Amy Coney Barrett nomination would stop working parents from demanding more help?

The media claims that Amy Coney Barrett, an appeals court judge, is being considered by Donald Trump for the Supreme Court. Most people would agree that being an appeals court judge or a Supreme Court Justice is a demanding job. Americans generally say that it is impossible for them to rear one or two kids and work without a shower of financial and other assistance from childless workers and taxpayers (see “When and why did it become necessary to pay Americans to have children?” for example). Yet Judge Barrett has 7 children, according to Wikipedia, two of whom are adopted. Is the answer a stay-at-home spouse who is responsible for all child-related tasks? Wikipedia says that her husband has his own demanding full-time job (Assistant U.S. Attorney).

In addition to driving our social, ethical, intellectual, and financial superiors in Silicon Valley nuts (what could be worse for these advocates of everything female than to see a woman nominated to serve on the Supreme Court?), would the nomination of Judge Barrett finally stop Americans with kids from demanding that the childless pitch in via higher taxes and longer workers hours?

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8 Comments

  1. Cathy

    July 9, 2018 @ 1:05 am

    1

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

  2. Federico

    July 9, 2018 @ 1:53 am

    2

    They both have enough money for full time childcare help at home, and they might use any tax break they could get as parents to increase available money. Though as a childless person I agree with you that supporting having kids with my tax money is annoying.

  3. Jack

    July 9, 2018 @ 5:34 am

    3

    I think it is a good idea to encourage Americans financially to have children otherwise how will social security be financed? Parental leave doesn’t seem like the right way to do it since the likely beneficiaries are government employees and employees of large corporations, both of which will finance this benefit through their monopoly positions. More importantly doesn’t seem as if parental leave would be a real incentive to having more children.

  4. philg

    July 9, 2018 @ 8:24 am

    4

    Jack: Not every country runs a Ponzi scheme-style government retirement system. I think Singapore and Holland, for example, have fully funded systems (save money today for future retirement payouts). The U.S. could transition to such a system with a one-time slug of borrowing, I think. It would be painful, but maybe not as painful as growing U.S. population to 1 billion in hopes of keeping the Ponzi scheme going.

    A family of four here in Cambridge is entitled to government housing assistance whenever income is lower than $129,360 per year (see http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/CDD/Housing/incomelimits/hud2018incomelimitsforwebwithcdbglimits_060118.ashx ). In other words, anyone who can’t earn at least $130,000 per year is a candidate for welfare. Unless you think a baby born today will earn at least the future inflation-adjusted equivalent of $130,000 per year, why would you imagine that baby as a cash-yielding asset that will right the U.S. government financial ship?

    (And, actually, as the U.S. and world population grow, the cost of housing will increase and thus a smaller percentage of Americans will be positive contributors to the economy. The robot and AI futurists are also telling us that an extra 100 million low-to-medium skill humans is not going to help an economy.)

  5. philg

    July 9, 2018 @ 8:32 am

    5

    See http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPENSIONS/Resources/395443-1279057176326/2Session5_Anita.pdf for a presentation on Ponzi (PAYGO) versus funded.

    According to this World Bank “lead economist” presentation, the funded system is “Better able to deal with aging of the population” and “Removes some labor market distortions”.

    Politicians will bankrupt taxpayers with Ponzi: “Under unfunded, costless now to promise higher benefits to workers or to special groups of workers – Costs in the future when politicians are out of office”

    About three-quarters in there is a section on the transition costs and process to move from PAYGO (Ponzi) to funded.

    There is no slide by this “lead economist” that says “Just pay everyone to have babies and/or open the floodgates to unskilled immigrants and all of your fiscal problems will resolve themselves.”

  6. philg

    July 9, 2018 @ 8:39 am

    6

    See also https://projects.jsonline.com/news/2016/9/26/wisconsins-fully-funded-pension-system-is-one-of-a-kind.html for how at least one U.S. state manages to run a pension system (for government workers only) whose solvency is not dependent on population growth.

  7. Vince

    July 9, 2018 @ 11:53 am

    7

    Federico’s point answers the issue completely. The combined income of the husband and wife must be at least five times the median family income. Their situation has no relevance to the vast majority of American families The massive tax breaks that they get for the seven (!) kids could also be seen as a form of redistribution from the childless.

  8. The Practical Conservative

    July 11, 2018 @ 1:13 am

    8

    The median family income is around 70k and includes single parents. The median married parent income is close to 100k when you look at married parents of kids under 18. Also, 1/8 of said married couples make 200K or more per year.

    1/4 of said married couples make 150k/yr. They are probably making 300-400k, which is not all that rare for married couples. Married parents are heavily six figure now. Not quite the majority, but it’s not remotely rare either.

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