But they\’re not Brooke

let\’s ask why older women are still underrepresented in positions of money and power.

Women control the majority of the world\’s wealth. The reason is \”widows\”.

And women control up to 80% of discretionary spending. The reason is \”wives\”.

It may well be that it\’s the men who go to the office to gain the money and wealth, but it\’s largely the women who decide how it gets spent.

13 comments on “But they\’re not Brooke

  1. Ahem

    Bollocks.

    The principal / agent problem doesn’t apply to individuals – who are both the principal and the agent.

    If you wanted to make the point that very rich people, regardless of their sex, often only have indirect control of their wealth, largely because they use intermediaries (ie flunkies) then you should have made that point. But, given the direct hierarchy in that arrangement, p/a is very much less likely to apply while the rich person is competent (unless they’re doing something weird with trusts – when it is often deliberate i.e. blind trusts.)

  2. “In our household we make democratic decisions on spending. I get one vote and my wife gets two.”

    You’re lucky. I get a veto, when my wife deign’s to ask my opinion and listen to my response. Even then she appears to have appointed herself a veto over my veto.

  3. In our household I’m the breadwinner, but I hand over all my salary to my wife who allows me to keep a bit of pocket money. But then she does handle all the bills, the tax, the tenants, the shopping, etc. so I think it pretty fair that I pay her to do these things.

  4. This joke dates me. “I get to make the important decisions – what to do about Suez or Hungary – and my wife makes the minor decisions, such as whether we should buy a house.”

  5. Its funny I’ve dated chicks that made more money than me and they decided how the money was spent. I’ve dated chicks that make less money than me and they decided how the money was spent. This actually works out well as I’d just spend the money on cocaine, single malt whiskey, comics, books about philosophy and obscure 1970’s vinyl’s. Even the junkie chicks seems to have this in build sense that at some point you need to buy a toaster, a sofa and that kind of crap

  6. Actually, aside from the record and book collection, the pain in the nose and a dodgy liver all the domestic crap I own was bought by girlfriends. I should find another one. Hmm intercontinental free gin

  7. “It may well be that it’s the men who go to the office to gain the money and wealth,”
    Actually, that’s not quite right. A large majority of women work in comfortable offices/schools/clinics …
    An awful lot, possibly still a majority (it was a large majority in my youth) of men work in a factory or a mine or a building/construction site or on trawlers or an oil rig or driving lorries or farming or … which are far from comfortable, which is a major reason (alongside the far longer average hours worked by men) why men’s pay is, on average, greater than women’s. [Apart from your favourite “motherhood gap”]

  8. “I’d just spend the money on cocaine, single malt whiskey, comics, books about philosophy and obscure 1970?s vinyl’s. ”

    The rest I’d assume you’d just fritter away?

  9. My mum doesn’t get much say in where money goes. She has to petition my dad for things such as a new washing machine when it packs up, whereas he’ll spend on whatever he wants. Both are earning.

    Does that make my dad the women? Would explain a few things…

  10. Nah, the infinite variability of human relationships will turn up pretty much endless anecdatal ‘black swans’.

    As a note – Mrs SE tries very hard to let me spend the money and normally (often against my best efforts) succeeds.

  11. Real estate agents know this very well when dealing with couples. They talk money with the bloke of course (usually trying to find out how much they have to spend) but the sell the house itself to the woman (look at this kitchen/bathroom/etc). They know damn well her opinion matters.

    Going back 15 years, I bought a house with a friend rather than renting together – as it happens a wise decision because the timing worked out very well as far as property values went (but that was more lucky than smart). It was quite funny watching agents try to fit two blokes into their usual game plan. 90% of the time they assigned me, unshaven and wearing T-shirt and jeans, the male role and him, dapper and well-dressed with neat blond hair, the female role. In the interests of giving them as little information as possible to work with, we didn’t disabuse them of their assumptions either :)

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