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April 11, 2019 51 mins

This week on the podcast, Joshua speaks with NPR's political editor Domenico Montanaro, father of one, on how the 2020 field looks for America's struggling middle-class families. Also, Fatherly's own Patrick Coleman swings by to explain how American families got into this mess in the first place. (Hint: neoliberalism, motherfuckers!)

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hello, and welcome to the Fatherly Podcast. I'm your host,
Joshua david Stein. This episode is all about politics. You
have two guests for you, Patrick Coleman, whose Fatherly's own
parenting expert. He's going to give us a historical view
of what it's been like to raise a family in America.
Our second guest is Dominico Montenaro. He's NPRS political editor
based down in d C. And Domenico is going to

(00:27):
talk to us about and how we're living through an
insane time for Father's Son Dynamics. Stay tuned, Welcome to
Fatherly Podcast. I hope you're enjoying this show. Hello, Hey, Patrick,

(00:48):
it is Joshua. How are you doing alright? You're you're
living the life you live, the life you write about.
I do, yes, they do. Um. I wanted to talk
about parenting in the United States and the challenges that
parents face and get a little bit of a historical

(01:09):
perspective on where we sit today versus maybe where we
sat fifty sixty years ago. I love it. Let's do it, okay,
So I know that, for instance, we're in economically challenging times.
A lot of parents are feeling in the crush and
at the same time, the financial burden of parenting is increasing.

(01:30):
Can you tell me a little bit about how how
it has increased in where we are um today, Yeah, sure, can.
I mean, you know, we like to look back, um
at this sort of golden golden native parenting. I mean,
I think it's necessarily it's not like not necessarily defined.

(01:55):
You know. But in pop culture, you know, it's like
the the I Love te Days and the Father Knows
Best Days and you know, um, all of those black
and white sitcoms that's like, oh yeah, that's the perfect
nuclear family. Well, the thing is, like those parents were, um,
they were they were much better off in terms of

(02:17):
the types of resources they had available to them. And
these are post war years, um, after World War Two,
and the the economy was was booming. I mean it
was it was really incredible for parents because first of all,
you had the g I Bill, You had a lot
of you had a lot of men coming back from

(02:38):
World War Two who are taking advantage of the g
I Bill, and um that allowed them to get an education,
which would allow them to get a good job. Industry
thriving because all of the innovations that that had occurred
during World War Two, whether it was the development of
vinal fighting for instance. You know, all of these are compute.

(03:00):
You know, like these things were being given to industry,
and industry was booming based on those innovations. They were
just given from the government to industry for free. So
you're basically saying though that it wasn't so much that
parenting was easier, but that the overall economic situation was
much rosier, and that meant that it was easier to

(03:22):
be a parent. Yes, yes, but also I mean we
we have to we have to understand like like that
is the government subsidizing families, That is the government subsidizing
a baby boom. The baby boom could not have happened
without the g I Bill, without giving companies the innovations

(03:45):
that it would allow for one salary to be able
to pay not only for the work that was happening
uh in the factory or the business place, but also
the work that was happening at home. Like it was,
it was this era of the of the single wage job.
That's a very sexist idea because the person who was

(04:06):
earning that single wage was assumed to be the man
um and that wasn't great. I mean, none of us
want to return to that, but but it was assumed. Um.
And though single wage households don't definitionally mean the man
is working outside of the house, it would be the
other way around, right, Um, back back in this time,

(04:30):
it was it was it was usually. I mean, you're right,
we would like to have a single wage household and
it would be best. I mean there's people who are proposing, um,
that the return to single wage jobs, but they would
be it would be wages that that would allow parents
to split up the week twenty hours by twenty hours.

(04:51):
It's crazy idea. UM, I don't I don't know if
it's particularly terrible, but you know, um, that would be
a more fair way to do it. Yeah, But when
you talk about the economic conditions, right, so we had jobs,
we had um, good jobs, we had the ability to
get training for the jobs. UM. And because of that,

(05:13):
income inequality was was was tiny. I mean, the income
in equality back then was was very was very narrow.
So UM. Paul Krugman, the economist, calls this the great
compression UM, and the difference between the lowest waging and

(05:34):
or the lowest wage earners and the highest wage earners
at that time was was tiny. It's kind of is
closer to UM like uh, like western European and northwestern
European countries. Um. And how it went to ship in

(05:56):
the seventies just in time for me. Yeah, exactly exactly. UM.
So globalization came along, UM, they were really crappy tax
policies that um made the made the tax structure less progressive, UM,

(06:19):
which meant that people had more we're actually paying less
than they were before. UM. That put more of a
burden on the class and the rise of neoliberalism exactly exactly.
And you know, as as that came around, UM, you know,
industry started to take a dive, UM, particularly in manufacturing.

(06:44):
And that meant like your kid couldn't just get a
job out of high school anymore. They couldn't go and
and and get a public school education, UM, and and
do some work in shop class and and take some
of those courses and then immediately get a good union

(07:05):
factory job or a manufacturing gig that paid really well
um and then that that had you know, good growth.
They couldn't do that anymore. So suddenly the only path
towards success began to be a college degree. And at
the inequality between the rich and the poor began to increase.

(07:26):
The middle class began to see that like, the only
way my kid is going to be able to make
it in this world is if I get them into
into a good college, and that makes it much much
more stressful, right, And I assume it was also dovetailing
with a decreased government support for higher education. Yeah. Absolutely,

(07:49):
I mean back in the day, the government was not
only supporting college education, like they were buying into major um.
They were there being major grants to UH to research universities,
you know, they were because they were looking to spawn
innovation and they were funding Just this all makes me

(08:10):
think about, well two things. One, it makes me think
of something you bring in the bring up in the
beginning of a wonderful article you wrote, which I think
is called like the middle classes drowning eye catching UM
about the idea that the fact that parents are paying
more and more money for their kids, that they're devoting
more resources and more uncompensated um labor sort of UH

(08:36):
is due to an underlying insecurity about class, meaning that
like it's not assured their kids are going to move
up the socioeconomic ladder, and that is a real indicator
of a general movement of more um kind of coalesced
class strictures in society. Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know,

(09:00):
by the time um gen X came around, the lost
gen X that nobody likes to talk about anymore because
we're so quiet. Um, we just sit quietly in our
homes and complain. Um. By the time gen X came around,
we were one of the first generations where we were going,
I don't think I'm gonna be better off than my parents,

(09:22):
and our parents were looking at us, going, They're not
going to be better off than me, um, And and
really then you know, when it comes to gen Y
and the millennials, like they really are looking at the sociality,
at this reality where they're not going to be better
off than the parents. Parents understand this. So so yeah,
they do have to push. They do have to push.

(09:44):
They do. They do have to spend all of this
time and money and overschool their child and and and
work so hard with them to make sure that they
get an edge, you know, because that little edge might
be the thing that allowed them to get into you know,
a competitive college and get a high pay and get
a degree that allows them to have a high paying job,

(10:06):
because the fact is, now, like college people who come
out with a college degree, even a bachelor's degree, earn
something like like well over of what someone earns just
coming out of high school without a college degree. And
I think I think it's actually I think it's actually

(10:29):
quite a bit more than that. But you know, the
fact is, like when you look at that, they're really
there's really no other option, you know. Well, it goes
back to the two income trap, which is something that
is very present in especially with Elizabeth Warren. The two
income household means that for middle class families to be

(10:53):
able to afford the opportunities that they need in order
to give their kid a fighting chance, they both have
to work full time. Me meanwhile, all you know, you
and I see research all the time that increased parental involvement,
like not just paying for opportunities, but being around is
also extremely beneficial. It's just a very hard time to
be a parent. So, looking forward to where we're going

(11:15):
to be making a choice between candidates, what policies do
you think that we should be looking at as parents
to help alleviate our situation. I think there are a
couple of policies UM on UH that are being proposed
that actually look really good, like Uhliza Lawrence policy for childcare,

(11:39):
UM universal childcare looks really good. I mean that would
take a tremendous burden UM off of off of parents. UM.
What I like about that proposal is it is targeted
towards child rearing. Whereas a lot of the underlying conditions
which make parenting so hard is such a broad fundamental

(12:01):
shift in our culture and society that I feel very
cynical that that will ever happen. But by targeting childcare,
you it's a much more doable policy, you know, much
more actionable. Like what you said, those manufacturing jobs aren't
going to come back, Like we're not going to return

(12:21):
to a post war boom, you know, hopefully we don't
have another war to return to a post war boom
after UM. But by targeting childcare, it's like, okay, maybe
we can break this cycle. Yeah, for sure, it really
it really really helps. There are also policies, of course,

(12:42):
for for healthcare, for um, having having single payer systems
or Medicare for all that would help a lot, because
six of what we spend to raise children is dedicated
to their healthcare. You know, it costs the USDA, as smiths,
uh say, two three thousand dollars to raise a kid

(13:04):
up into the age of eighteen, and six percent of
that cost is healthcare. And that's that's astounding and taking
that off, I mean, that's a good chunk of change.
Um if if you can, you can get a good system.
And this is something that every American wants. And it
doesn't just help parents, it helps everyone. Um. There's I mean,

(13:24):
it does seem like the increased partisanship about child about
sorry about health care doesn't really serve our children, right absolutely. UM.
Corey Booker has a has a proposal for baby bond um,
which would issue every child um us bond at their

(13:49):
at their birth. I can't remember for how much, UM,
but at this matures over their life, they have a
nice chunk of change when they come of age to
be able to you know, pay for college or or
look at buying a house. Um. You know, that would
take some of the anxiety off because all of a sudden,
you know, you're like, Okay, well, that's that's one thing

(14:11):
as a parent that I don't have to worry that
I'm that's a huge, a huge source of anxiety. Guaranteed
income yeah, yeah, absolutely, universal basic basic income. Yeah, universe
basic income. What's what's interesting about that is that, um,
there their countries like you know, the the the best

(14:36):
places for parents to be whoa, sorry, that's my dog.
So like the country the best countries for parents to
be right now are like you know, are are the
Scandinavian countries. Your Finland's, your Germany's, your Sweden, get no ways,
your Sweden's. In Finland, parents are guaranteed two D three

(14:58):
hundred dollars per child to raise their children per month,
per months. It's a lot like socialism. I hit it.
I mean it is say the words socialism. It's democratic socialism. Yeah,
you feel the bird, and you know, I wish we

(15:21):
weren't so frightened of it. I don't know why people
are so frightened of it. Um because it's not that
you're getting a hand out, I mean, you're paying for
this stuff. Well, hand has a really funny Um, it
just occurs to me that hand that's a really funny
thing because hand out kind of implies that it's one
entity giving it to another entity. Right, But if we

(15:42):
all conceive of ourselves as part of one common project.
It's like the left hand giving to the right hand.
You know, it's you're part of the body politic. So
let me let me lay something on you. I want
to see what you think about this laid on me
so like I was a Hamburger patty and you were

(16:04):
a slice of cheese. So that's a beautiful image that
I'm going to cherish keep in my mind forever. Um there.
You know when you talk to um uh, when you
when you talk to the scientists who who look at parenting,

(16:25):
they will tell you tell you that the way we're
raising kids stay is untested in the arc of human evolution.
This this this idea of raising children alone by ourselves
in our in our little boxes, never the way we
did it for the majority of human history. I mean this,

(16:49):
this little slice that we're in right now is something
completely new. Up until the agricultural revolutions, we were raising
children in in communities and type communities where everybody had
a stake in that child because that child would give
back to the community. That's how humans raised children, That's

(17:12):
how we evolved for most of our history. And now
here we are and in in America, we're very individualistic
were we we have to go it alone. But and
and you know, I feel like I feel like since
we've lost that tribe that that we used to have,

(17:36):
I don't understand what's necessarily wrong with with, you know,
creating sort of a government mandated tribe. You know what
I'm saying. I'm gonna stop you. It's government mandated tribe. No,
you can't have the government fix Government is the problem, Patrick,
That's not true. I don't think government is the problem.

(17:57):
But I also don't think that you can have the
government mandate any sort of social tribe. What they can do,
which I think is what you actually mean, is helped
create the underlying conditions which allow the natural sense of
community between families and in areas to really take root.
Whereas really, what really, what I think has happened is

(18:18):
that there have been underlying economic policies which have isolated
families and isolated individuals to think that it's the system
is a zero sum game, right It's yeah, that's that's
why you're a better writer than me. But we both
vote for the same person. Okay, Patrick, Um, thank you

(18:41):
for giving me a primer, giving us a primer. Uh,
it's soul crushing, but informative, and hopefully we'll change it.
You and me, man, you and me together, we can
change this, turn it around. I think I think we
can it can it can be fixed. Uncertain, We just
have to see it up. Felicity Hoffman's to go to
able to realize that. Out of the blue, here she comes. Okay,

(19:05):
Thanks Patrick Caula, All right, thanks. I'm Domenico Monton. I'm
a political editor at NPR, And it makes a lot
of sense because I'm actually home today with my daughter

(19:26):
because she has off from school for kindergarten orientation. How
can she be oriented if she's at home. Well, it's
not about her, it's about the other kids. So there's
like pre K kids, I guess, coming in with their
parents to check out the school. So all the kindergarteners
have off. I don't get it. They're pitching. They're pitching
the school, and they can't have kids in the school

(19:47):
while they pitch it. Why would you want that, because
then otherwise all of the beautiful Montessori wooden toys would
be obscured. Well, this is a public school. Sorry, sorry
to assume no wooden toys, no, only plastic and lead
made from um. Well, hopefully she'll make a you know,

(20:10):
she's welcome to come onto the podcast and add her insight.
Told she has thought, she has lots of thoughts. Does
she does? She does she have thoughts about the Democratic
primary field. I don't know if she has thoughts about
the field. She's certainly has thoughts about the incumbent president.
I imagine. UM, let's see my kids. Yeah, so I

(20:31):
have a five and seven year old, and I think
my seven year old calls him well, I don't know.
I don't know if this is even for the podcast.
Live in Brooklyn, like solidly solidly blue, and there's like
a weird dynamic that happens at school there. Five and seven.
So they're in kindergarten, second grade. Um that like, parents

(20:52):
take a lot of pride in how much discussed their
children manifest for Donald Trump. Okay, you know what I mean. So,
like if you're in the coffee shop and um, which
I'm always in, and a kid and a kid said
something like, you know, the orange one in the White
House and everyone likes and they're very excited about it.

(21:16):
But yeah, mine aren't that outward about it. You know,
they're nine and six. They just Um, I just remember
during the campaign, you know, I didn't really I don't
really talk about politics much at home. I just kind of,
you know, let it be and they kind of hear
what I say on the radio and stuff like that.
But um, there were a couple of moments during the
campaign with things that Trump said that were um, you know.

(21:39):
I remember when he talked about Alicia Machado the Miss Universe,
and my son was kind of like just galloping along
in the kitchen and he heard, uh someone say on
the podcast that I was listening to. They were like,
oh and he called her miss Piggy, and my son
just like stopped deadness tracks and he goes, who said that? Yeah,

(22:00):
And I was like, oh, that was Donald Trump said
that about, you know, the past contestant on this universe.
And he just goes, that's mean you're not supposed to
say things like that. Yeah, in the mouths of babes. Yeah,
they just get the sort of like, wait, he's allowed
to say that. I can't say that in school. Oh.
I mean if my kids said half the stuff dts

(22:23):
you did school. Um. Well, so I wanted to talk
about like there's three things I wanted to talk about
on this podcast with you. Uh. First, is you know
I am a I listen to NPR Politics. I listen
to the Politics podcast like everyone who. I don't think
people aren't either like a casual listener. There's no casual listeners.

(22:45):
Either you don't listen to it and you don't know it,
or you're like obsessed and constantly checking the NPR one
app like is there a new episode? Is there a
new episode? Is there a new episode? I'm definitely the latter. Um.
That's awesome. I'm glad you're such a such a strong listener. Yeah,
we've definitely um um, everybody who listens are there's like
tremendous depth of support for it, um and it's really heartening.

(23:09):
I mean, we go on the road and do these
live shows. I was in Atlanta and people are driven
from like Mississippi and Orlando. I was like why, because
you know, it's not just the political analysis. It is
like the camaraderie you guys have. But that was the
first thing I want to talk about. Now, the thing

(23:29):
that I wanted to meant to ask because you have
two kids, there's six and nine. As you previously stated,
it seems like you know, you're the lead political editor
for NPR and like the most tumultuous time. How old
are you? Uh huh, I'm yeah, I'm thirty seven. Like that.
We've kind of been around for How do you balance,

(23:52):
like you said, you were on the road and you
record the podcasts all the time, how do you balance
being a around dad and trying to keep up with
the news. Yeah, it's very hard. Um. You know, right now,
my daughter is watching a video on her iPad and
she's calling out for something, probably like water or like

(24:12):
you know, right, and you know, and I've got to
be attentive to that. And then I'm also like in
the slack channel at work right now, currently discussing our
homepage and the poll story that I just wrote the
mayor's pole about the bar letter. That's right, Yeah, we
publish that. So, you know, I have a very good babysitter,

(24:35):
um who has been a godsend in this past year.
And she's you know, gets them after school because there's
no way that you could actually parents and work and
pick up kids at three. Are you married? Um, I'm separated,
so um, you know, in the process of a divorce

(24:56):
and you know, yeah, it's a it's quite the process.
You know, you can walk into a chapel drunk in
Las Vegas and get married and the certificate where it's
legal and like to get divorced is like you know,
years of your life you can walk. You can walk
and drunk to a chapel. That should be the next

(25:18):
well you know anyway. But the thing is, it's a
it's a process. You know, you have to have good
support structure. UM. I think it's super important that, um,
you have people at work who get it, um and
who are flexible with your time. And that hasn't always
been the case in obviously like American corporate culture. I
think that's changing because of what you see as a

(25:40):
necessity for two parent household income and talks about and
we'll get to in effect, yeah, I mean, I just
think that our policies as a country, you haven't really
caught up to the realities of what housing costs are
now what um, you know, life of you know, cost
of living costs are overall. I mean, but also like

(26:02):
I imagine being in journalism, um, you are so responsive
to current events and there is this sort of damnically
is about like are you the first one? Are you
going to get the scoop? Are you going to be
out there? Um? Sure, yeah, I mean there are things
you just have to you know, be okay with not
always being on top of I mean, you know they're there,

(26:23):
You've got good enough has got to be good enough
sometimes an example, UM, I don't know, like I probably
could go out more and source with with people on campaigns,
or I could go out on the road more to
a lot of campaign events, or you know, when you
just have to be more judicious about picking your spot.
You know. Um, email and phone helps, you know. I

(26:47):
try to keep in contact with my sources that way.
But I probably if I were you know, single and uh,
you know, just able to live downtown, I could, you know,
probably i'd probably have a you know, coffee or lunch
or dinner with a source every day or every night.
You're not just journalistic ron in. Yeah, I mean, you know,
you just but it's just you can't. You can't do

(27:10):
that when if you want to be a decent parent,
you know, and none of us is going to be
a perfect parent. None of us is going to be um,
you know perfect that our jobs either. But I think
it's striking that balance that is so important because you know,
nobody remembers on their deathbed. Um. You know that nobody

(27:30):
regrets on their deathbed having not worked enough. Although yeah,
you're right, I mean that's true, I do do. I
don't always Sometimes in my moments of egotism, I think
if there was going to be a New York Times
obituary about me, like, you know, what would they say?

(27:50):
And sometimes I do wonder if you know the fact
that I pick up my kids and take them to drums,
you know, drums and piano. Uh, that's not going to
make the cut. Maybe maybe not. I don't know. And
I think that I've always sort of been driven by
this thing, and I don't know it, you know. But
when I was in third grade, there was a prompt
that a teacher asked us to write, and they said,

(28:12):
how do you know if your success in life, And
just instinctively, I said, if your kids love you. And
I really do believe that. I mean, you know, you've
got to be able to provide for them. You've got
to be able to put a roof over their heads,
You've got to be able to make sure they're fed,
and be able to, you know, get some of the
things that they want out of life. UM has a

(28:34):
good rich experiences and you know, support and all of that.
So you know, you want to you need a job
and a career that can effectuate that. And I think
it's also really important for kids, especially kids, UM you
know of I mean it's a balance, right, but like

(28:55):
it's good for my daughter to see that her mom
works and that she loves what she does and she's
good at what she does, UM, And I want her
to have good, strong female role models like that to
be able to emulate later in life. I also want
my son to be able to see that, uh, that's

(29:16):
what should happen. And I want him to him and
my daughter to see, uh, that that there's a father
who's that they have a father who's willing to take
the time to do the best he can to be
with them, to provide for them, to keep them safe,
to love them and give them consistency, UM, and that
that's possible, and that you have a dad who says
he loves you and that he's proud of you. And

(29:38):
you know, that's an example I feel like for my
son and for my daughter to see what you what
you should be like as a parent. I hope that
I said at least some positive example for that, but
also that I do something for my career that when
you ask what do you do? I really believe in
the power of journalism and the necessity of taking something

(30:02):
complicated and making it understandable for regular people. That that is,
it's important for them to see that when you go
and try to do something in life, that you try
to do something that affects the greater good, and you know,
you don't just do something because you want to make
a salary. Yeah. Well, I think that that's a nice
segue into the UM, the field of and kind of

(30:23):
like how candidates are talking about UM issues pertaining to
the family. You know, I've been obviously doing some research
through fatherly and just being a dad and seeing life, Um,
how much more difficult it's become to be a working parent,
and how so much of the governmental support which in

(30:46):
the earlier parts of the center, earlier parts of the
twentieth century were there for American families and have continued
to develop abroad in America have really sort of atrophied away.
And at the same time, and related to that, obviously
UM parents are more and more involved in their children's

(31:08):
lives because there's less of a presumption that they will
be successful. So you feel like you have to, you know,
take them to classes, you have to do everything you can.
I still think that that's too much, and I think
that parents own anxieties sometimes lead to kids not being kids,
and kids need to be kids first and foremost that

(31:29):
they can be well adjusted adults and grow up in
a way that they had a healthy, healthful, you know, upbringing.
We don't need to pay a million dollars to get
a kid into Yale if they got into Arizona State, Like,
it's okay, Arizona State is a good school. That your
kid will be fine. Yah'll probably be better off because

(31:51):
they'll have less student debt. But that's a whole well,
I think it's sort of a whole other situation. But
like all of those things combine that there's less um
because of well maybe I have this right, because of
growing income inequality, and because of a host of economic reasons,

(32:12):
there's less economic stability for families. There's less of a
presumption that their kids will be able to increase kind
of their their wealth, yeah, their socio economic standing, and
so parents are under intense pressure to help as much
as they can, which I think is totally understandable. I'm
not talking about like the yeah, the um Felicity Hoffman

(32:33):
type covert bribery, or the overt bribery of having buildings
named after you, more just like the day to day
um struggle. And I mean, I mean, I think if
you are already of a certain socio economic status, your
kid is going to be fine. You know, if you're
reading to your kids, they hear far more words than

(32:55):
someone of lower socio economic status, and that's a huge
indicator of how well they do later in life. And
you know, I really I think sometimes the kind of
helicoptering probably winds up being more problematic in the long
run for your relationship with your child, because do you
want a kid who's so dependent on you to do
everything for them that they're constantly calling you and texting

(33:18):
you and you're supporting them their entire lives. No, But
I think that I think I think we need to
draw a distinction between that kind of parenting and just
involved parenting, because I do think they're you know, one
is what you could say healthy and one is what
you could say neuronic um. But I was gonna say
of the candidate field on the Democratic primary, UM, it

(33:40):
seems like the person who's talking the most about that
and who has worked the most about that is Elizabeth Warren,
who has like a very coherent policy around UM childcare,
M and she wrote a book about the two income family.
But I wonder from your standpoint seeing the field coalesce,

(34:03):
you know, from a dad's standpoint, everything you just talk
to me about in your own life and you know,
and what you know from your professional life as well, Like,
what do you think the state of those conversations are? Well,
you know, all right, so there's a Democratic primary, which
you know, Democrats are far more willing than Republicans to

(34:26):
do things that expand government and spend money on various
programs to try to solve, you know, big problems. Republicans
generally think that government is the problem and that the
last thing you need is more government doing more things.
Just generally, however, you have even seen some openness with

(34:48):
this White House to you know, potentially uh, you know,
do something on uh, you know, family leave and child
care and all that. But really kind of a little it, right,
But like even some of the proposals that are out there,
they don't address the real issues that people have for

(35:08):
the cost of these things. I mean, I'm just thinking
about like Marco Rubio proposing two thousand dollar tax rebate um,
which was seen as very far um, you know out
there for Republicans, and any of the other plans that
were being proposed. And you know, I think most parents
look at their bills and they're like, I don't know,

(35:29):
make that like, you know, a thousand of months, then
maybe we're talking about something that can actually make a
dent um. It's it's a huge difference. I mean if
you think about, you know, mortgage interests and how we
were able to deduct that so that you incentivize home buying,
but you don't really do that for childcare. Um. You know,

(35:52):
it's it's uh. I think it just hasn't caught up
to where we are. I mean it's kind of like, say,
you have family values on the right and the left too,
but family values so called without any sort of economic
extrapolation into like what the point that actually mean? Yeah? Yeah, um,
I think it's it's very difficult, and I think that

(36:13):
for parents of a decent socio economic status and education,
it is difficult. But doable, right, and uh, you know,
but when you're talking about folks who don't have the means,
it's really you're putting kids essentially in an abyss before
they even start kindergarten. Um. So it makes it really hard. Um.

(36:34):
But when you think about like the Democratic field and
Elizabeth Warren, she looks she's somebody who believes that. She
says firmly, I'm a capitalist. You know, she's like, I'm
not a socialist. But she is proposing radical change. And
what that means is, you know, we likened it in
the podcast to um renovating an entire house like gutting

(36:55):
it right. You don't knock the house down, but you
got it. And she believes in stronger and stricter regulations
on Wall Street and on corporations, and has all these
programs in mind for things like childcare and leave and
things like that. Now Bernie Sanders also talks about it,
but in a different kind of way because he does
note that your taxes are probably going to go up

(37:18):
to be able to pay for some of the programs
that he wants to implement, whether it's Medicare for All
or any of the other child welfare programs. And things
like that, whereas Warren, yeah, Warren I think says it's
going to come from a millionaire, which she had a look, dude,
she had a good point about like taxing above fifty

(37:39):
taxing like three above fifty million dollars. Um. It's like,
oh yeah, that's like she had some stat the other day.
I think I heard it on the podcast, like I
don't know, something like forty five it would only affect
forty five families or a hundred forty five I'll change
this in the post edit um families, but like would
yield like a trillion dollars, which was mind blowing and um,

(38:04):
mind blowing to me. But you're saying that, yeah, she's
she is uh within the capitalist trade work, whereas Bernie
is a little bit you know left. No, Bernie's blow
it up. Bernie would do more of a you know,
Northern European socialist model, you know, you think of like

(38:24):
a Norway or something like that. Um. And what his
people around him talk about is this happiness quotition, you know,
the idea that you want that you want people's pursuit
of happiness to be fulfilled. And you know, I guess
they could point to the countries that are happiest around
the world, and most some of these Northern European socialist

(38:46):
countries actually do make the list pretty high, um, you know,
but it's sort of like a level of contentment and
their expectations aren't that high, So you change sort of
the bar. When Americans are so aspirational or aspirational about
wealth that I think that telling an American that, like,

(39:06):
it's good enough often isn't enough. And I think that
that's the potential roadblock that he winds up running into,
because people so want to build wealth and have their
kids be better off. They want the possibility, even if
the possibility is becoming more and more and more remote.
They don't like the idea that it's not going to

(39:28):
be it's likely. Yeah. Well, and and it depends on
for who and how, you know. Because um, when we're
talking about factory jobs that have gone overseas, those were
the road to middle class um to like a solid
middle class life. But if you think about the the
kind of homes that people were okay with, let's say

(39:50):
in the nineties, forties and fifties, Now everybody wants move
in ready you know, perfect uh, you know, space every
kid got a bathroom, Like, that's not the way our
parents and the toilets for every kid in America. It's
I think our expectations for wealth and what wealth is

(40:12):
have changed in the past two generations. When you look
at the field, I don't think there's that many dad's
running dad, but granddad, he's like a grand got into
a little bit of controversy this past week. Kid, he does.
In fact, he got into He got into some controversy

(40:35):
because he talked about how he was trying to kind
of hat tip to his wife and say that she's
back home in El Paso, basically raising the kids and
while he's campaigning, which just triggered an entire backlash because
he's essentially acknowledging that, um, he's off running a campaign

(40:56):
while his wife is essentially parentally subsidized rising his run.
But the reality is that's the way it's always been
for male candidates. Yeah, I just I just thought. I thought.
I thought Beto didn't have a kid, because the idea
of being a dad and going on a vision quest
like those are wildly incompatible. Listen, I thought the same

(41:17):
thing when I saw his medium post. I was like,
how do you have time for this. Don't you have
like responsibilities like you know your dad? Um, why don't
you have a snack today at school? Oh? Well, dad's
on a vision quest. Yeah yeah, I look. Everybody's relationship
is different, obviously, Um, and I'm certainly not going to

(41:38):
dictate to anyone how their relationship should go. Um. But um? Also,
what is he teaching his kids to stand on restaurant tables?
That's not cool, it's not good man. I hope he's
asking permission first. Um. Okay, Pete, Pete. Yeah, no kids.
I don't think no kids, although I'm a fan. Who

(42:03):
else there's that dude down in Washington who cares about
climate change. I'm not sure if he has children John
Hick and Looper kids. I think so. Yes, I'm googling this.
J Insley has three sons, Joe, Jack and Connor. Um.

(42:27):
What's that those names are? Okay, I'd vote for him
just based on that. Yeah, I mean I think Cory
Booker doesn't. Um, Corey Booker does not because Cory Booker
is also not married, not in a He's in a
relationship with Rosario Dawson. Totally blew my mind when I

(42:48):
heard it and changed my view of him in a
positive way, yes, and like oh oh hey, what's up? Okay? Um, yeah,
I mean so there's a handful of people with children
in the race. I mean, you know, women in the
race to being moms who have to deal with uh,

(43:12):
you know, sort of not even no one even particularly
caring that their mothers. It's just sort of an expectation
with women and moms that they can do it all,
or that they do it all and they can't complain.
I Mean. One of the things that I always find
kind of annoying is, um, you know, whenever I see

(43:32):
women in an airport having a hard time with kids,
you tend to see people sort of look at them like, oh,
why aren't you a good mother? And if I'm in
the airport with you know, and I've got my kids,
one in my arm or one pulling at me, inevitably
people are like smirking and smiling like, oh, isn't that cute?
You know you're you're from Queens, right, yeah, so you

(43:53):
know that The New York equivalent of that is a
subway dad, where you walk into the subway with two
kids and immediately someone gets up in a good job dad, right, Well,
like you know, a mom walked in with two kids
and she's like, get those brats out of here. No,
it's totally ridiculous. The bar is so much higher for women. Um,
and I think that that's still the case on campaign.

(44:17):
I'll be right back after a quick message with more
from Dominic Montanaro. Jim Brand said something I heard the
other day which I thought was really um wonderful talking

(44:37):
about her kid and why she I guess she was
early on the on the Al franken Um expelling it
or pressures largely responsible for pressuring him out of Congress. Yeah,
and she said that it's because she has a son.
I think she she was talking about her son and
like she couldn't tell her son, Oh, well you can't

(44:58):
do this, but he can. But uh, you know I
thought they had a lot of integrity. Well yeah, I mean,
you know, look, I think that well, first of all,
Democrats are struggling with trying to figure out how to
balance me too stuff in their own party. There's been
a couple of examples of it where there's been some
different differing reactions. I mean, you think about Keith Ellison, uh,

(45:22):
and some of the accusations against him and he's still
you know, in his positions, um, and was elected after that. Uh.
And meanwhile, Democrats are very quick to say that the
hint of an allegation against the Republican means that that
person should go. And I think that it's an easy
attack for Republicans to say, well, what's your standard. Of course,

(45:43):
Republicans have to hold themselves to the same standard if
that's what they want to do and have the higher ground.
But um, but yeah, I mean I think that that
all of these things make the balance for parents and
people running uh kind of a complicate, aided one. And
in this campaign, it's really the first time you've had

(46:03):
to see men grapple with the idea of what kind
of parents they are. And I think about that bett
Arourque moment where he was asked about or what he
talked about his wife being home with two kids, and it's,
you know, it was just always the expectation before that, Uh,
you know, guys running for president, maybe he's got kids

(46:25):
and his wife sat home with them. That also came
on the heels of some weird what didn't he have
some like the silent wife in the was she next
to him in that in that campaign correct, and then
they put out another video where he starts talking to
her and she finally care from her. So I think
that there's a big balancing act that's having to go

(46:47):
on with all these male candidates and trying to figure
out what the right tone approach and all of that.
As Um. The other thing I wanted to to talk
about is that I've noticed, you know, throughout the Trump presidency,
I can't remember another time when a father and child

(47:08):
dynamics has been so present in the White House with
Ivanka and Don Junior and Eric. You know, like we're watching, yeah,
and we're watching father and son dynamics. This is me editorializing,
so you can remain silent if you if you wish. Um,

(47:29):
It's like watching criminality move from a from a father
to a son within the family and seeing and you know,
me as a dad, I'm thinking, well, if I'm involved
in some bad ship, do I want to have my
kid involved in it? You know, like it it really
watching how much Don Junior was involved in his dad's campaign.

(47:49):
It just opens up this whole sort of like Shakespearean
world of father son dynamics, which I've never experienced before. Well,
putting aside, you know, the criminality of criminality. UM. The
fact that you know they run much of his organization
is obviously why you have Avonka Trump, Donald Jr. Eric

(48:12):
involved in you know, being spokespeople for their father, UM,
as well as being part of the campaign as a
bleedover given that they don't really trust that many people
like political professional outside of their world, and probably with
good reason because nobody would take him seriously in that
professional world. So you know they've always felt embattled. UM.

(48:36):
As a New Yorker, I've certainly watched that, UM, and
you know that's part of it. I mean, Ivanka was
on Celebrity Apprentice as one of the judges from time
to time, and you know that's just the way they are.
And it is definitely interesting because you don't you haven't
had this in a white house. UM. You know, you've

(48:56):
had wives who have been have taken a principal role
in a husband's administration, like Hillary Clinton when she was
first Lady to Bill Clinton. But you haven't really had
children who have taken on kind of that kind of
role one because you haven't had presidents who have been
this old number one where you've got an adult children

(49:17):
who can kind of weigh in. I mean usually you
might hear from them later on when the president has
left the White House. And President Trump certainly somebody who
doesn't show any signs of stepping aside or not running
for re election. He's got lots of energy. He did
that two hour speech at Seapack. He's rally yeah, I

(49:39):
mean another rally last night. So this is this is
what he's he's doing. But I think given you know,
he's seventy two years old, you know, and you've got
adult kids who have been involved in his businesses. When
I watched Don Jr. I feel like, especially Eric, who's

(49:59):
like a butt of a lot of of jokes, but
it's just like part of me. It feels so much
emotion for him because he's like, I just want to
be loved by my dad, you know, just as much
as like Donald Trump wanted to be loved by his dad,
Don Jr. Wants to be loved by his dad. And
you watch it play out, and you like watch that
he was trying to make his dad proud and got

(50:20):
wrapped up in like some gnarly, you know, bar letter stuff. Everybody, everybody,
every son wants the father's son dynamic is always um,
you know, kind of at the heart of everything that
I think Dad's need to think about because of you know,
that first psychiatrist or psychologist question when you're having issues

(50:42):
in life will be like, so, what's your relationship like
with your father? Well, he was the president of the
United States, current and ma and um, Okay, Domenico, you
should probably go get your daughter that water she's been
asking for sure. I really appreciate you joining us on

(51:04):
the podcast. It's been a blast. You're so welcome. Okay,
thanks for having me. Well, that's it for this episode
of The Fatherly Podcast. This episode was produced by me, Joshua,
David Stein, and Anthony Rohman. Andrew Berman is our executive producer.
We recorded at our Go studios. Look, if you like

(51:25):
this podcast, rate it and review it. If you don't
like this podcast, don't rate it, don't review it, and
hopefully I'll convince you next week that what we're doing
here is really worthwhile.

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