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3 comments

[–] Lipsy 6 points Edited

Along closely related lines—It's interesting (not the good kind of 'interesting') to consider the consequences in this area of using gross domestic product (GDP) or gross national product (GNP) to measure and compare the levels of economic strength and development of whole countries.

Where I'm going with this is.., Domestic labor—housework, childcare, upkeep/maintenance, landscaping, etc—does NOT count towards GNP or GDP when it's performed by a member of the household, but DOES count towards both measures whenever a non-household member[1] is paid to do it.

Given that the world's governments and (especially) NGOs factor the GDPs/GNPs of different countries into a broad range of deeply impactful political and financial decisions, it's 'interesting' (in the same way as above) to consider how, and why, the governments of different countries might actively manipulate incentives for families to be self-sufficient vs. to contract out domestic work (and overall public perceptions of these, insofar as governments are capable of tweaking public opinion).
Maximum levels of 'interesting' for countries that sit really close to one of the absurdly stark bright lines that divide the world in NGO-land—e.g., the World Bank's categories of "middle-income" and "rich" countries. (i find it ridiculous that there are no tiers between these, but, I'm just a random Girl on the internet and what the hell do I know.)

[1]: Live-in nannies/maids/au pairs/etc do not count as household members. Also, if you wana get suuuuper technical, non-resident domestic workers (e.g., au pairs staying in a country as guests on a sponsored visa) count towards the host country's GDP but towards their own home country's GNP.