Author: folbre

Why JoeCare Has a Chance

Happy Inauguration Day.  We now have a president who wears a mask. Everywhere. Which is something to be grateful for. Hope was that the pandemic would help raise awareness of just how much we depend on care work. This hope grows. A quick list of the three major care-related proposals President Biden has advanced so far:   More support (to… Read more →

Manifold Exploitations

Most of the Left continues to rely—implicitly or explicitly–on an outdated definition of exploitation that distinguishes “economic” differences based on class from “social” or “identity-based” differences based on race/ethnicity, gender, citizenship and other dimensions of socially-assigned group membership. From this perspective, unpaid care work can be considered unequal, unfair, or unfortunate, but it can’t be considered exploitative, because it doesn’t… Read more →

Evolution and Intersectional Conflict

If you don’t know David Sloan Wilson’s work, you should. He’s a pioneer of evolutionary biology, a great communicator, and an advocate for community-level mutual aid. He takes the science of altruism seriously, and helps run an online magazine, This View of Life, that could be a venue for more dialogue between evolutionary biologists and social scientists. I’d like to… Read more →

Expendable Heroes?

You can buy this great lawn sign on Etsy, but you might want to get out a black marker and add  “Deserve Hazard Pay” at the bottom. Most essential workers in the U.S. are still in suspense regarding the possibility of  compensation for their forced exposure to Covid-19 infection. The big question is when and if the HEROES act proposed… Read more →

The Covid-19 Care Penalty

In the U.S., as elsewhere, essential workers have been rightly praised for their willingness to take on additional risk and stress. Their commitment to helping patients, students, and customers face-to-face went beyond the ordinary requirements of earning a paycheck. Yet some essential workers faced more serious risks of infection than others, and differences in pay among them were also significant.… Read more →

Responsibility Time

If there was ever a time we urgently needed to know more about time use, that time has come. The Covid-19 pandemic utterly changed daily rhythms for many sequestered households and the “opening up” process closed down some old routines. I’ve done extensive work with time use data, have been in touch with several people/groups trying to measure the impact… Read more →

The Homemade Value-Added Stabilizer

“Shelter in place” mandates in the early stages of the U.S. Covid-19 pandemic required many people to stay home, cook their own meals, school their own children, and entertain themselves.  Unpaid work served not only as a social safety net, but also as an automatic stabilizer. While it didn’t dampen fluctuations in official Gross Domestic Product, as did unemployment insurance,… Read more →

Italian Feminists: In Defense of Caregivers

“The recent ‘Cura Italia’ (Care for Italy) decree, issued by the Italian Government, does not “take care” of domestic workers, home-based caregivers for the elderly and child minders.”  This is the first sentence in a petition being circulated by the feminist magazine Ingenere, published here in English (and I’ve borrowed their beautiful picture of a woman’s folded hands).  They are… Read more →