Modern Americans have been told that in order to do
as well, economically, as their parents, both the husband and wife
must work. I believe the following table will show other wise.
The Two Income Trap is a book written by two politically
liberal women (a mother and daughter) whose research demonstrates
that on average, families where both the husband and wife work are
worse off financially than their counter parts from 30 years ago.
They also discovered that a modern dual income
family, contrary to popular belief, is actually more likely to go
bankrupt than a single income family. The reason why is dual
income families live off both incomes in order to make house
payments and car payments. Then, when one person is laid off
and cannot find work that pays the same income as before, it is
impossible to make up the difference with the other spouses income. But in a single income
family the wife can go to work in an emergency and make up the
shortfall in income until the husband is able to find work paying
the same as before.
It's interesting to see the facts support the
teaching of the scriptures, i.e. fathers
should work outside the
home and mothers work inside the home. In their book they
discuss the reasons why modern Americans feel the need for both
spouses to work. One of the primary reasons is the felt need
to buy a house in a good school district. Since everyone else
also feels this need housing costs go up forcing
average families to send both spouses to work. (I
suggest this is yet another reason why Christians should home school
When we consider that The Two Income Trap was
written by two liberal females, I find it interesting that they
consider our modern dual income family system to be worse than the
old single income father works/mother stays home system, especially
when it has been the liberals pushing the dual income agenda.
However, in fairness to the authors, their conclusions and
prescriptions for solving the problems they discovered are straight
out of the liberal play book. They want bigger government in
the form of subsidized day care, more money for schools (as if the
public schools don't have enough already) and more regulation of lending
institutions. Maybe you find that attractive, I hope not.
Our Founding Fathers established this country trying to escape
bigger government. They had good scriptural reasons, much like
the prophet Samuel who protested against the nation of Israel's
desire for bigger government (a king), to which God replied, "
they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I
should not reign over them."
Look at the table below. It should be
obvious that a modern family can live as well as one from 30 years
ago. You will have to live with only one new automobile just
like our parents did. But you will not have to pay day care
bills, a definite plus. You will have to live in an area where
housing costs are reduced which probably won't be in the best school
district but if you home school this will not be an issue.
Elder James Taylor
|Typical Budget, Four Person Family
||Single-income Family, early
1970's (Inflation Adjusted)
||Dual -income Family, early
|Total Family Income
|Tax Rate (% of income: local, state and federal)
|Major Fixed Expenses
|Day care (7-year-old)
|Automobile: Car 1 (Purchase, upkeep, insurance)
|Automobile Car 2
|Total fixed expenses
|Discretionary income (food, clothes, utilities, extras,
|Elizabeth Warren & Amelia Warren Tyagi, The
Two Income Trap (NewYork: Basic Books, 2003), p208.