Found in 6 comments on Hacker News
willcipriano · 2023-05-17 · Original thread
Look the the 1960's to today, as more women entered the workplace, labors share of the fruits of their labor was halved as productivity doubled.

To go into more detail check out Elizabeth Warren's book: The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke

From the summary:

In this revolutionary exposé, Harvard Law School bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren and financial consultant Amelia Tyagi show that today's middle-class parents are increasingly trapped by financial meltdowns. Astonishingly, sending mothers to work has made families more vulnerable to financial disaster than ever before. Today's two-income family earns 75% more money than its single-income counterpart of a generation ago, but has 25% less discretionary income to cover living costs...

PaulHoule · 2019-12-09 · Original thread
See this Liz Warren book:

Henry Ford realized that the automobile was not going to change the world unless auto workers were so productive that they could easily afford the cars they made.

That kind of productivity increase is not possible w/ Childcare. I remember a Z Magazine cartoon more than 20 years ago where two women were pondering the mystery of why a child care worker can't afford child care and the unspoken punch line was that it was the perversity of capitalism but, no, it's not that economically efficient to pay somebody else to watch your kid for you. It makes money for the day care center, it makes money for your employer if you go to work, you pay taxes on the money you earn -- it makes money for a whole lot of people who aren't you.

You, not so much.

Universal child care is currently reeling from the discovery that recipients of universal child care in Montreal have turned into DQN adolescents. Maybe "the kids will be alright" in the end, but it is not looking like a program that pays for itself like Head Start.

grahamburger · 2016-04-04 · Original thread
I've often wondered this too. I suspect that a family making use of WIC, medicaid / medicare and/or disability is commonly using more than $10k/person/year or gov't assistance, and would lose money going to UBI at that rate. I also wonder what could be done to avoid the UBI version of the two-income trap[0] - seems like UBI would naturally pressure entry level wages downward.

capnhaddock · 2015-05-01 · Original thread
> That means homeschooling is restricted to the upper middle class, people in rural areas with cheap housing or people who are really, really willing to sacrifice for it. If everyone around you is on two incomes and you're on one that better be an excellent income or you will need to sacrifice a lot.

Elizabeth Warren has written an excellent book describing the pitfalls of two-income families that send their children to public schools. It's called "The Two Income Trap".

In it, she demonstrates that having two incomes isn't the advantage that you might intuitively think it is. Actually, having a single income and homeschooling (or outschooling) can make a family more resilient and flexible, for two main reasons:

1. A second income earner can be brought in if something happens to the employed spouse. Two-income families are already tapped out.

2. Location. If the family doesn't enroll their kids in a public school, they are free to live wherever they want, so long as the breadwinner can still commute. This cuts expenses way down. No longer do they have to compete with two-income earners for homes in a particular school district.

So, while having a parent remain at home is certainly a different lifestyle, it isn't clearly something that can only work for the wealthy. I know many homeschooling families who would not be described as wealthy.

spindritf · 2014-08-20 · Original thread
People who don't work at all. That's the choice (maybe more like outcome) the society went with. For what might the first time in history, the rich are working more than the poor[1] and labour participation rates are dropping[2].

In many ways this is a superior alternative. Children don't work. They used to. People spend a lot more time in school at the beginning of their life when it has the potential to have the biggest impact. It's not all bad. Although not quite living up to the dreams from 20th century either.

There's also something to be said about positional goods. A lot of people are driven by status and they work to be ahead of others. Elizabeth Warren believes that this explains why, despite technological progress, regular middle class family needs two incomes where one was enough a couple decades ago[3], they're competing for the same house, or school district. It doesn't explain everything but it's a factor.




brownbat · 2014-03-22 · Original thread
Article calls out an interesting point by Elizabeth Warren.[1] In this country, it's extremely difficult to access the best schools without expensive housing. That encourages families to overextend and puts them at risk of bankruptcy.

There was a recent This American Life episode that demonstrated the human impact of our absurd system, where hyperlocal property taxes set school quality. I thought it was a particularly strong episode.[2]

[1] The Two Income Trap, [2] This American Life #512, "House Rules"

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.