NewsBiden promotes 'care economy' spending in speech to care workers

Biden promotes ‘care economy’ spending in speech to care workers

1 of 5 | President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the care economy during an event Tuesday at Union Station in Washington, D.C., where he told care workers they “represent the best of who we are as Americans.” Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

April 9 (UPI) — President Joe Biden called for increased pay for care workers, and guaranteed paid leave for those who care for family members, in a speech Tuesday at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station.

Biden highlighted his administration’s investments in what he called the care economy, before a group of caregivers that included representatives from the AFL-CIO, AARP and National Domestic Workers Alliance.

“You care workers represent the best of who we are as Americans,” Biden told the crowd. “We look out for one another in America. We leave nobody behind.”

“If we want the best economy in the world, we have to have the best caregiving economy in the world,” he added to applause.

Biden spent the first part of his speech recounting how his family helped him with his two sons after his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash in 1972, six weeks after he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

“Lucky I had a family. My mother, my father, my sister, my brother all moved in, helped me take care of my kids,” Biden said. “I didn’t have any money. I mean, I made a living, but I didn’t have any money. And what I tried to do is figure out how I was going to raise my boys.”

Biden told the crowd of caregivers “you’re the heroes,” because you “do it out of love and concern, not because of the pay, because they’re not getting the pay they need.”

Biden, who vowed to improve the care economy in last month’s State of the Union address, listed the high costs of childcare and home care for aging or disabled family members.

“A typical family spends $11,000 a year on childcare per child. If you live in a big city, that can be $17,000 for each child,” Biden said. “The cost of long-term care for aging loved ones and people with disabilities rose 40% in the last decade.”

Biden called out the so-called sandwich generation that is taking care of both their children and their aging parents, as he vowed to guarantee paid leave in the United States, just as it is in other parts of the world.

“In the United States of America, no one — no one should choose between caring for a parent who’s raised them, a child who depends on them, or a paycheck that they need,” Biden said, as he also called for increased pay for caregivers.

“Care workers are predominately women, as well — women of color and immigrants who are overworked, overlooked and underpaid. It’s not enough just to praise them for all they’re doing;

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