Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Build It And They Will Come

Ah the old arguement of the right wing raises it's anti-feminist, anti-working class, reactionary head again over at Stephen Janke's AGWN blog, namely allow the market to create day care spaces and the folks will flock to them with their new Conservative baby bonus.

Why anti-feminist and anti working class? Because as the arguement goes a womens place is in the home, and that folks only work out of greed, children should come first.

Of course not everyone earns over $100,000 a year which are the only real consumers who can afford the choices of day care or nannies. So parents are forced economically to choose between work and staying home. Its not a choice for them. To rasie their families working class Canadians are forced economically to both work, sometimes having two jobs each. Its only a choice for the middle class who can economically afford to have one of two professionals stay at home.

Any attempt to create a national day care program of course is doomed to fail cause its the state creating impediments to the market says Janke.

No its not actually it is government making day care a priority by promoting it through tax credits and funding. The result is the creation of those spaces that the private sector has failed to do for thirty years. And the program is in place, it was brought in by the last minority government.

Only one company in Canada has created an on the job daycare, CIBC bank. All other such sites are in, horror of horrors, publicly funded institutions, schools, colleges and universities, for students and staff.

If the private sector sees no profit in day care it will not create the spaces. And so far they have done exactly as the market has dictated. There is no money in day care. It is a service. Even with low waged work, and existing subsidies, there is no real profit in it, unless you up the child to worker ratio. Which is done and results in the tradgedies that later get reported in the media as children wander off or get injured or die.

In Alberta which has the largest private for profit day care sector, and has given tax credits for baba babysitting, there are no more day care spaces being created than in areas where the state funds non profit day care. The reality is that actually in the provinces where the state funds non profits more day care spaces are created. And in fact it was after the Liberals announced their funding for non profits in Alberta that more spaces were created. So much for Janke's market model.

And without non-profit day cares, with subsidization, then day care does become only an option for the rich.

I guess the rightwhingnutz like Stephen Janke are preparing their spin on this;

Harper child-care plan hits poor families, council told

Low-income parents in London could lose thousands of dollars each year if Prime Minister Stephen Harper replaces subsidized child care with money to families that most benefits the wealthy, city council was told last night.

Harper's pledge to give families $1,200 for each child under age six has a flip side -- the Conservative government plans to cut short the funding of child-care spaces.

At stake is $13.2 million in funding planned to create and operate 290 child-care spaces through local school boards.

"It's absolutely shocking," councillor and poverty activist Susan Eagle said during a break from a council meeting.

A study by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy shows a couple that together earn $30,000 a year and who now get subsidies worth $3,000 would, under the Harper plan, be left with only $460, because the $1,200 promised would be taxed as a benefit and offset by the loss of other child benefits.

The same study shows a windfall for a couple that has one parent at home and the other earning $100,000. Instead of getting nothing, as is now the case, the couple could keep $1,032 a year as there would be no other benefits to lose and the $1,200 would be taxed at the rate of the stay-at-home parent.

"It's going to be the most vulnerable and the most in need of child care who will receive the smallest benefit," Eagle said.

But wait Temp PM Harpocrite said this during the election:Read His Lips -- No Social Program Cuts

But of course that did not include the existing Liberal promises made to the provinces around day care funding. Once again the clever spin boys in the Conservatives have made it appear that the national day care program implemented under the Liberal NDP budget was NOT a social program.

Canada is what Ed Broadbent calls a mixed economy, and we on the Libertarian Left call state capitalism. Without state subisidization capitalism does not function. Just look a Bombadier, CN, CNR, etc. etc. all these monopolies exist through the financing and subsidation of the state. Non Profit day care needs the same direct support.

What the right wing does not want is day care period. They live in cloud cuckoo land, a fantasy world where mom and dad and baby makes three, where the joyful bourgoise family of the 19th Century raises the children at home.

Except that 19th century family like the wealthy of today had nannies and no need of day care, since they could afford to have one member of the nuclear family stay at home. Not that she did any housework or raised the children that was left to the hired help. She managed the household. The workers whom she managed raised her children, cooked and cleaned for her, they had to raise their children after hours of working for the rich. Like today.

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