Well this tread has sure taken an interesting detour.
I do agree with 5-ever on one point, and that is society was much better off when most mothers were at home raising their own children. The condition we have today of children being raised by and large in Schools and Day Care centers has in my view been the biggest contributor to the breakdown of American families and represents one of the worst sociological changes we've had in the last 40 years or so.
My question is why? Why did this happen? What was the driving force that drove American mothers out of their homes and into the workforce? Unlike WWII when we needed "Rosie the Riveter" to build the ships and planes because the men were off fighting a war, there was no apparent shortage in the workforce. So what was it?
Was it women striving to be independant? Was it wives choosing to have a career? Was it economic conditions? Or was it "Big Business" realizing that it could almost double the workforce without increasing the overall % of what it spent for payrolls.
I think it was all of the above. I also think that "Big Business" benefitted most from it.
I remember as a boy that many of my mother's friends were getting jobs and buying so-called luxury items or trips. In other words it seemed like they were choosing to work to get the little extra's in life. Today most families don't have a choice and critically depend on both incomes for survival. What changed?
To me the segment of our society that's the most sophisticated at recognizing and capitolizing on social trends is big business. It's what they do best. It's the edge they have to recognize opportunities before other people and develop markets where none existed before.
Now do I think there was a conspiracy or a secret meeting of "Big Business Leaders" to organize this? No of course not. This was an evolutionary process and happened before most people realized it.
In my view this social trend is classic supply and demand. With more people entering the workforce the supply has outpaced the demand and has held wages in check. As a result, for families to have the same buying power today as they had 40 years ago it requires two incomes instead of one.
Meanwhile, our children and our society as a whole suffer for it.