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Fraser Institute report on cost of children challenged by readers

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Frasier Institute report on cost of children challenged by readers

Storified by CBC News Community· Thu, Aug 22 2013 09:19:01

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The Fraser Institute's statement that it's never been cheaper to raise a child garnered a lot of response online, with most accusing the conservative think-tank of being way off with its estimates.

 

Many studies have put the annual cost of raising a child at about $10,000 - $15,000, which is drastically different from the Institute's estimate of $3,000 - $4,000. 

I doubt it's ever been more expensive than it is nowTracey Sandilands
How insulting and just plain inaccurate.Kelly Crook
@CBCNews I could argue raising a child is harder then ever. With the cost of living and the costs of goods services it's very difficult.Danika Sherneck
MAYBE a baby, who is solely breastfed, wearing an older siblings outgrown clothes and using all of their old siblings things. However we had to have the older siblings in order to have those items, which we PAID FOR.... As a parent of 3, we live as frugally as we can, but no - not these numbers by a LONG shot.Tricia Lynne Barrett-Butler
Btw, I'm super cheap and use coupons and discounts and have six kids. We "do" hand me downs and leftovers and stretch our budget. This is BS . .Shelley RH
Laughable but dangerous research from Fraser Inst. Tell them why at http://www.rethinkchildcare.ca #rethinkchildcare http://cbc.sh/YQsaqNgVicky Smallman
at the Frazier Institute they ALL have extended benefits and don't feed their kids i guess? .adrienne .everitt
The Fraser Institute had $1,038,124 in assets at the end of 2011. Do they have 259 babies?Cameron MacLeod
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The paper, authored by economist Christopher Sarlo, doesn't include the cost of housing, assuming that most parents were likely to own their own homes anyway. 

Neither does it include the cost of daycare or income lost if one parent of guardian should have to stay home to care for the children. 

Instead, it treats childcare as an extra expense, an omission many challenged in a world where both parents often have to work. 
This study does not take into account daycare, therefore completely skewed. This is not newsworthy.Fiona Patterson
@CBCNews how convenient to simply ignore $8000 a year in day careChris Porier
@CBCNews It might be, but this fails to take childcare or loss of one income into account. I don't know anyone who has NO child care costs.Paige
And for the 2 working parents who cannot afford to have one stay home? This amount obviously does not include daycare costs, which in my case, were in the $15-$18K range 10 years ago!Valerie Loney Thompson
@CBCNews Absolutely not. No accounting for daycare in the numbers? How do they expect people to earn that $4k if they're home w their child?Kelly-Jo Romard
The article specifically stated that child care costs are not included in the $4K figure. So yes, perhaps this four thousand a year is possible... My question is: what fantasy land are these people living in where child care is not considered a necessity?Josée Labelle
Competitive soccer costs more than that per year.....Brian Sharpe

The paper pointed out that theusual numbers can be discouraging to lower income earners who hope to have children. 


The paper also reasons on how affordable a child would be to a low income family, given certain government programs and benefits.


"In other words, the actual cash outlay for the low income family may well be zero, or even negative." 

The very last paragraph is the best, though. Seriously. cc @sladurantaye http://twitter.com/rowancaister/status/370525195402235905/photo/1Rowan Caister
By Fraser Institute logic low-income families are just rolling in the cash "bonus" they get from the incredibly generous govt support.HisFeministMama
I suppose it's possible to raise a child on 333.33 per month provided the child never needs dental work (especially braces), glasses, assistance for any sort of developmental delay (including things like speech impediments, reading difficulties, mobility issues), has no disabilities (including dyslexia, ADD or ADHD or anything else), never needs a babysitter or a tutor and eats a low quality diet, and they never participate in any kind of organized sports, community activities like scouts, friends birthday parties, camp, music lessons of any kind, art projects, school outings, any sort of entertainment outside the home, and not ever have a computer that's anywhere near up to date if one can be had at all. That's quite a few strikes against someone to start out.Marnie Froberg
You can keep a child alive on the amount stated by the Institute. However, there is much more to raising a healthy, happy, well-rounded child than just providing the bare necessities.Mike Hance
This is idiotic. Kids don't deserve the bare minimum.Matthew McFarlane
A few defended the projected numbers, agreeing that a lot of expenses are not always necessities and that being extra thrifty is possible. 
I think it's funny, all of the objecton & indignation to the idea... The facts speak for themselves... who has more kids, the rich or the poor? Raising a kid is as cheap or expensive as you choose to make it, from my personal experience.Mark Reynolds
Yes you can. But communication is the key. If parents stay steadfast and don't fall into the trappings of the "gotta have only brand names trap ". Then you can do it. Utilizing thrift shops is also helpful for certain things.too is always a good bet. And lastly staying away from gotta have and I want to what's needed. You can get a few extras when you come across good deals and salesDebbie Shaw-Burke
There was also satirical advice for raising children, care of #FraserInstituteKidTips.
Toys: wrap some rags around a stick. Homemade Barbie doll. #FraserInstituteKidTipsMonica Rooney
@monicarooney Fight Childhood obesiity: Feed your kids every other day #FraserInstituteKidTipsAndrew Tumilty
#FraserInstituteKidTips MT @c_9: @sladurantaye Give your kid two blankets and a corner [to sleep] - that's all they really need.Monica Rooney
@monicarooney @c_9 @sladurantaye Never bother switching to solid food. #FraserInstituteKidTipsPoliahu
Glue on a diaper makes an excellent babysitter. #FraserInstituteKidTipsMonica Rooney
What do you think? Is it possible to raise a child on under $4,000 a year? What is the bare minimum when it comes to raising children? 

Feel free to continue the conversation in the comment section below. 

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