Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Thoughts from the Grassroots

The Record, our local Torstar-affiliated paper, provided a surprisingly conservative sampling of letters to the editor yesterday. Perhaps it was their random token effort to appear unbiased, but it is appreciated nonetheless.

Two letters were intended to refute a June 23rd op-ed by Lindsay Moore, "Harper's 'Family Allowance' will Force Moms to Quit". (You can get the background from Sara, who took her own shot at the article.)

The part of Ms. Moore's piece that seems to have ruffled the most feathers is:

"...I was a stay-at-home mom for five years. We decided that for our financial future, I should return to school and strive for a career that I would love. I am doing just that. I was no longer happy staying home with the kids. I lost my identity, my spunk, and it was felt by everyone in my household..."

Personally, I feel that this is a frightening and all too common attitude seen in today's society; namely, the 'What's in it for me?' syndrome. In an increasingly self-focused, rights-grabbing culture of entitlement to government assistance and dependency, people have been encouraged to see their own needs and wants as being superior to others; even those of their own children. Some people do indeed require the second income to make ends meet, but if it's just to buy a new minivan or take a vacation, I have to question why the rest of Canadian taxpayers should subsidize it?

However, it was interesting to see some other letters supporting my POV. Since they are behind a subscribers' firewall, I'll give you the highlights:

Tad Pecak of Kitchener writes:

"...Young people should show some individualism, a responsible approach to real life and do some critical thinking before they start families and start losing "spunk" (in Moore's words) just five years later."

Martha Lesis of Holstein writes:

"...I do not see her as representative of "many many working families," nor do I feel she was fair in blaming her woes on the family allowance plan. While I commend her for her desire to equip herself to be a social service worker, I wonder if she has forgotten that her three children are the precious products of decisions that she and her husband presumably made during the past six years.

How about considering a very important incentive not to work, i.e. three young children? She chose to have those children and, like many of us whose children are now grown, she may just have to wait until the kids are in school before she gets to focus on herself. It's not forever..."

Couples contemplating parenthood should remember that having kids is an unalterable, life-changing experience. You can't just return them when you get bored, like a DVD rental or something.

I'm going to save the last letter for a separate post, because it deals with a different topic, and also because people seem to have a very short attention span these days.


Red Tory said...

Gee, isn't "the 'What's in it for me?' syndrome" at the heart of the free enterprise system? Perhaps I missed something there. Maybe I've been mistaken all these years and companies actually provide services out of a sense of altruism and goodwill.

I smell a double-standard...

Sara said...

the whole thing is a joke, I called the Record and they won't do a full story but I wrote a nasty letter, will it get published? Probably not but hey I tried...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good for you, Sara! BTW, check out Zac's blog. He just did a post on daycare. I think you might find it interesting...

Sara said...

that boy needs a spanking

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol! Oh boy, I can't wait to watch this!