So a poverty-pimp has a piece in the Drum this morning carrying on about the “most vulnerable groups in our society” and how mean we are in our dealings with those individuals. Yes – whatever.
This sentence, however, is quite interesting (emphasis added):
Coupled with the fact that women go out of the workforce to have children and to care for them, without mandated superannuation contributions during this time, they start retirement on the back foot.
My first thought was, “What about her husband?”. Of course, that is bound to get me into trouble. In 2007 I caused a meltdown at the ABC when I asked if a young lady with three disabled children and allegedly struggling on welfare was married. The assumption seems to be that women exit the workforce and raise children in the absence of any societal support mechanisms. Of course the luvvies always assume that government is the only societal support mechanism – but that can’t be true.
The notion that super should be paid while individuals are not working or in the workforce is astonishing. Paid by whom? In any event those women in stable long-term relationships can look to their husbands (or partners if unmarried) to support them while they are raising children. Marriage is the social mechanism that has evolved for that very purpose.* Similarly in retirement the couple would have joint savings (including their super) to draw upon for support.
Of course we live in a world of unexpected pregnancies and divorce and so on. Yes – that is all true. Yet to generalise that somehow all women are worse off due to child rearing by abstracting from the non-government social institutions that support women in precisely that situation is very misleading.
* before the luvvies get hysterical it has other functions too.