In my reading of "Mini-Farming for Self Sufficiency", I love the part where Brett Markham shows that it is more profitable for one member of the average American family to stay home and tend a moderate-sized garden than it is for them to spend time commuting to work, paying for gas, lunches, drycleaning, childcare, clothes, and the other expenses that are required to hold a job! (It's on page 20, if you have a copy.)
I have been noticing for many years how the stresses of the workplace take a toll on the health and happiness of those in the workforce. Premature gray hair, growing obesity from sitting at a desk and in endless meetings, and family disharmony are all signs that this is not a natural or an ideal practice. It is made worse when we work for others, often at work we don't enjoy. We are slaves to our need for money - and we know it.
It has occurred to me that the breakdown of the family, with children in open opposition to their parents in many American homes, began when government-caused inflation forced women into the workforce and away from the critical job of raising their own children in the 1970s. Many factors have contributed to the rebellion and loss of parental direction in our kids, but foisting them onto a childcare provider so that Mom could go to work was a major factor.
A closer look at the economics of working outside the home shows that, for most of us, it doesn't make sense. Now, in this time of mounting layoffs and rising food costs, it is timely to consider how we can stop undercutting our Health, our Family, our Peace of Mind, and our Income by correcting this situation.
Mom or Dad can set themselves up to grow 85% of their food, plus earn another $10,000 in income selling their produce - all in a part-time venture that will let one of them stay home to properly raise their kids. Obviously, this is not for everyone, but if you see the value for your family, I encourage you to check it out.
Here is something else that getting Mom or Dad (whichever earns less or is markedly more unhappy with their job) out of the workforce can do: Turning your backyard into a minifarm can cut the ammount of wages that are necessary solely for the purpose of paying TAXES. If you can read the writing on the wall predicting big tax increases coming in the Obama administration, this is another good reason to consider pulling out of the workforce and growing your own food, which is not subject to taxes.