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There's imo a stronger argument that economic/financial factors are far more significant than "feminism." The closing in the employment gap in the 1980s was driven by hyperinflation and consumer debt - everyone had to work to pay the bills.

Similarly, contraceptives aren't the reason people have fewer children. It's the fact we can't afford childcare and housing for a family.






These are big factors. I'm also struck, though, by the short historical view most of these comments have. Back in the day, many people "stayed at home", where that means tending the gardens and fields, tending the cows and pigs, hunting for additional protein, gathering for additional carbs and sugars, doing the washing and getting the water. Pre-Industrial Revolution, this whole "men go to work and earn a wage while women stay home" thing did not exist the way it does now. Servants lived in the houses of the people they served, merchants operated as families, and rural people all devoted significant amounts of time to food production. And there was no real choice "not to work" unless you were rich.

I mean I don't think you're wrong, I just think talking about pre industrial society isn't particularly helpful when trying to understand factors behind trends in our current lifestyles.

In other words, yes current state is a function of all past states, but recent history has a far higher influence on next state than the far past. At a certain point you have to assume its influence to be close to zero.


In terms of influence, I agree. But in terms of imagining alternatives, I think it's useful to look at history. In finance people often do stress testing for portfolios by looking at periods of historical downturn. I'm proposing doing that for ideas here.

In my own family, the American half reproduced earlier and had many more children than the "old country" half, due to economic distress and war. People in my father's generation were not directly affected by World War II, but the economic contractions that gripped Europe in the 1970s really show when you look at the reproductive choices my "old country" family made compared to my US family (which supports your previous post).

It's just weird that this longer conversation posits either idealized 1950s suburban America or an individualist society. Especially as employment configurations evolve, we should be aware that those are not the only options.


Well, doubling the labor supply made wages go down so women HAD to work. They no longer had the freedom to choose.



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