true confession
shameless self-promotion, 333 in a series

qotd, antipsychotics and chickens edition

"Charlie Ledley and Ben Hockett returned from Las Vegas on January 30, 2007, convinced that the entire financial system had lost its mind. 'I said to my mother, "I think we might be facing something like the end of democratic capitalism,"' said Charlie. 'She just said, "Oh, Charlie," and seriously suggested I go on lithium.'"

-- Michael Lewis, The Big Short, which you should all go read even if you don't know squat about the whole sub-prime mortgage debacle. It is a remarkable book, both in its depth and simplicity. 

... and since I saw this this morning and couldn't resist...

"I don’t think it’s silly. It sounds like fun. But for a woman in the prime of life to stay home to do it? To be dependent on a man so you can grow your own vegetables? I don’t think that’s a wise life plan for women. And the way it is moralized bothers me too. Like, if a woman said “I’m going to stay home so I can play cards with my girlfriends” that would sound really frivolous, but if she’s growing organic salad for her family that’s a challenge to the capitalist system. It’s not. It is incredibly difficult to opt out of the system. That’s what makes it a system."

-- Katha Pollitt on Peggy Orenstein's NYT's piece about wealthy women who leave the workforce to raise chickens.


I just finished No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos. You would enjoy it. Markopolos was an figured out (in 5 minutes) in 1999 that Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, went to the SEC with proof three or four or five different times, and was never listened to. Fascinating.

I've heard about the Markopolos book. I'll have to keep my eye out for a copy. Thanks.

Both Orenstein and Pollitt seem to miss the point that a family can figure out for themselves how they want to live and exist. It's not the woman's decision to stay home and raise the kids/chickens/vegetables or not; it's the family's decision. It's something that the partners (husband & wife, spouses (or, as Chief would say, "spices") determine what's best for their family. In some cases, it's the woman who stays home; in some cases, it's the man; in some cases it's neither, and the family figures it out.

No matter how much we talk about it being a family decision, there is still the pervasive cultural expectation that the woman will be the one who stays home. That can't help but influence the discussion.

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