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Arwa, Honey, Granny did it

Elon Musk wants everyone to have big families like him – but who’s going to pay for them?
Arwa Mahdawi

Think on this just for a little moment. Granny – maybe for the younger set, great granny – did this. So, it’s possible to actually analyse how it was done, isn’t it? We don’t need to surmise or suppose, we can observe.

It certainly doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice anything when it comes to your day job; multiple kids are a lot easier to manage when you don’t have to give birth yourself and you can pay other people to look after them. Of course, most of us are not worth $237bn, and the astronomical costs of childcare

Well, no, granny didn’t. The numbers actually work the other way – the more children there are the more it pays for one individual in the family unit to specialise in child care, eh?

He might want to think about setting an example and pushing to pay more tax to help support state-subsidised childcare

No, that works only for small families, where both adults continue to work in the market economy. For large families where one removes themselves from that market economy it works the other way – the taxes required to fund that childcare become too much on a one income family….

The other thing granny did was be materially poorer – but vastly richer in the important things of life, like grandchildren – than we are. And aren’t we always being told that material riches are merely hyperconsumption?

The way that large families work is that one parent doesn’t work outside the home, money income is lower. OK, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but it does rather accord with the lifestyle progressives keep telling us we should have, doesn’t it? You know, more meaningfulness and less bling?

11 thoughts on “Arwa, Honey, Granny did it”

  1. The Left has got Spud’s stump thinking off to a T. Today its ‘OMG people with lots of kids need lots of government subsidy for childcare, and taxes need to go up’ day. Tomorrow it’ll be ‘Excess consumption is killing the planet and we need to have less kids, and taxes on everything need to go up’ day (note its always taxes need to go up day).

  2. Musk hasn’t got a big family, he’s got several small ones. He might sub them all but there are several carers. He’s basically the white version of the cliché about black blokes and their baby mamas.

    We found 2 kids quite enough, and I was fortunate enough to be able to afford my wife taking several years off work to look after them until they went to school. Now we’re doing the grandparenting thing one day a week for our daughter. However she doesn’t live round the corner so it’s a bit of a journey. We know others who are doing long-distance support like that too.

  3. My great-great grandmother was widowed with four kiddies. She bought a confectionary shop with accommodation above, so in today’s parlance worked from home to support herself and her family.
    My great-grandmother was widowed with her new-born. She similarly worked from home, in the family confectionary shop.
    Next door lived the two maiden aunts, who lived on the rent from the shop downstairs that they let out. They had the time to look after great-great-grandma’s kids and great-grandma’s babby while they were downstairs in their shop earning a living.
    That’s the way you pay for a family. You work for a living, and the non-workers pool in together to look after the kids while you’re working.

    My grandma (the new-born above) and grandad had seven children, and as our host says, they paid for this by my grandma taking a break from teaching to look after the kids until the oldest were big enough to look after the youngest.

    Opportunity costs. If you want to do X, it comes with the cost of having to do Y.

  4. the more children there are the more it pays for one individual in the family unit to specialise in child care

    Not really. The first couple of children need looking after but from then on it’s a pyramid scheme thing. Depending on the age gaps No1 looks after No3, No2 looks after No4 and so on. The last one gets the easy ride.
    My mother was No9 (with on average 2 year gaps*) out of 10 with then a 5 year gap (sort of a mistake thing I guess) before her brother arrived. In her case by the time she was born No1 was at work in t’mill and No2 down t’pit and No3 about to go to work.

    Look at modern large families and you’ll find a similar system operating thoughwith the proviso that the older ones don’t leave school at 14 and start earning.

    * As an aside I can’t find any evidence of stillbirths, miscarriages or infant deaths in the family. Though No2 did miss being a bastard by a month. Time frame 1893-1915.

  5. DocBud in Scarborough

    MrsBud’s gran was widowed with 11 children. The elder ones (in the days of leaving school at 14) worked to support mum and the little ones.
    Interestingly, most of the children, despite the tough upbringing lived, or are living to ripe old ages. MrsBud’s mum is 87, we’re at Scarborough cricket ground with her watching Yorkshire (MrsBud) v Surrey (DocBud). She’s worth bringing for the laughs, she has no filter.

  6. “I want to have a great lifestyle with lots of holidays and a couple of kids but childcare costs stop me having a nice car and long haul holidays and going out and buying lots of things”

    Effectively they want us to subsidise their lifestyles. As someone above said… it’s about trade offs. The intent is to get me to pay for their holidays when it is not clear I can afford my own due to the high tax burden.

  7. @Tractor Gent

    “He’s basically the white version of the cliché about black blokes and their baby mamas.”

    Well he is an African-American after all…

  8. Granny 1: 3 +1 still
    Granny 2: 4

    Their Progeny: 2, 3, 3, 1, 3, 0

    Next level: many zeroes

    You know who else tends to have huge families, Arwa? Go on, guess!

    Would that be R*Ps? Includes the child rape gangs output?

  9. The usual complaint about the servant problem. ‘I’m married to the government, so why isn’t hubby providing me a nanny or two to look after the kids?’

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