Do We Really Need Stay At Home Parents?

Joscelyn Kate

People are responsible for facilitating their own survival but does that mean every person should be working a traditional job and earning an income? Are parents doing a ‘job’ by raising their children?

Parenting—or caretaking, if it’s easier to look at it that way—is a job society requires. Similar to any other necessary job function like doctors, historians, teachers, and so on, society cannot advance or prosper without the caretaking of dependent generations.

Humans rely on population growth to maintain the economy, global standing and care for aging generations. By making reproduction difficult and child-rearing a personal responsibility rather than a societal investment, it inevitably impacts the entire trajectory of the country by imparting a drop in population growth. Fewer people entering the workforce than exiting will cause the economy and labor force to collapse.

The Mistreatment of Human Cultivators

We’re not free to pursue our own personal survival, we’re obligated to participate in money in order to not die. We are unable to not die without money. Money relies on an economy to facilitate exchange and exchange requires humans. Child-rearing is specifically the very foundation of continuing civilization and an economy, as existing humans die and stop participating in the economy, we must add new, replacement humans.

Without parents or caretakers, we cannot cultivate reliable, contributory humans. In order to cultivate contributory adults, new generations must be raised with morals, ethics, and respect for specific institutions—indoctrinated in a way, to capitalism or the setup of their society and economy.

If we do not acknowledge reproduction and child-rearing as necessary to our survival and ability to prosper but instead ignore the fundamental requirements of continuing our species, our structures, and our economies, there will be dismantling and negative contributions to society in the future. A child raised improperly may not only become a non-contributory member of society but they may also become a destructive member of society. Multiple destructive members, who also reproduce and continue on imposing destruction will result in the ultimate dismantling of a civilized society.

The existence of humans and the prosperity of a successful society are not inherent truth, there is no invisible hand of survival, it’s the work of each and every parent or caretaker. Society has an obligation to facilitate appropriate childbearing and rearing for its own survival and prosperity.

Despite a widespread belief that parenting is a personal choice and therefore a personal burden, participatory and people aren’t required to choose it is a result of conditioning. People have been lead to believe that existence will continue on without them, so they’re disempowered to impose the requirements of population growth contribution. We have essentially normalized the mistreatment of caretakers. There was a time when women could not vote and there were both men and women who believed they shouldn’t. Regardless of agreement or approval, a detriment to society hinders not only progress but survival.

In our current economic climate, in what way are humans incentivized to both bear children and not let their children become uncivilized? What incentive do people who are disadvantaged have to make sure children adapt and participate?

Current Drop in Population growth

Due to the unbalanced economy, lack of healthy economic flow, and de-incentivization to reproduce through a lack of parental acknowledgment and support programs—maternity or paternity leave, cost of living adjustment for wages, and family size considerations when assigning pay increase—additional humans are viewed as an unwelcome threat to immediate personal survival. There is not enough money available for a person to live and to support another life.

As a result of the de-incentivization, the population is currently decreasing in the US, even with immigration, and has seen one of the biggest reductions in over a century. The drop is a major concern to economists who cite fulfilling existing jobs and caring for aging populations as a major factor in managing population numbers.

Even with immigration, which has significantly slowed in the US, population growth is still negative. The majority of overpopulation is not spilling into the US and the Trump administration has made it so immigration will likely continue to decline.

The Impending Threat of Big Tech

Population decrease may seem beneficial in the face of Big Tech’s looming threat of job absorption. But the population increased the last time a change in economics occurred through industrialization. Considering the history, the impending threat of Big Tech and AI may not be a threat at all but a population catalyst.

The belief that jobs are going to disappear by the end of our lifetime is one-sided. People feared the same during the industrial revolution—loss of jobs—and did not see where the emergence of jobs would occur. The transition felt ominous but resulted in population growth and civil expansion.

Many jobs will change but jobs in general, available for people, will not necessarily disappear. For example, we don’t have blacksmiths but we have steel processing plants. This is just one example of how jobs develop through evolution. We didn’t always have customer service call centers but now we do. We didn’t always have data analysts and now we do. Humans develop new thoughts and new ideas when economies shift.

The transition of manual labor will likely be to data processing instead. In the instance of assembly lines, where a person hammers in rivets, a machine may replace that task, but the monitoring of the analytics, speed, output, quality control, demand, and so on will be subject to human behaviors and factors that cannot be foreseen such as pandemics or legislation changes. The control of how the machines are programmed and maintained and how they are utilized by society will be up to humans who will monitor and apply present-day circumstances to match supply with demand.

This does not mean an assembly line worker will become a data analyst but these are the kind of generational changes that occur over time.

Digital Companies Don’t Employ Fewer People

Google is a digital company employing 100,000 people, similar to any physical or tangible product company. The need for managing digital information increases when information processing doesn’t happen at a hands-on level. Google doesn’t employ fewer people than any other large corporation because they’re tech-based. The jobs are different.

There’s no reason to believe especially with the current population decline that there is a threat in a new economic model or laborforce structure. Big tech requires analytics and applications. Through access and education around technology and AI, people become more innovative creating new digital products, social media channels, and entertainment mediums.

Beyond the emergence and expansion of digital companies, existing employers will need to restructure their workforce in order to take advantage of digital advancements and participate competitively. This does not mean they should be at liberty to dispose of the human capital they've absorbed through now-obsolete models of operation.

Responsible Employment Requirements

Companies have an obligation to responsibly utilize human capital. If a company like GE employs generations of workers and only one skill is developed among them through assembly-line labor and—due to absolute or relative poverty wages from the company—have limited opportunities for retraining or re-education after a lay-off. GE has the responsibility to facilitate retraining and re-education. Monopolizing the use of people and taking no ownership for the impact on the employees future results in non-recyclable humans, one-time-use plastic.

If jobs were eliminated overnight and companies simultaneously closed or changed their labor force, there would be a mass group of people without means to facilitate their survival, or incentive to not die. Without jobs and the ability to earn money—which is the only thing truly barring us from individually facilitating our own survival—what options exist to not die? If there are no options existing to help people transition from one model of survival [with human-imposed restrictions], to another, what option do the people have to survive, procreate and facilitate the survival of their offspring, and fundamentally exist? Companies that employ irresponsibly, that do not take into consideration what will happen to the tools—or human capital—they’ve used for their business, they create a specific, imminent threat in imposing and potentially barring access to survival.

Employers must both ensure they have not created barriers to parenting future generations and will not create barriers to continued survival.

Consideration for Human Development

Because procreating is the only bridge between a continued civilization and an extinct one, it must be a priority. The continuity of civilization is within the power of parents and caretakers. If procreating and child-rearing starts to become a disadvantage more than it is an advantage, what incentive remains to ensure child rearing occurs and occurs well?

If people will likely die anyway due to human-imposed barriers, through inability to access money through jobs, what incentive do they have to contribute more [good] humans to be used in sustaining society?

Employers have a responsibility to not disrupt society by causing a decline in population over an affinity for profits. People are increasingly deciding against having children at all due to financial difficulties, which are a result of low wages and a lack of parental support through the employer. In addition to low wages, people have lost the ability to commit time and attention to raising children because it’s now considered an intramural fringe option to living, not a necessity to continue the human species.

The Need to Support Caretaking

When children are raised by caretakers, who are able to provide for them with sufficient means, and survival can be facilitated under society transitions, society will continue in a repetitive cycle. If children are instead neglected or abandoned, or reproduction slows altogether, and people are unable to easily facilitate means to survival, money will become irrelevant.

Stay at home parents who are valued and empowered both continue societal participation and cultivate humans who are able to contribute to and who want to contribute to continued human survival. Employing responsibly would consider both the family size of an employee,—so that cost of living for a family can be met with one salary—as well as implement budget and investment allotments for training and re-education in the event business models transition.

Stay at home parents are no different than paid caretakers, they’re just taking care of their own children rather than someone else’s, and frankly, I can’t understand why that would have more value and not less.

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Lover of lattes, champagne, avocados, sleep, and my perfect family. The epitome of a liberal millennial snowflake.

Boston, MA

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