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From the comments, what if big business hated your family?

Summary:
Suppose Big Business did hate your family, what would that look like? Would it mean adopting a working culture that made it ever harder to rise to power within it while also having said family? Would it require those with career ambitions to geographically abandon extended family and to live in areas notoriously difficult for raising families? Would it mean requiring long delays on family formation while you got credentialed, worked with little remuneration while getting your foot in the door, and then place huge amounts of time and effort on career growth rather than investing in your family? Does corporate culture act like it hates your family? Would it mean selling products which have strong correlations with family strife and dissolution? Would it market products known to be

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Suppose Big Business did hate your family, what would that look like?

Would it mean adopting a working culture that made it ever harder to rise to power within it while also having said family? Would it require those with career ambitions to geographically abandon extended family and to live in areas notoriously difficult for raising families? Would it mean requiring long delays on family formation while you got credentialed, worked with little remuneration while getting your foot in the door, and then place huge amounts of time and effort on career growth rather than investing in your family? Does corporate culture act like it hates your family?

Would it mean selling products which have strong correlations with family strife and dissolution? Would it market products known to be destructive to thousands of families relentlessly? Would it market products that consume time in great quantities at the expense of family time investment? Would it routinely mock and denigrate your family roles for cheap publicity?

Would it mean lobbying for policies which are good for the business, but bad for your family? Would it support seeking a larger supply of labor via immigration? Would it support visa restricted immigration of labor that is less able to defy corporate diktat without having legal or financial issues? Would it argue for child care subsidies for the people it wishes to employee rather than for all Americans and all child care arrangements?

I believe businesses are amoral and are just maximizing money, power, and prestige for those in positions of power within them. Yet, this formal indifference seems to be giving rise to a lot of behaviors that are, at best, perceived to be hostile to families. I mean what exactly are the pro-family things that business endeavors to do? Provide a cornucopia of goods and services? I guess, but that seems pretty neutral at best for supporting families as opposed to other societal arrangements.

Because everything is political these days, and particularly because Big Business has decided to be political we might ask how corporations compare to families. The majority of American families (even if we include everything except single adults living alone) have priorities that diverge significantly from business. If we take a slightly stricter view of “family” as either parents or married, we find business diverges even more from the median family.

After all, both the median parent and the median spouse are vastly more religious than the country as a whole. Both are vastly more likely to vote Republican. And even within the Democratic party, marrieds or parents tend to be right of their unmarried and childless peers. When it comes to the expressed preferences of the median “family”, the median corporation is in opposition most of the time. On the many issues where the nation is split near 50/50, business comes down on the side with more single, childless people the vast majority of the time. And hence they are ever more often backing the partisan politics opposed to the wishes of the majority of families.

There is nothing wrong with this, and certainly nothing illegal about it, but I would be shocked if large organizations that are disproportionately filled with the single and childless who are located in regions that are disproportionately single and childless and who are busy virtue signalling to academia, politics, and other left bastions that are disproportionately single and childless managed to somehow not end up at cross purposes for the majority of families. And frankly I would be shocked if this antagonism did not spill over into emotional terms.

Certainly, I am always told that this sort of analysis is why [Structure X] is antagonistic, if only implicitly, against racial minorities. I see no reason why parents or spouses would feel any differently.

That is from Sure.

The post From the comments, what if big business hated your family? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

Tyler Cowen
Tyler Cowen is an American economist, academic, and writer. He occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author, with Alex Tabarrok, of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. Cowen and Tabarrok have also ventured into online education by starting Marginal Revolution University. He currently writes the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, and he also writes for such publications as The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, and the Wilson Quarterly.

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