The German word Hausfrau is often used as a derogatory word. Many times it is associated with oppression of the female spouse by supporters of the "women’s liberation" movement. Yet, many German women still voluntarily choose to be stay-home mothers after giving birth. Their traditional role as a mother is greatly being rewarded with financial benefits being paid to them by the state. Starting January 1, 2007 Berlin will be activating a new law that will contain roughly a $5 billion dollar budget to be spent on Germany’s Elterngeld (parenting money). The money will serve as an incentive to raise Germany’s 8.5 births per 1000 inhabitants, which is deemed unacceptably low for the German government and one of the lowest in Europe. This reminds a history buff of Mutterkreuz (Mother’s Cross, a civilian version of the military Eisenkreuz, aka the Iron Cross) given out during the 3rd Reich where the Führer awarded Aryan mothers most diligent in pumping out cannon fodder for the Wehrmacht.
Nowadays the welfare state is trying hard to re-reform itself by cleverly disguising its scheme as altruistic actions. Since the need to stuff bodies into the military uniform has been waning, one hopes, the demand for fresh meat has been coming from the ever-expanding German welfare state. The new scheme to produce more babies comes as a result of Germany’s financially disastrous central planning that is falling short of the workers/producers to the ratio of consumers/pensioners. The intention of its design is to produce a greater workforce to support the aging baby boomers, and so the potential German wombs-in-waiting are told to get cracking in order to save the failures of the state once again.
The Family Ministry, another invention of the state and headed by a mother of seven — Frau Ursula von Leyen (CDU), is consulting its crystal ball, the moon and the stars in finding methods on how to persuade the Germans to produce more babies. The Minister and her socialist-Christian cabinet members of good intentions have reached another brilliant solution: Either one parent or both parents, if they divide their leave time, may take care of their newborn for one year by taking off from their job and receive up to 67 percent of their net income or up to $1,800 a month from the government. Comrade Putin has similar ideas for his country’s birth decline, which he probably copied from Comrade Stalin (materi-geroyi).
The financial incentives have not worked so far. The state has done an incredible job in brainwashing the masses with its contradictory messages that overpopulation creates global poverty or that the eco-system is falling apart. People who follow this popular mantra will often make the decision not to have children and believe they are helping make this world a better place. Others believe that the real reason for not having children are women who cannot find the right partners, or that a man does not want to take the risk of being financially ruined. The obvious reasons are overlooked. Since accountability and self-responsibility is not a criteria required by the welfare state, people will try to get away with as much as possible in every aspect of life.
Germans refuse to see that their federal government’s social engineering in affairs of business and family is the real culprit for their ailing economic and social problems. Not only is it creating stagnation in growth, but also makes the need of a man and his efforts to provide for a family obsolete. Why provide for a wife and children, if the welfare state has taken that role away from the man? Not only is his role being diminished; but his efforts in making smart business decisions for himself — regardless if self-employed or hired — is always hindered with regulations, mandated requirements of certificates or union enforced demands.
The result is self-defeating and devalues his purpose and role as a man. But the state goddess, who rejects the masculine role of the man and father as the true authority over his family, rarely considers that role as legitimate. She prefers dependency of all her taxpaying children to keep her in power and control. Why should any man wish to re-produce if the law tells him to pay as much as 45 percent of his income to the state? The rich and the childless get punished for their lifestyle with the highest taxes.
Wherever the state giveth, the state can also taketh; the Director of the Institute of Economic Policy at the University in Cologne, Johann Eekhoff, demands that social security for the childless is to be cut in half. "This kind of reform is long overdue," says Eekhoff, a former State-Secretary of the Ministry of Economics, "since the system can only function if it is financed by future generations." The mandated and enforced policy of Germany’s social security system has become a trap in which future children are to be sacrificed. Although attempts have been made to allow private investments for retirement, the welfare state will continue to find loopholes in which the citizens of Germany are called upon for more and more self-sacrifices that will be in the best interest of the state.
For the average middle-class earner, the little he is left with he barely can invest in his house and a small savings account. If a man is only wanted as a sperm donor and taxpayer for something he is not even allowed to own and control himself, his uselessness must turn on him as some kind of self-loathing. There is a high price to pay for a society, when the role of a man is being re-defined by an incompetent bureaucracy that cannot beget children itself but then goes further and turns him into an ejaculator for the state. A man and woman, whose importance in the grand scheme of things, are reduced to their reproductive organs only serve as a donors and nothing more.
The German intellectual man with his long history of political and economic failures by worshipping the state as the answer of bringing social justice and equality to all people has not yet learned the danger in that lesson. He allowed himself to be lured into a spider-web in which Ordnung and an abundance of socialist laws control his life as unquestionable superiority over his life. No deviation of his habitual and stubborn social-political pattern is allowed to penetrate his safe world in which he thinks he dwells. He whimsically obeys the call to hand over all of his rights to state authority while the black widow is waiting in the wings.
Although with women being strongly represented in the labor market, as many as up to 40 percent of those with academic education choose not to have children. The questions have been raised that Germany’s traditional stance of the role of a Hausfrau and mother are holding women back in their careers. High taxes make it not feasible to get back into a career and the choice for full-time daycare is not available as it is in countries such as the US. Most daycare centers or Kindergartens are under city or state funding and do not provide all-day services. The fees are generally low compared to privately owned full-day cares, and allow low-income parents to drop off their children.
Many mothers only return to part-time work collecting their basic minimum wage of 400 Euros a month. Other countries, such as Sweden, Norway or Iceland, have not been given financial incentives to have children, but allowed women to enter the labor market easier and as such were able to maintain their birth rates. But even in these scenarios, the available daycare programs are often mandated by the state. New thoughts are sprouting up in Germany to force employers to provide daycare for working mothers so they can bring their children to work. These new regulations only will bring additional cost to the employer and oversteps the private development of this market.
However, if the natural role of both husband and wife is allowed to unfold without any constraints and regulations from the state, there would be no need for taking a man’s earnings by the welfare state and re-distribute billions of dollars each year. It will give all new mothers the freedom to choose raising her children without a lot of financial worries. The legitimate Lady of the House or Hausfrau would promptly remove Jezebel, the welfare goddess of the 21st Century, and expose her for what she is: a fraud. A Hausfrau would certainly set herself up as the rightful mistress of her household. The family ministry department and its central planning committee would not influence her actions. A Hausfrau is known for her economic sense to budget her money, to attain goods and groceries at the best possible price and to provide a home for her family within the means of the family income. After all, her multi-tasking skills run the household with a business sense without neglecting the nurturing of her own children. These are chores and tasks still being performed by millions of women all over the globe that require no special intervention by economic socialists.
If a man has the freedom to work where he wants for the best offered price, and be rewarded for his efforts, and is permitted to keep most of his earnings, he most likely is willing to get married and start a family of his own. Together, both husband and wife would discuss their private affairs in their bedroom, solve their problems, make plans for the future and make babies. None of these actions require a permission slip, certificate or qualification exam, or financial bribing by the state, because man and woman are designed to handle their private affairs in their best interest.
A man’s problem solving and long-term planning skills make him in charge of his life and family. His usefulness motivates and brings him pleasure and most likely the respect of his woman. All these positive assets make a couple productive. The decision to return back to work after a woman had children is often an economic decision and should remain a private matter. There are financial hardships that could befall a family that may require a woman to return to work. Room needs to be given to allow both man and woman to enter the labor market for whatever reason without the state punishing that decision through higher taxes and labor regulations.
Women in highly-developed ancient cultures such as Sumer, Egypt and even the ancient Jews allowed women to own property and conduct business and were often documented in clay tablets of their laws and ancient scriptures. The idea of women managing the affairs of her property isn’t as revolutionary as modern women like to think. It derived out of a need when women became widows early in life with children and as such were able to retain their possessions for their children. Their rights were limited, but the objective was to preserve ownership in order to have an income and to pass it on to one’s children. A woman has always managed the affairs of her household and her characteristics and value are highly praised in the famous verses of Proverbs 31:10-31. It would make an excellent read for a Family Minister that shows how useless her position really is. It is the involvement of the state that has always destroyed this structure in society.
Wendy McElroy sums up the value of a mother perfectly in her article Mother’s u2018Work’ Doesn’t Warrant Paycheck. She writes:
Women who stay home are lucky enough to be able to choose personal benefits over economic ones; stay at home mothers have refused to value their time in dollar signs. When Salary.com refers to sitting up with a sick child as ‘over time’, it commercializes and cheapens that act of love for both stay at home and working moms.
It is similar to placing a dollar value on intimate marital relations because, after all, those ‘services’ are available elsewhere for a fee.
When you define the value of family meals in terms of cold cash, then you’ve lost the importance of what’s really going on. When you convert acts of love into acts for profit, you’ve lost at life itself.
Germany’s Elterngeld law and its methods on how it is extracted from the populace through high taxes totally devalue the act of marriage and the life of children. It has not liberated woman, but kept the true meaning of a Hausfrau and mother in bondage. The state tries to change the motive for having children for its own purpose only. A mother who chooses to stay home and raise her children has always been an act of love. It is not, because she is being paid by the state to do so. If she wants to prevent raising a generation of freeloaders, whiners and complainers who won’t appreciate her, she has to help remove the spider web wrapped around her husband’s head. Only together can they slay the beast that wants to take their children.
Sabine Barnhart [send her mail] moved to the US in 1980 and lives in Fort Worth, TX with her three children. For the past 15 years she has been working for an international service company.