4/13/2006

Womenomics

I read an article in the New Economist called A Guide to Womenomics. It is about how women are better in school and perform better at work. The article says that countries that have a large number of women at work also have better fertility rates than other countries that don’t have lots of women at work.

I’ve been verbally smacked for my opinions a few times here, so I’m going to go ahead and say it – the more women that go to work, the more little boys will grow up and go to jail. Before you get upset – I think that women are smarter than men. I think that women are more capable of tackling multiple tasks at once and looking at things from the “macro” perspective than men.

When women go into the workforce, they do really well. The problems arise when the women want to have a family, and the company doesn’t want to let them go. When moms go to work, little boys make trouble. I should know because my mom and dad worked my whole life, and my little brothers and I got into a lot of trouble. I think that enticing moms to keep working after they have kids is going to end up taxing society in the long-run. I think that we will all pay for it in the long-run.

3 comments:

rico said...

Women have been accepted in business across most of the world now. Europe for example has a much lower birth rate because women are pursuing careers. In America however, a lot of women want a career and children. I will have to agree and say that this poses a big problem. First of all, who is raising the children if they are working? And second, women with children need a lot more time off from work. As an employer this can really affect your business if they are a key element in your business. If you get by without them, why are they there anyway? Most are better off staying at home.

Hannah said...

I half agree. I too grew up as a latch key kid. My mother was single and had to go to work to get by. However, here's where I disagree. I believe that somebody, whether it's the husband or the wife, should stay home.

Now do I believe that women are the problem for women in the work place rather than home. No. Maybe a small percentage are because of the feminist movement. But the vast majority in my estimation is because Americans are greedy and want more stuff. Talk to any woman that you work with that has kids and ask them whether they would like to stay home or not and they almost will unvariably say "I would love to stay home with the kids. But we need the extra money to make ends meet."

In America yesterday's luxuries/wants are today's needs. We need to shed some "stuff" and focus on what’s really important: The Family.

Dr. Tufte said...

I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that graph. That's a nicely hand-picked set of countries they have there, and that sort of data massage is usually used to push points that are not otherwise supported by the data. A better way to do it would be to look at this data across the 50 states.

This whole issue is a tough call. I think what is being missed here is that it isn't like women were not working when they were predominantly staying at home. So, the issue isn't really about work, but about location. Further, the work that was done at home had value (as does the work done outside the home) but not much cash pay. This suggests that what people want when they work outside the home is liquidity.

So the tradeoff is liquidity for location, not work, gender, children and so on. I think that gives us a good idea of why this problem is so much harder than it appears on the surface: how do you think about trading liquidity for location? It just isn't something that most people think about too much.