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Mothers not employed are in the “work force”.

by on August 28, 2013

My original plans for this blog over the next few months was to post once a month and try to cross post other blogs that friends write that I deem worthy and in theme with heterodox economics.  Since I am going to school now, I had assumed I would have no time to research and post things to the standard that I have been trying to keep here.  It appears that going to school may just inspire me to write here more frequently, for after just one day of class I am already curing that itch to druther on, but we shall see how this pans out over time.

One of the books I am reading for class is “The Price of Motherhood”, by Ann Crittenden.  After reading only the introduction I realized that the value of motherhood in economics is largely ignored and under covered in today’s media, and thus I feel the burning desire to blab on about it.  So you are not going to find long draw out blogs here, but rather short ones that cover certain things about the economics of motherhood.  Well I intend to keep them short, again we shall see.

As anyone who was ever raised by a mother who stayed at home and could legitimately recall the work their mother did to keep things in order and to raise them, they should be able to come to the conclusion that what their mother did could very well fit into the category of “labor”.

If one agrees that a stay at home mom, or even a dad, is in fact a “laborer” should it then logically follow that they should be offered the same rights as people who are employed?  The difference here is that one is employed (being paid) and the other is laboring, but not being paid.  Should a stay at home parent have SS benefits diminished?  As it stand now those benefits are diminished if a parent decides to stay at home and raise a child.

Should a parent receive some kind of unemployment benefits for deciding to stay at home and labor?  As it stand now their future earnings and employable skills are diminished if they decide to labor at home and raise kids.  Could this be a reason why more women are working professionals early in life, and foregoing motherhood?

Right now our employable population is measured by something called the Labor Participation Rate (LPR), which measures the amount of people able to work.  This number leaves out those who stay at home to raise children.  As it stands now the LPR is at 63.4%, and I am positive that this number would drastically increase if being a child raiser was included as participating in the labor force.

With all this being said I think it is due time to consider and discuss how we monetarily ignore the most important job of all, motherhood and raising children.

One Comment
  1. ‘The most important job of all, motherhood and raising children.’ Exactly right and yet having children is treated as some abnormal event in a working life .. a self-indulgence.

    ‘Wages for housework’ took part in The Beiijing World Conference and an estimate was made of the contribution Women’s unpaid work made to global GDP.. however I can’t find the figure. Here’s a link which, if you wanted to, you might follow through:

    Furthermore, there is a cost to society of forcing mothers/parents back to work before their children are ready.

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