The Biden Plan acknowledges that the care business is an integral a part of the infrastructure, and the general public agrees
Biden's American employment plan will invest $ 400 billion in nursing staff. That's on top of $ 621 billion for transportation, including roads, bridges, ports, airports, public transportation, and EV charging stations. $ 111 billion to replace lead water pipes and replace old sewer pipes; $ 100 billion for national broadband internet; $ 100 billion to upgrade the electrical grid to provide clean energy; and $ 300 billion to build and upgrade homes.
The caring part of the bill, of course, is what the Republicans (and of course the "Playbook" by Kool Kidz of Politico) refer to as "not even near the infrastructure". It couldn't be that this is the part that deals most directly with gender and racial inequality, can it? Yes. The. Women have been the hardest to hide economically from this pandemic and have carried the brunt of the care during this pandemic. They were the ones disproportionately forced from work to look after family members, including schooling for their children.
Likewise, women – and especially women of skin color – make up the largest part of the care industry. Heather McCulloch, Founder and General Manager of Closing the Women & # 39; s Wealth Gap, and Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations, write about the care industry as an infrastructure investment, suggesting that infrastructure investment is countering a strategy the recession is designed to create jobs and respond to the needs of the public. Investing in supporting human capital – by creating a well-paid caregiver – does both. It helps create a professional and skilled caregiver with living wages and the support they need for the most urgent work. They, in turn, enable the rest of the workforce – women in particular – to return to their jobs, earn income and participate in the economy.
This is what the infrastructure should be about. Leave it to Senator Elizabeth Warren to explain what's going on here. "The vast majority of direct caregivers – a group that includes personal hygiene, housekeeping, and nursing workers who work in private homes, nursing homes, and other facilities – are women (86%) and people of color (59%)," she wrote in a comment for CNN. "The undervaluation of care work is directly related to racism and sexism. It is therefore not surprising that care is consistently – and wrongly – devalued as" unskilled "and" women's work ". "
Biden recognizes in his plan that the care industry – like the country's crumbling roads, bridges, and water systems – has been neglected for too long. He also makes a bet that the American public will agree. So far it works. Look at the numbers from the last Politico / Morning Consult poll: every part of this proposal from Biden is even supported by a majority of Republicans. Among them are 64% of Republicans who support the nursing proposal.
"This is a real opportunity to redefine our economic profile – with an aspect of the building part and the caring part – and it could be really crucial to our party for the next 50 years," said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster and advisor to Bidens 2020 campaign, said Politico. The beginning Biden made on the American bailout plan to restore confidence in the government and see it as the solution, "is here to stay for a while, and I think until at least 2022," said Lake. "But the other question for progressives and Democrats is how can we cement this as a permanent view of the role of government, rather than just intervening (during a crisis)."
A swing state Democrat, Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, agrees. She has particularly focused on nursing issues. "Since Reagan, the 'let's downsize government' concept has been pretty popular with some people," she said. "And yet the truth is, when there was a global health emergency, we found that it was you." I need government for some things and that a lot can be achieved – not just on the health side, but also on the road to recovery. "She believes the pandemic has broadened people's mindsets about government and what the government is doing." The right role of government should be. "
That leaves the Republicans in the dust again. You have Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who calls it the "radical left socialist agenda" (which is supported by the majority of Republican voters), and Republican deputies like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is in the National Television says: "Now the care industry." & # 39; is infrastructure (…) The care industry. I don't even know what the hell the nursing industry is. "
The White House remains ready to take them over, knowing they will attract more and more voters – especially suburban women – to their side. "If you want to argue about whether or not these things, which are fundamental to families' ability to put food on the table and do their jobs, are infrastructure, this is a fight we welcome" said Kate Bedingfield, White House communications director.