Category Archives: Notes from the Household

From the perspective of the household.

Some economists describe industrial development as the work of men moving out of the house. (Never mind that in the U.S., initial industrial enterprise in the fabric mills of New England was carried out by women). On the other hand, an anthropologist describing the social organization of African societies in legislative bodies, referred to that as the important work of the men, while the women managed the household and traded in the market.
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Power vs. Performance

So, perhaps we have another inverse relationship here: the greater the power, the lower the performance. I say “another” because in the case of disutilities (goods and services the recipient do not positively want) the relationship between performance and profit is inverse. But, in that case, it is greater/better performance that results in lower profits.
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The Handiman’s Report

Hello, Mr. S

It has been a while.

Your last email said I should let it go wild, but people go there quite often. There are children and their parents come to walk and play, college students settle down at the picnic table, and even during the winter children come there to ice skate or build a snow man. So, I am not going to let it grow wild. I will keep maintaining the playground as long as I am able, because I enjoy doing it. Maintaining the playground is like therapy for me and I like looking at our creation.
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A comment worth saving?

Authoritarian behavior is pretty consistent around the globe. The authoritarian wants to exercise authority for which there is no basis in fact — no expertise, no experience, no education, no product.

The party of no is not an aberration, either. Presumably, the existence of incompetents was less threatened when the social system of inherited wealth and status provided for them and each household had a manager, so to speak. For example, widows and spinsters set up boarding houses which were, in effect, households for largely ineffectual or incompetent people.

Equating households with nuclear families was not a good development. It was, most likely, an unanticipated consequence of the effort to “move labor (of both men and women) out of the house.” That was done in the interest of monetizing all our endeavors so they could be more easily counted.

If that’s correct, then it’s not profit but monetization and quantification that caused what we now consider undesirable results. I write that as one who consciously decided NOT to move my labor out of the house and have spent the last fifty-one years as a household manager.