Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To Celebrate Father's Day, Let's Bash Fathers

At least, that is the gist of this article from MSNBC/Today:
What would you value more? Mom cooking dinner for the family, or Dad killing a spider in Junior’s room?

While women are still dealing with the gender wage gap at work, when it comes to the unpaid work moms do at home, their imaginary paychecks would be bigger than those of their husbands.

As Father’s Day approaches this weekend, it’s time to take stock of what dads do for their families beyond just bringing home a paycheck. Alas, the household chores they tend to do aren't worth as much as the sweat equity moms put in at home year round, according to two recent reports. calculated what they deemed to be daddy duties, including things such as barbecuing, killing bugs and mowing the lawn. The study found the domestic tasks would total about $20,248 a year if they were paid work. That compared to $60,182 annually for moms for doing things such as cooking, cleaning and nursing wounds. The value of the work was based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for how much similar jobs out in the real work world would pay.
 Here is's valuation of father's work, and the valuation of mother's work.

There are some basic economic flaws with the study, the most basic of which is not what the value of the work is in the workplace on average, but what it is worth to the person. In most households, if the father or mother aren't around because of death or divorce, the remaining parent is not going out to hire someone to do the task, but do it him- or herself. Similarly, many of the tasks should not be measured by hourly rate, but on a transactional basis because that is how you would most likely pay for it in the real world. In that case, the cost of killing a spider (a call to an exterminator), fixing a leaky faucet (a call to plumber), or fixing the car (taking it in to be repaired by a mechanic) are far higher than a per hourly wage an exterminator, plumber, or mechanic makes.

The study also fails to consider the psychological, emotional and other intangible benefits provided by good fathers. What should we compare that against? Years of counseling and medications, children that perform less well in school, higher incidents of drug abuse and crime in children from homes without fathers, etc.

In short, this is just the same man-hating crap the media has been spewing for years.

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