Dead End Society

Late last week a chap called Giles Fraser wrote an article, the gist of which was:

Children have a responsibility to look after their parents. Even better, care should be embedded within the context of the wider family and community. It is the daughter of the elderly gentleman that should be wiping his bottom. This sort of thing is not something to subcontract.

Ideally, then, people should live close to their parents and also have some time availability to care for them. But instead, many have cast off their care to the state or to carers who may have themselves left their own families in another country to come and care for those that we won’t.

This sent people into apoplexy, of which the following is typical:


Of course, these days it is everyone’s right to do whatever the hell they want, and there  is no going back to the days where men worked, women raised kids, and families looked after one another. Well, unless you’re from outside the developed, western world in which case this is still perfectly normal. So in some ways Fraser’s piece does hark back to a bygone age which apparently nobody wants to return to.

However, his detractors are also missing a point. While we may all agree that society is much better now women can swap running families for high-flying careers in multinational corporations and men cede ground to feminists in the name of equality, it  does not follow that such a society is sustainable. As I’ve written before, pleasant societies might not make durable societies, whereas societies built around families, though often harsh on individuals, have proved remarkably robust.

So Fraser has spotted that subcontracting family care to third-world immigrants via the state system is a severe departure from some two thousand years of human development, and it’s not looking very clever. In response, everyone’s jumped down his throat saying this society-wide experiment we’ve been running for forty-odd years is so successful that questioning it is heresy. Now I’m not sure what time period we should take as a reasonable benchmark for judging societal success, but the Ottomans lasted six hundred years. The modern free-for-all isn’t even into its third generation. Perhaps some humility is in order?

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46 thoughts on “Dead End Society

  1. I’m beginning to think that there is a germ of a new political party emerging that could prove very popular. The reason I’m thinking this is that Giles Fraser is one of the usual suspects normally, involved in all manner of Lefty nonsense, but then he comes out with stuff like this, which many of us on the right would agree with.

    My proposal for a new party is something on the lines of a higher tax and higher spend one (bear with me), but one that is far freer that the one we have today, less nannying and rules. Socially conservative, which appeals to many on both sides of the political divide, and small n nationalist as well. So you’d have a country that paid 60-70% top rate tax, and had quite generous benefits etc, but didn’t tell people to stop smoking and eating burgers, controlled immigration, stood up for the British way of life over other cultures, and stopped all the SJW and identity politics bit.

    I think that would appeal to a very broad spectrum of voters. Many on the right would be prepared to trade the higher taxes for the freedom from rules and regs and nannying and social conservatism, many on the left would like the higher taxes and spending and actually are quite socially conservative anyway.

    I think the way to sell it to people would be to abolish vast swathes of government that currently are involved in bossing people about and just dole the money, plus the higher taxes, all out in transfer payments, higher pensions and welfare. Better to have government merely collecting and transferring cash, than intimately involved in organising the minutiae of people’s lives. It could actually be quite liberatarian. Rather like Scandinavia used to be before they decided to become Somalia-on-the-Baltic.

  2. The one thing that the current experiment totally fails on is in the area of demographics. We’ve liberated women. So they’ve stopped dropping sprogs. Look at Japan, Germany, Korea and many many countries. Birth rates have collapsed. At least in the ‘non-vibrant’ sections of the population. Any society or culture can only be sustainable if it manages to foster at least a certain level of reproductive success.
    I think there are too many people in the world and would happily see a world of ‘only’ 5 billion or so. But the journey to get there can’t be a cliff.

  3. Giles blames society; his critics respond that as individuals, they’re (relatively) powerless to effect change. They’re right: even if your wife doesn’t work, the fact that everyone else’s wife works means housing is more expensive, and the extra income gets swallowed up in childcare costs. Elizabeth Warren literally wrote the book on this, The Two-Income Trap. This is one reason why I quite like her, despite her running for the wrong party.

  4. “In response, everyone’s jumped down his throat saying this society-wide experiment we’ve been running for forty-odd years is so successful that questioning it is heresy.”

    The standard response from the soft-headed left is to defend like a rabid reactionary everything that you think sustains your lifestyle (female employment, equality laws and policies, EU membership, high immigration etc.) and to decry the lack of “progress” in cases where you think you might get a tastier slice of the cake. Parents and our own children can be awfully burdensome, so more progress must be made in importing cheap labour to care for them. And, of course, we need to have the final solution of killing the elderly or the unborn, should they appear to threaten our consumption patterns.

  5. These people get angry because, deep inside, they know they are selfish cnuts.

    See also, abortion on-demand.

  6. I did look after my parents in their dotage. It was fraught with difficulties and emotionally draining, but gave me honour and purpose that I would have struggled to find found elsewhere.
    No regrets.

  7. If you get paid more than a bottom-wiper it’s stupid to chuck in your job to wipe bottoms. Better to pay the bottom-wiper and continue doing your thing that adds higher value.

    Whether it’s someone from the same town or further afield is an effect of migration policy, not the demand for said labour. You could ban all immigration and the price of bottom-wiping would rise, taking a few people out of their careers to wipe mum’s bottom. In Germany your bottom-wiper is usually from Eastern Europe, those from goatier parts of Vibrantistan tend to (not exclusively, but tend to) have issues with other people’s bottoms, and with that female emancipation thing that lets women work in what is a massively female-dominated profession.

    Also in Germany, the state does come after the kids for care costs, which tips the scales somewhat in favour of wiping bottoms rather than paying the fees.

  8. If you want to solve the birth-rate problem we have to do things the other way around. Have your kids at 15, study more slowly than we do now while they are young, and start your career at about 25-30.

    It makes sense biologically, and for society. Much better than desperately trying to pop one out at 39 and having to give up a by-then lucrative career for it. The economic problem of not having any money at 15 could be solved in any reasonably-managed country.

  9. If you get paid more than a bottom-wiper it’s stupid to chuck in your job to wipe bottoms. Better to pay the bottom-wiper and continue doing your thing that adds higher value.

    Indeed, but it’s not so much the who is doing what as who is taking overall responsibility for the outcome, i.e. supervising. Someone is jumping all over me on Twitter for not understanding that care homes and outside help are required to look after increasingly infirm elderly relatives, but that’s not really the point. Instead, the point is that work subcontracted by someone who doesn’t care or want to be involved doesn’t get done very well; it’s the not caring which is the problem, not the subcontracting.

  10. Have your kids at 15, study more slowly than we do now while they are young, and start your career at about 25-30.

    Or we could stop encouraging people to get poor-quality educations on the basis it’s required for a career which turns out to be a menial admin job in a pointless department, which the person wants to quit just when it’s getting too late to have kids.

  11. Bloke in Germany:
    “If you get paid more than a bottom-wiper it’s stupid to chuck in your job to wipe bottoms. Better to pay the bottom-wiper and continue doing your thing that adds higher value.”

    Exactly. This is basic division of labour stuff. Not surprised the likes of Fraser don’t understand it but I expected better of you Tim 😉

    It seems to me that the argument that paying someone to look after your infirm family rather than having to do it yourself as some kind of weird societal bonding thing (the absence of which leading to the collapse of society) is a bit of a stretch. As you say we’ve hardly got the long-term data to disprove the theory but as the benefits of the more efficient division of labour are clear to see I think I’ll stick with the status quo for now, barring any new evidence.

  12. “While we may all agree that society is much better now women can swap running families for high-flying careers in multinational corporations and men cede ground to feminists in the name of equality, it does not follow that such a society is sustainable.”

    Most of the problem isn’t women in high-flying careers in multinational companies. There’s very few of them, they often don’t have kids, or their husband takes over their role.

    The problem is that government puts the finger on the scale. It encourages women to go to work over other options. It funds childcare. Well, *it* doesn’t. Men and women who go to work do via taxation. Maybe some women, if given the choice of being at home with the kids would rather do so. But by providing free childcare, the government disincentivises that choice.

  13. Exactly. This is basic division of labour stuff.

    It assumes this stuff can subcontracted, and I’m not sure it can. It certainly can’t be subcontracted by people who see the whole thing as a nuisance they’d rather be shot of.

  14. Most of the problem isn’t women in high-flying careers in multinational companies. There’s very few of them, they often don’t have kids, or their husband takes over their role.

    Indeed, I was being facetious.

  15. Tim,

    An awful lot of what looks like a career when you are young turns out to look like menial admin once you have the benefit of having done it for a long time. Perhaps you and I are (with respective hindsight) on the same page there.

    BoM4,
    The funded childcare is an encouragement to people to have the sprogs in the first place. I don’t know how many children Tim has, but it does strike me that it is very easy to complain about the free choices others make, while neglecting the effects of our own.

    The stay-at-home-mum was a postwar anomaly, not the norm for human society for hundreds of thousands of years. We think it is normal because that is the world our own mothers brought us up in.

    Certainly prior to the industrial revolution (which is frankly when, skilled craftsmen and soldiers aside, the concept of paid labour first really took off in Europe) a household wouldn’t have survived without considerable economic input from both adults, no matter how that labour was divided. The women were not at home making aspics and cheese’n’pineapple sticks for buffet parties, playing with the kids, and keeping the washing machine loaded.

  16. An awful lot of what looks like a career when you are young turns out to look like menial admin once you have the benefit of having done it for a long time.

    That might be true, but I get the impression a lot of this work doesn’t even need doing. People are being encouraged to join make-work schemes.

    The stay-at-home-mum was a postwar anomaly, not the norm for human society for hundreds of thousands of years. We think it is normal because that is the world our own mothers brought us up in.

    That’s a good point.

  17. BiG – the point, surely, is that it’s preferable to be taken care of by someone who loves and cares about you rather than by someone who’s punching a clock and may not even give a shit. (And they often don’t.)

  18. MMcG,

    I had the dubious pleasure of spending much of last summer in hospital. The care (including wiping of bottoms) was awesome. I had one grumpy intern to cope with – everyone else – from the consultants to the cleaning ladies – was fantastic.

    However, I was young(ish), had reasonable prospects of recovery (with sequelae), a weird and interesting form of organ failure that doesn’t come along every day, and I know human physiology inside out so was a highly engaged and inquisitive patient.

    I also learned that, when you are so sick you have to shit in a pan, you don’t care who wipes your bottom afterwards.

    I don’t know if the lack of engagement as paid carer or unpaid (given up career, moved city, less time for own family) relative differs that much. There is tons of scope for an MBA thesis in there for sure.

    Bottom-wiping for ratty people with dementia (who often don’t even know you are their son or daughter) or similar end-of-life chronic problems for which there is no recovery, is soul-destroying, whoever is doing it. The paid carer has at least gained something (a job), the relative has to be confronted daily with two or more losses, and potentially huge life compromises.

  19. “…Giles Fraser is one of the usual suspects normally, involved in all manner of Lefty nonsense, but then he comes out with stuff like this, which many of us on the right would agree with.”

    GF is on a slow journey rightwards.

  20. BiG

    ” a household wouldn’t have survived without considerable economic input from both adults, no matter how that labour was divided.”

    True, but then the children were part of that economic effort from a very young age too, usually in tow of their mother where they learned the useful day to day skills they would need to survive.

  21. BiG

    ” a household wouldn’t have survived without considerable economic input from both adults, no matter how that labour was divided.”

    True, but then the children were part of that economic effort from a very young age too, usually in tow of their mother where they learned the useful day to day skills they would need to survive.

  22. The stay-at-home-mum was a postwar anomaly

    No, it wasn’t. It’s just that prior to the Industrial Revolution, home and the workplace were the same thing for 95% of humanity: the farm. That’s splitting hairs a bit as your point is still germane: family women have always worked, but where they worked was in the home, where they could perform that labour while taking care of the kids rather than instead of, and they weren’t directly competing with their and everyone else’s husbands for the same type of work.

    If you want a return to traditional families, there’s an easy way to do it: eliminate any and all subsidies for motherhood (including parental leave, single-mum welfare and givernment child support) and make children the presumptive property of the father instead of the mother in divorce. You don’t even have to do away with no-fault, trivial divorce. The divorce rate would plummet overnight, women would leave the workplace in droves and return to finding men who were stable financial providers. So long as society continues to take money away from productive citizens and use it to blunt the consequences of trying to have both a family and a career, you will have women doing a half-assed job of both. Make them deal with the full consequences of their choices and women will go back to making the choice to stay home and have families. Those few exceptional women who want to and have the talent to compete with men in the workplace can stil do so.

  23. Jim on February 25, 2019 at 11:07 am
    I half like your idea, which is the point isn’t it ?
    Ideally I want a low tax and a low interference government.
    But the low interference is higher on my list of wants (the highest actually) than low tax.
    A compromise I could vote for if that low interference could be guaranteed and maintained.

  24. @Daniel,

    The problem is in so doing you make women third-class citizens, which is not something anyone outside the (now diminutive) Kinder, Kirche, Küche set is going to support.

    Competing with men in the workplace is not an exceptional talent. The two people who I know are going to turn out better than me at doing what I do are women. And if you think that sounds spectacularly arrogant of me, I will go one better: I showed them how to do it.

  25. @ Daniel

    Though I agree that most of our problems require what amounts to a libertarian (or classical Liberal) solution, were we able to do so means we were able to avoid it in the first place.

    Or, that we are in this position proves we cannot get out of it. For example, do you think those poor souls in Venezuela will eventually adopt the opposite of socialism after the total collapse of their nation is complete?

    Or maybe I’m just extra cynical today.

  26. “I half like your idea, which is the point isn’t it ?”

    Yes. There’s no point demanding the moon, if you’re not going to get it. Especially when what happens instead runs counter to your views entirely. Better to get some bits of what you want, and offer the other side the least worst bits of they want, plus a few bits you both want.

  27. The problem is in so doing you make women third-class citizens

    The problem is that women have been told that raising a family makes them a 3rd class citizen, while working in a pointless PR job makes them a world-beater.

    What would be more sensible would be to encourage parents to take more time to raise their children and divide the child-rearing work more evenly. This would mean more flexible and part-time working for both men and women.

    Going back to care for the elderly, talking about division of labour is all very well but we are also talking about one’s duty as a child to look after one’s parents. And looking after does not just mean feeding them and mucking them out like cattle.

    What many people want, sadly, is for the state (ie other people) to take over the ‘burden’ of caring for their elderly relatives, so they can go off and live their selfish lives, while Mum and Dad rot out of sight.

  28. “the point is that work subcontracted by someone who doesn’t care or want to be involved doesn’t get done very well”. You really have never set foot in a care home, have you? People put their relatives into care homes to be looked after by professional carers (yes, caring is a profession) for the same reasons they hire professional builders, lawyers etc. to deal with other aspects of their daily lives that they could try to do themselves but know a professional will do better. I know you don’t like personal anecdotes but both my uncle and my aunt have received far better care in their respective care homes than we could have provided ourselves. As to who supervises the work – family can turn up any time, day or night, unannounced to see that their relatives are being well looked-after. And you can bet we do.

  29. You really have never set foot in a care home, have you?

    You speak as if they’re all the same. They’re not.

    People put their relatives into care homes to be looked after by professional carers (yes, caring is a profession) for the same reasons they hire professional builders, lawyers etc. to deal with other aspects of their daily lives that they could try to do themselves but know a professional will do better.

    Right, but some people live in poorly maintained buildings, don’t they? And the reason is because they expect someone else to organise and supervise any works – usually the government- rather than taking some responsibility for themselves.

    I know you don’t like personal anecdotes but both my uncle and my aunt have received far better care in their respective care homes than we could have provided ourselves.

    My aunt and uncle have excellent care, therefore everyone does. I can’t think why I don’t find personal anecdotes useful.

    As to who supervises the work – family can turn up any time, day or night, unannounced to see that their relatives are being well looked-after. And you can bet we do.

    Please understand I am not talking about you specifically when I write my blog posts. The point is society is changing in a way that is fragmenting the family leading to more people being unwilling to shoulder the burden of looking after their elderly relatives. At the extreme, this entails dumping them on the state and expecting them to do everything, and not wanting any involvement (this isn’t just limited to care work, and is very much consistent with policies to destroy the family and replace it with the government).

    This is a subject worth discussing, but you seem to think 1) I’m arguing that people should not get any assistance with caring for their relatives and 2) your personal experiences render any observations about wider society invalid. We are talking here about levels of involvement, sense of responsibility, and supervision. It’s not about who actually wipes arses.

  30. Tim, bottom-wiping is mentioned in your first paragraph in the original post. That the sons and daughters should be doing the bottom-wiping. Physically. Themselves.

    So if it’s not about bottom-wiping what is it about?

    People can live a long time now, many years and decades even, with dementia, stroke, Alzheimer’s, heart failure, kidney failure, COPD. Stroke and MI have gone from a 90% certain death sentence to a 90% certain survival (sometimes even without lasting disability) in the space of 40 years. Heck, even osteoarthritis and incontinence are signifiant killers of standard of living and cause billions in care costs.

    These diseases are not a modern phenomenon, but living with them for 12 years is. Caring for a paraplegic stroke survivor is more than a full-time job. You don’t just give up your other responsibilities to do it, you give up your entire life. For a decade or more.

    But you expect other people to give up their careers, because you think they are meaningless, to do something former generations never had to do for so long.

  31. Tim, bottom-wiping is mentioned in your first paragraph in the original post. That the sons and daughters should be doing the bottom-wiping. Physically. Themselves.

    They are Fraser’s words, not mine. I’m not defending Fraser’s argument, more commenting on the reaction it caused and how society is changing. And to me, Fraser’s criticism was mainly aimed at those who cry “Why isn’t the government wiping my father’s bottom?” than the idea someone other than the sons or daughter should wipe their bottom.

    These diseases are not a modern phenomenon, but living with them for 12 years is. Caring for a paraplegic stroke survivor is more than a full-time job. You don’t just give up your other responsibilities to do it, you give up your entire life.

    Yes I know, although parents of severely disabled children might take issue with this being a new phenomenon. But why does this prevent us discussing the fragmentation of families and an increasing expectation that the state will shoulder the burden of looking after the elderly?

    But you expect other people to give up their careers, because you think they are meaningless, to do something former generations never had to do for so long.

    I don’t expect people to do anything, I’m just commenting on what I see. You’ve been reading this blog long enough to know my approach is not offer solutions but to watch the world burn.

  32. I don’t think my personal experiences render other observations invalid. I’m just pointing out that you have chosen to write a blog on a subject you clearly know nothing about, and that your opinions appear to be based on what you’ve read in the tabloids or seen on TV rather than anything you’ve actually observed. Yes, of course care homes differ but I don’t know anyone who would put an elderly relative into one unless they absolutely had to. And I don’t know where you get your ideas about society fragmenting but I know very few people who don’t see their parents and elderly relatives on a regular basis. Your blog takes the stance that such close family relationships are a rarity when it’s my experience that they’re far more normal than you seem to believe.

  33. I’m just pointing out that you have chosen to write a blog on a subject you clearly know nothing about

    What’s new? Half my readers think I’m too dumb to come in from the rain, but they keep coming back.

    Yes, of course care homes differ but I don’t know anyone who would put an elderly relative into one unless they absolutely had to.

    Then clearly it never happens. How you’re not a well-paid pundit is anyone’s guess.

    And I don’t know where you get your ideas about society fragmenting but I know very few people who don’t see their parents and elderly relatives on a regular basis.

    One of the most annoying things about the middle classes is they think their personal situation can be extrapolated to the entire world.

    Your blog takes the stance that such close family relationships are a rarity

    No, it takes the stance that families are becoming smaller and more fragmented in the developed world which will make caring for elderly relatives more difficult and throw up tough moral choices. Feel free to disagree based on what you see within the four walls of your own home.

  34. There is a simple solution to all this living too long problem – stop (as a matter of public policy) trying to make people stop smoking/drinking/overeating/taking drugs. Let people drive themselves into early graves, if they want to. In fact, surreptitiously encourage it.

    One of the main problems society has is that we are living too long. It just doesn’t work if people are living for nearly as long in retirement as they did any productive work (and often they haven’t done any productive work from 18-65 anyway). And drawing massive resources in pensions and healthcare while retired. The last thing a society that is based on social insurance should be doing is trying to make people live longer. It needs them to get to retirement age, then keel over as soon as possible. That allows the taxes on the working to be lower and the benefits for the retired to be more generous. Anything else is bound to fail catastrophically at some point. And also encourage the powers that be to import more and more immigrants in a vain attempt to keep the ponzi scheme going a bit longer.

  35. ” I know you don’t like personal anecdotes but both my uncle and my aunt have received far better care in their respective care homes than we could have provided ourselves. As to who supervises the work – family can turn up any time, day or night, unannounced to see that their relatives are being well looked-after. And you can bet we do.”

    My father was in several care homes for a few months after he had a fall and broke his hip. He never got his mobility back so was totally bed bound. My mother spent 4-5 hours with him EVERY day while he was there, in order to ensure he got the care he needed, being bed bound, blind and type 1 diabetic. If she hadn’t gone, he’d be dead now. The things she saw happening while there with my father would make your skin crawl. Nursing homes are horrible places, seriously horrible.

    Its fine if the patient is able to manage themselves and just needs a bit of assistance and an eye keeping on them, but when there are people who are unable to do anything for themselves, then they get treated very poorly. Not necessarily through active neglect (though that does also happen), more through the basic fact that unless there was one to one care (which no-one other than the uber wealthy could afford) then by definition you’re going to have 1 person caring for multiple people and that means some will get less than perfect care.

    Thats the basic situation in a nursing home – there’s lots more inmates than carers, and the carers can’t be everywhere at once, so there will often be times when someone needs assistance, and they don’t get it, because they are lower down the pecking order of needs at that point in time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just in denial.

  36. You’re all forgetting the main reasons the government wants us all to live longer and go into care homes. GDP and tax.
    If we all look after our parents full time ourselves for free, then the carer doesn’t have a job. A job which can’t be taxed and won’t contribute any of that glorious GDP.
    By encouraging us all to live longer and healthier, we will spend more and require more healthcare. This can all be taxed and inflate the GDP numbers.
    Who cares about the human suffering when you can add a half percentage point to the national output?

    I call it Adam’s Law of Government – A government will always seek to grow GDP in the short-term, even when it is against the long term interests of its citizens.

    It’s so that the politicos in charge can point to the previous year and say “Look how much better we are than last year. I/we should remain in power.” even if what they are doing well damage the long term.

  37. I don’t think my personal experiences render other observations invalid. I’m just pointing out that you have chosen to write a blog on a subject you clearly know nothing about

    Psychological splitting is a sign of retarded emotional development.

  38. Okay one more facetious comment from me and then I’ll give in. “I can’t think why I don’t find personal anecdotes useful”. Yet your entire argument, about “those who cry ‘Why isn’t the government wiping my father’s bottom'”? is based on a supposedly personal anecdote told by a GP friend of Giles Fraser’s. After all, one woman supposedly rang up a GP surgery and asked the question so there must be many more who do the same, right?

  39. @Daniel Ream lessons in emotional development from someone who thinks the solution to society’s problems is to reduce women to child-bearing handmaids who lose all rights to those children if they choose not to spend the rest of their lives with the man who got them pregnant. And who thinks women would actually embrace such a change. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  40. BiG – I understand: your relatively brief stay in hospital was okay for you, so therefore all old people would be better off in nursing homes, where the care is surely equally as good. Is that a fair summation?

    Look, I’m not saying old people with serious medical problems shouldn’t be getting some form of professional care, but in terms of quality of life (which is often all you can improve), the old people themselves much prefer to be in their own home, tended to by family. And being that these old people tend to be our parents and other loved ones, we ought to care about how they feel, and so, where possible, this wish ought to be accommodated. And a society that dismisses this concern isn’t going to be a very pleasant place to live for long. (And that’s not to mention the medical benefits that would accrue to the homebound patient, assuming the condition wasn’t so serious he needed constant observation.)

  41. Yet your entire argument, about “those who cry ‘Why isn’t the government wiping my father’s bottom’”? is based on a supposedly personal anecdote told by a GP friend of Giles Fraser’s.

    Because only an idiot would deny the role of government has eroded the family structure leading to individualism and an over-reliance on the state. Fraser uses an example of this to kick-start a discussion on this wider topic. This is what all writers do, and unless the anecdote is made up or wildly unrepresentative any will do: it’s a literary device. And then I used his article in the same manner to jump start my own post, discussing a different wider point. That you have personal anecdotes which show family members still pull their weight does absolutely nothing to undermine his point, or mine. All it shows is what he describes doesn’t happen 100% of the time, which nobody has claimed.

  42. No, it’s a bullshit summation and you know it. The care is not as good because it is hard to emotionally cope with a patient that has no prospects, a patient who is sometimes fighting back because they have no idea who they are, where they are, or what is going on. The same happens in hospitals that still separate geriatric patients. End-of-life care is totally different from acute care for a medical condition, in intent, outcome, and in cost. I received above-standard care because I ended up in a good place, had everything going for me, and I’ll be honest, this is my professional environment so I know which drums to bang.

    I don’t accept Fraser’s premise that kids should hang around East Bumfuck on the off-chance mum needs care. If they did that he’d criticise them for not getting a (good) job. It’s easy to be a pundit and carp at an unnamed mass of people who hold views that we dream up and put in their collective mouths, be it mobile workers with old parents, social justice warriors, bankers, the alt-right, and so on.

    People are mobile, it’s economically good, and that creates resources to do the caring even if it’s not you. People do stay in their homes as long as possible, if only because nursing care is expensive. It’s very much a last resort. And like I said, in Germany there is an entire state bureaucracy devoted to imposing wage attachments on the kids of people in care, so even the rare individual who actually hates their parents has no choice but to take responsibility.

  43. “leading to individualism and an over-reliance on the state”

    Not to sure about that. The state hates the individual and it is diametrically opposed to them, that is why they are at war with them.

  44. People are mobile, it’s economically good, and that creates resources to do the caring even if it’s not you.

    Right, and what I’m trying to say is that there’s a difference between “good” and “economically good”, and that your ailing parents would rather be cared for by you than by some resources.

    And you’re right, it was bullshit, sorry

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