Author: folbre

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 →

The Care Theory of Value

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages through the U.S., many hospitals are laying off or cutting the pay of doctors and nurses, even those working on the front lines. Unable to perform the elective surgeries (including face lifts and knee replacements) that are their best moneymakers, hospitals are  taking huge losses on  pandemic victims. By one estimate, their COVID-19 treatment costs will… Read more →

Are We All Care Workers Now?

Who, exactly, are care workers, other than  the people we need most right now, as the covid-19 pandemic overlays the division of labor with a new division of risk? I’ve long been an advocate of using the term “care worker” rather than “caregiver” even though the work can be and often is, at least in part, a gift. Because care–whether… Read more →

View from a Blue Rurality

We are the lucky ones, distancing in an already pretty distanced place. On country roads, plenty of space for walking, biking, breathing easy. One neighbor says not to worry because another neighbor has forty rolls of toilet paper, which her boyfriend nabbed before the shit hit the fan. If need be, we can beg for some. Rio the border collie… Read more →

Care Work Network: Distillations_1

As of March 30, 2020… Very helpful discussions of Covid19 social impact have unfolded on the Care Work Network list.  Some impressions and engagements especially relevant to the U.S. are listed below.  A forthcoming post will summarize some comments  from the global South. (You can learn more about Care Work Network here. To subscribe to the listserv, email Darcie Boyer with your… Read more →

Coronavirus Tweet Diary

I have generally been a pretty timid and reluctant Tweeter, but somehow the Coronavirus crisis and sequestration encouraged me to think in chunks of 280 characters. It seemed like a helpful way to process anguish. March 26, 2020 Want parents to go back to their jobs eventually? They will need childcare, and grandparents won’t be able to help. Stimulus package:… Read more →

Not O.K., Boomers (with postscript)

I must be a boomer, because I can never remember the difference between Generations X, Y (Millennials) and Z. Yet I am a fan of the phrase “OK, Boomer,” because it’s a relatively polite and pleasantly concise, if ironic, way for young people to explain “there’s a reason why we disagree.” And this reason is a good one: generational differences… Read more →

Greta on Fire

After  her first speech to the Davos Forum of world “leaders” in Switzerland last year, Greta Thunberg was cautioned against causing panic. In her recent encore performance of January 21, 2020 she drily observed that she was clearly not causing panic, because they had done absolutely nothing over the past year  to halt global climate change. Anyone who doubts that Thunberg’s… Read more →

A UBI for Care?

Guest post by Almaz Zelleke: Thanks, Nancy, for inviting me to share my proposal for a UBI that supports women, children, and care work in general. As we weigh the pros and cons of a UBI, it’s important to be specific about the goals and details of any particular proposal, since the basic definition of a UBI–a broadly distributed regular… Read more →