Friday, April 13, 2018

caregivers: not the sandwich generation but the club sandwich generation


People in their forties and fifties have previously been described as a "sandwich generation" who must support their children to buy a house and their parents to pay for social care costs. But the research suggests that today's retirees face additional pressures from an extra group who require their help - grandchildren.
Yes. My brother was the one who helped the most in supporting my mother, but I supported my grandkids a bit in the past, and now I am partly supporting my granddaughter here in the Philippines.

The reason I am posting this is not to give myself a pat on the back, but to point out that the idea that families support each other is an idea deep in most societies, including the West.

The modern alternative: The "life of Julia" who is free because of all that government help is not the norm. By emphasising government programs, it leaves out her parents and child, and posits her as a free and independent person without ties (or obligations).

So liberals lament "what's wrong with Kansas" without seeing how people actually live and that they might have different priorities.

TeaAtTrianon links to an article which discuss this sociological/cultural idea in political terms:

 Liberalism and lonliness.

from the Washington Post:

As liberalism has progressed, it has done so by ever more efficiently liberating each individual from “particular places, relationships, memberships, and even identities — unless they have been chosen, are worn lightly, and can be revised or abandoned at will.”
In the process, it has scoured anything that could hold stable meaning and connection from our modern landscape — culture has been disintegrated, family bonds devalued, connections to the past cut off, an understanding of the common good all but disappeared.
And in the end, we’ve all been left terribly alone. That’s the heart of it, really. Liberalism is loneliness. The state isn’t our sibling; the market won’t be our mate. And the more either the right or left’s solutions attempt to fill in the gaps — “more markets, for you to attempt to buy back what has been destroyed! More regulations, to protect you when you can’t!” — the more obvious it becomes that the entire concept is flawed. The institution of liberalism is caving in on itself, and we each individually feel the crush. 
the problem? The liberal idea is to give a helping hand, but like Julia, it has evolved into replacing relationships: why stay with a depressed out of work husband or marry  your immature boyfriend when the government will support you and you don't have to pick after the slob?

And for men: why marry a lady who tricks you by getting pregnant, or who gets old and doesn't cater to your narcissitic wishes, when the government will take care of her so you are free to go your own way, no questions asked.

but of course, this is only "true" of the superficial elites: Ordinary folks don't think or act that way.

The "missing fathers" lamented by the sociologist often but care and worry about their offspring, even when they are in jail or living far away from the kids.

The single mothers often sacrifice careers to care for the kids, and remember: A million older folks are the caretakers for their grandkids or other relatives whose parents can't care for them, often because of substance abuse, which of course is normalized and glamourized in the media.

So the next time you read about all those "old people" who are selfish because they are on social security, remember: some of us "retired" to care for a disabled spouse and some of us help support our extended family.


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