Class Warfare Blog

January 7, 2017

A Thought About the Universal Basic Income, Feminism, and “Family Values”

I just had a massive collision in my mind while reading about the possibilities of having a Universal Basic Income. It was caused by three things colliding simultaneously (a very rare feat, even in physics): the idea of a universal basic income, the feminist idea of a wage for “homemakers,” and a smattering of conservative family values.

As you may recall, conservatives have this ideal family meme that appears to be out of the 1950’s. Mom and Dad live with their two children, a boy and girl, in a lovely home with green grass and a white picket fence defining its perimeter. Dad goes to work, Mom stays at home, raising the kids and caring for the home and Dad. They go, of course, to a protestant church and the kids attend good schools and all is well.

This ideal had a massive dent put in it during the reign of … wait for it … President Ronald Regan. It wasn’t exactly his fault, but Presidents get more of the credit and so get more of the blame, so that principle applies. The lifestyle of middle class Americans had become so eroded and RR had increased taxes enough on everyone (to pay for the tax cuts for the rich)—many people forget about Reagan’s massive tax increases, especially in payroll taxes (which do not affect the wealthy much)—that many “homemakers” found themselves in the workforce and no longer “at home moms.”

Feminists, on the other hand, showed us that women were trapped in this model family, in a role of caretaker for husband and children, with little power over their own lives and family directions. (Studies showed that as women earned more and more money starting in the Reagan years, they had more and more say over the family money.)

So, if conservatives really wanted to support their so-called “family values” (that is, were that support not a scam), why not give all women who have “under 18” children at home, a Universal Basic Income? This would recognize important work the government, that is all of the people, want done well—raising the next generation of citizens. It would clear a lot of people out of the job markets who really would rather not work (at least during this time), which would expand employment opportunities for other people. It would provide for the possibility of the better raising of kids, and it would reduce the wear and tear on mothers, eliminating their need to work, while allowing them to work if they wish but not requiring them to work, if they wish.

This would be “universal” only in that it would apply to all mothers.

And, yes, I can hear the conservative’s heads exploding that such a system would incentivize the lazy and shiftless to keep popping out babies in order to continue on the dole. Obviously, some standards of care for children need to be applied to avoid obvious abuse, but such situations would be rare, very rare, and the idea itself is colored by the imaginations of conservatives, because when they think of such hypothetical people, they are invariably black or brown. They will need to get over this and come up with useful ways to avoid having children abused for economic gain, something conservatives reserve for their charter schools.

Make it work, people! You can do it!


  1. If everyone had a universal income, there’d be no need for “abuse” and “takers on the dole”. Also, when you compare the rate of crime vis a vis getting money they clearly didn’t earn, the rich have it hands down. See Madoff, Enron, Congress, politicians in general, insurance companies, etc. [Google is your friend for you Libertarian wet dreamers out there]
    I’d forgo the universal income for a maximum wage cap. Image a world where the most you could make would be, say, 75K.


    Comment by persedeplume — January 7, 2017 @ 8:55 am | Reply

    • Yeah, those hedge fund managers making $500,000 *an hour*, would weep in their Perrier.

      On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 8:55 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 7, 2017 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  2. Isn’t this what is called a “paid maternity leave”? 🙂
    Other countries have that, from several months to several years, and it sounds like you just want it to apply for 18 year instead of one or two, and to every mother whether or not she had a job before giving birth.


    Comment by List of X — January 7, 2017 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

    • Shush, they may not notice. Yes, it is that, just extended to cover 18 years or so as needed.

      On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 12:23 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 7, 2017 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  3. And I was going to comment on your original universal basic income post, but just leave it here – I’m intrigued by the idea and see a lot of upsides and downsides, so I hope Finland goes through with it just so we see how it would work. Finland will probably get about of generation worth of data by the time the US gets to even considering the UBI idea seriously – after all, we haven’t gotten even to the universal health care yet.


    Comment by List of X — January 7, 2017 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

    • Yeah, it is pathetic. We spend 2X more than all other countries, except Germany, per capita on health care, but our health care outcomes are far worse. If anyone applied business sense to this they would say they were paying for a service that under performs, but I guess there aren’t any politicians who want to apply sound business practices to government anymore.

      On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 12:29 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — January 7, 2017 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

      • I guess there aren’t any politicians who want to apply sound business practices to government anymore.

        Isn’t that what his supporters think tRump will do? After all, he’s a “successful” businessman.


        Comment by Nan — January 7, 2017 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

        • I hear people claim to do this from time to time but nothing they do suggests they are actually doing that or are committed to doing things that way. As usual, this is just a smoke screen providing cover for doing what they want to do.

          On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



          Comment by Steve Ruis — January 7, 2017 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  4. hmm…interesting perspective…kinda cool.


    Comment by TheChattyIntrovert — March 6, 2017 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

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