We say we love kids and families. Our policies prove the opposite.
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Yes, you read that right.
Unlike every other well-off democracy, the United States has “never adapted to the needs of families in today’s labor market and economy,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy. “We’ve never responded to so many women with young children being in the workforce.”
It’s hard to think of work more important to a society’s long-term well-being and prosperity than raising children. Yet the market economy values work outside the home that produces goods, services and profits far more than the work of parenting. While parenting’s value is, well, infinite, it goes largely unmeasured in our gross domestic product.
This is why a hearing Tuesday of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on child care and preschool deserves more attention than it will probably get.