Why your kids are “economically worthless”

Remember when children were an economic asset?

No, you probably don’t, because that was back in the 1800s, when kids labored on farms and in factories and kicked in a few pennies to help cover the family expenses. “The more [children] you had, the better off you were,” Jennifer Senior, author of the new book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, explains in the video above. Since most kids produced a positive financial return for their parents, there was a natural incentive to have more.

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Thanks to listener Jim Palmer.

One Response to Why your kids are “economically worthless”

  1. Brian March 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    It’s not that kids are economically worthless, it’s that their value has gone from being individual to communal and the investment has a far longer delay on returns. Kids seldom work to support the family anymore, but they’re necessary to pay into entitlement programs, which their parents and other adults will later use.The problem is, you collect on those programs whether you have kids supporting them or not and if you do have kids, you’re spending a quarter million on raising them for over 20 years that as I said before, you don’t really need to. They’re not worthless, we have just entered into a tragedy of commons situation.

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