"The recent dust-up over a Democratic consultant’s comment that Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mother, had never worked a day in her life initially seemed like a minor campaign skirmish. Everyone, including the woman who made the comment, quickly agreed that parenting was work.
As the air cleared, however, the policy implications of defining unpaid activities as work — productive, socially valuable work — suddenly shimmered in the spotlight.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes quickly pointed out that Mrs. Romney’s husband, Mitt, had, while serving as governor of Massachusetts, insisted on strict work requirements for single mothers applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Ezra Klein of The Washington Post elaborated on this point, observing that government social programs ranging from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to Social Security don’t count parenting as work. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” poked fun at Mrs. Romney’s enthusiasm for motherhood as a career choice." ...
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