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Reviving the Household Economy (non-Buddhist)

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  • antony272b2
    The household economy straddles the formal and informal sectors, in the sense that some of its activities bring in money, such as the work of a self-employed
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 16, 2012
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      "The household economy straddles the formal and informal sectors, in the sense that some of its activities bring in money, such as the work of a self-employed person working from home, whereas others do not, such as cooking, looking after the children, mowing the lawn, and so on.

      In general, the prevailing assumption today is that the household makes no productive contribution to the economy. What is done at home does not qualify as proper work - "I'm only a housewife" - and while sexist commentators see the housewife as the representative consumer, no one regards her as the representative producer or worker or investor. Home economics is not thought a fit subject for conventional economists, nor household management a fit topic for professors of management. The household is seen as a place for consumption, sleeping and recreation. Even in these non-productive spheres, the replacement of activities within the household by activities outside it is seen as a mark of progress. Conventional economists assume that people who eat in restaurants, sleep in hotels and enjoy leisure activities outside the home are economically more advanced than people who do those things at home.

      In pre-industrial times this was not so. The productive lives of men and women centred around their homes. It is only in industrial societies that people have been brought to think that the work of the world is done in workplaces provided by employers and that the economy is "out there". The post-industrial economy must revive the economic importance of the household and enable people to recover control of their own means of production in their own homes. The household must become, and be accepted as, a centre of paid and unpaid work, of learning, of caring, and of conservation – all of which must be recognized as economically important and valuable."

      ~ p35 Future Wealth by James Robertson, Cassell 1989.
      Posted with the kind permission of James Robertson.

      Antony: As a worker in the unpaid economy the above quote turned on a light-bulb in my mind. When I am lying in bed only a small movement is required to enter the household economy.

      With metta / Antony.
    • antony272b2
      The household economy straddles the formal and informal sectors, in the sense that some of its activities bring in money, such as the work of a self-employed
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 28, 2013
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        "The household economy straddles the formal and informal sectors, in the sense that some of its activities bring in money, such as the work of a self-employed person working from home, whereas others do not, such as cooking, looking after the children, mowing the lawn, and so on.

        In general, the prevailing assumption today is that the household makes no productive contribution to the economy. What is done at home does not qualify as proper work - "I'm only a housewife" - and while sexist commentators see the housewife as the representative consumer, no one regards her as the representative producer or worker or investor. Home economics is not thought a fit subject for conventional economists, nor household management a fit topic for professors of management. The household is seen as a place for consumption, sleeping and recreation. Even in these non-productive spheres, the replacement of activities within the household by activities outside it is seen as a mark of progress. Conventional economists assume that people who eat in restaurants, sleep in hotels and enjoy leisure activities outside the home are economically more advanced than people who do those things at home.

        In pre-industrial times this was not so. The productive lives of men and women centred around their homes. It is only in industrial societies that people have been brought to think that the work of the world is done in workplaces provided by employers and that the economy is "out there". The post-industrial economy must revive the economic importance of the household and enable people to recover control of their own means of production in their own homes. The household must become, and be accepted as, a centre of paid and unpaid work, of learning, of caring, and of conservation – all of which must be recognized as economically important and valuable."

        ~ p35 Future Wealth by James Robertson, Cassell 1989.
        Posted with the kind permission of James Robertson.

        With metta / Antony.
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