Life As Is

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Sunday, September 26, 2004
  mind warp : Law School has permanently altered my brain functions.

K and I have been casually looking into the cost of childcare in order to know what we would be up against if she decides to stop taking care of Sosy fulltime and enter the workforce or go back to school. As of 2004, in Madison, I'm told that it would cost roughly 10,000/yr/child. Holy scheisse. So far no evidence of brain-warpage, but next K and I began to weigh other costs that would be associated with the decision.

We both agreed that monetary costs aren't the only factor... it's complicated because of all the variables, but kids in daycare don't get as much one-on-one attention as most parents would like, etc. So there may be social costs associated with daycare that go above and beyond the monetary costs. Here's where the mind warpage seeps in.

I started busting into the compensatory damages jargon: "If we assume that the social costs of childcare are roughly equivalent to monetary costs... so let's see that's 10,000 monetary... 10,000 social...." I was about to conclude that it would not be worth working unless she could rake in at least 20,000 (after-taxes) PLUS the opportunity cost of working. But I was interrupted by a humbling realization:

"You can't put a number on that!" She said, laughing, assuming that I was joking. Oh my heavens, she was right! I tried to act cool but on the inside I was shaken. In law school you can just assume away inconveinent facts and use numbers to represent things that can't be quantified. But, um, this isn't law school. This is life. Make a note of that.
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