As Thomas Sowell once said:
The oldest fraud is the belief that the political left is the party of the poor and the downtrodden.
It was reported in the AFR today that Senior women urged to talk about pathways to success. And in this report, former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner (and former member of the Australian Human Rights Commission) Elizabeth Broderick suggested that one of the key strategies to achieve “gender equality”, whatever that is, is to reduce the cost of childcare. God forbid a man making such a statement presuming women are the primary carers of children, but notwithstanding, lets’ consider the issues with reducing the cost of child care.
There may be others, but Spartacus can only think of 4 “policy levers” governments have used or have available to try to reduce the cost of childcare:
1 – Get the government the hell out of the way and out of the space. But this is Australia and there seem multi-partisan consensus that there is no corner of the country, economy or world, where there is not a role for the Commonwealth Government of Australia.
2 – Increase childcare subsidies, but as Judith Sloan has frequently written, increases to child care subsidies (from tax payers) are usually automatically eaten up with increased fees, leaving childcare costs about the same or sometimes slightly higher than before the increased subsidy.
3 – Making the cost of nannies tax deductible, but much like Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave proposal, this would be politically unpalatable, not to mention quite regressive. Although economically regressive policies have never been a problem for parties of the left.
4 – Reduce or freeze the salaries of childcare workers. But guess which gender dominates childcare work? Women.
So what is the last policy card standing? To foster career advancement for already highly paid professional women what is needed is to damage the income and careers of low paid non-professional women.
Social justice and equity in action.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus