Conservatives often provide infrastructure for the very systems and forces that work against them being able to live more normally. As I alluded to in a previous post, SAHMs providing daycare under the table for less than the big daycare centers for “extra money” just props up the potemkin status of mothers who also can’t afford to work except via this unwitting subsidy from usually conservative, usually Christian, usually white SAHMs. Charging market rates would expose just how few women can really justify working outside the home full time and essentially reveal the lie that it’s more valuable/independent/whatever to do that two working parents setup.
This is one example of a larger pattern in which conservatives provide cover or support to systems that seek to destroy the conservative’s ability to live a normal life. This example is particularly poignant because in some cases, the conservative women agreeing to this exploitation think it’s enough that they smack-talk the women paying them, as if spitting on their money afterwards means anything real when you’re going to keep taking it and not even charge market rates for all the trouble.
Another example of the larger pattern lies in this blog post from the husband of a conservative SAHM, where he is gloating that their household gets to free ride on people overconsuming for 1-2 children. The thing is, though, if everyone had more children as they’ve chosen, then even the “upper middle class” wouldn’t have so many excess resources for them to partake of. Conservative Christians providing cover for cancerous levels of consumption seems harmless, but it’s insidious.
These sorts of things feed into each other. It’s not that hand me downs didn’t exist before mass ready to wear clothing, but one can pop open any number of books and see how all that worked when it was comparatively rarer to have “just” two children. You sure weren’t going to have your six kids swanning around in fancy dress clothes from the doctor’s wife’s kids. It’s different now, but these same sorts of people will cavalierly assert that we just need a “culture of life” to get the baby numbers back up again. No, we have to be prepared to accept the potential tradeoff of not being able to consume as much, even with things like 3-D printing and nanotechnology.
Likewise, we need to seriously consider the implications of tolerating below-market SAHM childcare as acceptable fringe practice. They should be asking market rates and they should be financially backstopped by their communities of affinity, blood and religion if doing that means they can’t get offers to provide the service locally.