Terry Jeffrey

For example, relative poverty was clearly not the most powerful factor driving married mothers of infants to work outside the home. In fact, those whose husbands earned an income ranking in the lowest 20 percent were the least likely to go to work, Cohany and Sok discovered, while those whose husbands earned an income that ranked in the highest 20 percent were the second least likely to work.

Less than half of these relatively poor and relatively rich mothers with infants worked.

Yet, of the married mothers with infants whose husbands earned an income in the middle 20 percent, 64.4 percent worked outside the home.

Similarly, Cohany and Sok discovered: "The more children a woman has, the less likely she is to be in the labor force." Almost 60 percent of married mothers with infants who had only one child worked. Only 36.6 percent of those who had five or more children worked.

In America today, the rarer child makes a scarcer mom.

It is also telling that while 58.5 percent of native-born mothers with infants worked outside the home, only 35 percent of immigrant mothers with infants did.

Some force in our culture that was not as strong in 1948 as it is today is devaluing traditional family life and the stay-at-home mom.

But this force could be waning. "After a lengthy and dramatic advance," concluded Cohany and Sok, "labor force participation rates for married mothers of infants peaked in 1997 and have been relatively stable since 2000."

Through his plans to increase government funding and control of the rearing of children ages "zero to five," Barack Obama would increase, rather than decrease, the force that drives mothers of infants to leave them in someone else's care. He would also cause a wholly unjust transfer of wealth.

Old-fashioned moms and dads who insist on caring for their own pre-school children will pay for -- but gain no benefit from -- programs that put the government in the business of caring for children whose moms and dads would both rather work outside the home than work raising a child.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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