Tax credits, childcare benefits, school vouchers, flextime for parents, parental leaves--all have spawned what journalist Elinor Burkett calls a "culture of parental privilege." The Baby Boon charts the backlash against this movement and asks for a reevaluation of social policy. Burkett's cause isn't served by her sarcasm, which leads so easily to exaggeration and strained humor. She proposes, for example, that there exists an unwritten but widely understood "Ten Commandments of workplace etiquette in family-friendly America," which includes items such as "Thou shalt volunteer to work late so that mothers can leave at 2:00 p.m. to watch their sons play soccer" and "Thou shalt never ask for a long leave to write a book, travel, or fulfill thy heart's desire because no desire other than children could possibly be worth thy company's inconvenience." Burkett is more convincing when citing real-life examples, such as a legal secretary who applied for flextime and was told that benefit was available only to parents, or the case of Sarah, a childless travel agent in Seattle who invented a fake daughter, put her picture on her desk at work, and proceeded to take long lunches ("trips to the pediatrician") and leave work early for "family emergencies." Ironically, as Burkett describes, it was the search for equity that inspired the various pro-parent benefits of the "family-friendly workplace." A new attention to childless workers does seem to be in order--permitting them to substitute some benefits for others, for instance, or to receive bonuses instead, and to work in environments that support their choices not to have children. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
We may think of babies as "bundles of joy," but according to Burkett they are also bundles of cash--for their parents. In this provocative and well-documented study, the journalist and former history professor (Representative Mom, etc.) presents a case that new "family friendly" tax credits, child-care benefits and flextime policies, implemented over the past 15 years by government and businesses, not only work to the detriment of those without children but, in reality, help only the most affluent families (usually baby boomers). Drawing on firsthand interviews with parents, social policy makers, business leaders, feminists and elected officials, Burkett writes in a tone of moral outrage, and is unafraid to take controversial stands: she argues that workplace day care, for a series of complex reasons, is overwhelmingly used by middle-class white parents, although all workers pay for it; that school vouchers are essentially a boon for middle- and upper-middle-class parents at the expense of universal public education; and that many "family friendly" policies are in direct violation of the 1963 Equal Pay Act that mandated "pay for work done, rather then for the number of dependents." But perhaps Burkett's most contentious views are those attacking deeply held beliefs that there is something morally superior about having children, and what she sees as an ingrained prejudice against the childless.This incendiary book promises to stir public debate and elicit strong reactions.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was hoping to hear more about a sisterhood of a kind that gave some understanding to what us child free women experience in day to day life, and in the workplace. Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by TERI BARRETT
This book highlights with examples the discrimination that childless individuals or couples face. This discrimination takes the form of benefits (e.g. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Leslie
Are children a liability or an asset? Is having them a consumer choice? Most Americans would claim that they are an asset, and heavens no, raising the next generation is far more... Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Wesley Clark
I was interviewed for this book and was horrified when I read it. To start with, I was told I was being interviewed for a newspaper article, not a book. Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by Bleeding edge adopter
Good book, however pages were missing! I sent it back and was sent a new copy, however, pages were still missing!Published on September 3, 2010 by Brenda M. Horat
I think everyone should read this book! Burkett talks about so many advantages parents have that I didn't even think about until reading her book. Read morePublished on April 22, 2008 by S. Johnson
Elinor Burkett is my favorite "issues" writer. She maps the connections between policy, ideology and activism like nobody else. Read morePublished on September 26, 2007 by Tina Trent
I very much have a love/hate relationship with The Baby Boon as in I loved the second half and hated the first. Read morePublished on May 15, 2007 by R. Swaney
Book in very good condition, priced nice and low. Used for a book club. I enjoyed viewpoint of author but not everyone in our book club did even though none of us have or plan to... Read morePublished on April 11, 2007 by Denise Rhodes