that put a lot of investment into a small number of offspring; the converse is the r-strategy. The terms come from evolutionary bio via Rushton.

Actually, shouldn't a demographic collapse decrease the price of housing? Less people chasing more land...I guess your argument is that the increase in housing prices shows an increase in population...but you can prove that easily enough by looking at population numbers. Proving race replacement isn't hard: you just look at the white percentage of the US, the Census keeps data on that.

I'm unconvinced. First of all, the same race can have wildly different reproductive strategies. Look at the way our European ancestors had tons less kids after a few generations when they moved to the cities. That's an urban-rural thing, and has to do with the fact that kids are free labor on the farm and extra mouths to feed in the city. No mystery there.

Second, the only way housing prices could rise by a factor of 4, way ahead of population, was if the _supply_ decreased (which can only happen if net lot sizes increase or land becomes unusable), or if the demand increased....or you have inflation. I think there are two problems: women in the workforce in the middle and upper middle classes doubles their relative bargaining power, making it easier to push working class people out of the housing market, and upper class people having more money, making it easier to push upper middle and middle class people out of the housing market.

So you have a problem. Liberals won't question the feminist movement, and conservatives won't question the increase in inequality. (It's much like the problem with immigration where the Democratic leadership wants more votes and the Republican leadership wants cheap labor even though much of the country is against it.)

Diversity leads to socialism, not the other way around imnsho.

The only reason democrats and liberals have power is the minorities, especially underperforming minorities prefer big government from which they can suck off the public teath...aka other tax payers who are mostly white and/or E.Asian

so how come the euros had socialism before they had diversity?

You think they wouldnt have had it faster if minorities like muslims were there on social with the vote earlier?

James,

by cost of housing, I think what you mean is cost of isolating from underperforming minorities. That cost has gone up like crazy.

Omer,
With Muslims, the French whites would have been far less supportive of socialism.

I think white Euros would have liked socialism way less if there had been a racially distinct minority that would have disproportionately benefited.

Roughly

Only/mostly Northern European white: socialism can work, people like it. If other Euros, like Italy or Spain, socialism is stable, and of course the aren't as well off as Northerners, but it still works.

Some Minorities: Socialism will work for a while (but minorities will eventually out-breed)

Mostly Minority: Liberal welfare state is impossible. The options are limited to Apartheid SA and Zimbabwe.

In a homogenous society, socialism is, "Help cousin Sven, he's down on his luck." With lots of nonwhites, it's "help Mohamed/Saquishia have 9 kids." Socialism is very popular with the beneficiaries, very unpopular with the victims.

I would argue that in the long run, less productive minorities are better off with more whites, because they don't starve. But that is not a popular argument.

Rob, it seems as if the level of individualism decreases, the more that socialism fails and the level industrialism decreases.

One of the big problems in many third world nations is the expectation that if somebody in your family manages to succeed, it's implied that you must share your wealth with the rest of your family, which in many cases means extended family.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe went from decent African country with high levels of literacy and ample food supplies into a kleptocracy with widespread famine and inflation that's run by a man who has no care for his people.

The question I've always had in regards to your garden variety third world kleptocrat is if they're not ashamed that their nation is at the bottom of various world rankings, or that their nation is a tattered mess. I don't see why don't aspire to make their nations look as good as any other developed nation, or at the least, their less poor, but still developing neighbor? Maybe it's safe to presume that patriotism and nationalism have no true meaning in Africa besides "blame the whites".

by cost of housing, I think what you mean is cost of isolating from underperforming minorities. That cost has gone up like crazy.

Well, either you can flee from Blacks and Hispanics, or you can kill them off. It's your choice.

BTW, does anybody have an idea of what increasing plot size has done to the housing market? I question if the desire for larger houses on larger plots means that builders are no longer focusing on the market working class people. From what many have noticed in retail, the market for the middle has slowly dried up. Either everything is expensive and high end (and luxury), or it's cheap and low end. I guess it's slowly applying itself towards the real estate markets.

I would add Asians to the list of groups that can have welfare states...

Bowery, my problem with your arguments is their conspiratorial nature. The increase in housing cost and the decrease in fertility may very well be correlated, but they are co-correlated, not causal. They are both a function of rising affluence.

We're buldozing perfectly functional houses and replacing them with McMansions because the McMansions fit with our affluence, and the shitty ranches don't.

We have one or two kids now instead of the 4 or 5 we had in the fifties for the same reason.

>>A house like that serves its purpose perfectly well, especially since most have had significant renovations over the years. It's just that people today all seem to want huge McMansions, which is amusing given the way that families today are a lot smaller than in the 1950's.

First of all, I don't know where you live, but my experience in both Long Island and Chicago is that these homes often have their original owners. They haven't put a god damn penny in them since 1955.

And then they want top dollar for them!

As for why people want the McMansions, it's pretty simple: they can afford them. They represent a certain lifestyle, and they are a symbol of success.

That the space is wasted is really irrelevant. People of a certain affluence live in a certain size home. As we all become more affluent over time, it is only natural that home size should increase.

I actually like the McMansions going up here in Chicago. They're built very well with nice materials, decent architecture, etc. You actually get a lot for your $800k, as stupid as that sounds.

First of all, I don't know where you live, but my experience in both Long Island and Chicago is that these homes often have their original owners. They haven't put a god damn penny in them since 1955.

We bought from the original owner. Let's just say that she or the interior decorators of the 1950s had some questionable taste.

We're buldozing perfectly functional houses and replacing them with McMansions because the McMansions fit with our affluence, and the shitty ranches don't.

I guess I'm weird, but I think the majority of the McMansions that I see are faux-Victorian crap. A lot of the 1950s ranches are ugly too, but the split level ranches in my neighbourhood are downright beautiful, and I love the simplicity of the post-war cape cods (not the shitty Levittown ones) on Long Island.

We have one or two kids now instead of the 4 or 5 we had in the fifties for the same reason.

The birth rates plummeted because we don't have 18-20 year olds getting married and immediately having kids like they did in the 50s. Now, people expect to go to school for another four to six years after high school, which means you can't even "consider" having children until 21-23. Then the need to establish your income to be at a secure level has pretty much pushed it towards late 20-early 30s.

BTW, Engineer, let your wife go to work. There's no need for her to stay at home.

BTW, Engineer, let your wife go to work. There's no need for her to stay at home.

And you're basing this on what experience, exactly?

The Engineer has 2 kids. My husband and I, together, can barely get one baby to day care in time for work.

So in case you leave your husband (or he leaves you), you still have marketable job skills and credits applied for your social security benefits. Plus, you meet more people and maintain friendships when you go to work.

Useless fact: I grew up with a stay at home mom, which, IIRC, is rare even in two-parent black homes.

>>BTW, Engineer, let your wife go to work. There's no need for her to stay at home.

Uh, yeah there is. I've got THREE kids: 5, 3-1/2, and 9 months. Add up the daycare on that. Factor in the taxes, the stress, the fast food, the shopping at full priced supermarkets because you don't have the time to shop around, whatever, and my wife is making us money by staying home.

Believe me, there are times that she'd rather be working. But they're just momentary daydreamings. The hard numbers are such that, if she worked, she would be working for very little.

I'm big on having a non-hectic lifesyle. I just turned down a job because it didn't pay enough to make up for the time lost to an increased commute and more work travel. Right now I'm close to home, I go home for lunch. That's worth a lot to me, and these jokers wouldn't pay me enough to make up for that, so I turned down the job, much to their shock.

My wife is a part of the non-hectic lifestyle. I don't know how working parents do it, quite frankly. God willing, I'll never have to know.

So in other words, the choice was either to have kids and be in debt to you or not have kids and maintain her independence?

>>A lot of the 1950s ranches are ugly too, but the split level ranches in my neighbourhood are downright beautiful,

I guess it's what you know, and what you didn't have when you were a kid, or whatever. But I can't stand those split levels. Architecturally speaking, I like the faux victorian stuff. To me, the splits are just modern architecture done on the cheap. If you look at, say, Mises van der Roh's stuff, the simplicity was backed by premium materials. But the hacks just took the simplicity and combined it with crappy materials. The result is your average Long Island split.

Keep in mind, also, that Chicago McMansions are way better built than Long Island ones. The building code in Chicago is much more stringent than Nassau or Suffolk. Your Chicago McMansion is going to be all brick, for example. You're going to get hardwood floors, high end molding, granite countertops, etc. They're really quite nice, if you're into that kind of stuff (I am, I'm slowly updating my house to those standards).

I guess it's what you know, and what you didn't have when you were a kid, or whatever.

I love cape cods and split ranches because they reflected suburbia. The regular flat ranches have a white trash connotation in my mind, and I since I grew up in a 1920s Queens colonial, I personally can't stand those houses. They're awful and made of shit.

BTW, my friends jokingly refer to my taste as "bootleg IKEA catalog".

>>So in other words, the choice was either to have kids and be in debt to you or not have kids and maintain her independence?

I suppose that that is one interpretation.

I'd prefer to think that we're a team. We're in this together, and the arrangement we have is best for the family unit. I know, I know, how quaint.

>>BTW, my friends jokingly refer to my taste as "bootleg IKEA catalog".

Well, I don't know about Ikea stuff, but I do appreciate the modern stuff when it's done right. Chicago is full of Mises stuff. When you have the right furniture in the right building, I can see what he was thinking, and it is kind of nice.

The problem is that it lent itself to cheap construction, and that's a lot of what modernism became. Exhibit No. 1 is Ikea (which, truth be told, does it better than some other designers, but is still cheap).

So in other words, the choice was either to have kids and be in debt to you or not have kids and maintain her independence?

Speaking as someone else who also has three kids and a stay-at-home wife, I'll second Engineer's statement: my wife and I made a choice to have a (relative) lot of kids, and we're a team working towards the goal of raising them. This idea that my wife is somehow 'in my debt' because I happen to be the one who works outside the house is a joke. You could just as easily argue that I'm in my wife's debt because she had to go through three pregnancies. But the point is that if you're thinking in terms of a balance sheet or debts, you're underestimating the kind of alignment of purpose that many couples have...

I'd prefer to think that we're a team. We're in this together, and the arrangement we have is best for the family unit. I know, I know, how quaint.

I guess I'm a realist. Given how many second and third rate marriages that I've seen stay together because the wife feared losing her financial support lest her husband leave her (or she leave her husband), I'd never want to put my female partner in a situation where she only stays with me out of fear of impoverishment.

And yes,it is quaint.

Exhibit No. 1 is Ikea (which, truth be told, does it better than some other designers, but is still cheap).

I just re-assembled an IKEA armoir without any of the instruction guides. Let's just say that despite being retarded when taking apart the armoir, I was able to re-assemble it without much damage. It's cheap crap, but at least it's beautiful despite the scratches. Aesthetics Über Alles.

Mr. Alexander, I don't see how The Engineer's wife is in debt to him any more than he is to her.

As evidenced by your prior comments regarding wives "seizing assets" which actually constitute their half of community property, you seem to lack understanding of the concept of partnership. Kudos to you if you find you are happy, and capable of, living your entire life without any reliance or sacrifice between you and any other human being. Most of us would find it very lonely even if it were possible.

Mr. Alexander, I don't see how The Engineer's wife is in debt to him any more than he is to her.

The problem I see with the set-up that Engineer, bbartlog, or my parents have is that the female who stays at home with the children and doesn't work is required to use the resources of the male in order to maintain her standard of living. If the male has determined that the female is no longer desirable, and dumps her for another female, then that female is at risk at losing her standard of living. Had she continued working, yes, it's possible that she may not have had children, but when the husband leaves her, she wouldn't be poor, she'd still have marketable skills, no drop in her income, no lost work experience, and she'd have credits applied to her future social security benefits.

you seem to lack understanding of the concept of partnership

A partnership is where to people pool together their resources to get a combined benefit. Not where one person leeches off the other.

As evidenced by your prior comments regarding wives "seizing assets" which actually constitute their half of community property

That's actually a fear that my wife will leave me for some reason and some judge might paint me as incompetent evil man and leave me with nearly no custody rights, and large alimony payouts so she can live in luxury with some other possibly better guy.

Most of us would find it very lonely even if it were possible.

It would be nice to marry and have kids, but it's too fucking hard.

>>If the male has determined that the female is no longer desirable, and dumps her for another female, then that female is at risk at losing her standard of living. Had she continued working, yes, it's possible that she may not have had children, but when the husband leaves her, she wouldn't be poor, she'd still have marketable skills, no drop in her income, no lost work experience, and she'd have credits applied to her future social security benefits.

No doubt, that is a concern. But, to channel Dr. Phil for a moment if I could, I just think that if you are really worried about that, marriage as a concept and a lifesyle is out of the question.

There is also this thing called a self fulfilling prophecy. Your attitude and your expectations influence your life outcome.

We know for a fact that more educated and wealthier people are much less likely to divorce than poorer folks with less education. Why would that be?

A partnership is where to people pool together their resources to get a combined benefit. Not where one person leeches off the other.

Um, yes. Who is the accused leech here? Your mother? The wives discussed here who are mothers of three children? Somehow I doubt much of their time is spent lounging around eating bon-bons.

Or maybe you mean me? Even before I got pregnant, I'd made career sacrifices to be with my husband, whose business is in an outlying area. He makes a lot more than I do, and I consider it mine as much as his. Of all the childless couples I can think of off the top of my head, one member of the couple has moved and given up a job to be with the other. Is the person who gave up the job a leech for doing so?

David, you seem to think of yourself as an enlightened guy, but you hold the very old-fashioned view shared by many male chauvenists that non-monetary contributions to a relationship are valueless.

No doubt, that is a concern. But, to channel Dr. Phil for a moment if I could, I just think that if you are really worried about that, marriage as a concept and a lifesyle is out of the question.

Oh dear, I'm perpetually doomed to being alone?

I don't see what's wrong with asking those questions. The answers I'm getting seem to be based on being optimistic and hoping that things just magically work out. These things happen everyday and you just can't presume that it won't happen to you. I didn't grow up with bad parents or where my parents fought left and right, but I'm still rather weary on the idea of a SAHM.

There is also this thing called a self fulfilling prophecy. Your attitude and your expectations influence your life outcome.

That type of lifestyle costs megabucks, and I don't see myself making that kind of money for it to work out. Of course, if you're not making that kind of money, most women would not find you as attractive to begin with...

We know for a fact that more educated and wealthier people are much less likely to divorce than poorer folks with less education. Why would that be?

It's quite possible that they have more at stake to lose? It's also possible that the poor are marrying at younger ages where divorce is more common?

Um, yes. Who is the accused leech here? Your mother? The wives discussed here who are mothers of three children? Somehow I doubt much of their time is spent lounging around eating bon-bons.

Technically, yes, the mothers are leeches, but I wouldn't consider them as leeches. And, yes, I know that days aren't spent eating bon-bons for the majority of them. Financially, yes they're leeches because they don't contribute anything financially, but they're not "bad" since, yes, you do love her and the kids. It's much different than your friend who lives in your home rent free and contributes nothing.

Is the person who gave up the job a leech for doing so?

The depends. Is her intention to stay out of the workforce permanently or is she going to look for a job in the future. If it's the former, then it's quite possible that she could be the "bad" leech.

David, you seem to think of yourself as an enlightened guy, but you hold the very old-fashioned view shared by many male chauvenists that non-monetary contributions to a relationship are valueless.

Coincidentally, those are the same comments that I've recieved from various self-described female friends who are feminists and expressed shock at my "stay at home" viewpoints. I'll tell them that as long as society views their contributions as valueless, then staying at home is not an option.

And, yes, I would see myself as enlightened because I don't want to feel guilty and know that yes, I *made* her stay at home and waste away whatever talents she had. Yes, I didn't oppress her.

I'll tell them that as long as society views their contributions as valueless, then staying at home is not an option.

This is what community property and spousal support are for.

The answers I'm getting seem to be based on being optimistic and hoping that things just magically work out....
.. when the husband leaves her, she wouldn't be poor, she'd still have marketable skills, no drop in her income, no lost work experience, and she'd have credits applied to her future social security benefits.

You sure seem to have a lot of faith in the economy and the working world, David A.

This is what community property and spousal support are for.

Community property is a "West Coast" thing. It doesn't exist in New York. Spousal support aka alimony, is a scam, IMHO, if there are no children in the marriage, or if the wife is young.

You sure seem to have a lot of faith in the economy and the working world, David A.

If I had such deep faith in the economy and the working world, why would I want post-graduate employment in the civil service? My issue is that working outside of the home gives financially support and stability. Working in the home doesn't confer that advantage.

Community property is a "West Coast" thing. It doesn't exist in New York.

New York has equitable division of property, which means one spouse can get substantially more than half of the marital property if he or she sacrificed career opportunities for the marriage, or is determined to be in greater need than the other spouse.

Regardless of whether you think spousal support is "a scam," it is how the courts assign value to one spouse's career sacrifices and contributions to the other spouse's earning potential.

I remember some data that showed men with families tend to advance farther in careers than those without. Clearly men get some benefit from family support other than warm fuzzy feelings. It often makes financial sense to have both partners working to support one person's career, rather than both struggling separately for mediocre results.

New York has equitable division of property, which means one spouse can get substantially more than half of the marital property if he or she sacrificed career opportunities for the marriage, or is determined to be in greater need than the other spouse.

Wow, I'm learning. Just by chance, are you a attorney of some sort, or you just smarter than me?

Regardless of whether you think spousal support is "a scam," it is how the courts assign value to one spouse's career sacrifices and contributions to the other spouse's earning potential.

It depends on the circumstances of the two people involved. Long term marriages, children, and abandoned careers should be prioritized. In addition, the role of the instigator of the marriage should be weighed upon heavily.

I remember some data that showed men with families tend to advance farther in careers than those without. Clearly men get some benefit from family support other than warm fuzzy feelings. It often makes financial sense to have both partners working to support one person's career, rather than both struggling separately for mediocre results.

What usually happens is that there's a female who essentially acts as a personal assistant for the male. It's kinda sad given that in 90% of the cases, the person who dumps her career to prop up the spouse's career is female. It's as if the female's career is irrelevant and simply just something she does until she finds a "man to take care of".

Just as a fun anecdote, I had suggested to my female friend that if we married, I'd stay at home while she developed her political career. She pretty much made it clear that there's no way she'd allow that to happen, and that's she'd rather retard her career than allow her husband to stay at home. She also made it clear that I wasn't domestic enough for the role either. And yes, she is a self-described feminist as well.

Or for all you know, maybe there's discrimination against single men because they don't have families to support.

>>My issue is that working outside of the home gives financially support and stability

That's not what the data says. Working parents are more likely to divorce and file for bankruptcy. Read "The Two Income Trap" (I was going to find it at the Bellmore Library web sire for you, but the website blows. Near as I can tell, Baldwin has it).

Having two incomes generally induces you to live a lifestyle that requires both incomes. Few people bank the entire second income. Thus, when either spouse loses a job, the family is living a lifestyle that can't be supported on the one income alone. Thus, you are twice as likely to go into bankruptcy as a family living on one income.

A better argument is that stay at home moms are boring. I actually don't like to talk about work with my wife ("there's relationship George and independent George, and the two shall never meet"). When I'm home with my wife, we talk about everything except work. So it works for me.

>>It's as if the female's career is irrelevant and simply just something she does until she finds a "man to take care of".

Once again, evolutionary psychology. It is no coincidence that women choose careers in "caring professions". It is their nature. Women are hard wired to be more nurturing. It's not just "society" or "the patriarchy" at work.

It's also why women choose careers with more flexibility, and choose to stay home.

The levels of testosterone alone that flow in the bloodstream of men ensure that they're not the right one to be doing the nurturing in the relationship.

It's not just "society" or "the patriarchy" at work.

The whole arguement whether it's nurture or nature at work is a perpertual thought in my mind. Given that I'm not exactly masculine enough to be your arechetypal male in his twenties (but I'm not suffienciently feminine to be queer), and I have various female friends who vary in their femininity, the issues of gender roles interests me. What I've personally found interesting is that when I float the idea of me being a stay at home dad the female usually shoots it down, and the argues that my idea for me to stay at home while she works is bizzare, and highly hypocrtical that it's okay for the man to stay at home and the woman has to work to fill the needs of a somewhat perverse social philosophy.

David, I don't know if you do internet dating, but I wonder what kind of response that you'd get if you put in an ad that you wanted to be a stay at home dad.

It might be an interesting experiment.

Working parents are more likely to divorce and file for bankruptcy.

One can argue that the working female thinks she can survive on her own after the divorce. The bankruptcy is a result of realizing that they needed two salaries to maintain their lifestyle.

Read "The Two Income Trap"

I'll hunt for it at a Barnes and Noble over the vacation and read it there. B&N makes for a great de facto library.

Few people bank the entire second income.

Doesn't having a wife who stays at home entail the male having a massive boost in their salary or a massive decline in their standard of living? I personally wouldn't mind living in the boonies of NYC to live in a less expensive house if my wife wanted to be a SAHM, but I'm not interested in leaving the Metro area especially since my career plans involve working for NYC government.

A better argument is that stay at home moms are boring.

What I've noticed is that since my mom stopped working, her friends have "disappeared" from her life and only talk to her when they need to brag about what they've done with their money or bitch about the shitty problems (and men) in their lives.

And yes, my dad doesn't bring up his work issues with her. He does so with me which gives me interest insight into how civil service works...

Just by chance, are you a attorney of some sort, or you just smarter than me?

Yes.

What I've noticed is that since my mom stopped working, her friends have "disappeared" from her life and only talk to her when they need to brag about what they've done with their money or bitch about the shitty problems (and men) in their lives.

Women in the reverse situation have the same problem. I don't know a lot of professional working moms with young children. No matter what you do as a woman and a mother, there's a group of people that'll look down on you for it.

David, as with the ring issue, the debate is probably just intellectual at your age. Whatever you and whoever you end up with end up doing as far as division of labor will largely be a result of circumstances beyond your control -- ie, who's got the better, more secure job, and where you have to live.

But I can see women being turned off if you present the idea as your ticket out of the daily grind, which is how you're making it sound here. So far you haven't demonstrated any particular love for children.

I don't think we need to blame hormones for this. Every professional woman I know who made the decision to stay home, it made clear practical sense. It was never, "Gee, although I make as much as you and my career is equally secure, I feel compelled to chuck it all to be home all the time with the baby." The few I know who had a better career than the man did, they hired a nanny and kept working. (No, they never discussed the man staying home.)

I was raised by a single dad, so I get a little peeved when people talk about testosterone disqualifying men for the job. As for a lot of stupid stuff people say women are hormonally programmed to want, I think the programming really comes from their female relatives.

>>As for a lot of stupid stuff people say women are hormonally programmed to want, I think the programming really comes from their female relatives.

Don't take what I said in a negative way, I didn't mean it in a "Honey, you're acting crazy, it must be PMS" sort of way. I appologize if that's what you thought I said.

It's just a statement of fact that men and women are different, for evolutionarily valid reasons. Hormones are part of the evolutionary package. Differences in the brain are sometimes responses to these hormones. It's a fact that men have more testosterone than women, and it drives our behavior.

You know, humans are social animals. Society and humanity have been evolving together for the last, oh, 10k years or so. To say if it is you yourself programmed a certain way, or just your relatives nagging that makes you feel that way, is largely irrelevant and doesn't in any way invallidate the feeling. Things are the way they are for a reason, because it works best for our survival as a species. It isn't a coincidence that people who embrace these traits tend to do better than those whose actions fly in the face of the traits.

Things are the way they are for a reason, because it works best for our survival as a species.

Hear that, David A. and HS? There's a good reason we want them diamonds.

"Hear that, David A. and HS? There's a good reason we want them diamonds."

In a pre-capitalist society, wasting resources demonstrated a mans ability to obtain more resources in the future.

But in a modern capitalist society, where resources saved and invested instead of wasted enable a man to earn greater future income, the woman's insistence on resource wastage is counter-productive.

To say if it is you yourself programmed a certain way, or just your relatives nagging that makes you feel that way, is largely irrelevant and doesn't in any way invallidate the feeling.

My point was that I have don't have any relatives nagging, and I don't have the feeling either. I suppose it's possible, though, that I could be a genetic sport and my unusual environmental circumstances a complete coincidence.

HS is part Vulcan I think. Illogical.

Is there such a thing as evolutionary marketing? That's what DeBeers did, right? They expolited an evolutionary derived trait to drive diamond sales.

Even in modern society, wasting resources shows that you can just make more. I mean, what's that degree at Harvard cost? That shows that you expect to make more. God knows that what you learned there (which is what the degree represents) isn't driving your earnings.

Anyway, for whatever reason, women like things from their man that show that the man is thinking of them. That's why the unsolicited, surprise flower trick works so well.

My understanding is that long before diamond rings became the norm, there was a tradition of the man giving a woman a gift of value upon engagement. Sort of like the "earnest money" in a real estate transaction. This helps compensate the woman for the risk she is taking (if the engagement breaks off, she is damaged goods), and for her lost opportunity cost.

Many people still think of jewelry as a good investment that is easily liquidated, not a sign of wasted resources. This unspoken assumption plays a big role in its appeal. It's actually a sensible thing for a woman to want, given the information that most have.

HS would look really cute down on one knee giving that little speech about resource wastage.

>>HS would look really cute down on one knee giving that little speech about resource wastage.

Would he be wearing his Vulcan ears and Startrek uniform when he's making the speech?

"Instead of a diamond ring, please accept this zero coupon bond as a sign of my love and affection".

David,
Women are a lot less inclined to let a dad be stay-at-home (in part because they think a guy will be more likely to loaf than clean and cook and they're probably right), but it depends. A few of my wife's coworkers have SAHD husbands and it's quite possible that I'll end up doing that if my wife and I decide to have kids.

Engineer,
Putting down that you want to be a stay-at-home father would be disastrous. But I think that putting down a desire to be a SAHM would also be damaging. Unless it explicitly states that he or she is willing to live thriftily, it screams as a call-out for a sugar daddy or momma.

So far you haven't demonstrated any particular love for children.

Probably because I really don't mention my niece and nephew outside of anecdotal explanations. I do love my kids, but I probably love them in more so of a fatherly way than a motherly way. Shit, I take them to the playground during the summer (which will be fun this year in the 96% white neighbourhood with two black kids...), buy them ice cream, and sprinkle them with cash and gifts from my sub-$5000 salary whenever possible. In exchange, they hug me and fight for my attention. :)

Hormones are part of the evolutionary package.

Hormone suppression for all!

Putting down that you want to be a stay-at-home father would be disastrous. But I think that putting down a desire to be a SAHM would also be damaging. Unless it explicitly states that he or she is willing to live thriftily, it screams as a call-out for a sugar daddy or momma.

Additionally, SAHD screams "effeminate (and embarrassing) male" and SAHM screams "I want marriage and baby now."

"You know, humans are social animals. Society and humanity have been evolving together for the last, oh, 10k years or so. To say if it is you yourself programmed a certain way, or just your relatives nagging that makes you feel that way, is largely irrelevant and doesn't in any way invallidate the feeling. Things are the way they are for a reason, because it works best for our survival as a species. It isn't a coincidence that people who embrace these traits tend to do better than those whose actions fly in the face of the traits."

Some evolutionary traits are now counterproductive: what about our tendency to store fat?

You're overall right though; being a macho man works even though the tigers are gone.

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