The family wage honored motherhood...

Bob Patterson has a piece in Philly's Inquirer on President Taft's creation of the U.S. Children's Bureau. Headed by Julia C. Lathrop, the Bureau was a "Progressive initiative that sought to protect both motherhood and childhood from the emerging industrialized order":

(Lathrop was a) social conservative (who) believed that maternity - by generating new life for society - trumped the demands of industry and commerce. Considering motherhood "the most important calling in the world," she worked tirelessly to give the at-home mother "the status of a profession".... Lathrop's successor, Florence Kelley, shared the same goals, safeguarding the "fundamental rights of children," including a "normal home life" and childhood that presumed married parents and maternal care and nurture through the early teen years.

"Childhood that presumed married parents and maternal care and nurture through the early teen years." A century ago our civil magistrates created economic policies that honored fatherhood and motherhood. Today they create economic policies that honor sodomy.

Patterson continues...

These social ideals, in turn, begat another: a living wage for families. ...Others, too, embraced the imperative of "family wages" for fathers, an innovation that Henry Ford pioneered for his assembly-line workers in 1914. A later bureau director, Katherine Lenroot, declared: "The primary essential of child welfare" is "a living wage for the father."

There is an inseparable connection between the father getting a family wage and the children getting a mother. Feminist shrews hate the "family wage" because it gives dignity to the profession they despise: motherhood.

But if you love motherhood, you pay fathers enough to support mothers who stay home and raise the next generation. Motherhood is a profession and fathers should bring home enough money to support that profession.

Think of all the things our Masters in Washington make much of providing for us, and all we humiliate ourselves by begging them for. Then ask yourself why the government has not lifted a finger to provide mothers for our nation's children? And no—not breast pumps and daycare workers. We don't want to stand under our umbrellas watering our tomatoes.

A century ago in his essay, "Drift from Domesticity," Chesterton comments on the government paying "officials," salaried childcare workers, while mothers are off in an office, earning money and pumping in the break room:

There is supposed to be an endless supply of salaried persons, and of salaries for them; and they are to undertake all that human beings naturally do for themselves; including the care of children. ...The actual effect of this theory is that one harassed person has to look after a hundred children, instead of one normal person looking after a normal number of them. Normally that normal person is urged by a natural force, which costs nothing and does not require a salary; the force of natural affection for his young, which exists even among the animals. If you cut off that natural force, and substitute a paid bureaucracy, you are like a fool who should pay men to turn the wheel of his mill, because he refused to use wind or water which he could get for nothing. You are like a lunatic who should carefully water his garden with a watering-can, while holding up an umbrella to keep off the rain. 

So we're left with the vapidity of "equal pay for equal work" and a national economy built upon working mothers. Are Christians really so surprised that Egalitarianism spawns such evil? Can we not be transformed by the renewing of our minds instead of being conformed to the patterns of this evil world? 

Alas, around the world the destroyers have had their way so that even Reformed churches in Africa have given themselves over to the two-income pursuit of wealth, abandoning their covenant children to be raised by their housekeeper.

There is such a thing as systemic evil and it is the work of the Christian city father, the Job of today, to root it out and destroy it. Where are the Reformed men who have the faith to go against Egalitarianism, the reigning ideology of our day, exposing it as the demon it is? Where are the Jobs of today who are known for breaking the jaws of the oppressor, snatching the babies from them and returning them to their mothers' wombs? Snatching the women from them and returning them to their homes and children?

The Christian father is not content to cultivate his own garden. He stands at the city gates and is known there for his defense of the widow and orphan. 

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

In light of this are you in favor of the minimum wage in any form or completely abolishing it and replacing it with a different wage system?

>>are you in favor of

I'm in favor of mothers, and of fathers doing everything possible to help mothers be mothers. Concerning economic policy, starting with some one Christian saying out loud that he doesn't believe in equal pay for equal work if it prohibits a family wage would tickle me pink.

Love,

A good start would be to abolish daycare subsidies for the middle and upper classes, greatly increase standard deductions, and see how many moms decide to get rid of the corporate life.  It's worth noting that greatly increasing deductions for dependents is probably the only way to avoid a "Logan's run" "recycling" scenario as Socialist Insecurity and Medicare collapse.

Not much different here in the UK. It used to be unbelievers who handed their children over to strangers to bring them up (and then wonder what went wrong), but believers are all too keen to get in on the act too. Can churches establish funds to help fathers to keep Mum at home? I'd like to think that this could make it onto the agenda...and I pray that one day it will. 

Fabulous, many thanks for your trumpeting Mr Bayly.

I think the leaders of our society know full well that you can pay men more & free mothers to be mothers. Or you can pay everybody less and force mothers to be earners. They simply choose the latter--without, of course, admitting it out loud--& the rest of us have acquiesced for 30 years.

Bert Perry wrote,

A good start would be to abolish daycare subsidies for the middle and upper classes, greatly increase standard deductions, and see how many moms decide to get rid of the corporate life.

In my (very) humble opinion, this seems like a better way to encourage stay-at-home motherhood rather than through a family wage. Single women, married women with grown children, married women with disabled husbands, and married or single men with roughly equivalent education, skills, experience, and job performance in the same positions could then be paid similar salaries or wages. 

Wages for labor are based on supply and demand. With women in the workforce, men make much less, so now it takes two to make what one could make in the past.

Sue - agreed (my thoughts as well). The intervention you suggest, to help family men's wages, would be much better delivered through the tax system than by tinkering with nominal wage rates at source. I suspect I would go through the roof if I was told (say, if I was working for a church), that I should be paid ten-twenty percent less because I'm single :-).

Denver - it isn't quite as clearcut as you state. More women in the paid workforce are earning incomes, which creates additional demand, which eventually flows back into demand for labour and thus puts upward pressure on wages. Also, more women in the paid workforce means more is being produced in the way of goods and services, so a given level of nominal wages is able to purchase more. Immigration has a similar effect.

(For the avoidance of any doubt, I quite understand the point about family men's wages which this thread is making).

Sometimes its as simple as a few oil stains in the driveway. I am often ashamed by my old Honda & Nissan as they drip, drip, drip on my new driveway. I want the shiny new cars that my neighbors have. Then a post like this reminds me that having a few oil stains on my driveway is a very small price to have my dear wife stay home.

Denver Todd nails the method behind my madness in recommending a termination of daycare subsidies.  Less providers for labor, higher wages. 

I'm all for a family wage; the trick is simply how to get the best likelihood of that for as many patriarchs as possible.

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