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Blessing in Disguise?

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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby Madcity Expat » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:17 pm

bdog wrote:Caring for a spouse or parent is not something you choose to do. It's something that, regardless of the outcome, you just "get through". Having a child on the other hand is for most people, a choice, and one that is the reward of a lifetime.


Glad to see this exchange got around to being civil. Having also spent time as an adult both childless and be'childrened I side wholeheartedly with Kurt and I couldn't add anything that he hasn't already said.

But I did, perhaps, spot a potential point of common ground. Bdog, can you agree that all of the situations above (care for spouse, parent AND newborn child) all count as significant and traditionally recognized social obligations. And as such Kurt has a point that the law is designed not to simply indulge a certain constituency or individual's happiness, but instead to facilitate the performance of serious and very common familial centered social obligations.

That is, the law makes the Walton's option more viable, yes?

And, I still think the United States ought to draw back on its role as arbiter of the Israeli-Palistinian quagmire.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby wack wack » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:39 pm

I'm curious, bdog: your whole objection seems to hinge on the concept of "choice." Why is it choice for parents to have children, but NOT a choice for you to not have children? You are perfectly able, in a legal sense, to make the choice that secures the benefit. You choose not to.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby bdog » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:11 pm

wack wack wrote:You are perfectly able, in a legal sense, to make the choice that secures the benefit. You choose not to.

Of course it's a choice. It's a BIG choice.

I choose to be childless, just as many people choose to be in homosexual relationships. Does that mean they should not have marriage benefits just because the "choice" of being a heterosexual is available to them?

Again , all I'm saying is the Packers need to run the ball more.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby bdog » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:19 pm

Madcity Expat wrote:But I did, perhaps, spot a potential point of common ground. Bdog, can you agree that all of the situations above (care for spouse, parent AND newborn child) all count as significant and traditionally recognized social obligations. And as such Kurt has a point that the law is designed not to simply indulge a certain constituency or individual's happiness, but instead to facilitate the performance of serious and very common familial centered social obligations.

That is, the law makes the Walton's option more viable, yes?


I agree.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby jman111 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:25 pm

bdog wrote:I choose to be childless, just as many people choose to be in homosexual relationships. Does that mean they should not have marriage benefits just because the "choice" of being a heterosexual is available to them?

here we go....
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby wack wack » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:31 pm

bdog wrote:
wack wack wrote:You are perfectly able, in a legal sense, to make the choice that secures the benefit. You choose not to.

Of course it's a choice. It's a BIG choice.

I choose to be childless, just as many people choose to be in homosexual relationships. Does that mean they should not have marriage benefits just because the "choice" of being a heterosexual is available to them?

Again , all I'm saying is the Packers need to run the ball more.


Apple, meet orange.

Homo- or heterosexual is not a choice. Denying homosexuals the right to marry is a whole 'nother class of "wrong" from not allowing you time off to not have children.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby AaronTheSnob » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:15 am

There are many workplaces (some of them supposedly very progressive in other ways) that perhaps unknowingly discriminate against childless employees. It is quite common for parents to use their children for any number of reasons to either be absent from work or leave early and otherwise take a fair amount of advantage over their employers. The employers seem to tolerate that, yet make it difficult for single people to get the same sorts of breaks for their own personal needs.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:26 am

AaronTheSnob wrote:It is quite common for parents to use their children for any number of reasons to either be absent from work or leave early and otherwise take a fair amount of advantage over their employers.

Depending on your workplace, there can be pluses and minuses to that. When I taught I noticed fellow teachers with children had to use a lot of sick days because of their offsprings' illnesses or medical appointments. I saved over a hundred days of sick leave (no kids and I seldom got sick), so I can convert them to pay for extended health/dental/life insurance after I retired.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby bdog » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:35 am

That has been my experience too, but I have to qualify it - people with a stay at home spouse get just as much work shoved on them as childless people do.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby kurt_w » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:20 pm

And again, it's totally unclear who has the "advantage" here.

People who have to provide care for a dependent (parents with young children, and people like Ms Kurt's co-worker who has a disabled elderly parent living with her) tend to have certain kinds of issues at work:

    * You occasionally (or frequently) need to be away from work during normal working hours.

    * You may have difficulty making it to work-related events on evenings or weekends.

    * If your work requires travel, it may be very difficult for you.

    * If your work goes beyond the normal 40-hour week, it may be difficult for you to put in as many hours as your co-workers are able to.
In some circumstances, this might feel like the employees with children are "getting away with stuff" that the childless employees can't get away with. If people in your office hate doing work-related travel, and the boss makes the childless employees cover more than their share of travel, that's unfair.

But ... what I suspect Aaron and bdog don't really get is how often these things give the childless a huge advantage in the workplace.

There are many jobs where "time off" just means you have more work to make up at night or on the weekend. There are many jobs where it's advantageous to be able to go out for dinner or drinks after work and socialize (network) with your colleagues. There are many jobs where avoiding travel, or not being available 24/7, will hinder your chances of advancement. In all of those cases, the childless employee has a systematic advantage over the employee who is a parent.

So there are two sides to this. On balance, and having been both a non-parent and a parent, I think the workplace is much worse for parents than for non-parents. But hopefully one's satisfaction in raising a family will compensate for the many headaches associated with trying to keep one's career on track while not neglecting the family.
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Re: Blessing in Disguise?

Postby bdog » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:42 pm

kurt_w wrote:And again, it's totally unclear who has the "advantage" here.

But ... what I suspect Aaron and bdog don't really get is how often these things give the childless a huge advantage in the workplace.

I agree with your first statement...and I totally get the advantage I have as a childless worker.

Before I took my current job I applied for a State job. I was very concerned about not being able to go in on weekends if I chose to (to get ahead). I asked some State worker friends about it and they said it would be "frowned upon".
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