Poor Man Survival
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A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom. – F.A. Hayek
2014 The Year of the Woman or Why Women Should Rule the Nation
I’ve always had this theory that women usually make better leaders. Given my experience growing up with the original super mom this comes as no surprise. My mother was the neighborhood Kool-Aid mom, always ready with homemade cookies and a pitcher of that life sustaining liquid.
She worked a full time job too as an LPN at our local hospital and then for our family doctor. She invented TV dinners, always repacking leftovers from big Sunday family dinners so we could reheat them if she wasn’t able to be home.
My mother was a product of the Great Depression and she sure knew how to squeeze a dollar from every dime would have managed our national budget better than any one of those who has been in charge during the last 25 years.
The Arctic blast winding its way through the country this week and news reports of families struggling to find daycare due to school closings prompted this. There were no daycare centers or electronic babysitters when I was a kid.
Cultural Anthropology was my original college major and I wrote a thesis on how life changed for the worse once women were no longer stay-at-home mothers. During WWII more and more women worked outside the home to help with the war effort.
Historically, women have always been the nurturers of the young in society. During the war, extended family (grandma, a favorite aunt) became the nurturing element. Not bad as they were family. After the war, many women discovered they enjoyed the freedom and spending power of working outside the home so many kept on doing so, often out of necessity if the husband had been killed or injured.
During WWII the government began withholding income taxes from paychecks to pay for the war as a temporary measure. They liked having all that money to spend, so this temporary measure became permanent.
Within a generation it was no longer a grandmother or aunt who cared for the kids and by the 1960s two-income families became the norm so we could live the ‘American Dream’ of owning a home and multiple cars. Buying on credit became the norm too. The days of easy credit or as my Dad called it “the get it now, pay for it later, just like our government” philosophy helped fuel the go-go years of American prosperity.
Being in debt and instant gratification became a vicious cycle and the high interest charges on credit cards made bankers very happy. As PT Barnum once quipped, the age of the Sucker accelerated.
These cultural trends gave rise to the latch-key generation, often raised by TV and daycare. The strong moral guidance traditionally provided by mothers was shrinking as it became a necessity to have both parents working to pay for rising taxes, a rising cost of living and the ever growing desire for more goods.
Studies at the time indicated single parent households boosted drug use, dependency on government, juvenile delinquency rates and other negative social behavior. By then however, most families were trapped by high debt loads, social pressure to live beyond one’s means and overall frustration with the cost of living. Gone were the days typified by 1950s TV shows featuring Father Knows Best, replaced by TV dinners and the Nanny State.
In terms of political leadership, America by the 70s didn’t have much to go on. Nixon was a paranoid crook who took us off the gold standard and began opening ‘trade’ (debt) with China. Female leaders such as Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher were exceptions and proved to be strong leaders.
Meanwhile, women in America continued to make ends meet, raise families (often as single mothers) and eventually became the primary breadwinner in a majority of families.
In my humble opinion, women often make better leaders probably from the simple fact they’ve frequently had to manage households, money and budgets with far less. Think Mother Earth or Mother Nature, a traditional role often undermined by men (examples abound in various religions where women are treated more as chattel or second class mates).
In so many ways I have mixed feelings 40 years after writing my original thesis but inherently feel the world might be a better place with more women in place as the primary nurturing factor as opposed to video games and daycare! (What sparked my revisit of this was a suggestion that welfare recipients be trained to care for the children of working mothers –at a discount rate- much like the old TVA and other Great Depression era work programs our country had).
Yes, I know there are some paradoxes here and there are exceptions to every rule (not sure I’d want Mrs. Clinton or Nancy Pelosi in charge) so what do you think?
NOTE: To read my Brief History of Consumerism, go here:
Some fresh goodies I’ve picked just for our readers…
Complete Guide to Self Sufficiency AND Rain Water Harvesting guide…
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Useful and Free e-books from the Poor Man Survival crew!
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Find more easy and useful DIY tips and recipes at our Homemade tab.
Can homemade frozen biscuits replace the refrigerated dough version?
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Gift Card Alert!
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Forgotten Books is a site that offers a way to discover books. They offer a Free Book a Day, and cover many areas of interest. They also support many formats like iPad, Android, Windows Tablet, Kindle, .PDF, their own reader, and the opportunity to read online.
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Dehydrator recipes and resources
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How to torment telemarketers
Blasting an air horn, putting the telemarketers on a lengthy hold, boring them with sob stories — readers respond in force to a request for ideas on combating 'Rachel from cardholder services.
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