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Michael R. Strain

Stop Poor-Mouthing the Two-Earner Family

It’s insulting and wrong to blame women who work for the rising costs of “middle-class amenities.”

On the job.

On the job.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

When it comes to pressures on working parents, it is usually the political left that is loudest in calling for more government intervention to help them. Its focus is on traditional liberal programs like universal child care and mandates for more generous family leave. But some on the political right have recently expressed concern, in this case about two-earner couples.

This campaign on the right got a lot of publicity in January when Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked viewers to hold their applause for rising women’s wages, arguing that this higher pay reduces marriage rates, increases out-of-wedlock births and leads to social problems. He has also characterized the mass entry of mothers into the workforce as a “disaster for families.”