Sunday, January 25, 2009

conerning women and economy

In Dr Suess’s “The Lorax” the oncler uses the following phrase “business is business and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.”

I have often contemplated that phrase and it’s implications on the environment and economy. But now I have begun contemplating it’s implications on families.

I have determined that businesses do not have to grow. That if they can make a consistent profit, it should be good enough, and that to grow a business should be a conscience choice. However, businesses that use debt financing are forced to continue growing to pay of the ever increasing interest and investment. And that is often why business have to keep “biggering and biggering.”

(ok, off track, back to families) To have a higher standard of life.. (to enjoy life more, have more health, time, and experiences) are not tied to the economic impact we make. The problem with economics is that is measures money changing hands. It does not measure success, happiness or family unity. Therefore holding the Gross National Product (national economic numbers) as the indication of how well a country is doing is very misleading. It seems to suggest that anyone not earning or spending is not valuable, therefore the traditional roles of women and families get pushed away in favor of increasing the GNP.

Traditionally all the work women do (the cooking, cleaning, sewing, child rearing) were not counted in the economic figures. When women decided to get jobs and add to the GNP, not only did their wage add to it, but the money they paid out to daycare, to fast food, to housecleaning services all added to the GNP too. But just because they increased their impact in economic terms does not mean that they increased their standard of living, or their happiness.

Housecleaners, daycares, nannies, quick and easy foods, only in semblance replace the value of the women’s work in their homes, but the true value and power of having all of that unified into a nurturing and loving whole is missing. Homes loose their drawing power and families forget why they are.

As the nourishing food and family time get pushed aside, the crummies in tummies (and hearts)happen to our children and to ourselves. As a women and mother I have made the decision that my economic impact pales in value next to the hopeful, joyous eyes that look to my guidance everyday at home. No successes outside of the home will ever replace failure (for lack of being there) in it.


Soleil said...

I completely and utterly agree with your idea that "standard of living" should consider more than just the monetary income of a family. However, I would not limit it to the moms of the world. There are far too many fathers/husbands who end up (whether through their own desire or the nature of their lives) focusing way too much on the financial side of what they provide and not nearly enough on the emotional side. I see the consequences of this neglect in many of the children I work with. They have the nicest clothes, the newest toys, and the biggest houses, but they are missing so much of what is important. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject with us.

Round Belly said...

Definitely! Fathers are important too- I don't want to sideline their value at home, but traditionally the fathers added to the GNP and the women did not.

And of course, as a mother, I am not trying to speak for the fathers. :) But I hope there are people who will.