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Friday, May 05, 2006

When women stay home, wealth increases

From David Frum's diary:

Here's a phenomenon social scientists just cannot explain. In the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta, personal incomes have been soaring as a booming economy drives down unemployment. And yet as the incomes of male workers rise, more and more women with children seem to be ... staying home with the kids. How to explain this baffling phenemonon? Here's Canada's Globe and Mail:

"The working women of the province are disappearing, just as the province's superheated economy is becoming increasingly short-handed. Unemployment has fallen to unimaginably low levels, and help-wanted signs plaster the windows of retail businesses throughout the province. Businesses are scouring Alberta, indeed the entire country, for workers, going so far as to launch recruiting drives in prisons.

"And while that desperate search goes on, women such as Ms. Carvey are turning away from work to become not-so-desperate housewives. Ten years ago, Alberta had nearly the highest proportion of working women (or women looking for work) with daycare-age children and a spouse, second only to Prince Edward Island.

Supply and demand... price always comes down to supply and demand. Needless to say, Alberta has prospered, much to the mystification of the equalitarians.

"Personal incomes have soared since the mid-1990s, with Alberta leapfrogging Ontario to sit 15 per cent above the national average.... And here emerges another paradox: Alberta's prosperity might have given some families the means to live on a single income."

It's not a paradox, economically illiterate morons! It's utterly predictable. And as for worries about future workers, you'd think Europe's example would serve to demonstrate that it is much better to have a woman home with three children rather than working herself with one child in day care and importing a Mexican to make up the difference.

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