The Childcare Problem.


Click image to read more from the original article
Click image to read more from the original article

Lately, politicians have been making a bunch of noise about affordable childcare. Here’s the part of the problem they are focusing on: “The average cost of full-time daycare for kids up to the age of 4 has reached $9,589 a year.” Just for reference, with the minimum wage at $7.50, a minimum wager lucky enough to actually get 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year makes $15,600 — and that almost never actually happens. Median income in the United States (remember, half of us earn more and half earn less) is

Median income in the United States (remember, half of us earn more and half earn less) is $53,657. That means that many families are spending a fifth of their monthly income or more on childcare. Even for somebody fortunate enough to make $100,000 is paying a tithe for an average daycare bill. Even though the problem is hitting low-income families hardest, the families of roughly 32,700,000 families feel this burn.

The other side of the problem is that child care workers are poorly paid: “These workers earned an average hourly wage of $9.40. This hourly pay rate translates to an average annual wage of $19,560. The median hourly pay rate was $8.94, which means that half of childcare workers in the daycare industry made more than $8.94 and half earned less.” This leads to high turnover, which isn’t good for the kids.

So let me summarize both halves of the coin: childcare workers are paid a pittance, yet child care is too expensive for workers who need it. That’s a big problem. It can’t be solved by paying childcare workers $15 an hour and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour: that still leaves workers paying too much of their salary for childcare (X still equals X)! It can’t be solved (completely) by office daycare centers: over 80% of us work for small employers where that’s just not possible. It is neither practical nor desirable to assume that there will be willing and able relatives to take care of our children.

How do we solve this problem? I don’t know. The one thing I do know is that market forces are not sufficient to make it happen.

Is that the best you can do?

Today I came upon this image:

I agree that the news media often choose not to report things that are important in favor of things that get ratings. However, the list of “what you should know about” is focused on environmental issues and barely gives lip service to other important things the media isn’t covering. Here’s a few things you should know about that might not make your evening news:

  • The TPP isn’t dead yet; if it gets ratified, you will have fewer rights and corporations will be more powerful. Heck, you might not even know the TPP was a thing if you relied on the evening news.
  • The cops can use devices that force your cell phone to tell them where you are — unless a judge catches them.
  • You aren’t imagining. You are working harder for less.
  • Those politicians out there trying to earn votes for an election over a year from now are mostly bought and paid for by special interests.
  • There’s probably a kid that died in your metropolitan area, too.
  • There are multiple humanitarian crises going on in the world right now.
  • Over 40,000 Americans commit suicide each year. That works out to one every 13 minutes, and one a day in my city. You might be able to do something about that.
  • Since the list was a bit food centric, here’s a food item: Congress doesn’t think you need to know where your meat was raised.

And that’s just a short list.

In Closing: Liverpool; ramen; resume; then she should find a job that doesn’t require her to do things that conflict with her religion (oh, you thought I was talking about that marriage license thing?); not having the desired effect on his image;

Just a little JEB! Roundup.

So everybody knows now that JEB! Bush has said some, ahem, ill advised things about worker productivity, right? By now pretty much everybody who isn’t huddled up on the far ultraright end of the spectrum with Donald Trump’s hair has weighed in. Here’s an economist, twice, a CNBC commentator (you know, where people talk about business?), a Moderate, and more smart people. By morning, there are likely to be more people saying similar things.

Of course I guess it doesn’t really much matter which party your Wall Street lackeys belong to.

In Closing: Pow Pao!; evidence that we mostly need better enforcement of gun laws; rich people habits you can (mostly) do too; the IRS will never ever call you to say you owe money; Sure they did (and I totally thwarted 3 tiger attacks last weekend — hey, you didn’t hear about any tiger attacks in Vegas last weekend, now did you??); trade deficit; “lemme take a selfie“; bad charting; Disney Princes.

Shorties: The Reawakening

Sorry for the tab dump here. I’m in the progress of migrating RSS readers and all is madness.

Gee, I wonder why that would be!: These big events tend to inspire copycats. Well maybe if we didn’t glorify the asshats who do this stuff….

On Bad Trade Deals: Um, yeah, we need to keep paying attention.

It’s All Greek to Me: No?

On the Redditpocalypse: I was beginning to think the place was too big anyway. I have yet to evaluate alternatives.

On with the body count: Our police violence problem has gained international attention.

YSK: Ponzi and pyramid schemes.

Meanwhile: How dare people — particularly young people — want jobs that pay a living wage! Particularly in these 10 states…

An interesting view: On consent.

Lemmings: Well, I suppose inasmuch as illegal immigrants are by definition here illegally, sure. But by that standard, lots of people have “bad intent.”

Finally: Via my old and dear friend Rachel, a misplaced dominant seventh chord was once all it took to land you in jail. Listen for yourself near the bottom.

Music Monday: October 31

Sure, that’s Halloween. It’s also the anniversary of the founding of the Great State of Nevada. And there’s an interesting story concerning that. It involves lost documents, the most expensive telegraph ever sent, and Republicans trying to steal elections garner additional electoral votes.

So in honor of Nevada’s 150th birthday, please enjoy some Nevada items.

In Closing: how dare victims call sexual assault what it is; sugar; Russians turn back time (in a way); some nice juicy NSA items; wages; Israel; War on Drugs; some random global climate change (formerly global warming) items; maybe they’re not overpriced after all; diversity; smile, you’re on cop camera; fixing COLA would require admitting that inflation is higher than most people know; and American cat cafe.

Music Monday: Manic


I was going to write something about Ebola, but the stupid out there is so strong it burns. Look I know that I’ve had a total of one course in Microbiology, but clearly I know more about the subject than 90% of Congress. Seriously, I hope I that Ron Paul, Joe Heck, and Howard Dean know more than me since they’re doctors.

In Closing: selective breeding; change; a couple diet items; a big turn-off; African Samurai; TPP sucks; fail; backdoor; a higher minimum wage is good for a small government.

Music Monday, Might Be Tuesday: Elementary

Turns out chemistry isn’t as hard as I feared.

In Closing: voice actors; only when it comes to spending that helps normal people; anybody have any idea why our government cares about ISIS/ISIL more than Boko Haram? (Is it just oil? Could there be a faint whiff of racism?); money money money money; I bet he even remembers that Commandment about not killing; and jumping cats.

No kidding….

Only 8% of Americans think the economy is “recovering strongly.” Most think it’s recovering, but not very strongly. Gee, I wonder why!

Despite the fact that poverty seems to be dropping and more people have health insurance, it’s tough out in the real world — that’s the place where people understand that there’s just no way Alibaba has more inherent value than Citigroup. Income is stagnant at best. Politicians seem unaware that there are two applicants for every job opening. Millennials are caught in the middle: worried about their parents and their student loans (which are dragging down the whole economy). People are arriving at the hospital with malnutrition. And artists are being a voice of reason recommending the next generation of artists learn skills and get part time or seasonal jobs when they can.

Things are tough all over. Well, for 92-99% of us anyway.

In Closing: secret laws shouldn’t exist; “get down, he’s got scissors!!!”; just what you need; red flag; in search of real reform; uncool; a stupid fiasco caused by the War on Drugs; a logical corollary of the law of supply and demand is that if prices are too high for demand, other sources and substitutions will come into play; just stop; and please help a no-kill shelter, more here.

Well, isn’t this interesting

In California, one out of every ten workers is here illegally. Most of them have lived here for years and live with an American citizen.

Yesterday’s protests seeking an actual living wage for fast food workers resulted in arrests — and remember, if you eat lunch at these places you need to be served by an adult rather than a kid who will someday get a “real job”.

Meanwhile, normal citizens are pressured by low wages, competition from workers here illegally, and are further oppressed by a criminal “justicesystem that is pretty much out of control.

The “powers that be” better tread lightly.

In Closing: Driving “American” might mean buying a “Japanese” car; I bet when they say “diversity” they aren’t really including the ~1 in 5 American women for whom “petite” pants drag the ground; Nudies and the NSA.