A Nightmare of Work and Care

A Nightmare of Work and Care

At least since welfare reform, then, we have coexisted with a particularly monstrous work-life imbalance for low-income parents in which economic security, much less economic mobility for their children, remains forever out of reach. Americans have learned to live with punitive workfare as their only form of safety net assistance (or without it, as is the case for too many poor people ineligible even for subsistence benefits). Far from removing the crisis in care and work from polarized public debate, however, the pandemic has shown all too clearly that workfare ideology will not remain confined to the ever-shrinking welfare context, but has a life of its own.

An Abolitionist Horizon for Child Welfare

An Abolitionist Horizon for Child Welfare

The COVID-19 pandemic and police killings of George Floyd and other Black men and women have starkly revealed society’s race and class-based inequality and brought unprecedented attention to the excesses of the carceral state. One arm of punitive state regulation, however, has gone largely undiscussed: the “child welfare” system, which I call here, adapting Professor Dorothy…

Where Is the Care in the CARES Act?

Where Is the Care in the CARES Act?

Two pandemic policy stories have been coming to a head: (1) the push for another relief bill as a key CARES Act unemployment insurance benefit expires on July 31, and (2) the ongoing national child-care crisis as school closures for the fall are announced amidst the virus’ resurgence. What connects them is kids’ needs for care and families’ needs for economic support when they—predominantly mothers, of course—perform that caring labor. A little-noticed feature of the CARES Act supports care for children who must stay home due to school closures.

The “New Normal” Privatization of the Workplace

The “New Normal” Privatization of the Workplace

As the COVID-19 crisis rages on, individuals around the world are now thrown into a work-from-home, digitally-enabled “new normal” of the workplace. For most white-collar workers, homes have become offices, and boundaries between work and domestic life are being reshuffled. This shift, however, is just an acceleration of prior developments well under way since the beginning…

Coronavirus and the Politics of Care

Coronavirus and the Politics of Care

It is now clear that we are entering a new phase of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The virus appears in new countries around the world each day. New cases are now regularly reported in the United States, and as testing is scaled up, that number will increase, probably substantially. It is clear now that the…

Care Work In & Beyond the Labor Market

Care Work In & Beyond the Labor Market

Click here to read all posts in our Care Work series. Big ideas are flourishing these days—the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, sectoral bargaining, Universal Basic Income, prison abolition. This makes it all the more noteworthy when major policy areas are relatively quiet. One example is child care, despite Elizabeth Warren having started there…

The Neglect of Long-Term Care

The Neglect of Long-Term Care

Click here to read all posts in our Care Work series.  Caregiving has long been shunted aside and undervalued in the United States. Long-term care (LTC) is no exception. Sometimes called “long term services and supports,” LTC is the help that over 40 million Americans who are sick or disabled need every day to complete…

Service Workers or Servile Workers? Migrant Reproductive Labor and Contemporary Global Racial Capitalism

Service Workers or Servile Workers? Migrant Reproductive Labor and Contemporary Global Racial Capitalism

Click here to read all posts in our Care Work series.  Grassroots migrant worker activists, particularly those working as domestic workers or care workers, have characterized their labor experiences as “servitude,” “modern-day slavery,” and “bondage.” They use these terms to describe both their workplace conditions and the power dynamics that exist in their relationships with…

Making Care Work Green

Making Care Work Green

Click here to read all posts in our Care Work series.  “Domestic workers arrive to smoke, ash,” the headline in the Los Angeles Times read on October 29, 2019. Unaware of mandatory evacuations from a fire sweeping through exclusive enclaves near the Getty Museum, domestic workers had trudged up deserted streets and through particle-filled air…

Restricting Women’s Autonomy in the Name of “Eugenics”

Restricting Women’s Autonomy in the Name of “Eugenics”

The public/private dichotomy—so fundamental to the liberal political and economic order—produces many (if not all) of our lived contradictions, especially our experiences of inequality along the multiple and intersecting lines of race, sex, gender, class, able-bodiedness, and so on. It should come as no surprise that where the private decision making of women is at…

Looking Beyond the Law: The Movement for LGBTQ Rights at Work

Looking Beyond the Law: The Movement for LGBTQ Rights at Work

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the question of whether Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. LPE Blog is hosting contributions from scholars that detail the history of sex discrimination protections and address how law should redress gender hierarchies and disparities in economic power. Find all…

The Failure of Market Solutions and the Green New Deal – Pt 1

The Failure of Market Solutions and the Green New Deal – Pt 1

For the three decades that climate change has been a political issue, it has been understood primarily as an instance of severe “market failure”: as the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change explains, “greenhouse gas emissions are externalities and represent the biggest market failure the world has seen.” In other words, carbon…