Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Mother's Day! I just had to share this hilarious e-card from MomsRising.

Ok. After you finish that dose of happiness and goodwill, your loins will be well-girded to tackle this piece by Linda Hollis-- it's a snide article against MomsRising. I'll put aside the insults (that MomsRising doesn't understand economics) and get to the point: she thinks that more government "interference" in closing the wage gap, in securing healthcare for all children, and in other areas important to family life is foolish.

She's missing the point that MomsRising is calling not only for governmental shifts (as much as she'd like to see government eliminated- she's a "pro-life Libertarian"- I haven't seen evidence of her Jean d'Arc revolutionary power, so...). MR is also calling for a cultural shift-- one in which corporations leave the 1950s model of work and catch up with life in the new millenium, in which people actually *increase productivity* by having open flexible hours. A culture in which people actually respect parenting instead of paying lip service to family values while kneeling at the altar of the Bottom Line. A culture in which television doesn't provide childcare after school-- a real, live, caring, excellent childcare provider is there, readily available if both parents are working outside the home. A culture that cares enough about family to *really* prioritize it-- that's what I'm working for.

I believe that competition and Adam Smith and the free market and the invisible hand are useful ideas. But I think she's missing the fact that without government, she wouldn't be able to pay for the "free market cost" of her utilities, her subsidized corn (which is in *everything* we eat that comes in a package, jar or box), her roads, public schools, firefighters, police, etc.... I am not saying, and MomsRising is not saying, that government needs to be in every facet of life. But I am saying that where the free market cannot meet the basic needs of people, government must step in (as in the above examples). If we cannot see that healthcare for all children is a basic need, then we need to educate our society to understand how much BETTER our standard of living would be with it. This is just one example of how MomsRising seeks to improve American quality of life.

What do you think about the Hollis article and the MomsRising e-card? Send it to your friends!