That they may teach the young women to be ... keepers at home, ... that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Tit 2:4-5

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The Two Income Trap

Modern Americans have been told that in order to do as well, economically, as their parents, both the husband and wife must work.  I believe the following table will show other wise.  The Two Income Trap is a book written by two politically liberal women (a mother and daughter) whose research demonstrates that on average, families where both the husband and wife work are worse off financially than their counter parts from 30 years ago. 

They also discovered that a modern dual income family, contrary to popular belief, is actually more likely to go bankrupt than a single income family.  The reason why is dual income families live off both incomes in order to make house payments and car payments.  Then, when one person is laid off and cannot find work that pays the same income as before, it is impossible to make up the difference with the other spouses income.  But in a single income family the wife can go to work in an emergency and make up the shortfall in income until the husband is able to find work paying the same as before.

It's interesting to see the facts support the teaching of the scriptures, i.e. fathers should work outside the home and mothers work inside the home.  In their book they discuss the reasons why modern Americans feel the need for both spouses to work.  One of the primary reasons is the felt need to buy a house in a good school district.  Since everyone else also feels this need housing costs go up forcing average families to send both spouses to work.  (I suggest this is yet another reason why Christians should home school their children.)

When we consider that The Two Income Trap was written by two liberal females, I find it interesting that they consider our modern dual income family system to be worse than the old single income father works/mother stays home system, especially when it has been the liberals pushing the dual income agenda.  However, in fairness to the authors, their conclusions and prescriptions for solving the problems they discovered are straight out of the liberal play book.  They want bigger government in the form of subsidized day care, more money for schools (as if the public schools don't have enough already) and more regulation of lending institutions.  Maybe you find that attractive, I hope not.  Our Founding Fathers established this country trying to escape bigger government.  They had good scriptural reasons, much like the prophet Samuel who protested against the nation of Israel's desire for bigger government (a king), to which God replied, " they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."  1Sa 8:7

Look at the table below.  It should be obvious that a modern family can live as well as one from 30 years ago.  You will have to live with only one new automobile just like our parents did.  But you will not have to pay day care bills, a definite plus.  You will have to live in an area where housing costs are reduced which probably won't be in the best school district but if you home school this will not be an issue.

Elder James Taylor

Typical Budget, Four Person Family Single-income Family, early 1970's (Inflation Adjusted) Dual -income Family, early 2000s Percentage Change
Husband's income $38,700 $39,000 1%
Wife's income 0 $28,000 1000%++
Total Family Income $38,700 $67,800 75%
 
Tax Rate (% of income: local, state and federal) 24% 33% 35%
Taxes $9,386 $22,256 137%
After-Tax income $29,314 $45,544 55%
 
Major Fixed Expenses      
Home mortgage $5,309 $8,978 69%
Day care (7-year-old) $0 $4,354 1000%++
Preschool (3-year-old) $0 $5,321 1000%++
Health insurance $1,027 $1,653 61%
Automobile: Car 1 (Purchase, upkeep, insurance) $5,144 $4,097 -20.4%
Automobile Car 2 $0 $4,097 1000%++
Total fixed expenses $11,480 $28,499 148%
 
Discretionary income (food, clothes, utilities, extras, etc.) $17,834 $17,045 -4%
 
Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi, The Two Income Trap (NewYork: Basic Books, 2003), p208.

 

 
 

10/1/2006

 

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