Sunday, August 10, 2008

Failure Creates Jobs


Courtesy of

A few years back, I saw a grocery store delivery man with a ticker
on his bike that read, "Laziness Creates Jobs" and I agreed with
until last week when I realized that failure creates jobs.

This notion came became clear while reading a New York Times article on
elderly adults who didn't have children, or anyone for that matter,
to help take care of them and the issues that they are facing.

The comments were interesting in that they ranged from people
who were smug to indifferent, to terrified.

Wow, it’s so nice to see this being posted about publicly. I’m in the same boat. It’s just me and my sister and we’re both single, with no children. I’m pretty much taking care of both my father and mother (who live apart) and an aging aunt. They’re all quite ambulatory - (now anyway) - but when they are gone, I will have no one to take care of me, and really the best years of my life have been spent looking after “my elders” who also spent the best years of their lives catering to their parents. Maybe when they are gone I can start having an appropriate social life, but that’s not guaranteed.

I certainly do not bemoan this state of affairs - and I could always meet a husband or housemate at this late stage (I’m going to be 40 in the fall), but my dad just doesn’t understand that I’m not really joking when I talk about retiring to a cardboard box on the street. The prospect of a group home doesn’t really appeal to me right now; I’m a pretty solitary person who never fit in with other gaggles of girls. I guess I don’t love life that much to want to survive in a group home… somehow I suspect I’d just end up the Caretaker again. That’s not how I want to end my life either

In some ways, I consider myself already dead. Although I expect to be around for several more decades, I think about preparing for dying alone… which in fact, is something all of us must face. You do not take your friends and relatives and children, no matter how comforting they are, along with you on whatever final step there is. That is an illusion. Women like me are just facing that reality a lot earlier. Which is liberating, in a way. But also lonely, as people with kids don’t ever really think about this reality.


I’ve lived alone for 13 years and of course, never thought I’d end up like this. Due to gas prices I limit myself to one trip a week into town now and am isolated. There are no activities for “seniors.” Finding myself among that group comes as a shock. I always thought that was for old people. Wait, I am old.

Single, and even with a son who happens to live a country away and doesn’t communicate often, I’m turning 65 tomorrow.

My reduced circumstances result from health problems that kept me from working for several years and on SSI for a while. Then I had to take SS early. My small pension runs out in two years and it’s only $3,000 a year.

The best thing for me would be to live in a house with other women (preferably). A roomy room to myself, a common kitchen and living room would be less expensive than what I have to pay now, as would sharing some meals. There should be some kind of national system whereby we could share such information and find situations like that....

~Barbara Wickwire

How amusing! You assume that those people with children are somehow not going to be magically stuffed into a nursing home and ignored by those children.

The purpose of having children is not to make sure someone’s there to take care of you in your old age. That’s a harsh thing to accept. Life is full of harsh things. Dying is one of them.

Even if I had children, I would forbid them from feeding me and bathing me and so forth. I wouldn’t keep my cat alive in those circumstances, why would I do it to myself?

— Posted by Alex

What amazes me when we talk about prisons, schools or the elderly
is our unwillingness to criticize the system in which we live and how
it may affects our lives on a structural level.

For example, we talk about women, read white middle class women,
opting out of the work force, but we don't discuss how there was an
increase across the board of all women working after WWII and yet
public policy did little to nothing to reflect this huge demographic change.

We needed childcare and afterschool care to fill in where
mothers once supported the family.

The government gave working families the middle finger and
raised taxes on wages and lowered them on corporations and

Why in the hell do the people that keep this country running,
the Citizens, the Voters, accept such subpar support from the
richest government in the world that IS FUNDED BY OUR
hard earned TAX DOLLARS?

The working patterns of a huge portion of our society changed,
but state and federal policy failed to shift to support the change.

It appears that women are punished if they want to work for a
financial wage and want to do mother work as well.
All of the industrial complexes, non profit, prison, elder care and
arise out of our failure to plan and support our own.

When we fail Black boys in school, they wind up in the prison industrial complex.

When we fail grandparents, they wind up discarded in a home, or alone
in a studio.

When we fail mothers by not providing childcare and healthcare, they wind
up in the non profit industrial complex begging for resources that they
are entitled to as a human and a United States citizen and tax payer.

Rewind back to another article I read a few weeks ago on the
on the birth rate in Europe.

Did you know that when you had a baby in the Netherlands
you receive a cash payment, a 53 week maternity leave, 9 week
paternity leave and the guarantee that your job will be there when your

Italians live with their parents longer, have their babies later
and are implicitly expected, by the government to rely on their,
get this- elderly parents for childcare.

The Dutch birth is significantly higher than the Italian birthrate.

Guess what? There is a close connection between a women
receiving support, wealthier families and a willingness to have
more children.

Its not rocket science. When a person has a safety net they are willing
to take more risks.
Russel Shorto writes Italy and the Netherlands,
In Europe, many countries with greater gender equality have a greater social commitment to day care and other institutional support for working women, which gives those women the possibility of having second or third children....

As women advanced in education levels and career tracks over the past few decades, Norway moved aggressively to accommodate them and their families. The state guarantees about 54 weeks of maternity leave, as well as 6 weeks of paternity leave. With the birth of a child comes a government payment of about 4,000 euros. State-subsidized day care is standard. The cost of living is high, but then again it’s assumed that both parents will work; indeed, during maternity leave a woman is paid 80 percent of her salary.
54 weeks of maternity leave? State subsidized childcare? Shorto
goes on to discuss how culture impacts the support that families receives
when he writes.
In both countries, people tend to have traditional views about gender roles, but Italian society is considerably more conservative in this regard, and this seems to be a decisive difference. The hypothesis the sociologists set out to test was borne out by the data: women who do more than 75 percent of the housework and child care are less likely to want to have another child than women whose husbands or partners share the load. Put differently, Dutch fathers change more diapers, pick up more kids after soccer practice and clean up the living room more often than Italian fathers; therefore, relative to the population, there are more Dutch babies than Italian babies being born. As Mencarini said, “It’s about how much the man participates in child care.”
If you think that it is too much to ask the government to open
childcare on the corners like Starbucks style, how much is that
Fannie Mae bail out going to cost again?

Just like my budget, the governments budget reflects its values.

We should not settle for such pittance.


HealthyProducts4u said...

that is so true laziness homework

M.Dot. said...

The buggout about that site is how they try to kidnap you while you are there.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

read the post but pick still has me cracking up

Faith said...

You get money from the Norwegian gov't even if you're not a citizen if you're pregnant and give birth there. As the economy continues to tumble downward I hope more people will stop thinking of their own fates and realize what's good for one can be good for all. We sink of swim together as a nation.

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