Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

James Taranto nails a perverse metric

January 10th, 2014 by Vader

On female and male employment parity.    

It assumes that in a society with more traditional sex roles, women contribute nothing of value. Gross domestic product measures only commercial work, not unpaid domestic (in the sense of household) work. It doesn’t capture the reality that a traditional marriage–or, for that matter, its reverse, a union between a working woman and a “house husband”–is an economic unit to which the homemaking spouse makes a vital contribution.

As we’ve noted, Scandinavian countries have promoted “gender equality” by employing armies of child-care workers, most of them female. That is, they get paid to take care of other women’s children. That counts toward the GDP figures, whereas it does not when mothers care for their own children at home. It’s not immediately obvious that the Scandinavian way leaves society as a whole better off.

Actually, it’s immediately obvious to me that this leaves society worse off.

But then I’m an asthmatic-villain-American, not a progressive academic, so what do I know?

Comments (2)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: , , , ,
January 10th, 2014 12:32:11
2 comments

Adam G.
January 10, 2014

Here’s where Seeing Like a State comes in. It’s not that the state thinks that caring for your own kids doesn’t count. But since its not paid and registered, its unintelligible to the State.


Bruce Charlton
January 11, 2014

Continuing Adam G…

That is how the sheep get drawn along with evil purposes – and I have experienced this myself. But it is not where the evil originates.

You are absolutely accurate that when a committees, a bureaucracy, an agency has to deal with something like the family – it cannot do so without strict definitions and procedures (which themselves reduce that entity to strict definitions and procedures, which can be and are changeable at will).

But this does not apply when it comes to ideology, to political correctness. I have sat on committees and in groups – and when a PC issue comes up, the whole manner may be transformed, and instead of doing what the procedures dictate the group does whatever PC dictates unless explicitly prohibited by procedure… in which case they swiftly suspend, change or ignore the procedure (and a clever bureaucrat can always find a procedural loophole – always).

Thus the ratchet of Leftism – easy to push one way; strong resistance in the other direction.

The bureaucratic asymmetry in official treatment of PC issues versus traditionalist issues like family, Christian practices, sexual issues – reveals the workings of the modern world.

Officials apply procedure neutrally when it suits their purposes, but not when it doesn’t – in fact bureaucrats are extremely moralistic, and do what they think is right.

Unfortunately, their morality happens to be inverted and demonic…

For this to happen requires individual leaders who have put themselves in the service of evil – and these leaders are especially valuable when they are not in themselves evil people – not selfish and short-termist or exploitative – but are simply faithful servants of evil.

The way the modern world is set up as linked bureaucracies, and the way the Mass Media has prepared the ground of inverted morality, means that not too many such PC leaders are required – and the mass of officials cannot help but follow, since anything other than following is irrational in terms of the bureaucracy, and also paints a target on their own backs.

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