Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Speed Posts 9/23/15: On Upward Income Redistribution, Women's Leisure Time and the Dalai Lama

1.  Economics geeks and nerds should read this article  about the possible role of government regulation in enabling rent capture and how that might fit into the income inequality puzzle in the United States.  I'm not agreeing with everything in the piece, but it has some food for further thought.

2.  A piece about leisure time and women with family obligations from Australia.  It makes the point that leisure for women in that position comes in tiny driplets, not really amenable to being used for rest, recreation or creativity, and suggests a few correctives.  It made me think about how much of this is about control, both at home and at work.  If your employer at work won't give you a firm schedule beforehand you will have very little control over some parts of your life.  How to organize for childcare when you don't know if you are working?

A similar problem at home has to do with the on-call nature of parenting.  If only one parent is responsible for it then she or he will find great difficulty with finding longer chunks of leisure time.

The wider links are naturally to things like annual vacations in the US (required ones being rarer than hen's teeth), the expectation of increasingly long working hours for everyone, and what happens when all these clash with the traditional gendered beliefs about who is to care for the children and the home.

3.  The Dalai Lama and a joke about any female ever planning to reincarnate in his role:  She needs to be attractive.

Which makes me think of the oddness of all those earlier reincarnations happening pretty close to the place where the previous Dalai Lama died, and always suitably in boys whose parents would be OK with the honor they were accorded as having produced someone so important.  And also of the oddness of the Catholic Church on earth deciding who has become a saint, and how they know.