Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

Are stay-at-home mothers with  graduate degrees conscientious caretakers or the downfall of equality in the workforce?

Educated stay-at-home mothers raise educated kids, benefiting society
 28 (35.4%)
Mothers should work part-time if possible
 10 (12.7%)
Mothers should be full-time 3-6 months after birth
 6 (7.6%)
Anything less than full-time is a detriment to all women and society
 5 (6.3%)
Doesn't affect society or equality either way
 30 (38%)

Total Members Voted: 79

Author Topic: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s  (Read 15859 times)

Astro

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2007, 01:24:51 AM »
Maybe, but you can't do anything without money (from yourself or others.)

You don't need an infinite amount. You seem to be saying that people have a duty to capitalize their earnings potential as much as they possibly can.

Oh, no.

I thought we were talking about the difference between "staying home with the kids" or "working."  If we start to get into gray areas the discussion gets more complicated (from my side) and more interesting (for all parties.)

I still disagree strongly with your take on the black and white question. The cost/benefit argument is absolutely silly. If you can afford to stay home, then why are you obligated to work and bring in still more money? If you say that the cost/benefit analysis is limited to the couple, or whatever the family unit is, rather than any broader effects on society, then why is the equation all about maximizing the amount of money brought in? You don't see any other factors that matter?

Like I said, it puts a hypothetically better person in charge of the money to do with as they wish. 

The money brought it in just a benefit.  There are many costs and benefits to consider.  Furthermore, a benefit (non-monetary) of going to work may so outweigh the extra costs of child care that work should be required.  I.e., personally curing poverty in Africa, or something (a ridiculous example, but along the right lines.)

What factors do you think matter?


I don't know if this is going to pop up as I read the last thread of the page, but you realize that your argument is heavily dependent on a particular set of values, right?  It almost seems to me that goalie's getting upset about the wrong thing (even though she'd probably be upset about the other part of this, anyway).

J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

Astro

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2007, 01:25:57 AM »
Maybe, but you can't do anything without money (from yourself or others.)

You don't need an infinite amount. You seem to be saying that people have a duty to capitalize their earnings potential as much as they possibly can.

Oh, no.

I thought we were talking about the difference between "staying home with the kids" or "working."  If we start to get into gray areas the discussion gets more complicated (from my side) and more interesting (for all parties.)

I still disagree strongly with your take on the black and white question. The cost/benefit argument is absolutely silly. If you can afford to stay home, then why are you obligated to work and bring in still more money? If you say that the cost/benefit analysis is limited to the couple, or whatever the family unit is, rather than any broader effects on society, then why is the equation all about maximizing the amount of money brought in? You don't see any other factors that matter?

Like I said, it puts a hypothetically better person in charge of the money to do with as they wish. 

The money brought it in just a benefit.  There are many costs and benefits to consider.  Furthermore, a benefit (non-monetary) of going to work may so outweigh the extra costs of child care that work should be required.  I.e., personally curing poverty in Africa, or something (a ridiculous example, but along the right lines.)

What factors do you think matter?

That is muddled. Are you talking about benefits to the world or benefits to the couple? If you're talking about benefits to the couple, people make the decision to prioritize time over money/work all the time because it makes them happier. Why is doing that in order to spend time with kids any more wrong? How is that different than someone who doesn't do BigLaw and takes a lower-paying job in order to have more time to travel and exercise? What if they pass up a job curing AIDs in order to do those things? I feel like you're making a special case for kids and family, and women, and that bugs me.

If you're saying that the effect that a person's work will have on the world is what matters, then we're not talking about the couple anymore. And then it goes back to my question; what determines whether a person is beneficial to society? Just any work? Work that makes money? Work that does good? That is a bigger question, that seems to require some sort of objective definition of benefit, or worth.


To mu:  Nevermind, she's getting upset about both things at the same time. 

So far, I agree.

Commenting after everyone's cooled down is fun!
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

jimfoolery

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2007, 01:26:46 AM »
Maybe, but you can't do anything without money (from yourself or others.)

You don't need an infinite amount. You seem to be saying that people have a duty to capitalize their earnings potential as much as they possibly can.

Oh, no.

I thought we were talking about the difference between "staying home with the kids" or "working."  If we start to get into gray areas the discussion gets more complicated (from my side) and more interesting (for all parties.)


I want to stay at home with the kids, dude.  What do you make of that?


I think he thinks you could be doing something better with your time, which is therefore what you ought to be doing, unless I've entirely misunderstood.

Yeah.  Your kids may need you, but we in society need you more.
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Astro

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2007, 01:27:01 AM »
Spending a gazillion hours a day with the kids is not benefiting society.  (Neglecting kids, however, is a detriment.) 


I strongly disagree with this statement.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

mugatu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2007, 01:29:05 AM »
F*cking hell.

But how does one determine the relative value of acts that don't have the far-ranging effect of curing AIDS or some such?  Essentially, how does this principle apply in the mundane?  And at what point is a job less valuable than staying at home?  Is it based on money? Sector?  Status?  Degree?

Everything should be taken into consideration.
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mugatu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2007, 01:30:05 AM »
Spending a gazillion hours a day with the kids is not benefiting society.  (Neglecting kids, however, is a detriment.) 


I strongly disagree with this statement.


Why?
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Ralphie Sweetheart

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2007, 01:37:54 AM »
Can you open my milk, mommy?

Astro

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2007, 01:41:43 AM »
Maybe, but you can't do anything without money (from yourself or others.)

You don't need an infinite amount. You seem to be saying that people have a duty to capitalize their earnings potential as much as they possibly can.

Oh, no.

I thought we were talking about the difference between "staying home with the kids" or "working."  If we start to get into gray areas the discussion gets more complicated (from my side) and more interesting (for all parties.)


I want to stay at home with the kids, dude.  What do you make of that?


I think he thinks you could be doing something better with your time, which is therefore what you ought to be doing, unless I've entirely misunderstood.


I don't.  And that's essentially what this argument boils down to.  Personal values. 

Except for the part where one can read an implied misogyny in mu's argument.  I don't know if he meant it to be there, but I do agree that it's there.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

road

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2007, 01:43:01 AM »
Spending a gazillion hours a day with the kids is not benefiting society. 

well it could be.

Not unless you are singularly able to provide some service that some other person (or group of people) is not.  Anyone can nurture.  Not anyone can treat diseases, bring a class action on behalf of injured people or take a company public.

This comment rubs me the wrong way for two reasons. First, the idea that anyone can nurture is just plain wrong. When a loved one dies would you want me to send you rent-a-buddy(tm) to take you on a walk and tell you everything will be ok? Infants develop attachments to their parents from day 1 and a child's relationship to his parent can have long term psychological repercussions. I'm not saying this to argue that mothers shouldn't work or that a child who spends time in day care is ruined--I don't believe that--but I work damn hard as a father and anyone who claims that my work has no value is going to get a prominent spot on my shove-it list.

In the context of this discussion, nurturing indicates the ability to rear children.  With small exceptions, most people are able to make sure that children don't die in their day-to-day activities.  The "buddy" example is not quite on point.  That has more to do with relationship and comfort rather than nurturing and development.  Furthermore, no one has advocated a lack of involvement in one's children's lives.  Your final statement leads into the next paragraph.
I don't think you can reasonably expect someone to interpret the word nurture as to "make sure that children don't die in their day-to-day activities." Again, I find it hard to try to follow your chain of reasoning without getting the impression that you are belittling the role of parent.
Quote
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Second, you seem to be arguing that, unless one can provide a service that others cannot, one's work is not valuable. Again this is plain wrong. The basic infrastructure of a society has more value and plays a larger role in the society's long-term stability than the "high-value" services you praise. For example, our plumbers and garbage men and women play a greater role in keeping us free from disease than our doctors do.

I haven't said that at all.  I've made the case that if work you could do is more valuable than other work, you should choose to do the former.  I've also indicated that if the other work you could do is not more valuable then it may be a good idea to stay home and rear children.  I've expressly attached value to the service.
You're right, I think I did read too much into your statement here. I also think your rule of thumb is difficult to put into practice. The trouble is assessing value. Of course you can let the market do the valuation and compare your potential earnings against the cost of hiring a nanny. But most parents will value their own parenting time as more valuable (and less quantifiable) than the $10 an hour or so it costs to hire a nanny, and rightly so. And of course there is unquantifiable value in the career. So now the value comparison becomes very individual and we can have the strange case of a parent with the potential to earn $100 an hour choosing to stay home while another parent chooses to make $7 at a retail outlet while hiring then nanny at $10. And both parents may feel perfectly justified in their decision.
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mugatu

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Re: The Mommy Wars for J.D.s
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2007, 01:44:17 AM »
Maybe, but you can't do anything without money (from yourself or others.)

You don't need an infinite amount. You seem to be saying that people have a duty to capitalize their earnings potential as much as they possibly can.

Oh, no.

I thought we were talking about the difference between "staying home with the kids" or "working."  If we start to get into gray areas the discussion gets more complicated (from my side) and more interesting (for all parties.)


I want to stay at home with the kids, dude.  What do you make of that?


I think he thinks you could be doing something better with your time, which is therefore what you ought to be doing, unless I've entirely misunderstood.


I don't.  And that's essentially what this argument boils down to.  Personal values. 

Except for the part where one can read an implied misogyny in mu's argument.  I don't know if he meant it to be there, but I do agree that it's there.


Yeah, I mentioned the paternalistic aspects in SFLSD.

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WOMEN!
Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.

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