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My friend recently rescued some softbound books from his apartment’s lobby area, sort of a communal reuse and recycle area.   In publication called New Politics I found the opening paragraphs from Betty Reid Mandell’s article The Future of Caretaking most informative, and worthy enough to be shared with you fair readers.  This, as always, is an adventure in touch typing, so any errors in spelling and style are most likely mine and not Betty’s.  Do note how she points out one of the fundamental paradox’s of conservative thinking.

     “One of the casualties of unfettered capitalism is caretaking.  The needs of capital take precedence over the needs of children, the aged, and the disabled for sensitive and reliable care.

Conservatives say the family is crumbling and crisis; feminists say the crisis is in the lack of caretaking provisions for working parents and lack of cash support for unemployed parents.  Conservatives want a return to the male breadwinner type of family where men make the living and women stay home to care for their children.  Irving Kristol believes that this would solved problems such as illegitimacy and male irresponsibility.  Francis Fukayama hopes that women will rediscover their biologically imprinted nurturing capacities and realize that taking a few years off work to stay with their young children is best for their families.  When this happens, he says, “day care will become the lot of the children of ‘working class or welfare mothers’ only.”

Conservatives call for a moral regeneration to restore the nuclear family and the breadwinner father who earns the “family wage,” yet they favour economic policies such as deregulation, weakened unions, and lowered wages which, along with rising expectations, create the need for both parents to work.  Feminists, on the other hand, call for “family-friendly” state and employment policies that will it possible for parents to combine work and child care without sacrificing their careers or neglecting their children, their aged parents, or disabled family members, and with requiring that the caregivers be female.”

-The Future of Caretaking. Betty Reid Mandell. New Politics Winter 2003, p 61.

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