Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Plumber $90, child care worker $10. Wha?!!
Why Do We Pay Our Plumbers More Than Our Caregivers?
Surely leaky pipes aren't more important than our children? Author Riane Eisler shows how our economic system, rooted in gender inequality, is failing us.
"Professions that don't involve caring, like plumbing or engineering, are uniformly higher paid in the market than professions that do involve caring, like child care or elementary school teaching -- both highly skilled, highly important professions. We have this bizarre situation where people pay $50 to $90 to the plumber, to whom we entrust our pipes. But according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the child care worker, to whom we entrust our children, averages $10 an hour, no benefits.
And, of course, we insist the plumber be trained. How could we entrust our pipes to somebody who isn't? But we don't insist all child care workers be trained. This is not logical, it's pathological. And we have to look at why we have such a distorted system of values driving our economic system?"