Reimer needs to do the math

April 08, 2010|By Susan Reimer On Gardening

Susan Reimer's column "The child, and the childcare bill, are his, too" (April 8) simply made no sense.

While it's true that child care and other expenses are the responsibility of both parents, Ms. Reimer misses the point entirely (as she often does) regarding a family's decision to survive on one paycheck or two. The reality of the situation is not nearly as complicated as Ms. Reimer would make it out to be.

If it is assumed that one person is working in a household, then the second person is free to either take care of the children at home or put them in daycare and return to the work force. The mathematics that factor into that decision are also not complicated. If, by the second person returning to work, there is a net gain in family income (financial benefit of going to work is greater than the cost of going to work), then in many cases it pays for the second person to return to work. In this case, the net gain can be divided by the number of hours the second person will be working and their adjusted hourly rate can be calculated. They can then decide if going back to work is worth it. And yes, they can factor self-esteem into that equation if they so choose.

If the cost of going to work outweighs the financial gain of going to work, then it never makes sense for the second person to return to the work force.

These fundamental math principles apply whether the person is a male or female, as does the fact that in almost all cases the person with the ability to earn the highest wages would, from a financial perspective, be the best candidate to return to the work force.

Ms. Reimer's column reeks of "new math," in which nothing really adds up, logic is thrown out the window and facts are ignored. Her column is almost condescending, implying that young women don't have the brains to understand such basic mathematical concepts. As a father, I dare say that, contrary to the opinion held by some, girls can do math just fine.

Young couples following Ms. Reimer's logic may soon find themselves in dire financial straits, perhaps even losing their homes and being bailed out by the rest of us. Young couples trying to get their feet on the ground would be well served to ignore this column.

Let the liberal elites fight their own battles for women's rights and the new sexual revolution. Your job as a new young couple with young children is to make wise financial decisions so you can generate and obtain wealth, take care of your family members and give back to society. None of that is possible if your financial advisor can't do math.

Michael P. DeCicco, Severn

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