It’s a good question

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Shawn Fremstad asks

Why is OK to pay the mostly female workers who take care of other people’s children and of seniors and people with disabilities so little? (Average wages for workers in care occupations are less than half of average wages for workers overall: for child care workers, average annual wages are $21,320 compared with $45,230 for workers overall. And, it’s not just about education—nearly half of all child care workers have either some college or a college degree).

Would it have something to do with the price points of that care in relation to the cost of raising children in general? I remember paying for child care back in the nineties when both my wife and I both worked. And it was a lot of money, but, not nearly enough to raise the wages of care workers. But I really have no idea.

But I’m interested in simple questions: should things cost what they do, as in a $300 gallon of saltwater (typically used by people with allergies and sold in teeny spray bottles) or the price point of a course at Harvard.


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