Thursday, May 29, 2008

In Which I Fail to Control My Temper

Over at Like Merchant Ships, Meredith posted a video of Elizabeth Warren, author of the Two Income Trap. The comments on Meredith's post are all (so far) along the lines of "Wow, how depressing. My children will have a hard time being middle class. The government should do something!"

I suppose I may be the lone voice of dissent but I've actually read Warren's books and I do not agree with her premise or conclusions.

We are considered "lower-income" (my husband is an assistant pastor - not a lucrative field, but very rewarding!) and we have three children. We are also debt free and are working on owning our home. If we can do it, anyone can.

Government intervention (for health care, school funding, etc.) is not the answer. More government actually means less money in our pockets because "the government" doesn't have any money of its own - it belongs to its citizens. Less government intervention (i.e. lower taxes) would actually lead to more money available for what we personally choose for our families.

It may be harder now than it used to be, I don't know. But we have to take personal responsibility for our own actions - it isn't possible to "have it all". I may step on some toes here but if you are buying too much house just so your kids can go to a "good" school (something Warren blames for the two income trap) maybe you ought to consider, oh, I don't know, Mom staying home with her kiddos, homeschooling, Christian schools, charter schools, on-line schools...Do you realize how many options we have these days?

It isn't "too expensive to have children". It may be too expensive to have more than two children and live a quintessential yuppie-puppy lifestyle but that's not my goal. And we, despite not looking rich on paper, do have "stuff". Lots of stuff, far too much stuff. I fight a constant battle against stuff.

These books telling us that it's the government's fault or society's fault are not helping anyone.

And for Pete's sake stop whining. I get enough of that from my kids! So you couldn't afford that McMansion you had your eye on - so what? If your goal for your kids is that they grow up to be materialistic me monsters then maybe the world would be better off if you didn't have children, or at least if you limit your procreation to one. Thankyoverymuch.

I'm guessing I'm not going to win any awards for compassion any time soon.


Dana said...

Very true. And "the government doing something" is how we got into this mess.

If they did less, we'd have more to do with as we pleased. And frankly, if they did less to help, those they are trying to help likely would be better off. Without money, there isn't as much room for corruption.

onthecreek said...

We lived in a run down farm house paying low rent so I could stay home with our children and homeschool them. We fixed up what we could and lived with what we couldn't. We lived in the country and the children loved it. God blessd us though our house wasn't fancy. It did work out for us to get a better home just as they were finishing their schooling. Now that we've got a better house they've moved out and on with their lives being very productive citizens living comfortable though not extravagant lives and they did not have it all growing up. We did not rely on the government for help and we made it. Most one income families can make it if they watch what they do with what they have. I didn't need the government doing something. I vote lower taxes too Karen. :-)

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Preach it, sister!

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