‘Counting for Nothing’
The term economically inactive people like caretakers of any family (especially mothers) depict a big flaw in economic theory of value. The economic theory of value determine individuals who actually produce fiscal value in a society are active agents and individuals (women) who do not produce monetary value are inactive agents and do not contribute in the development of economy and society. The intricate reality is just opposite to this concept. In Asia, it’s a social and moral liability of a mother, sister and wife to prioritize her family, children and husband in comparison to her professional aspirations. They are expected to take care of all the domestic responsibilities and give up their professional life i.e. to produce fiscal value. Thus, social norms make them persistently inactive according to economic standards.
However, their tiresome everyday activities of rearing a family makes them more valuable as these women prepare an efficient and fully developed youth workforce for a society to efficiently function in any field of the nation. The author pinpoints a biased economic and social system, which only values a person’s productivity according to his assumed hard earned income. Although, if one looks closely into the lives of these caretakers like mothers, they spend endless time and energy to produce maximum good for their families that in return generates an efficient and fully developed children. These aptly developed children then contribute their energies at national and international levels. Therefore, proving that childhood nourishment, care and development left positive impact on their personalities to act efficiently in future.
On the other hand, if men are designated on women’s post suddenly the job becomes valuable. For instance, women have been associated to cooking responsibility in a typical Asian family. Yet, they are neither paid for it nor much appreciated (17). Thus, if men assume their role they receive empathy and praise for it from the society.
Waring has extensively described how the term ‘value’ evolved over time and how material means became worthy. and efficient members of society became vile. The value mechanism has been considered only in terms of monetary value of any object or subject. Thus, any natural resource is only worthwhile. if it is put into a cycle of generating fiscal value. Similarly, the author signifies at our understanding of security, lately security is only associated to alarm systems, body guards, and digital gadgets to deter any potential threat. Yet, aside from threat and security system instalment, it does include moral values to protect one-self and others, to prevent from injury and generate safe conditions for all.
Economic theories determine how to value anything in our society as long as it produces monetary return. Likewise, if a person is contributing his efforts to foster a family and does not generate fiscal value, but inputs significant efforts to benefit dependent individuals then that person is contributing his efforts in more efficient and long term manner. Mother’s with infants and children do work, but their work is unpaid and unrecognized. Their efforts are marked as nil and none of the cash is exchanged. Yet, their input is greater than a labourer who inputs his efforts to produce a commodity and that commodity serves a consumer. The consumer can change his preference and switch to a different company’s commodity, but mothers have no choice or option in the childrearing regard. Informal works which do not include public recognition and government authorization, all fall under the same as unpaid and inefficient chores for individuals in a society.
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Waring, Marilyn. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004. Print.
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