Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happiness is a gofer named José

The New York Times finally discovers David Ricardo (because he has something to offer to people like us?);
“You have to start from a point where you say: What is necessary for me to be happy with my decision to be a working mother?” says Susan Athey, an economist at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. “I think a lot of working mothers end up throwing up their hands in exasperation and saying, ‘I can’t live this way!’ and quit their jobs.” If parents who want to work abandon their careers before trying outsourcing all the household tasks they don’t enjoy, or feel overwhelmed by, quitting may be shortsighted. Happiness in the present, earning power in the future and familial bliss need not be in conflict.
Especially, Athey says, if the outsourcing costs are temporary ones that enable parents to remain in the work force and thereby earn more money after they no longer face such a time crunch (e.g., after the kids need less supervision and can even start helping with chores themselves).
Athey qualifies all this by saying that, of course, not everyone can afford a nanny or a housekeeper or a personal assistant — like, for example, if you are yourself a nanny or a housekeeper or a personal assistant. But if you do earn more than people in these occupations, chances are that it would pay off to hire them.
Like, you know, if you're in the top 1%.

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