Saturday, April 26, 2008

When is a mother's work really done?

Neil Gilbert, in his book, A Mother's Work: How Feminism, the Market, and Policy Shape Life, has joined a lively debate that comprises both lifestyle and policy issues. The previous discussions have addressed the psychological, social, and economic dimensions, but Gilbert questions the how and why these questions are framed--and who benefits from the answers. Furthermore, he asks how the choices women make are influenced by the culture of capitalism, feminist expectations, and the social policies of the welfare state. Does it "pay" to have children? What is the "cost" of the search for unprecedented material benefits and a higher standard of life? And if a woman select a pro-family, what happens then? A useful discussion on a difficult topic. Rating: four stars out of five.

Regardless of our ages, we'll owe our children

Andrew L. Yarrow's book has a title that says it all: Forgive Us Our Debts: The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility. Why? Because hopefully you've been totaling up the economic train wreck that's taking place in the United States. How bad is it? Yarrow claims that by Election Day this November, the U.S. national debt will be $10 trillion (yes, that's with a "t"). Worse yet, he says that if current trends persist, "that number will continue to grow at an alarming rate, compounded by an active to retired worker ratio for Social Security that is dropping from 44:1 to 2:1--and that's without factoring in the outrageous gas prices. Who's going to pay for this insanity? Our children, their children, and their children's children. A must-buy. A must-read. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.