“If you let me stay, I’ll keep house for you. I’ll wash and sew and sweep and cook.” – Snow White
This is a problem that vexes me and I have yet to find a workable solution. As I noted before ( https://www.lianeon.org/p/we-dont-have-enough-people ) we face a global demographic crisis of shrinking populations. This is, in no small part, due to the opportunity cost of having children. Mostly, this opportunity cost falls on women who shoulder the burden of child-rearing.
As you said, most economists seem to handwave childcare/domestic work away. Maybe if we found a means to measure domestic work into GDP, we could develop a system that properly reward that work? And if we did, would the fertility rate turn around?
What a great gathering of domestic work issues, Bob. One other aspect of being unpaid is that if a woman (like me) stayed home to raise her kids or at least until in school, they received the minimum social security benefit. Considered what - not really work? not worth a measure of compensation? I remember back in the "workforce" (aka office) looking at my social security history and seeing those early years raising my kids as zeros.