MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 35.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

Is childcare "work"?

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Is childcare "work"?

Postby kurt_w » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:27 pm

So, last week the Romney campaign was making a big deal about the fact that stay-at-home-Mom Ann Romney's work raising the Romney kids counts as "work".

But today we learned that back in January, Mitt had this to say:

While I was governor, 85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’


I'm not posting this to make a big deal about the hypocrisy, but to see what people have to say.

Does child care count as work? Does it make a difference if you're caring for your own children or somebody else's?

It often seems to me that many conservatives think that wealthy, white mothers should be staying home to raise their own children, but poor and minority mothers should be forced to seek paid employment (for their "dignity" as Romney puts it -- basically, work builds character, and poor and minority women are seen as deficient in character).

Consider two mothers, both doing exactly the same daily child-care tasks, except one is caring for her own children and one is caring for a stranger's. One gets paid, and earns social security benefits, etc. The other isn't paid and receives no benefits. Does that seem odd?

Is it better for a child to be cared for by her/his own parent than to be cared for by a stranger? If so, why does Mitt think that Ann Romney's children do deserve that benefit, but the children of a working-class Latina woman in East Boston don't deserve it?

Romney seemed very proud of this: "It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work." Should the state be subsidizing child care for working-class families? For middle-class families? For all children, or for none?

Have at it.
kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4833
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby snoqueen » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:43 pm

NPR is all over this same pair of stories.

Obviously, Romney is a total hypocrite (or has no intellectual continuity to his positions at all) and holds totally different standards for rich women and poor ones. Come the general election, all this stuff is going to come back to haunt him.

Still, I think it's fair to realize "work" often refers to "paid work," and doesn't have to be qualified to make sense in many contexts. If someone says of their kid "he's out of work" they mean he hasn't got a job. It's not too much to grant Ms Rosen, Romney's critic, that point. So in that sense, this is yet another manufactured reason for right-wing outrage.

I think as long as minimum wage is so ridiculously low, and as long as women make so much less on average than men do with little recourse, and as long as the R's work so hard to stigmatize "going on welfare" it's not unreasonable to have the government to underwrite child care. This disparity has to be dealt with at one place or another, and apparently that's the path of least resistance.

I just wish we'd start looking at where a measured infusion of public money does the most to meet a need or solve a problem, instead of just doing what provokes the smallest screaming fit from the screamer faction.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 10960
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby gargantua » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:50 pm

Child care is certainly work. The impression I get from the conservative talking points is that it is noble work, and sufficient unto itself, only if you can afford to do it without receiving a check from the government.

That's the bright line. Don't be poor and expect society to pay for you to stay home and take care of your own children.

Another aspect of this that will likely come up is the conservative belief that having children should be means-tested. You know, the "what are you doing having kids you can't afford to raise?" card.

This resentment underlies a lot of the conservative public policy prescriptions for poor and/or single mothers.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby ilikebeans » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:03 pm

gargantua wrote:Another aspect of this that will likely come up is the conservative belief that having children should be means-tested. You know, the "what are you doing having kids you can't afford to raise?" card.

But by all means, don't make contraception cheap or easy to obtain, or educate our horny teens on how it's used.

I just posted this in another thread, but we continue to see the easily-predicted results.
ilikebeans
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2753
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:23 am

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby Ducatista » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:58 pm

kurt_w wrote:Consider two mothers, both doing exactly the same daily child-care tasks, except one is caring for her own children and one is caring for a stranger's. One gets paid, and earns social security benefits, etc. The other isn't paid and receives no benefits. Does that seem odd?

Not to me. Because the one who cares for her own children gets to, you know, keep the children.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4298
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby peripat » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:20 pm

That is the difference between a professional and an amateur. The first does it for money, the second for love.
peripat
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:59 am

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby Donald » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:37 pm

Let's put it into perspective. What is a better use of human effort ---nurturing children to be a productive and loving members of our human community, or making a bunch of computer clicks that runs a computer program to buy and sell derivatives. I don't consider that there are very many people on Wall Street who really "work." Anyone ever see much productive work coming from anyone in corporate American with a title of Vice-President or above? Most corporations could get rid of every VP and the CEO and nothing would change because they do nothing of value. On the other hand, get rid of mom or child care workers and teachers and you've got nothing worth living for.
Donald
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2249
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:53 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby kurt_w » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:04 am

peripat wrote:That is the difference between a professional and an amateur. The first does it for money, the second for love.


Isn't that kind of a circular definition? A professional child care provider is someone who gets paid, and we pay them because they're a professional....
kurt_w
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4833
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby bdog » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:14 am

ilikebeans wrote:
gargantua wrote:Another aspect of this that will likely come up is the conservative belief that having children should be means-tested. You know, the "what are you doing having kids you can't afford to raise?" card.

But by all means, don't make contraception cheap or easy to obtain, or educate our horny teens on how it's used.
[/url]

Beans is right - the concept of a means test is not just a conservative belief. Liberals understand this and recognize the need for a practical solution (contraception, abortion).

This is where I part with my conservative brethren. This pattern of poor kids pumping out more kids has to stop.
bdog
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3184
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:26 am

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby wack wack » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:58 am

Wasn't the comment in response to the suggestion by Romney that he would look to his wife for advice on economic policy? Whether it's work or not, stay-at-home mom is hardly appropriate experience for an economic advisor.
wack wack
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3001
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:32 pm

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby Ducatista » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:06 am

bdog wrote:This pattern of poor kids pumping out more kids has to stop.

Even when you part company with your conservative brethren, you retain their douchey phrasing.

Kids having kids is a bad idea no matter what.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4298
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby peripat » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:25 pm

But rich kids can have kids and, like Mrs Romney, hire as much help as they think they need and never have to worry about how they'll pay for diapers or who will take the kids to the park.
peripat
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 899
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:59 am

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:34 pm

Is working on your car or boat really work?

Just like owning a car or boat, kids are a choice.

If you choose to have them, then don't gripe about how much work it is to maintain them.
Remember_Me
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1051
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:07 pm
Location: About town.

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby gargantua » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:48 pm

Remember_Me wrote:Is working on your car or boat really work?

Just like owning a car or boat, kids are a choice.

If you choose to have them, then don't gripe about how much work it is to maintain them.


While true, somewhat mystified as to how this observation relates to the topic of the thread.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3849
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Is childcare "work"?

Postby DCB » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:39 pm

Obviously raising kids is 'work', that is, it requires time and effort.

But the fact is, Ann Romney has never had a 'job' in her life. More to the point, she has never needed to have a job in her life. Which means she is completely out of touch with the economic condition of 99% of the women in this country.
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2458
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Next

Return to Catch All

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar