Every historical movement since the invention of money has had a strong if not dominant economic component. Feminism in the pre-hysteria United States was largely about drawing women out of the home and into the labor force–labor arbitrage.
Whether economic incentive is a necessary or a sufficient cause of the disease feminism is now doesn’t matter. It’s hard to imagine getting to where we are without it–expanding the labor pool for the world’s greatest economy is how we funded the demise of the family. America fuck yeah.
The patriarchy, despite its misogyny and lack of representation, kicked it all off with technological innovation: maintaining the home required less labor with progress generally and specifically in the introduction of modern appliances such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. The initial instrument of women’s liberation was the washing machine.
There is a racist classic: “if we’d known you’d be this much trouble, we’d have picked the cotton ourselves”. Likewise, maybe we shouldn’t have been so industriously helpful to women in their former misery.
Legal access to the pill before women turned 21 both increased how many women were in the labor force as well as how much they actually worked. Access to the pill reduced the likelihood that a woman would have a baby before the age of 22 by 14 percent. That, in turn, increased young women’s labor force participation by 7 percent. The women who first had legal access to the pill because of their states’ laws worked 650 more hours than their peers who only got it later…
Between 1972 and the early 1990s, the share of women in their prime working age who were in the workforce rose from 72 percent to nearly 84 percent. Had that not happened, the economy would have been about 11 percent smaller in 2012…
This leaves out the perceived economic incentive of legal abortion, which Chelsea Clinton recently blurted out to some controversy. I won’t try to make myself an expert on the subject: I’ll assume there’s mainstream consensus it benefits the economy by limiting labor turnover.
But taking the long view there’s an economic argument against the Pill–if you take out the feminism: it’s dysgenic. It degrades your human capital. Not just the quality of available labor, but that of the population is degraded, and society has to absorb the cost of the Pill effecting higher levels of dysfunction.
But this cold calculation chills people who cheer the economic benefits of a childless society. For whom the nation with more children is on the wrong side of the “fertility differential”.
I don’t think it’s the economists that are that short-sighted. It is, or has become, the feminism now, stupid. Increasingly, like “diversity”, the cost feminism will extract from the economy will become obvious and unmentionable.
It likely isn’t quantified, or allowed to be quantified at this point, but the economic returns to business from the great migration of women out of the home must be diminishing now. All those jobs where women are competitive with men have long been open to them and their industries have taken advantage of the expanded labor market–now, compelled by feminism, the same businesses are expected to produce equal representation everywhere, regardless of how paltry the pool of available and qualified female labor.
Feminism has made a lot of money for the economy. Now it wants that money back, with interest, forever.