Stay-at-Home Mom? Few Can Afford the Choice EJ Dionne says it's not 'values' driving women to work, it's economics By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Apr 19, 2012 11:37 AM CDT 32 comments Comments The Romneys had a choice most families don't. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Newser) – Lost in the midst of the Ann Romney/Hilary Rosen "mommy war" was a simple truth: Most mothers today simply can't afford to stay home with their kids. "This is not about 'lifestyle' or 'values,'" writes EJ Dionne of the Washington Post. "This is an economic struggle" born of "decades of stagnating or declining wages and growing income inequality." The Center for American Progress this week released a study showing that just 28.7% of children had a stay-at-home parent, down from 52.6% in 1975. Conservatives always seem to pine for "what they see as the glory days of the 1950s family. But they are reluctant to acknowledge that it was the high wages of (often unionized) workers that underwrote those arrangements." But on the right, economic conservatism always beats social conservatism, which is why our country has done much less to help families than most other well-off countries. We need policies that will allow more women to do what Ann Romney did. "Pro-family rhetoric doesn't pay the bills." Click to read his entire column.