Regarding subsidized childcare, in my experience, a certain percentage of women simply do not want to be home with their children. Some will flat out say it, others kind of hem and haw around it, but simply do not want to be at home. They know the daycare workers are poorly paid and are of increasingly poor quality and it still doesn't move them to stay at home. This just makes them want to look for a better daycare, even if it is more expensive.

For others it is a lifestyle choice, they might only be ahead $20-25k after deducting daycare costs from their salaries, but that is the difference between vacations, a certain vehicle, or other lifestyle factors for them. Thankfully the trend seems to be going in the opposite direction today and more young mothers are willing to make lifestyle sacrifices to stay home and raise their kids. I don't know for how many of these women this represents a broader rejection of feminism.

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The fact of no-fault divorce forces women to have a Plan B, meaning they must maintain marketable value - work skills and resume. Of course, this opens up other possibilities for them as well, like dropping Plan A.

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Mar 15, 2022Liked by Aaron M. Renn

Consumer culture is a major driver. Imagine all the consumer products that everyone has now that were luxuries or non-existent in the 80s or 90s. Expensive phones and monthly bills, internet bills, computers, advanced gaming consoles, streaming services, etc. Vacations are more frequent and luxurious (whose mom ever went on a “girls trip”? Now many women do.) And people eat out way more often than they used to. None of this goes to funding college (perpetual loans) or retirement (Google median 401K savings of 60 year olds—frightening). Forget about having more than 2-3 kids too.

Maintaining a middle class standard of living requires substantial income. That extra $30K a year is the cost of a “decent” standard of living for a modern American.

My wife is able to stay at home. But she is an out-of-place throwback. Middle class women resent her for not working. Managerial/professional class women pity her. The Elizabeth Warren “two income trap” narrative is dead on the left, and the idealized Madonna is an empty symbol for the right.

Doubtlessly, illegal immigration subsidizes women working. But a labor supply issue won’t keep women at home. (If anything, the managerial class types will become “stay at home wives” (no kids) to pursue vague entrepreneurship or TikTok celebrity.)

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