No doubt you’ve heard a few things about the Biden Administration’s “American Families Plan” they are trying to push through.
At the top of the list is how it will help the economy by handing the childcare industry a whopping $225 billion to reopen doors and get kids back in school. They claim that this will allow parents, many of whom are still not back to work, the freedom to do so while their children are being schooled.
And April’s jobs report only seemed to confirm the need for this, as the number of jobs added to the workforce fell some 734,000 jobs short of the expectations. And it seemed a large majority of those lost jobs went to females.
This caused advocates for the American Families Plan to push even harder for its passing.
Misty L. Heggeness, a senior adviser and principal economist at the Census Bureau, told Business Insider that the lack of child care is “crippling people’s ability to get back to work and spur the economic growth – should be treated as such.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said of the plan that it would “have a huge benefit in addressing some of the impacts of child care, on educational needs… that is preventing women from rejoining the workforce.”
And, of course, House Speaker and staunch liberal, Nancy Pelosi said in an early May statement, “As we see continued evidence that women and working parents have been hit hardest in the economy, we must invest in human infrastructure with the American Families Plan which strengthens the child care and early education support that families need: children learning, parents earning.”
Senator Patty Murray of Washington even went so far as to say that if “we don’t solve our child care crisis, there isn’t going to be an economic recovery.”
Notice that she’s more than willing to call this a crisis, while the border is still a mere “challenge” for the Biden Administration…
But I digress.
Now, I do have to admit, as a mother and working one, I can see how the left’s narrative makes sense to some degree.
But what if it’s not true? What if those not rejoining the workforce include a large number of non-parents as well as parents?
Wouldn’t that mean that while child care is something the nation needs to address, its current state isn’t really affecting the workforce?
Well, as one expert says, that’s precisely what’s going on. And no, he’s not a Trump fan or even a Republican.
Enter Jason Furman, a Harvard economist and former chair to Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Furman, along with several other equally qualified and talented individuals, has recently finished a study that basically says the numbers used to arrive at the left’s narrative simply doesn’t add up.
Of course, he’s not saying that in so many words.
According to a recent article by Politico, the study found that current low employment levels, both for women and parents in general, have little to do either school or daycare closures.
As Furman told Politico, “School closures and lack of child care are not holding back the recovery. And conversely, we shouldn’t expect a short-term economic bump from reopening schools and making child care more available.”
The study found that “differential job loss among parents, or even mothers specifically, accounts for a negligible share of aggregate job loss and could even have led to a small increase in jobs between the first quarters of 2020 and 2021. This analysis demonstrates that despite the widespread challenges that parents across the country have faced from ongoing school and daycare closures, excess employment declines among parents of young children are not a driver of continuing low employment levels.”
The study gives specifics, noting that the decline of those in the workforce without young children has actually been higher, at 5.2 percent, than those with young children at home, 4.5 percent. And while women with young children have left the workforce, the number is only “slightly higher” than women without children.
This means that just like all the other current liberal narratives out there, this one is just as wrong.
Of course, the left isn’t going to admit that anytime soon, will they?