Author Topic: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!  (Read 15082 times)

LalsConstant

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I shouldn't have to make such a ridiculous disclaimer, but this is the internet, land of a lack of body language, inflection and tone, where everyone is just constantly looking to be offended (or so it seems).

It shocks a lot of people to learn I used to be a child.  In fact, I even had parents.  I'm not inherently opposed to parents or children.  Other than the Universal Forced Infertility Society and Child Defamation League, I'm not sure who is.

But this is ludicrous.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/03/tax_credits_and_children_parents_should_pay_lower_taxes_and_childless_people.html

Quote
Yet it is also true that we’ve stacked the deck against parents in all kinds of ways. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that raising a child born in 2012 will cost a middle-income family a cumulative total of $301,970 over 18 years. As high as this number sounds, it is actually a massive understatement, as it fails to take into account the cost of postsecondary education. It also fails to factor in the value of forgone earnings and career opportunities. While nonparents can focus on their jobs in laserlike fashion, parents are rarely in a position to do the same. Every time a sick child keeps a parent home from work, her earnings suffer, either directly, because she’s taking an unpaid leave of absence, or indirectly, because she’s missing out on opportunities to climb the corporate ladder.

Even when we compare a nonparent and a parent who are working exactly the same hours and earning exactly the same income, the nonparent has a clear leg up. Most obviously, the nonparent has far more disposable income to play with, which she can save, to become much richer than her parent counterpart over time, or spend, to travel to exotic locales, to eat out constantly, to wear awesome clothes, or to live as I do in a conveniently located shoebox in a great American metropolis. Raising taxes on nonparents could even the score a bit, tilting the balance ever so slightly in favor of those who toil on behalf of America’s future workforce by wiping their butts and painstakingly removing their head lice.

Well first of all, why is this Antimustachian?  The idea that parents are a financially helpless victimized group just chaps my backside.  I believe this is a prime example of the complainypants syndrome.

He even comes out and says it right there, people with children can't save!  My parents would like a word with him.

I could pick apart specific statements and how he isn't consistent with his own beliefs and all that, but that's really what it boils down to, let's wring our hands and cry for others to save us rather than you know actually deal with a life challenge that millions of people deal with just fine every day without this clown's goofy proposals helping them.

People ought to bear the actual costs and consequences of their choices, it's transferring those consequences and costs onto others that leads to irrational, socially destructive behaviors.  Has the author never considered the fact that it's the poorest, least advantaged people who have huge litters of children because our existing system creates perverse incentives to do so?  And he wants to tilt the table even further?

Being a parent is strictly optional, it's no different than any other decision from a purely financial perspective.  Look responsible parents reading this, I actually do have a lot of personal respect for responsible hard working parents.  But as you so consistently point out (and correctly so) they're your children.  Rights come with responsibilities.

I'm not saying you'll never get any help from me, it's just it's going to have to be something I personally agree with is all.

The financial nonsense here is pretty bad too, the $300k figure is highly questionable, as is the notion that transferring income from non parents to parents benefits children.  I've known way too many divorced people paying child support to believe that it or anything roughly resembling it actually helps the kids.

hedonismFTW

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 07:50:45 AM »
Lals, I completely agree with what you said. This just makes my blood boil, especially the total disregard for giving people the wrong incentives.

Yes, raising children is expensive. Yes, you will probably not have the extra income to "spend, to travel to exotic locales, to eat out constantly, to wear awesome clothes, or to live as I do in a conveniently located shoebox in a great American metropolis." GUESS WHAT, you chose to spend that on (a) child(ren)! Just like if you chose to own a boat or a pet, you have to accept there will be less money for other things!

I love how the poster acknowledges that we still hold parents in high esteem, but claims that it's unfair that they have to sacrifice their career for their child. I suppose they've never had a boss decide that YOU, the childfree worker, can certainly work overtime because you 'have no family,' and how no, YOU don't need that vacation as much as little Johnny's parents need to take off to see their child's play. The unfairness goes both ways.

I'm not trying to be completely anti-child here, but seriously, childfree people already pay taxes that go directly to children's education, health, and environment. This type of tax would just encourage people to have children for the wrong reasons.

Also, gotta love the need to pay for "postsecondary education." I know quite a few mustachians do want to save up for this, but MMM himself has often pointed out that this shouldn't really be necessary when a child can help to save themselves, and choose their college based on affordability (hey, kind of like the parents should have when they thought about HAVING kids!)

/endrant

windawake

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 08:01:27 AM »
Yuck I couldn't even read the article, it's too horrifying. I totally agree with your points Lals. Everyone makes choices, and children are just another choice. I have no idea if I'll have any, but if I did I would be choosing to give up certain freedoms in order to have them.

Also, I don't think raising a child should cost $300k if you're a Mustachian. If you make responsible choices, this can be a much lower number. I hate the idea that nonparents who are making below median income should be taxed more to support parents making well above median income. It's not righting an injustice, it's creating one.

thefinancialstudent

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 08:13:02 AM »
Wow.

Quote
Most obviously, the nonparent has far more disposable income to play with, which she can save, to become much richer than her parent counterpart over time, or spend, to travel to exotic locales, to eat out constantly, to wear awesome clothes,

There are these things called "choices" and "responsibilities". Whether you purposely or accidentally have children, you're not entitled to the same lifestyle non-parents are. You have an obligation. You don't get a handout so you can travel and eat out!

Existing tax policy already gives parents a break. Child care tax deduction, child tax credit (or deduction? I forget which), etc.

The career argument is nuts. I'm all in favor of more flexible working conditions for parents and non-parents alike, but if you want to climb the corporate ladder as high as you can, you need to be prepared to make some sacrifices. That may include not having kids or acknowledging that you won't be attending many PTA meetings.

The knife cuts both ways. When I worked a crappy retail job in high school, there was a woman who NEVER worked any Saturdays for around 3 months because her child's softball games were that day. This accommodation was never given a second thought. Anyone think a retail store would have been fine with me, an 18 year old childless guy, taking off every Saturday?

Maigahane

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 08:21:48 AM »
I didn't read the article but childess people already pay more taxes than parents. They get an extra $3900 deduction for each kid plus a $1000 child tax credit per kid for the first 16 years. And hell, if you're low enough income you can get EIC to the tune of a few thousand a year (also possible without kids but you have to be MUCH lower income to qualify)

MgoSam

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 08:54:23 AM »
I didn't read the article but childess people already pay more taxes than parents. They get an extra $3900 deduction for each kid plus a $1000 child tax credit per kid for the first 16 years. And hell, if you're low enough income you can get EIC to the tune of a few thousand a year (also possible without kids but you have to be MUCH lower income to qualify)

THIS! Not to mention that many of us "childless" as the writer so aply puts it also pay property taxes which go, among many other things, towards public schools, school in which we have no children that we are attending. This writer has his head up his ass. I understand the notion that those without kid are indirectly subsizing the taxes for those that do have kids, but I hate how people like this writer think of parents are victims, seriously grow up.

AJ

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 09:29:33 AM »
Gross. I don't want to click the link and increase the page views of the article, but the idea is ridiculous. I plan to have kids, and I know what I'm giving up to do so. I have friends who plan to remain child-free and travel and play their whole lives - and good for them. I would never begrudge them that.

It makes me think that some people chose to become parents because "that's what you do" and are now jealous that child-free folks picked a different path. For DH and I, kids are a deliberate choice. We know we could stay DINKS forever, and we know what it will cost us to raise a family - both financially and in terms of career. I think because we have weighed the pros and cons, it is easier to accept the consequences of our choice. But for people who just went through their life by society's script, to suddenly realize that you didn't "have to" breed, and that others are "getting away with" living the carefree life, there may be a "but that's not fair!" feeling at play.

GuitarStv

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 09:41:50 AM »
I think that there are a lot of people getting riled up about an article without reading it.  Forming an opinion without bothering to look at the topic of discussion is a sad blow to reason.

Having a child is a choice, absolutely agree on this point.

The question in the article though is really about whether or not it is incentivized enough.  Without children and constant population expansion, our society as it functions right now doesn't work.  This isn't anti-mustachian, but really a question of societal values and your perception of our current population growth.

While it may be possible to raise a child on less than 300 grand, there do exist some pretty huge financial reasons not to have kids.  The author didn't claim that "parents are a financially helpless victimized group", just pointed out some of the reasons that exist to not have kids.




FTR, I'm a parent and don't believe that additional tax support is necessary.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 09:42:52 AM »
These articles are like trolls, breeding controversy in a hunger for clicks.

Let's starve them of oxygen (attention) and they'll stop paying writers to churn out such garbage.

brand new stash

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 09:45:35 AM »
Kids are expensive...even if you are frugal they are frighteningly expensive.  By far the least mustachian thing I've ever done is have my three kids.   But I knew that going in, and I'm extremely happy with the decisions I've made to have kids. 

But I agree with the article to a point.   Imagine two mustachian households both with a household income of $50,000.  One is a single adult.  The second is an adult and a child.    With mustachian principals both are doing just fine, saving, etc.  But even taking into account tax deductions, there is no doubt in my mind the first one is much richer and has much lower costs than the second

Maybe we are ok with that as a society.  But we incentivize a lot of things with our tax code, and I don't think it is particularly unmustachian to increase the existing child incentives to counter the financial disincentives.

skyrefuge

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 10:00:21 AM »
I was 95% sure that this was an April Fool's joke, since I recognized the author (Reihan Salam) to be a "conservative commentator". And the last thing conservatives want to do is hand out gifts to all those welfare queens popping out babies. So, wouldn't it be ha ha ha funny for a conservative to mockingly make the same proposal that those dirty liberals actually make sincerely? LOLOL, April Fools!

Except.

Wikipedia tells me that he wrote a book "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream". It calls for the Republican Party to change by "vigorously serving the interests of the less affluent voters who had become the party's base. The platform would include 'an economic policy that places the two-parent family--the institution best capable of providing cultural stability and economic security--at the heart of the GOP agenda.'" (emphasis added)

In other words: "a large part of our Republican voting base is currently voting against their own interests for some reason. That's awesome, but to remove any risk of them ever wising up, let's just give those poor baby-makers even more handouts to ensure they remain on our team. Who cares if that's in total conflict with standard Republican/conservative economic rhetoric, all that matters is that our team wins!"

That's about the most shameful form of politics that there is, but on the bright side, at least I know never to waste time reading anything from Reihan Salam again.

skyrefuge

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 10:13:45 AM »
The question in the article though is really about whether or not it is incentivized enough.  Without children and constant population expansion, our society as it functions right now doesn't work.  This isn't anti-mustachian, but really a question of societal values and your perception of our current population growth.

I read the article, and I didn't see a single fact in there discussing current population growth in the US, projections for future growth, or the projected economic effects of such demographic changes.

On the other hand, he spends the last two paragraphs carefully breaking down which voters such a tax change would piss off, and which it would win over to his team.

If he had laid out the case that demographic trends are going to cause economic catastrophe ahead, and then suggested this tax change as a solution to change the demographic trend, that would be totally cool. Instead, the idea is clearly proposed to solve the much more banal issue of "how can we get more people to vote for Republicans?"

frugalecon

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 10:23:03 AM »
Three comments:

1. The childless will not have, er, children to help in their care in old age. Therefore, they may need to plan for additional costs. Just looking at the "cost" side of the ledger does not necessarily tell the whole story.

2. If we think that many environmental problems are tied to high population, then you could say that children create negative externalities, and their production should not be further subsidized.

3. Putting higher taxes on the childless will lower their incentive to earn income...potentially resulting in less wealth overall. It is dicey to assume that the behavior of the childless would not change in response to the policy.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 10:23:43 AM »
We need more smart kids but we don't really need more below average kids.

How can we keep people from having excess children that they cannot support or devote their parenting skills?

SwordGuy

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 10:36:39 AM »
The child raising numbers are ludicrous.

18 years * median family income of $60,000 = $1,080,000 in income.

median 2.2 children * $310,000 per child = $682,000 spent on child care per median family over 18 years.  (We'll ignore staggered births.)

That means that 63% of the family's income was consumed by those children. 

That's ludicrous.  No one needs to do that.


Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 10:40:16 AM »
The child raising numbers are ludicrous.

18 years * median family income of $60,000 = $1,080,000 in income.

median 2.2 children * $310,000 per child = $682,000 spent on child care per median family over 18 years.  (We'll ignore staggered births.)

That means that 63% of the family's income was consumed by those children. 

That's ludicrous.  No one needs to do that.

Do you even realize how much those two seat strollers with stereo system and dual latte cup holders cost?  You know, the ones that take up the entire sidewalk?

LucyBIT

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 10:58:01 AM »
Tax code? How about mandatory parental leave like the rest of the "civilized" world?

smalllife

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 11:00:27 AM »
Tax code? How about mandatory parental leave like the rest of the "civilized" world?

Only if those without children get the same amount of "personal growth" time . .  you choose to have a kid, maybe we want that same amount of time to choose to climb a mountain, etc.  or tackle some other life goal outside the office.   I'm all for expanded mandatory minimums on paid time off, but not if it is under the guise of "parental leave" where companies can discriminate the childless because it's not "for the kids".
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Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2014, 11:02:07 AM »
Tax code? How about mandatory parental leave like the rest of the "civilized" world?

You mean ski/fishing vacation?  That is what the guys at our office do when they get the 3 month paternity leave.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2014, 11:14:39 AM »
I was 95% sure that this was an April Fool's joke, since I recognized the author (Reihan Salam) to be a "conservative commentator".

Me too!!! I was so ready to mock the shit out of all of you for falling for it :) until I clicked through and saw it was posted Monday. WTF.

If he had laid out the case that demographic trends are going to cause economic catastrophe ahead, and then suggested this tax change as a solution to change the demographic trend, that would be totally cool. Instead, the idea is clearly proposed to solve the much more banal issue of "how can we get more people to vote for Republicans?"

agreed. I don't think the societal benefit is that obvious.

Personally, I think improved parental leave policies would be great, even if they are "unfair" to those who don't have kids. maybe I am biased because I do plan on having kids, but there you have it.

Tax code? How about mandatory parental leave like the rest of the "civilized" world?

You mean ski/fishing vacation?  That is what the guys at our office do when they get the 3 month paternity leave.

So just because those guys are dicks, we shouldn't offer the benefit to anyone? By that logic let's just get rid of all social welfare programs because it's a fact that occasionally people scam the system. (yes I know some people do argue this, but I disagree vehemently)

CommonCents

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 11:32:36 AM »
We need more smart kids but we don't really need more below average kids.

lol, that was my thought on reading the article - it reminded me of idiocracy.
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frugalparagon

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 11:46:24 AM »
I'm going to take a different tack here. No, I do not support higher taxes for the childless beyond what already exists. (That child tax credit saved me a lot of $$ this year AND we got the EITC.)

I just want to say that many people who don't have children deride those of us who do as "breeders" and complain about the existence of children* and it is refreshing to see a childless person speaking up for us breeders. His heart's in the right place.

* even well-behaved ones. I will give people a pass for complaining about poorly supervised bratty ones.
I blog about Mustachianism during the child-raising years at frugalparagon.com.

Jamesqf

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 11:48:35 AM »
The question in the article though is really about whether or not it is incentivized enough.  Without children and constant population expansion, our society as it functions right now doesn't work.  This isn't anti-mustachian, but really a question of societal values and your perception of our current population growth.

This may be a case of the author's politics blinding him to the real world.  It ought to be pretty obvious that the population can't keep growing forever, and arguable that it's already too high to sustain for much longer.  So if current society doesn't function without continual growth, then society must either change or die.

So just because those guys are dicks, we shouldn't offer the benefit to anyone?

Why does taking a 3 month ski/fishing vacation make one a dick?  (FTM, wouldn't that make the whole ER community into dicks?)  Now maybe you'd say that they ought to be sensitive New Age types and stay home with the kid, but that seems like something that should be decided between spouses.

MgoSam

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2014, 12:04:03 PM »

Why does taking a 3 month ski/fishing vacation make one a dick?  (FTM, wouldn't that make the whole ER community into dicks?)  Now maybe you'd say that they ought to be sensitive New Age types and stay home with the kid, but that seems like something that should be decided between spouses.

THIS! Though I do feel that a guy should be there for a children it isn't my place to dictate that they do so. I think that using paternal leave for a personal vacation isn't right because it is a federal mandate that can cause a burden on workplaces designed to help families have a child, and not an opportunity to go golfing in the winter. The same goes for taking leave because your mother is fatally ill and then using it as an opportunity to backpack Europe. But so long as it is allowed I suppose people are free to do so.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2014, 12:47:36 PM »

Why does taking a 3 month ski/fishing vacation make one a dick?  (FTM, wouldn't that make the whole ER community into dicks?)  Now maybe you'd say that they ought to be sensitive New Age types and stay home with the kid, but that seems like something that should be decided between spouses.

THIS! Though I do feel that a guy should be there for a children it isn't my place to dictate that they do so. I think that using paternal leave for a personal vacation isn't right because it is a federal mandate that can cause a burden on workplaces designed to help families have a child, and not an opportunity to go golfing in the winter. The same goes for taking leave because your mother is fatally ill and then using it as an opportunity to backpack Europe. But so long as it is allowed I suppose people are free to do so.

basically, the sentences in bold. I think it is shitty to take leave that is designated for a certain purpose (that involves helping family members and/or being ill oneself) and use it for something else "fun". they're free to do so, but I am free to have the opinion that it's a dickish thing to do.

I also don't think that staying home with your wife and kid makes you a "sensitive New Age type"... in fact I'd say the whole point of paternity leave is so you can bond with your kid and/or help your wife with it. maybe there could be an option for the real "traditional manly men" to decline paternity leave? ;)

smalllife

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2014, 12:50:26 PM »
It might be dickish to use the as-currently-designed FMLA for "fun", but why limit "personal leave" requirements to having children? 
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rocksinmyhead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2014, 12:51:41 PM »
It might be dickish to use the as-currently-designed FMLA for "fun", but why limit "personal leave" requirements to having children?

hmm. this is an interesting and very valid question... I will have to ponder why I feel the way I do about this if I'm so against the "taxing the childless" idea.

quilter

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2014, 01:07:12 PM »
I was 95% sure that this was an April Fool's joke, since I recognized the author (Reihan Salam) to be a "conservative commentator". And the last thing conservatives want to do is hand out gifts to all those welfare queens popping out babies.


I suggest you read up on the whole welfare queen myth. Look up the Ronald Reagan story about it. Welfare cash benefits is limited in your lifetime no matter how many kids you have.  And unless you are a big cheater, welfare moms are poor and have the kind of live few of us would even think,is remotely desirable.

Yes, there are plenty of ways the childless support those who have children. School taxes, no deductions, health insurance ( those with kids pay little more for way more insurance use) and as many have pointed out, the times in the workplace when those with children are accommodated at the expenses of the childless.  But in a civilized society you have to suck it up sometimes. But the article goes too far. Limit your kids, stay off the consumer train, and save extra before and after the child rearing years.

skyrefuge

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2014, 01:26:04 PM »
I was 95% sure that this was an April Fool's joke, since I recognized the author (Reihan Salam) to be a "conservative commentator". And the last thing conservatives want to do is hand out gifts to all those welfare queens popping out babies.

I suggest you read up on the whole welfare queen myth.

I was speaking in the voice of a Republican political hack there, not my own voice. Sorry for not making that clearer.

hybrid

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2014, 01:39:47 PM »
A few points and maybe no answers, but observations all the same.

Someone has to have kids for society to go on and having raised two to adulthood, one can debate the costs to no end but be assured of this. It is really damned expensive in the First World to raise a couple of kids even with the elderly and childless pitching in (however grudgingly) for schools and/or paying higher taxes. So much so that people aren't having as many children in the First World as they once did and populations are going to start declining in the near future (with all the positives and negatives that go with that) as the birth rate is well below 2.1 (the break even level) in much of the developed world.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html 

The birth rate in Canada is 1.59 now, a full half point below the number needed to float the current population. A smaller population in the long run may be a very good thing, but if the dropoff is too dramatic there are a lot of consequences that come with that. Don't be surprised if those tax incentives become more, not less, pronounced if America (at 2.01 and falling) starts going down the same path.

Damn there is a lot of whineypants in this thread about how supposedly good the breeders have it. Walk a mile in our shoes (or better, change a few thousand diapers) and you may change your tune a bit. It's very true that the non-breeders (especially women) can throw themselves at their careers to a greater extent, which often more than offsets the tax disadvantages over time. Frankly, from my side of the fence non-breeders disadvantages seem trivial by comparison. Non-breeders higher taxes are laughable compared to the costs and sacrifices of raising kids.

Someone has to raise kids for society to endure, and if you chose not to, a little more compassion please for those of us that did (oh, and realize not every pregnancy is planned!). Because an easy path it ain't. Maybe we voluntarily chose that path, but understand we damn sure didn't choose it for the tax perks and eight weeks of maternity leave. All those do is ease the burden a bit. 
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smalllife

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2014, 01:56:44 PM »
people aren't having as many children in the First World as they once did and populations are going to start declining in the near future (with all the positives and negatives that go with that) as the birth rate is well below 2.1 (the break even level) in much of the developed world.

I just wanted to point out that this coincides with access to birth control and women having other options . . . parenting is certainly expensive, but I think there are bigger contributing factors to the decline in birth rate.  Parenthood used to be the ONLY option, which certainly skews the data.  This is completely separate from whether one thinks a declining birth rate is positive or negative.
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AlanStache

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2014, 02:01:19 PM »
I use to read Slate, have not in some time now.  Was probably a good call.

Also did the writer use the feminine in the entire article?  As in "she sacrifices" and not "parents sacrifice".

@hybird: wrt Canada, is immigration filling the birth rate gap?  What about in the US?

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hybrid

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2014, 02:14:02 PM »
I use to read Slate, have not in some time now.  Was probably a good call.

Also did the writer use the feminine in the entire article?  As in "she sacrifices" and not "parents sacrifice".

@hybird: wrt Canada, is immigration filling the birth rate gap?  What about in the US?

I have read in a few places that were it not for immigration (as most immigrants are Latino, younger, and Catholic), the birth rate in the US would already be significantly lower. The younger Latino community is in fact helping keep the number where it is.

Compare and contrast to China (1.55), Japan (1.40), Germany (1.43) and Italy (1.42).  The US and France are in fact outliers compared to most of the industrialized world.
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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2014, 02:39:44 PM »
Personally, I think improved parental leave policies would be great, even if they are "unfair" to those who don't have kids. maybe I am biased because I do plan on having kids, but there you have it.
I think parental leave is great, and I'm biased against it because I plan not to have kids. (Also, if that plan does change, it will be long enough in the future that I might not still be working.) There's just very good economic and social reasons to support parents to take time off work to look after a baby - and they don't apply to giving time off work for people to go fishing or climb mountains. Everyone benefits when children are raised well and cared for. That said, I think it should be paid for by the government, not employers, but then whether it's linked to the parents' income or not, there are problems either way.

Parents literally create the next generation of people who will work for you; and they put a lot of effort into doing so. Parents: I know you weren't thinking about me when you make the decision to raise the architects and engineers who might design and build my house, or the doctors who might look after me, for example, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2014, 02:52:41 PM »
Someone has to raise kids for society to endure, and if you chose not to, a little more compassion please for those of us that did

Has any parent anywhere ever had "helping society to endure" or "mitigating the effects of demographic changes on the economy" in their top 100 list of reasons they had a kid?

If they have, then sure, I'll give 'em some sympathy for the unselfish sacrifice they made in order to help the rest of us out.

But I'm pretty sure that's never happened.

Devoting $65k of your resources to a new SUV isn't an easy path either, and while people doing so provides jobs and helps my stock portfolio grow, that's not why they bought one, so I ain't going to give 'em a pat on the back for doing a solid for the rest of society.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 11:08:07 AM by skyrefuge »

NumberCruncher

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2014, 02:53:54 PM »
The way this conversation has headed seems awfully familiar:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/continue-the-blog-conversation/is-overpopulation-really-a-problem/


I like the idea of paid parental leave, even though I'm in the "wow overpopulation" camp (when the worldwide total fertility rate is <2, then maybe we can talk about more incentives...) What sucks is when career growth has to be sacrificed to have children at all, or when all the childcare is more or less forced on the woman (in the case of hetero unions).

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2014, 03:02:58 PM »
Parents literally create the next generation of people who will work for you; and they put a lot of effort into doing so. Parents: I know you weren't thinking about me when you make the decision to raise the architects and engineers who might design and build my house, or the doctors who might look after me, for example, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

They also create the next generation of Adam Lanza.   We need proper parents not just throw money at people.  Perhaps along with giving parents more taxpayer money funded by childless taxpayers, we should do more to make sure the parents are fit to raise the kids properly.  I am not ok with the attitude of "give me money but stay out of my parenting business"

Gin1984

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2014, 03:07:03 PM »
The child raising numbers are ludicrous.

18 years * median family income of $60,000 = $1,080,000 in income.

median 2.2 children * $310,000 per child = $682,000 spent on child care per median family over 18 years.  (We'll ignore staggered births.)

That means that 63% of the family's income was consumed by those children. 

That's ludicrous.  No one needs to do that.
My daughter, because of her daycare costs 35% of my budget which does not even account for housing costs which they normally do (we bought looking a duplexes that were 2 or 3 bedroom so really the 3rd bedroom is not really because of her so I don't count it).  It is a choice I made, and don't expect anyone to help with it, but I am not surprised that you could add up to 63%.

Maigahane

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2014, 03:20:56 PM »
Damn there is a lot of whineypants in this thread about how supposedly good the breeders have it. Walk a mile in our shoes (or better, change a few thousand diapers) and you may change your tune a bit. It's very true that the non-breeders (especially women) can throw themselves at their careers to a greater extent, which often more than offsets the tax disadvantages over time. Frankly, from my side of the fence non-breeders disadvantages seem trivial by comparison. Non-breeders higher taxes are laughable compared to the costs and sacrifices of raising kids.
Maybe not a few thousand, but I have changed my share of diapers since I have 3 much younger siblings and that's actually why I don't want my own kids...been there done that :)

I also think paid parental leave is a great idea and should be expanded to include more fathers and I don't complain about my property taxes going to schools since I certainly prefer an educated population over the alternative. I just don't think parents need additional tax breaks because they have kids.

I just get annoyed because coming from a very poor rural area, I know quite a few people from hs that have kids even though they shouldn't be allowed to take care of a hamster. I hate subsidizing stupidity, which for many of those* people that's what I feel like we're doing with all the tax credits.

As for advancing careers: I think my view is probably skewed because my parents raised five kids while going to college and significantly advancing both of their careers. They went from dirt poor to debt free with $1M net worth while raising us. So to me it seems plenty doable (though I admitedly have not had to do it myself)

*To be clear, by "those people" I do mean the idiots that shouldn't even have hamsters, not "breeders" in general

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
The child raising numbers are ludicrous.

18 years * median family income of $60,000 = $1,080,000 in income.

median 2.2 children * $310,000 per child = $682,000 spent on child care per median family over 18 years.  (We'll ignore staggered births.)

That means that 63% of the family's income was consumed by those children. 

That's ludicrous.  No one needs to do that.
My daughter, because of her daycare costs 35% of my budget which does not even account for housing costs which they normally do (we bought looking a duplexes that were 2 or 3 bedroom so really the 3rd bedroom is not really because of her so I don't count it).  It is a choice I made, and don't expect anyone to help with it, but I am not surprised that you could add up to 63%.

No, ~60% of before-tax income is WAY too high for an average. The article is bogus.

I do plan on having kids.

thefinancialstudent

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2014, 03:32:19 PM »
Welfare cash benefits is limited in your lifetime no matter how many kids you have.  And unless you are a big cheater, welfare moms are poor and have the kind of live few of us would even think,is remotely desirable.

This is not completely accurate. There's a 60 month lifetime limit for cash benefits (TANF), but some states only limit the adult portion. It's completely possible to collect welfare based on your kids but not yourself. Same thing with Medicaid. You might not personally qualify, but your child might. And AFAIK, there's no time limit on food stamps. You can collect as long as your income and resources are low enough.

Eric

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2014, 04:00:16 PM »
Ahem, childfree please.  Childless makes it sound like it's some sort of punishment or something we're missing.  We're not missing anything.  We're happily childfree by choice.

(with apologies to those for which having no children was not a choice)
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LucyBIT

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2014, 04:52:40 PM »
FTR, I don't have any kids.

I pointed out parental leave because I find it ridiculous to hear conservatives screaming about 'family values' and 'supporting parents' when the US is the only non-developing country in the world without mandatory parental leave. It never even comes up as a topic of discussion, whether it's politicians or pundits.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2014, 04:57:10 PM »
Ahem, childfree please.  Childless makes it sound like it's some sort of punishment or something we're missing.  We're not missing anything.  We're happily childfree by choice.

(with apologies to those for which having no children was not a choice)

My wife refers to it as parasite free but I think childfree sounds more, ahem, polite.

thepokercab

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2014, 05:24:32 PM »
FTR, I don't have any kids.

I pointed out parental leave because I find it ridiculous to hear conservatives screaming about 'family values' and 'supporting parents' when the US is the only non-developing country in the world without mandatory parental leave. It never even comes up as a topic of discussion, whether it's politicians or pundits.

What!?!?  Didn't you see the Cadillac commercial?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGJSI48gkFc  Americans don't do French wussie things like take vacations, or take time off after having kids.  You pop that kid out and get back to WORK.

Now, put a halt to that Commie talk and go buy a Cadillac.   

Gin1984

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2014, 05:25:43 PM »
Ahem, childfree please.  Childless makes it sound like it's some sort of punishment or something we're missing.  We're not missing anything.  We're happily childfree by choice.

(with apologies to those for which having no children was not a choice)

My wife refers to it as parasite free but I think childfree sounds more, ahem, polite.
It is only a parasite when it is a fetus inside the mother, lol.  Afterwards you could try ectoparasite.

MgoSam

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2014, 05:59:54 PM »
Ahem, childfree please.  Childless makes it sound like it's some sort of punishment or something we're missing.  We're not missing anything.  We're happily childfree by choice.

(with apologies to those for which having no children was not a choice)

My wife refers to it as parasite free but I think childfree sounds more, ahem, polite.
It is only a parasite when it is a fetus inside the mother, lol.  Afterwards you could try ectoparasite.

Well according to this legislator, fetus is akin to a parasite.

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/24/virginia_republican_says_pregnant_women_are_hosts_even_if_some_people_refer_to_them_as_mothers/

And yes, I believe that childfree is a better descriptor, childless implies... well you get the message.

brewer12345

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2014, 06:32:44 PM »
The deck is heavily stacked against parents in favor of the childless.  Considering the large societal benefit provided by parents of furnishing the next generation, I am all for leveling the playing field and making it less punitive/onerous to have kids.  I don't have a lot of patience for Sen. Warren, but she pretty convincingly demonstrated that having kids is a really good predictor for going bankrupt. 
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Daleth

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2014, 06:34:43 PM »
Yuck I couldn't even read the article, it's too horrifying.

I've felt that way about all but one article I've read on Slate in the past few weeks. The amount of garbage they publish is staggering. I have come to the conclusion that Dear Prudence is the only thing on Slate worth reading.

Gin1984

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Re: Slate Magazine Says Tax the Childless, Parents Can't Save Money!
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2014, 06:42:17 PM »
The child raising numbers are ludicrous.

18 years * median family income of $60,000 = $1,080,000 in income.

median 2.2 children * $310,000 per child = $682,000 spent on child care per median family over 18 years.  (We'll ignore staggered births.)

That means that 63% of the family's income was consumed by those children. 

That's ludicrous.  No one needs to do that.
My daughter, because of her daycare costs 35% of my budget which does not even account for housing costs which they normally do (we bought looking a duplexes that were 2 or 3 bedroom so really the 3rd bedroom is not really because of her so I don't count it).  It is a choice I made, and don't expect anyone to help with it, but I am not surprised that you could add up to 63%.

No, ~60% of before-tax income is WAY too high for an average. The article is bogus.

I do plan on having kids.
Even daycare alone would be almost 50% of my before tax budget, again, if we had two kids and they were going to daycare at the same time.  The number does not surprise me at all.  You may plan to have kids, but I know what the cost is now.