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It’s called thinking on the margin

September 27, 2011

via PEG2.0, this scary chart:

heyitsnoah writes:

Compare this chart on the rising cost of raising a child to the chart about stagnant incomes over the last 30 years – and you don’t get a pretty picture.

But read the actual article:

Although housing generally represents a family’s largest expense, putting more than one child in day care tips the scales.

In 2010, the cost of putting two children in child care exceeded the median annual rent payments in every single state, according to a recent report by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, or NACCRRA.

“It defies logic,” said Linda Smith, NACCRRA’s executive director. As more families are priced out of licensed child care services, the health and safety of those children are put in jeopardy, she said.

For Stephanie Serafini, 38, licensed day care for her two children comprises about 30% of her $39,000 annual income. Serafini pays a particularly high rate for care because her oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s and ADHD.

I don’t wish to sound insensitive, these folks and those in their situation are clearly having a very rough time, but what this immediately suggests to me is that the economics of the two-income family are becoming less and less rational.

My wife likes to joke that if you added up the market value of all the unpaid labour she does around our household, the result would easily exceed either of our salaries. If second-earner incomes continue to fall behind inflation in child care costs for long, I would expect more and more couples to do the calculation for real.

Or alternatively, you know, the state could stop cracking down on neighborhood babysitting cooperatives. That would work too.

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