Thursday, May 11, 2006

US Mother's Deserve $134,121 in Salary


I'm probably going to lose a lot of the mothers in our fan base for posting something in response to this, but the failure of many mothers in two jobs that "comprise of the mother’s role" are so astounding that they merit some sort of discussion.

To reach the projected pay figures, the survey calculated the earning power of the 10 jobs respondents said most closely comprise a mother's role — housekeeper, day-care teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive and psychologist.

The number of children on psychiatric drugs has tripled in the last 15 years and it doesn't seem to be slowing down. Given these numbers, a survey that factors in a mother's role as a “psychologist” is just glib. “You don’t even know what Ritalin is!” My main man Tom Cruise will back me on that point.

Moving right along to “Cook”…I was on the subway the other day and heard a mother speaking to her son about what was for dinner. The content was Subway Chronicles worthy, but I'm going to share it with you here. In response to her son asking her what they would eat for dinner, she responded “we’re gonna have burgers from the freezer, french fries and hot dogs.” I thought to myself, 'well you might as well serve him up a glass of hot dog water with ice cubes to go along with that nutritious meal.'

What ever happened to the Anthony Hamilton diet? Good ole cornbread, fish, and collard greens? I know this mother doesn't represent all mothers, but hot dogs and burgers!? Over the span of 25 years the prevalence of obesity among boys and girls (ages 6-11) has quadrupled. Obesity in children leaves them exposed to ailments and diseases that are unimaginable at such a tender age: diabetes, hypertension, orthopedic complications, psychosocial effects (that lead to more psychiatric medication), and sleep apnea (I know for a fact that offensive linemen in the NFL suffer from sleep apnea, but a six year old?!?!).

My frustration with this projected pay figure stems from its failure to mention that our children are more overweight and drugged up than children anywhere else in the world. To make matters worse, there are studies that suggest that our children might even be less intelligent.

Mothers don’t deserve a $134K salary; mothers earn that salary (and potentially more) when they do right by our children. Fathers, likewise, must do their part. Nine million children are overweight in this country and the action that will counter this crisis, the crisis of education, and the crisis of proliferating psychiatric drug prescriptions for children is action that must be taken as a family. And you can't put a projected price figure on that!


Brother Afrocan said...

Please pardon the return on the long-winded economic theorist but I would like to point out that you are only worth as much as someone (the market) is willing to pay you. I can make a persuasive argument that I am not worth the $XX I receive, but I sure suckered those fools into cutting that check!

Moving away from labor economics I think the people that should be paid the most are educators (parents, teachers) and doctors as they provide the most valuable services in a society.

That said returning to the crux of your points on the malaise that has befallen responsible parenthood and the proliferation of prescription drugs. All I can say is in thirty years as most of us move out of the primes of our lives we will look back at the changes we have witnessed in disbelief. I would not be shocked to learn that in 2036 all the medical/moral/sexual/sociological/etc... mores we once held are totally shattered. Medical science will rule every aspect of our lives and personalities, morality will be a myth- forget lamenting the decline of rap music, bestiality might even be legal by then. And everyone will laugh at the days when ADD was cured with a smack upside the head. Or maybe I just have an overly negative view of the future, but reading smartness blog I thought to myself, that WILL be the parenting model of the future, junk food will only become more prevalent and so will prescription drugs. In fact I think I am coming down with a case of restless leg syndrome (an actual condition if the FDA and pharmaceuticals are to be believed) it usually hits me on Friday afternoons when I cant wait to leave for the weekend. I think I need to buy a big expensive bottle of prescription medication to cure it.

Brother Lightness said...

Did Afrocan really just say "in 2036... morality will be a myth- forget lamenting the decline of rap music, bestiality might even be legal by then."?

I have no words.

jay said...

Most of what you are reacting to Mr.?/Br.?/...Your Smartness (far be it from me to assume familiarity) is a media manipulation of a very valid point for an upcoming commericial spending day. Mother's is around the corner so this was 'reported' as mother's getting cut cheques. But really this is a valid account of the curreny that 'care-work' has in today's economy. The suggestion being that whoever is doing this non-paid work ( be it mother, father, Uncle, GrandMa Sue) is actively contributing to the economy. Which I believe is something that is not discussed enough when we theorize about Labour markets.
As far as people doing their jobs would argue that the trick to getting a pay cheque is not about actually performing well, but convincing people of your propensity to make some effort. IBs lose money every day, GW is an idiot, the due that wrapped my burger at BK put the bun on backwards... Though excellence is valued in hte labour market. The majority of the with a 9-5 don't get paid to do well, which is why JLo has made a killing off being 'not that bad' of an entertainer. More to your example, if the being a 'good' psychiatrist meant that these children would not be taking medication to improve their behaviour, then these children are not the result of bad mothering, but bad doctoring.

Tangents aside, I wanted to point out that for every recital my mother ever missed and every time she scolded me for only coming second in a class of 39, any kind of physical and psychological abuse I've suffered at her hands for the last twenty odd years. I still shelled out 200 smackers for the 1800flowers, because good she does is indeed undervalued.

Brother Smartness said...

brother afrocan,

You never cease to amaze me. I strongly believe that some of the norms we are comfortable with now will do a buck eighty in the next few decades.


You and afrocan raised a good point about people today not actually being worth their salary, but I think we step into an entirely different realm of discussion when talk about the importance of having a mother or father do their job correctly during the formative years of an individual.

Though my post might appear to be knocking mothers, I do know there are a lot of good mothers out there, like your own, and they all deserve our praise and love for what they do, especially with mother's day coming up. But now more than ever, there are too many kids out there who need attention and love when it comes to their spiritual, bodily, and intellectual nourishment.

Brother Afrocan said...

Lightness I did not mean to scandalize you with my take, I apologize for doing so.

That said, there was a time when masturbation was frowned upon, then it became cool as long as you only had sex within marriage, then sex outside marriage become cool as long as it was hetero, then homosexuality became cool as long as you are not married, well MA where I live are cool with marriage so saying beastiality is not such a stretch since there are a number of people that do it, sooner or later their rights will have to be recognized. Disclaimer though!- I pass no judgements on people based on their sexual inclinations, I dont think it determines the content of your character. So please dont label me homophobic or beastiophobic.

You can follow the same slippery slope of liberal morals on everything from drug usage, age of first sexual experience (Daytime talk show host Maury had a show on how rampant giving head is among 12 and 13 yr olds who think its cool as long as its not intercourse), rate of prescription drug use. Although we are also seeing a growing backlash from the christian right and uber-conservatives, but I think they will ultimately lose as they do not control the media and the media is a very powerful engine of education. I am sorry to say, I first learnt about sex, foul language and drug usage from music and movies when I was under 10, way before my parents started talking about it to me.

Anonymous said...

I must say I was a bit surprised at this post and the comments about it. I guess I just got lucky, but I don't think the pittiful sum suggested for a mother's yearly salary would even come close to what my mother would deserve. I always thought that if I ever became sucessful in monetary gain, I would contribute a good percentage to my mother. She made mistakes, but her sucesses overwhelmed them by far. I know there are some really poor examples of mothers out there, who likely didn't have the role model I had, but a good one is worth her weight in gold plus whatever else she wants. Unfortunately, these mothers are the silent, unseen and unvalued of our culture and don't stand up for themselves becasue they are too busy doing their job. Perhaps the proposed salary placed on motherhood is intended, as all salaries are, to apply only to the ones you would hire? There are a lot of mothers I wouldn't (if such a thing were a choice). But if I had it to do over again, and I could affoard it, I'd hire mine again for sure!