Forced Labor: What's Wrong with Balancing Work and Family

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The last thing parents should do is try to “balance” work and family. A revolutionary shift of time and attention from home to the workplace has left the family on the ropes. Researcher Brian Robertson shows how a potent combination of ideology, government policy, and corporate coercion has driven parents from home—and how they can find their way back.

Confronting the overwhelming evidence that children suffer when their mothers leave them for the workplace, Mr. Robertson asks why it has nevertheless become the norm for mothers to work. The power of feminism seems the obvious answer, but until the 1960s, the women’s movement zealously fought against mothers’ being forced to abandon their homes for wages. The real answer, Mr. Robertson reveals, is the transformation of the way we think about work itself. What we once undertook to support our families we now pursue as a means of self-fulfillment.

Along with this new view of work have come coercive new policies in business and government—always labeled “family-friendly”—that have deliberately stacked the deck against one-income families. While Democrats embrace the feminist mania for working mothers, Republicans will not threaten the corporate grip on parental priorities. Mr. Robertson responds with an outline of sane family policy designed to help mothers and fathers prevail against the anti-family current.

Forced Labor is the first book to challenge the idea of balancing work and family. Work belongs in the service of the family. And nothing less than our children’s happiness and security is at stake.

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