Actually, "incredibly stupid" doesn't even begin to describe this one. Apparently, feminists have come to the conclusion that mothers aren't rejoining the "work force" and leaving their children in daycare enough. Hence, Harvard Professor Alberto Alessina and U. of Bologna Professor Andrea Ichino suggest that the way to "fix" this problem is to tax women's income at a lower rate than men's.
One hardly knows where to start in ridiculing this idea. One would figure that Italians (with the lowest birth rate in Europe) might know something about what happens when a nation encourages women to ignore their maternal instincts. One might also figure that they might be aware of their proposal's likely influence in breastfeeding, daycare, and institutional schooling--and that these effects are all negative. One might also figure that they'd be able to hazard a guess about what the effects of this idea would be on marriage--more or less making a husband less valuable to the wife.
And no, this Hahvid prof isn't alone; witness this column by Linda Hirshman, nicely mocked here. To Hirshman's credit, she doesn't propose differing tax rates for men and women, but she still has the idea that a woman should disregard her maternal instincts and get back on that career ladder.
Methinks gender feminists like Hirshman and Alessina need to remember Wallace's words:
"The hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world."
What a shame that feminists are so eager to cast away the God-ordained influence of women in return for a cubicle.
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