Child care: a defining issue mired in status quo

PHOTO: Tabitha Blue, Flickr CC
Aaron J. Brown
Aaron J. Brown is an Iron Range blogger, author, radio producer and columnist for the Hibbing Daily Tribune.

Working people with children will tell you that child care is their biggest day-to-day challenge. The logistics are maddening and the cost is overwhelming. The stakes are no less than the well-being of the next generation.

Yet, if you talk to child care providers, they’ll tell you the same thing. Frustrating logistics and high costs drives big centers and independent providers alike out of business.

Three separate but related issues dominate the child care discussion: access, cost, and quality.

Let’s start with access. The way it is now, an ovulating woman must apply for day care before winking at her husband. The waiting list for infants at day care centers often literally sprawls longer than their gestation period.

This factors into people’s lives in many unseen ways. From where people live, to how many children they have, to the careers they’ll even be able to consider, access to day care sets the tone for working families. The pressure to find good day care squeezes two-parent families and hangs like steel chains on single parents.

Next, let’s talk about cost. As we’ve established finding day care is hard, but paying for it is harder. The average annual cost for infant care in Minnesota is about $16,000, and $12,000 for a 4-year-old. But there are reasons for that.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development has been researching the child care crisis in Greater Minnesota. They conducted a survey of providers last year. The costs born by parents typically do not lead to massive profits by the providers.

For important reasons the child care industry is heavily regulated to ensure child safety and proper staffing. There are limits to the number of infants, toddlers or pre-schoolers that one person can care for. Smaller children require more hands-on care, which makes them more expensive for a day care center to watch.

In addition, day care providers of all ages require vast amounts of training. In some cases employers pay for providers to attend training. However, in several cases those providers must take their own time to attend the training, even paying for it themselves.

These regulations that protect children cost money that must come from somewhere. Right now, it mostly comes from parents, with limited funding by nonprofits and government programs to fill gaps.

This leads to the third problem — the way this system affects quality. Child care workers and teachers are among the lowest paid professional workers in the country, certainly the lowest paid in the education field. Aides make less than fast-food workers, and so do many teachers — many of whom have four-year degrees.

Marnie Werner of the Center for Rural Policy and Development writes that independent providers only report making about $8.50 an hour after expenses.

This makes it very hard for the most experienced, talented providers to stay in the business long term. It takes a seriously committed person to remain in childcare under these working conditions. More often we just see lots of turnover.

If we accept that more young working families are what’s needed in our aging Iron Range communities, then our politics and policy need to address the realities those families face.

That means we must expand access to child care, incentivizing the creation of new child care centers and small businesses. We must also address cost, making it practical for working people to keep working. Finally, built into the entire debate, we must ensure quality of care and quality of life for child care teachers and workers by paying them a fair wage.

This will mean government investment in helping day care providers meet costly regulations, and eliminating unnecessary regulations. This could also involve private initiative and enterprise, including new, innovative ideas.

For instance, the Institute for Family Studies analyzed efforts to combine day care for children with day care for seniors. This would be a logical thing to explore here on the Iron Range.

Further, we could make it easier and more affordable for working parents to raise their own children with substantial tax credits or by paying stipends to stay-at-home parents the way they do in Scandinavian countries.

No one idea is likely enough, but a combination of these efforts would solve the problem. Examples exist all over the world. But Minnesota, or even a small town, can make its own way.

One common refrain is that child care wouldn’t be necessary if the family dynamic was the same as it was in the 1950s. But that’s not a practical solution in 2019. Women seek equality in the workplace. Single parent families are common, and idle condemnation won’t change that. Furthermore, the economy changed. A single income doesn’t pay as much relative to cost of living, nor are most jobs secure enough to last 40 years.

This is our world. We must live in it. The children need care. Our community will benefit from good ideas put into action.

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio. This piece first appeared in the Sunday, April 7, 2019 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune.


  1. Ranger47 says

    “This will mean government investment in helping….” Yeah, that’s what we need, some government bureaucrat taking care of our kids. No…the answer is stay at home mom’s, pure and simple.

  2. Regulation of quality child care is needed like all regulation to assure children do not fall through the cracks or suffer abuse. All laws must consider the cost and where the funds are coming from. Keeping kids home does not lower the cost, it simple shifts it, completely, to the parent. If society want the parent to work, then it must subsidize the costs. We provide “free”(subsidized) education, “free” lunches, “free” school buildings because we want an educated work force. It is not cheap and requires constant monitoring and maintenance. Why would we expect daycare to require anything less? Newly trained daycare providers need to get $20/hour and if they care for 5 children (toddlers) each would deserve it.

    • Priorities John, priorities. You’re welcome to turn your kids over to the government, but good luck to your kids.

      I know a number of families, all in “he” and “she” type marriages, where the mom (the she), could work but has elected not to. They all have survived just fine. Have they ever owned a new car? No. Do they take spring breaks with their kids to Cancun? No. Do they own ATV’s? No. Do they have a fancy house? No. Are they on food stamps? No.

      But I’ll tell you what they do have…wonderful, courteous, helpful, friendly, kind, obedient, thrifty, clean, well-mannered, respectful of adults and reverent kids. And all are doing well in school. Priorities. Judeo-Christian values.

      More laws, more government money, more government involvement with the family will not, cannot by law, do what a stay-at-home mom can and should do.

      To think the answer is to have our kids raised by a government which, only hours before their birth, supported/sponsored their killing?? That. My friend. Is insane.

      Oh…and if you think “society” wants the parent to work, so what? Do you do everything “society” wants you to? If you’re living your life by what “society” wants, you’re one lost, sad soul.

      • I know nothing. I quit opinions a while back. I never associate with day walkers. Strictly a nocturnal creature now. However, I feel like maybe we should have some options to encourage people to choose life. Look at the mean and median wages. Account for the outliers. Compare that to cost of childcare. Lots of people spend all their surplus income on health insurance. Rent is insane.

        My life is Blessed. I can’t compare my situation to others.

        I just feel like we should have some priority for the humans rather than profit. Based on my observations many of them appear to care for each other. So I was just thinking maybe they could have like some sort of support system where they help each other in regards to health insurance and childcare?

  3. Joe musich says

    Another example of the poor investment into social costs for anything in this wicked nation. Ms Atwood has warned us about what could come if we don’t pay the social bills.

  4. Ranger, you live in a fantasy world with a nostalgic view of a past that just didn’t exist for a whole lot of Americans even if they did go to church. How did you miss that? I’m an oldie and I sure remember all the folks in the 50’s and 60’s barely scraping by no matter how hard they worked and cared for their families.

    • Ranger47 says

      You’re not very clear on what you’re saying kissa, but it seems we’re on the same page. Although it’s not a “nostalgic” view of the world, the 50’s-60’s, it was the real world. People barely scraped by, but they did. And they did it without paying someone to watch their kids. And yes, unlike today, the majority went to church. I contend there’s a correlation there.

      So let’s get this straight. Today, unlike the real world of the 50’s-60’s, you want the government (that’s you, me and others), to have our hard earned money taken away in the form of taxes, to be used to pay a daycare provider who’ll watch someone’s child so that child’s mother can go to work. Correct?

      Stay with me now, here’s a thought. Why doesn’t the mother with the child pay for the daycare provider herself with the money she makes from her job? Why should you, me and others go to work, only to have the money we make taken away to pay for daycare for a child whose mother is also working? 

      To common sense folks, the majority of Rangers (who don’t deal in absurdities), this logic fills the bill. 

  5. It’s 2019 now, Ranger. Get updated.

  6. Fortune had an article in Dec on the shrinking middle class. The middle class, under lots of pressure, is fading. When (some) billionaires notice there is a major problem with wealth inequality and speak publicly about that, maybe you should pay attention.
    It’s long been acknowledged that after WW11 economic growth, productivity and wages all increased together but that changed by the late 70’s. Wages have risen only 12.4% while productivity grew 77% between 1973 and 2017. In 1966 the bottom 90% got 64% of national income. The top 10% rose from 37% to 47%. The biggest gains went to the top 0.01%. After the Great Depression, government reforms such as the New Deal were enacted to help average Americans. There has been no or very little government investment in the bottom 90% as was typical after major financial crises. Instead the top dogs got big fat tax cuts and want even more.
    Ranger, none of your “solutions” are going to even make a dent in the issues the current middle class are trying to cope with which affect all of us even if you don’t believe that. If you have kids and grandkids, are you so confident they are going to do as well as you may have?

    • You changed topics kissa. We can discuss the evils of identity politics if you wish…blacks vs whites, Christian vs Muslins, Black lives matter vs all lives matter, short people vs tall people or rich vs poor. But it has nothing to do with raising kids to become good self-sufficient caring adults.

      Oh…I know you’d appreciate/enjoy having my kids and grandkids as neighbors.

  7. So you discount that the children of struggling middle class parents are not also affected? Oh wait, you probably don’t believe there has been any downward change in middle class wages. Any facts that you don’t agree with are identity politics.

    • Identity politics, woe is me, I’m a victim…I feel for your kids kissa. It’s like wife beating, alcoholism, welfare…one generation to the next..
      Post these on your refrigerator:

      You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
      You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
      You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
      You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
      You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
      You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
      You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
      You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
      You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
      You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

  8. girlfromthenorthcountry says

    I’ve never posted on here before, though I read Aaron’s posts and these comments avidly.
    This conversation is so out of touch with current reality, I can’t help myself.
    I am a mother of two, married to a 4th generation farmer.
    I would love to stay home with my children.
    I have to work to provide my family with health insurance.
    That’s the reality of 2019.

    • northcountrygirl…
      I’m sincerely empathetic with you. Many people I know are in similar circumstances as yours, many. It’s a tough world. I’m glad I was raised during the era of “tin can alley”, not Facebook.

      But…but I’d contend life is no tougher today than it was 100 years ago, no tougher than it was during the depression, no tougher than it was prior to food stamps, no tougher than is was during the natural ore only period of the Range when mines shut down for the winter months and many fathers went to the cities to work (most hated the cities) and no tougher than it was when many Range homes were heated with that evil CO2 producing coal requiring someone to be home to add coal to prevent the fire from going out and no tougher than when fathers had to change jobs 4-5 or more times throughout their lifetimes and no tougher than when pension benefits and 401k’s were unknowns. 

      You might disagree but regardless, remember, the difference between us humans and the rest of the animal kingdom is we have a choice, we always have a choice. God created us that way. All other animals act on instinct only, we don’t.

      So if you think you’re only choice is to work and leave your kids to others to raise, you’re wrong. That’s simply not true. I feel for folks who think they don’t have a choice, especially those who claim “victim” status, always thinking their situation is caused by someone else, always thinking someone owes ’em something. ‘Cause the real world is, the God created world is, no one owes you anything. Folks thinking otherwise really have problems in life. I pray you’re not one of those. 

  9. Zero sum accounting is your ideology. Anything some one else is given is taken from you. Someone “wins”, you “lose”. I can’t imagine you actually attend a church because I’ve never heard your views preached in any sermon given by any pastor in any church, ever.

    • No mention of zero sum by me kissa, nor in any of the truths mentioned above. Those are your words.

      However. being you brought it up, most government social programs are worse than zero sum. They take from hard working folks, then give to some class of individuals to garner their vote (making it sound like it’s from them, not you). BUT, they always give less than they take. Gotta pay them govmint employees you know. Therefore, it’s less than zero sum.  

    • kissa
      This Sunday, on your way out from church or at coffee after, ask your pastor who Jesus turned to for guidance, for help. Odds are, he won’t say “the government”. His mostly likely response will be God. If you’re willing, you do the same for just a week, amazing things will happen in your life. 
      p.s. If he does say “the government”, change churches.

  10. We’ve been to our grandkids’ preschools and were in awe of the amazing staff and the educational and social activities provided. I loved the summer herb garden plots the toddlers help water and were free to taste. The staff couldn’t keep up with growing basil because the toddlers ate it so fast. We grandparents can easily see how much preschoolers benefit from preschool even when they have parents that are very involved in parenting. My first thought was that all preschool kids should be able to have the same experiences gaining so many practical skills along with learning cooperative social interacting with others.
    It’s shameful that the wealthiest country in the world has been investing so little in preschools and and schools in general and falling behind other countries. I know our grandkids preschools take a big chunk out of their hardworking parents paychecks and I think of how much more they could do for their kids such as saving more for college/further education if we/government invested in universal preschool with reasonable costs depending on income.
    You do not live in 2019 reality Ranger. As girlfromnorthcountry points out, even two parent families need to work to get health insurance. Should a parent forgo health insurance for their kids to stay home with the kids? You also ignore the single parents, male and female, who have no possibility to stay home with their kids unless you think they should just not work and get on assistance.
    I guess it’s easier for you to think that most people who are eligible to get on government social programs are losers and takers. You are dead wrong. God help you if you are ever down and out and need a hand from some government social program like Medicaid but maybe your kids can take you in.

    • kissa..
      Show me data that says kids today are wiser than my father-in-law who never went to pre-school and quit after ninth grade to support his mother after his dad died. He was born in the U.S., 100% German, quite stoic, fought in WWII, killed Germans, talked about the war once briefly and cried, married a wonderful local girl who worked in the mines when he was fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, worked at lease 7 different jobs over his life, never expected the world owed him anything (especially “free” stuff), religiously attended the German/Lutheran church his dad helped found, raised three beautiful gracious daughters, and later in life earned his GED. 

      Contrast that to today’s kids who go to pre-school, spend hours on social media, think the Battle of the Bulge is a weight loss program, down-deep believe someone owes ’em a lot (“free” stuff), and demand “safe spaces”..causing them to think somewhere in this sinful world safe spaces exist.

      No kissa, pre-school isn’t necessary to become a good, wise citizen/adult. 

  11. Thank god (sic) that Ranger47 is a member of the generation that soon will be gone so that we can move forward in actually solving problems as Aaron has laid out in this article. Sorry to see you go (I’m not.)

    • Characteristics of the Greatest Generation as described by Tom Brokaw, the generation (and people thereof) Wanger74 is hoping to see die off, soon:

      “Personal Responsibility. We live in the age of blame. …
      Humility. In that day, there was an expected norm of dignity and modesty. …
      Work Ethic. One of the hardest things for a parent to instill in a child today is a hard work ethic. …
      Prudent Saving. …
      Faithful Commitment.”

      We’ll be curious to hear what societal characteristics Wanger74 is longing for.

    • I’ll have to say, it’s beyond disappointing to hear one characteristic of Wanger74’s ideal society is:

      1) Hoping for people of differing views to die early..

      If she’s successful it doesn’t bode well for the U.S. History hasn’t treated these societies well.

  12. A significant difference between you and me kissa is…

    I know it’s true that “God help you if you are ever down and out”. But infinitely more, He helps me out every day, every hour, every minute. Not only when life is going swimmingly well, but when life goes deathly wrong. He never fails.

    You turn to government to help you out. That’s a miserable life. They’re only human and always fail.

  13. Blah, blah, blah. I have those hardworking ancestors too. So what? Still have some in their late 90’s who vividly remember growing up in the Depression era and were damn happy when they got WPA type jobs so they and their siblings could bring home some money to buy food and survive. Government WPA gave millions jobs and skills. Do you even remember the CCC camps? In early 1900’s, old people with no family or family who couldn’t take care of them and the disabled went to the poor houses, some quite horrific. You really think everyone has choices over disastrous events not of their making? Would you really advise one of your kids to stay home with your grandchildren and give up health insurance coverage for your grandkids?
    I’ve heard this grand delusion from people I know that they had it so tough growing up but they survived and thrived so why can’t everyone else do that today? At least they had enough food to eat and good family support systems. Plenty of other people had much more dire circumstances and have them now.
    You are the quintessential example of a “get off my lawn”, “I got mine, too bad about you” bitter, envious person.

    • Listen to yourself kissa…
      Listen to your angry?, exasperated? response – “I’M A VICTIM, I DID NOTHING WRONG, GIVE ME YOUR FOOD, GIVE ME A JOB, GIVE ME ALL YOUR STUFF, YOU OWE ME!!!!” You’re confirming government social programs, which started the “it’s mine, not yours” thinking, lead to societal failure, anger, division, jealousy, bitterness, envy and hate.

      When people realize no one owes them anything, all this socialistic anger will go away. And the poor will still be with us, but individual heartfelt charity will abound…from rich people and poor people alike.

      Government charity is a true oxymoron, impossibility, government has nothing to give. It’s genesis is theft..therefore evil.

      • Norshorguy says

        I have to say, unlike Wanger74, I am happy to see that Gabby Johnson is still alive and well. He is quite a specimen–comic and inadvertently instructive. I am also happy to see that irony is still not his friend. Rather than address Kissa’s post point by point, he does what he so often does to other persons: he mischaracterizes and demeans. It has become clear despite the pretense of Judeo-Christian values, he is a person defined by cruelty.

        • Hmmm…looking for the value norshorguy is adding to the topic at hand. And after close lengthy review, just like the Bulldogs first goal being waved off, no goal…no value by the guy.

          • Norshorguy says

            Indeed, Gabby! You know something about having “no value”. Again, you could address point by point Kissa’s last post or you can do your usual thing: lurch into hyperbole, sports analogies, and yes, cruelty.

        • There’s value in having the likes of Ocasio Cortez, the Beto guy, Illy Omar and yes kissa on the scene, they take a stand. No matter how ludicrous, they throw something out. The norshorguy? nope, just thoughtless emptiness, nothing to advance the debate. Makes one wonder if pre-school would’ve helped.

  14. At least the Gabby was an amusing and benign even if loaded to the gills character and somewhat more coherent.

    • Please kissa…I’d ask you remember one thing out of our dialogue. Yes it’s benign but quite coherent and eternally you. This Sunday when seeing your pastor, or better yet call him tonight, and ask him – “Who did Jesus turn to when asking for guidance?” If he answers “to God”, try doing the same…for just a week. Watch the results in your life. If he says “the government” – as I said before, change churches.

      As I type, it makes me wonder…did Jesus go to pre-school? Or did Mary stay home and teach him? Hmmm

  15. Norshorguy says

    Gabby, let me start by telling you a little about my grandfather…

    My grandfather was born in Minneapolis and grew up in North. The market crashed shortly after he graduated from high school. A few years later when he heard of the CCC he enlisted and served two 6 month terms at a camp near what is now Forestville State Park. When he left the CCC he went into the WPA and learned to be a machinist. When the war came he already had a wife and three children, but he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Pacific. When the war ended he came home, worked in a machine shop, attended the U of MN on the GI Bill, graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. And, had two more children–the last being my mother.

    My grandfather was a quiet man. He didn’t talk politics. He didn’t talk about the war. He didn’t lecture anyone on morality. He was the sort of man who wouldn’t talk about his morality, he merely lived it. He died in 2009 and I miss him terribly.

    When I was young my Grandfather took great pride in touring the parks and trails he had a hand in building, the farms he helped restore, etc. He saw his service, especially in the CCC, as part of his civic duty. He also recognized that money that got sent home helped his family survive. He didn’t feel entitled to it, he was just glad to have received it. Also, the military style of the camps prepared him for the military. Also, the machine skills he learned in the WPA combined with his college degree enabled him to devise and patent a critical mechanism in water softeners and that made him a considerable fortune. He told me a few times that his success was due in no small part to the opportunities the New Deal presented to him. It was not, as you say, evil. It helped millions of people who were otherwise stuck in poverty get out of poverty. Government is not some “other”. We have a government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is not the abstract set of descriptors by which you describe it.

    As with the CCC sometimes government is the only thing that has the power to mobilize people and resources quickly. My wife and I own a veterinary clinic that she once worked for. I manage it and she practices the medicine. Before that I worked for 15 years in a high poverty school in Saint Paul. I have seen the complexities that many low income families face. My students did not go through the day wondering who was going to give them free stuff. Most were wondering where their next meal might come from, or are they going to make it home safely, or maybe if they are going to be safe once they get home. A large number of students were periodically homeless.

    Maybe it would be nice to return to the morality you envision once existed in the past. But, for many of my students of color I imagine they are skeptical of calls for a return to the past.

    Gabby, of course you have every right to be skeptical of the government. But, we need to rethink childcare in the context of the families that currently make up this country and not the way you think those families should be. It will be up to good people showing up to serve the public for the greater good alongside the government they have worked to put in place. But, you don’t have the right to characterize huge numbers of people you don’t even know. I remember once that you said you were going to take some time off and study the issues–perhaps now is the time to seriously do just that.

    • Norshorguy…
      If your grandfather was mine, I’d be proud of him as well. I’d have enjoyed meeting him. Many, all?, Rangers have great life stories such as yours…successful careers or troubled careers, stayed on the Range or moved a little/a lot, lived in numerous countries or just the U.S., never traveled further than the State Fair or have traveled the world, have had only white friends or have lived with and had friends of many nationalities/ethnic groups. All have great stories. Thanks for sharing part of yours.

      Back to the issue of how many state or federal social programs do we need. But more importantly, do they work. Based on scientifically rigorous multisite experimental evaluations, the answer is most government social programs don’t work. Despite the best social engineering efforts, overwhelming evidence points to the conclusion that federal social programs are ineffective.

      Ameliorating such problems as low academic achievement, poor cognitive ability, poverty, joblessness, low wages, and personal relations are out of reach to be solved by government social programs. Why? Which government program encourages the dads who got mom pregnant to get married and stay home? I’d strongly consider supporting a new program if it addresses that issue. The most notable exception of a program that does work to some degree are welfare-to-work programs. Those increased earnings, but participants still receive some government assistance.

      The evidence clearly shows that government social programs are ineffective. It cannot be just a coincidence that the many multisite evaluations published since 1990 overwhelmingly find that this is true. If we are to create another social program, we shouldn’t fear eliminating the ineffective ones, yet we don’t. 

      The social programs we continue to fund need to undergo large-scale experimental evaluations. Multisite experimental evaluations are the best method for assessing the effectiveness of government social programs. Yet to date, this method has been used to evaluate only a handful of programs.

      Which of the following social programs listed below do you know, not think, are working? Is adding another program the answer to solve some serious human problem? If so, how are you going to evaluate it’s effectiveness. Until we can answer those questions, I support mom staying home and raising her kids.

      Short list of government social programs:

      Family Planning
      Consolidated Health Centers
      Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees
      State Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP)
      Voluntary Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit — Low Income Subsidy
      Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program
      Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection
      Maternal and Child Health Block Grant
      Indian Health Service
      Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF)
      Supplemental Security Income(SSI)
      Additional Child Tax Credit
      Earned Income Tax Credit(refundable component)
      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP)
      School Breakfast Program (free/reduced price components)
      National School Lunch Program(free/reduced price components)
      Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children(WIC)
      Early Reading First
      Rural Education Achievement Program
      Mathematics and Science Partnerships
      Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
      Academic Competitiveness and Smart Grant Program
      Single-Family Rural Housing Loans
      Rural Rental Assistance Program
      Water and Waste Disposal for Rural Communities
      Public Works and Economic Development
      Supportive Housing for the Elderly
      Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities
      Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance
      Community Development Block Grants
      Homeless Assistance Grants
      Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
      Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS(HOPWA)
      Public Housing
      Indian Housing Block Grants
      Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
      Neighborhood Stabilization Program
      Weatherization Assistance Program
      Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)
      Food Program Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico
      The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
      Nutrition Program for the Elderly
      Indian Education
      Adult Basic Education Grants to States
      Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
      Education for the Disadvantaged
      Grants to Local Educational Agencies (Title I-A)
      Title I Migrant Education Program
      Higher Education — Institutional Aid and Developing Institutions
      Federal Work-Study
      Federal TRIO Programs
      Federal Pell Grants
      Education for Homeless Children and Youth
      21st Century Community Learning Centers
      Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP)
      Child Support Enforcement
      Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (social services)
      Community Services Block Grant
      Child Care and Development Fund
      Head Start HHS
      Developmental Disabilities Support and Advocacy Grants
      Foster Care
      Adoption Assistance
      Social Services Block Grant
      Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
      Emergency Food and Shelter Program
      Legal Services Corporation
      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (employment and training component)
      Senior Community Service Employment Program
      Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult Activities
      Social Services and Targeted Assistance for Refugees
      Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (employment and training)
      Foster Grandparents
      Job Corps
      Grants to States for Low-Income Housing in Lieu of Low-Income Housing Credit Allocations
      Tax Credit Assistance Program
      Older Americans Act Grants for Supportive Services and Senior Centers
      Older Americans Act Family Caregiver Program
      Indian Human Services

      Your correct norshorguy, I’m skeptical of government for good reason, we all should be.

  16. So the upshot of all Rancher’s ramblings is that women should be kept barefoot , pregnant , tied to the door step,… and all of society’s ills would be solved. Of course, that would also keep smart women from competing for years against white men .
    You must keep a folder of pertinent (?) lists all on the ready wherever you see an opening to argue your old white men positions.
    Since you are opposed to government helping in any way, i have to wonder if you ever volunteer for any non-partisan agencies . Certainly seem to have a lot of time on yor hands that could be better used .

    • Jackie…No folders at the ready to debunk anyone. It’s quite easy speak when you have truth on your side and others don’t.

      I surmise by your comment that you were one of those, which included both Democrats and Republicans, who stood and applauded when President Trump announced at the State of the Union, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before.”

      I did not. 

      Even if you prefer that women work outside of the home, “All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before” is simply not true. As kissa, northshoregirl and others have stated here, many women work outside of the home not because they want to but because they have no choice. They have to support themselves, their household and/or their children.

      Why should we be proud of that?

      What if every woman in America were in the workforce? Would we be proud of that? By the “more of women than ever” logic, we should be.

      On the other hand, if the president had said, “All Americans can be proud of the fact that more women than ever now have the choice to work inside or outside the home,” that would be true. That is something I, too, would have cheered.

      But the members of Congress did not stand and cheer because more women have the choice to work outside the home. They cheered because more women than ever before are working outside the home.

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, nearly 75 million women were in the American civil workforce. But it is inconceivable that 75 million women want to be in the workforce. So, again, why all the cheering?

      We know why Democrats cheered. They want women to abandon homemaking and time with children in favor of work outside the house.

      It’s possible that with enough money and/or family support, a woman can raise fine children, maintain a happy home, and a loving marriage. We also know that doing all three is difficult enough when a woman devotes full time to those three goals. But when a woman works outside the home, devoting full time to home and family is impossible.

      So, yes, more women than ever are in the workplace. But before we stand and cheer, it is worth asking:

      Are women happier today?

      Are families doing better today?

      Are marriages happier with wives at home or in the workplace?

      Do young people grow up happier and better-adjusted with mothers at home or with mothers in the workplace?

      Is society’s emphasis on work and career inhibiting more young women from marrying and having children?

      Is society better off or worse off when a record number of women leave home to enter the workplace?

      Only when those questions are answered should we stand and cheer. In the meantime, careful driving home from work, that darn global warming betrayed us again!

  17. “your” hands

  18. Norshorguy, thank you for your grandfather’s story. Roosevelt’s WPA, CCC, FSA, CWA, NIRA, SSA and GI bill were very effective helping millions of Americans like your grandfather to thrive and reach their potentials and saving our economy.

  19. Norshorguy says

    Ranger, I did clap (on the inside at least) when the President said what he said about women in the work force. In a free society women should be allowed to make the choice of who they marry and if they marry. When unplanned pregnancies occur a healthy debate is certainly warranted–but I will let that matter rest because I know it leads to a pit of internet despair.

    Regardless, I do not think that it need be women who have to stay home. If my wife and I had had children (we married a little late) it would have made economic sense for my wife to work her job (veterinarian) instead of me (former reading teacher) and I would have felt no shame in being the one to stay home and raise the kid(s). Ranger, I mean this sincerely, things are changing. People can freely marry who they want and the roles and dynamics are shifting. When my first (also childless) marriage fell apart and I was economically and emotionally devastated my co-worker (a woman) and her partner (also a woman) and their teenage daughter took me in until I got my mental and financial “stuff” back together. My pride took a hit, but decent and caring people were there when I needed them. Their family was about as functional a family as I have ever seen. Things worked.

    There are also going to be women who do want to marry, be a mother and homemaker, and that is OK too. Again, let people be. There are plenty of people who have managed to find themselves in traditional and non-traditional roles and they are happy, they are miserable, or they are somewhere in between.

    Kindly, let women decide for themselves and spare them the lecture. However, when children are involved then society of course should demand quality parenting, but it doesn’t have to be traditional.

  20. I couldn’t have said it any better, norshorguy. Whatever works well for families is fine by me. I suppose the Rose Riveters blew the “traditional” family system open whatever traditional even means anymore. It needed shaking up.
    Ranger, you are such a dinosaur. The ship sailed a long time ago on a lot of your “traditional” views. Get used to it because it’s never going back to your nostalgic fantasy. And stop with the mansplaining to women what their roles are and take advice from norshorguy. And spare me the preaching which isn’t traditional christianity, imo, just some kind of twisted, selfish, prosperity gospel.

    • Good discussion. We’re all on the same page regarding women. They’re good, necessary and needed, whether working in the home outside the home or not at all. If not, God wouldn’t have created them.
      The issue at hand though is what’s best for the kids. There we might differ. I contend mom (female), dad (male), married to each other produces the best environment to raise kids. Not saying single mom’s, working mom’s, single dads, working dads, she/she relationships, he/he relationships, x/x relationships (now allowed in Mn), with nobody working or the whole family working can’t do it. They can, we all have wonderful stories of where that’s worked. Just saying the odds of raising kids successfully are greatest with a traditional he/she married couple.

    • It’s a treat having you around kissa, really. Did you ask your pastor the question yet – who did Jesus turn to for advice?

  21. As we seem to have beaten this horse pretty good and nearing the end…I thought you’d appreciate being informed of this letter I wrote to Mn DNR Commissioner Landwehr a few years ago. Bill Hanna thought it was worth pursuing and wanted to run it as a letter to the editor:

    I want to run this as a letter to editor.
    What town/city with your name?
    Bill Hanna

    On Oct 15, 2015, at 4:02 PM, ———wrote:

    Dear Commissioner Landwehr
    The area I typically hunt in is bucks only this year. That being the case, I have a question. If I shoot a doe, can I claim it was really a buck? It’s possible that she’d really always wanted to be a buck, acted like a buck, thought she was a buck, but due to no choice of her own, was born with the physical attributes of a doe.
    Please let me know if it’s ok to shoot a doe in a bucks only zone.

    p.s. I heard it’s being debated in this legislative session to add a new category to deer permits….bucks, does and X’s. Studies have shown many Minnesota deer are now exhibiting X behavior.

  22. Love it!

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