The American Prospect: Caregiving in Crisis

In October 2020, The American Prospect published an issue of their magazine dedicated to illuminating the numerous shortcomings in our care systems, and naming Universal Family Care as a key solution to building the care infrastructure we all need to live, care, and age with dignity. The issue features pieces by Janelle Jones, Sarah Jaffe, Bryce Covert, Dorian Warren, and many others, and features interviews with Elizabeth Warren and Ai-jen Poo. Please read on for a description of the issue. You can access links to individual articles below, or you can read the entire issue here

Virtually everyone in America can tell you about a time in their life when they struggled to get a parent or grandparent or uncle or aunt or child or grandchild the care they needed, yet American public policy is indifferent.

When it comes to helping people care for family, the country is failing.

There are a host of recommendations to fix this but they are not coordinated. Plans for child care do nothing for long-term care; plans for parental leave offer nothing for medical leave; plans for caring for seniors and people with disabilities don’t solve child care woes.

It’s time to truly examine the basic inhumanity of the current situation, and provide ideas about how we can change it so that families thrive.

The American Prospect has partnered with the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Caring Across Generations to produce a special report to address this. We take a look at how family care works right now, and the universal solution that can make it better.

This special issue includes on-the-ground reporting that documents the stress that caregiving causes right now. We provide evidence for how a universal social-insurance system can work to alleviate the care burden. And we highlight the grassroots movements for improvements in caregiving that have already paid dividends. Most of all, we talk to people, whose testimony explains why and how this system is crying out for an overhaul.

In 1935, when the situation of elderly poverty was intolerable, we created Social Security. That investment in each other, spread across workers and employers, made an enormous difference.

This special issue tries to make the case for building Universal Family Care with that community spirit in mind.

Because at one point or another, we all need care.


How the Pandemic Disrupted Care by Tasmiha Khan

Care Workers Organizing for Dignity by Marcia Brown

Running on Empty by Bryce Covert

Missed Opportunities, Partial Solutions by Kimberly J. Morgan

The Failed Economics of Care Work by Janelle Jones

Why Universal Family Care Belongs Atop the Progressive Agenda by David Dayen

The Neglect of Disability Care by Sarah Luterman

The Corporatization of Nursing Homes by Maureen Tcacik

The Collapse of Long-Term Care Insurance by Alexander Sammon

Why Americans Need Paid Sick Leave by Sarah Jaffe

Caregiving in the U.K. by Brittany Gibson

The Aging of Migrant Domestic Workers by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas