Monday, 16 July 2012

Two classes, divided by single income

Re: Two Classes Divided By 'I Do'

This article rubs me the wrong way.

It's not the title, the somewhat patronising tone condemning single parenthood, or even the pictures at the top of the page where the single mother has unhappy-looking children of colour while the middle class Great American Couple have cheerful white children. Including one in boy scout uniform, at a Great American Airfield.

It's the tone of the article that seems to suggest that it's the 'choice' of some to be a single parent that is to blame for the vast difference in their childrens' class, however, the real problem that the article mentions but skates over is that the average single income can no longer support the average family.

The article takes as its example a married couple with two children and a dual upper-middle-class income, and fails to factor in the single-income, two-child couple, or a dual-income, two-child couple with increasing childcare costs that decimate most of a paycheck - perhaps more realistic models for the vast majority of us who aren't lucky enough to build a three-bed house in the suburbs, or as the article calls us, 'three out of four families' - whose problems presumably aren't based on the 'decision' to be a single mother or lack of a father figure, but on rapidly increasing living costs, rent that consumes a large proportion of take-home salary, salaries, and what increasingly looks like an all-out war on the middle and working class.