ackerman2_Brian van der Brug  Los Angeles Times via Getty Images_preschool Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

America’s Childcare Is Unfit for the Postmodern Age

Many American voters are currently struggling to square the circle of postmodern marriage, in which both partners attempt to maintain careers, raise children, and stay connected while spending more time in virtual reality. US President Joe Biden could win over this cohort by focusing his campaign on expanding childcare.

NEW HAVEN – Until the twenty-first century, people took for granted that their most meaningful relationships – with family, friends, and fellow workers – would involve face-to-face engagement. But the internet revolution, which unfolded with breathtaking speed, challenged this premise. Many of us now spend at least four hours per day online. Since we need about six hours of sleep per night, this leaves us with only 14 hours for real-world connection.

Even before the rise of the internet, it was tough to satisfy the competing demands on our attention. Our bosses would fire us if we didn’t meet their expectations, but we risked neglecting our loved ones if we worked overtime. Now that we are spending even less time interacting with others in the flesh, while simultaneously working harder, domestic disappointments will inevitably pile up, increasing the odds of a family break-up.

This is especially true in an era of increasing gender equality. For many people, the idea that men work outside the home while women take care of the children seems woefully outdated. Instead, they are organizing their lives to enable both intimate partners to embark on meaningful careers while sustaining loving relationships with their kids – and each other.