The United States is in great company:
Why is there deep bias against mothers? It turns out our country lacks basic supports for families. Out of 173 countries, only four have no paid leave for new mothers — Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and the U.S.A.
The essay contains many other out-of-context abuses of economics, but this one is sufficient. But first, this:
We know how to fix this problem.
Of course we do. The nanny statists always do.
The U.S. does not have mandatory paid leave, legislated by Congress. And yet, how many new mothers go completely without pay immediately following childbirth? Every time I’ve encountered a co-worker who will be taking maternity leave, she and her family have planned during the pregnancy for the coming lack of income by saving vacation days. They have nine months, after all. This needs to be considered without nonsense like this:
It turns out that having a child is the top cause of a “poverty spell” for families, a time when income dips below what’s needed for basic living expenses like food and rent.
The burden is on the parents, not the state, to properly plan a family’s finances in the event of a child. If a child will cause a “poverty spell”, do not have a child. Couples may procreate but they may not expect society to pay for that choice.
Most frustrating is that the author almost understands the truth.
The good news is businesses that are adapting to the human need for flexibility are thriving.
Still, we must lament that the United States sits with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Liberia in not mandating paid maternity leave.
So let’s assume the U.S. mandates paid maternity leave. Who will fund the new state expense? Since it’s a burden deriving from businesses, the tax burden will be placed on them. They will simply pass this expense to employees in the form of lower wages. Where there is an existing wage gap, it’s logical to assume that the cost for an extra benefit to women, all else equal, will be passed to women. We’re essentially down to shifting financial planning for children from parents to the state.
This might bypass women past child-bearing age, though how that will be determined opens a can of worms. But it will inevitably ignore the women who choose not to have children. Even though they do not need to financially plan for children, they will be financially planning for other people’s children, through the state. But I’m sure this is one extra law from Congress away from being rectified.
And what about paid paternity leave?