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Mom’s Invisible Hand

Stashed in: Women, Economics!, Awesome, XX, Basic Income

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A pretty deep critique of economics as a discipline is that it has never found much of a way to account for labor -- almost entirely women's labor until recently -- in the home. A famous economics joke is that the GDP is reduced if an economist marries his housekeeper -- but it is also reduced if a woman leaves her job to raise kids. What would happen if economics had to account for "free" labor?

To your point, I'm not sure that economics knows how to handle the concept of basic income either. 

Excellent insights... from 1951!

The Disappearance, by Philip Wylie; P 1951

Introduction by Robert Silverberg

“The female of the species vanished on the afternoon of the second Tuesday of February at four minutes and fifty-two seconds past four o'clock, Eastern Standard Time. The event occurred universally at the same instant, without regard to time belts, and was followed by such phenomena as might be expected after happenings of that nature.” On a lazy, quiet afternoon, in the blink of an eye, our world shatters into two parallel universes as men vanish from women and women from men. After families and loved ones separate from one another, life continues in very different ways for men and women, boys and girls.

When will the world make progress?

The men's world had a more difficult time adjusting (after, of course, finally acknowledging that it wasn't a political trick done by 'the enemy’). A clash of egos — who would command, who would stay home with the boy children, who would do the menial jobs?

Women were more cooperative; they saw themselves as a group with problems to solve, no matter from what country.

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