If I had to try summing up all the various reasons given to why looking at caring labor (that for elders, children, and the disabled) is so important to the agenda in economics, I'd say this article sums it up in dealing with home health care work:
" Establishing the legitimacy of care as productive, necessary labor — a real job — would recognize the realities of both our aging society and our service economy. It would also begin the long-overdue work of updating labor standards for the workplaces of a new century."All that time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears that go into social reproduction- care, school, physical child-rearing, checking on old folks, making sure that everyone gets by- that stuff is important. And it's work. Hard work.