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AP Decries Lack Of Paid ‘Parental Leave’

A press release in the guise of a news article, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Report decries lack of paid parental leave in US

By David Crary, AP National Writer Wed Feb 23, 2011

NEW YORK – Americans often take pride in ways their nation differs from others. But one distinction — lack of a nationwide policy of paid maternity leave — is cited in a new report as an embarrassment that could be redressed at low cost and without harm to employers[.]

Aren’t you terribly embarrassed about this? We know we are. It’s the main reason we never go to parties where there might be foreigners. But it is reassuring to hear that giving new parents paid leave for six or twelve weeks won’t cost much.

"Despite its enthusiasm about `family values,’ the U.S. is decades behind other countries in ensuring the well-being of working families," said Janet Walsh, deputy director of the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch. "Being an outlier is nothing to be proud of in a case like this."

Human Rights Watch, based in New York, focuses most of its investigations on abuses abroad.

But on Wednesday, with release of a report by Walsh on work/family policies in the U.S., it takes the relatively unusual step of critiquing a phenomenon affecting tens of millions of Americans.

Actually, Human Rights Watch is yet another George Soros front group that spends most of its time attacking Israel. Though, to be fair, HRW does sometimes pretend to be interested in other subjects. Such as bringing down the governments of US allies across the Middle East.

Despite all that they somehow regularly find the time to meddle in US domestic affairs. Indeed, HRW has propagandized for years about the need for federally funded abortions, which they call "first and foremost a human right."

Of course, when you think about it, more ‘free abortions’ would help address the problem of family leave as well.

The report, "Failing its Families," says at least 178 countries have national laws guaranteeing paid leave for new mothers, while the handful of exceptions include the U.S., Swaziland and Papua New Guinea. More than 50 nations, including most Western countries, also guarantee paid leave for new fathers.

Past efforts in Congress to enact a paid family leave law have floundered, drawing opposition from business lobbyists who say it would be a burden on employers

Who cares about any burden on employers? This is just the kind of medicine our struggling economy needs right now – to put it completely out of its misery.

Instead, there is the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which enables workers with new children or seriously ill family members to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. By excluding companies with fewer than 50 employees, it covers only about half the work force, and many who are covered cannot afford to take unpaid leave

So we already have a paid family leave program in place that gives new parents 12 weeks off. Except that they aren’t paid and small businesses are exempt. Oh, the humanity!

With prospects for federal legislation considered dim for now, advocates of family-friendly workplace policies hope for progress at the state level and are looking closely at California and New Jersey, the only states that have paid-leave programs.

Both states have severe budget problems overall, but the leave programs — financed entirely through small payroll tax contributions by workers — are flourishing.

Both offer six weeks of paid leave for workers taking time off to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent.

Yes, we all need to emulate California and New Jersey. And never mind that both states are currently facing bankruptcy because of programs like this.

No, we are supposed to be gladdened that these programs are "flourishing." – Meaning that a lot of people are taking advantage of them, and getting six week paid vacations courtesy of their employers.

And people wonder why businesses are leaving California and New Jersey.

Human Rights Watch, which interviewed dozens of parents for its report, said lack of paid leave has numerous harmful consequences — fueling postpartum depression, causing mothers to give up breast-feeding early, forcing some families into debt or onto welfare

They "interviewed dozens of parents"? That is research. That is science. And certainly we all know plenty of people who were forced to go on welfare because they weren’t given six weeks paid vacation when their wife had a baby.

But what exactly did these parents expect would happen when they were, in the immortal words of our President, "punished by a baby’?

The Human Rights Watch report urges other states to emulate New Jersey and California by adopting paid leave programs. Any takers might get federal help — the Obama administration, in its recent budget proposal, proposed allocating $23 million to help states with startup costs for such initiatives

Why are we reminded of the drug pushers on the school playground? ‘Go ahead, kid. The first one’s free.’

In the European Union, paid parental leave varies from 14 weeks in Malta to 16 months in Sweden, which reserves at least two months of its leave exclusively for fathers. Most EU countries have maintained the provisions of their programs despite the recession

Sweden has just elected a very fiscally conservative government that has vowed to pare back its social welfare programs. And most EU countries are facing bankruptcy because of such nonsense. And they, too, are are working as fast as they can to get out from under them.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “AP Decries Lack Of Paid ‘Parental Leave’”

  1. Right of the People says:

    Having just been through a situation that would qualify even under the present law, we lost my mother-in-law after a multi-year battle with cancer, we instead decided to handle it without taking time off. My wife and I made sacrifices like you’re supposed to do for family and did the best we could to care for her until the end when she ended up in hospice for the last month.

    This is just one more case of the libs trying to push us into an even bigger nanny state then we already have. Can’t these morons see that Europe after the last 50-60 years of this type of crap have finally come to their senses and are backpedaling as fast as possible?

    We need radical changes in the country to get us back on track and to bring back family values. I’m thinking a libwit hunting license would be a good thing.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “Can’t these morons see that Europe after the last 50-60 years of this type of crap have finally come to their senses and are backpedaling as fast as possible?

      Yes, they can, but they see it as an opportunity to demonstrate their intellectual superiority. “The reason socialism hasn’t worked is because it hasn’t been done by the right people yet: US!”

      Yet such thinking is so fallacious that one would have to check to see if these same people don’t actually stick their hands in flame to see if it’s hot. Such arrogance, such unbelievable arrogance and always from the same sources, the same mental pathways, the same results.

      Again to quote the line used by Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm: Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming. (Jurassic Park II)

      And, when he’s discussing a new park by Dr Hammond:

      John Hammond: Don’t worry, I’m not making the same mistakes again.
      Dr. Ian Malcolm: No, you’re making all new ones.

      Except they ARE making all the same mistakes again since it stands evident that socialism doesn’t work.

      The same can be said for communism, dictatorial rule. Given that the people cannot agree on all things all the time, a representative republic was definitely the way to go. Everyone has a voice, the majority wins and that’s that. Until, you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the children of the Greatest Generation who never had to work for anything, never had to go without, ever. Then they bitched because they had to go to Vietnam, while still espousing the “right to freedom” for themselves (See: Jane Fonda about herself) Yet they weren’t even interested in helping others attain it.

      I’m really pretty sick of it all.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    They subvert us while we sleep.

    Pressing all fronts, flooding the political discourse with BS. Trying to dispirit and divide us with any lie and nonsense that will serve as a national distraction.

  3. proreason says:

    I’m at the point where I think the only relevant question is “Is there any limit on what you are willing to force me to do?”.

    – they are willing to put me in jail if I don’t buy health insurance
    – they are willing to shut down state governments if I don’t agree to let unions pay themselves whatever they want
    – they are willing to kill unborn babies up the moment of exit from the womb
    – they are willing to take any amount of income from “rich people”, who can be whoever they define today
    – they are willing to redefine marriage, the foundational institution of western (and other) civilizations
    – they are willing to bankrupt businessess that supply the wrong kind of energy, which is whatever they define
    – they are willing to force employers to allow “parental leave”, defined in whatever way they see fit.
    – they are willing to ignore the foundational rules for the country whenever they don’t like what it says

    So why shouldn’t I believe that they are willing to break my thumbs if I don’t do whatever they want today. Why shouldn’t I believe that they would create a gulag to throw me in if I look at them cross-eyed.

    Note that there isn’t a single item on the above list that the public agrees with, not a single item.

    So how are they different from Stalin? It’s only a matter of degree, isn’t it. He had different whims than they do, But his whims weren’t agreed to by the public and neither are theirs. He went a bit further on the coercion path, but I have to say, throwing me in jail for not buying something is pretty high up on the coercion scale. Killing unborn babies is pretty high up on the scale as well. It’s really hard to argue that there is a lot of daylight between them and Stalin. Other than a better crease in their pants.

    Seriously. Can anybody explain how they different from the USSR?

    • merkelerk says:

      The difference is that everyone in the USSR knew that it didn’t work but they were stuck with it.
      The majority of lefties here actually believe in this crap.

      For many years I sought a reasonable explanation for liberal thinking, I just couldn’t believe that people could really be that stupid. I have come to rely on “Occam’s razor”.

      The simplest explanation is that utter stupidity is the most common element in the universe.

  4. mr_bill says:

    Is it really that hard to imagine that there will be some people who get a job, only to get pregnant and take the paid vacation, then get pregnant again, take the paid vacation, rinse and repeat. I can forsee certain members of the population being paid by employers at jobs they haven’t been to in years and employers with absolutely no way to terminate employees who would abuse this system. If you want to destroy businesses, this would be quite an efficient way to do so (like everything else we hear from Georgesorosobamapelosireid).

  5. TerryAnne says:

    What no one will hear (and I’m surprised I could still pull up this – gasp – Washington Post opinion piece that had the info):

    But even some feminists objected to giving women job-protected time off around birth, because they felt that their gains were too precarious, and their determination to ascend from the pit of sex discrimination was too great, to risk drawing further attention to maternity. In the early 1970s, some women challenged school board policies requiring pregnant teachers to take maternity leave for several months before and after birth. So it wasn’t entirely surprising that, when Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) spearheaded a national proposal for leave in 1984, it encountered the same resistance.

    “Influential feminist activists in Washington opposed maternity leave because it wasn’t treating women the same as men,” says Joan Williams, director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California at Hastings. “They said: ‘No, no, no. We don’t want national maternity leave. We want to fold maternity into other medical needs.’ ”


  6. Liberals Demise says:

    For the love of Sweet Jesus…..
    One look at the welfare state and lack of black fathers’ in their ‘parental’ role
    should give you a glimpse of “Paid Parental Leave”.
    Just more entitlements with a dead bank account.
    “BACK OFF”

  7. BigOil says:

    So President Barry is providing 23 million in seed money for new parents to receive paid leave. A man who only awoke from his slumber of voting present to passionately advocate killing babies that survived an abortion.

    I guess if you can’t kill the babies, the next best thing is to use them for wealth redistribution.

  8. preparing4theworst says:

    Here is a thought…..if you don’t want to be “punished by a baby”, GET YOUR TUBES TIED, it works for both genders!!

  9. NoNeoCommies says:

    Once again, those of us that choose to not add to the population are shafted in favor of those who did MAKE A CHOICE.
    When I read the story, my first thought was that old gem Mom like to use: “If all of your friends jump off a cliff, are you going to do that too?”

  10. pawpaw says:

    It should be up to the mom’s and dad’s to take care of their kids. If you are lucky enough to work for a company that will pay you for working from home or part time then that’s great. The government does enough “help” already and it has gotten us to a 3 trillion dollar deficit. Just the same I am happy to take care of my own, and now that the kids are older I have found http://www.parentalcontrolapps.com to have some great deals on parental control software to keep an eye on them. Like when your mom got suspicious and looked under your bed. Its not for everyone and not all the time, but it can help if you need it.

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