April 13, 2012

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Ann Romney is economically a hell of a lot smarter than Hilary Rosen. “It is difficult to put a dollar value on parental time, but it is clear that to the Romneys one hour of Mrs. Romney’s time at home with the family was worth far more than one hour in C-level wages; further, a 2,000-hour annual block of time invested in earning C-level wages would have fundamentally changed the character of the Romney household for the worse, while providing negligible economic benefit. Instead, she provided the family with a critical good that Mr. Romney, for all his riches, could not acquire without her cooperation. If we think of the household as a household, Ann Romney’s decision to stay at home makes perfect economic sense: Her decision to be a full-time mother enormously improved the quality of life for Mr. Romney, for the couple’s five sons, and — let’s not overlook this critical factor — for Mrs. Romney herself.” Comparative advantage.

Takeaway: “Ms. Rosen’s remarks were criticized as being snide; the real problem is that they were stupid.” Making the rubble bounce . . . .

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