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Why Does The U.S. Hate Moms?

Why Does The U.S. Hate Moms?

What do Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and the United State have in common? According to Forbes, they are the only three countries that do not offer any form of mandatory paid leave to new mothers.

Think Progress reports, “American women are offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which exempts companies with fewer than 50 paid employees, but in 2011, only 11 percent of private sector workers and 17 percent of public workers reported that they had access to paid maternity leave through their employer. And for first-time mothers, only about half can take paid leave when they give birth. At the same time that working women in the U.S. lack a benefit widely available across the globe, almost 50 percent of families had two working parents in 2010, and 26 percent of households were headed by single parents. Without guaranteed paid maternity leave, many of these working women face significant financial hardship by having to choose between their paycheck and their families.”

Some would argue that access to leave, even unpaid, is still a generous benefit.  But what isn’t directly spelled out is how to get to that leave in the first place.  For many companies, FLMA, much like short term disability, cannot be accessed until all other forms of paid leave have been exhausted.  That means first using all vacation time, any potential paid time off, and sick leave.

That scenario means not only are you embarking on unpaid leave, but should you need any other time off for any reason, that will need to be unpaid as well — time off for a sick child, even taking your new baby in for the myriad of well-baby exams that clutter the first year of his or her life.  A parent who takes FMLA time not only suffers economically when taking it but will feel the repercussions of that leave financially for the remainder of that calendar year, which can be huge for births earlier in the year.

If the U.S. really wants to lead the world as a economic powerhouse, it needs to reexamine its laws that make employment and parenthood mutually exclusive.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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43 comments

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3:48PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

I find it amazing that the same people who are against the poor having access to birth control are also stating that having a child is irresponsible and selfish unless you are wealthy.......

Are the stuffy rich folks really of the opinion that sex should not be allowed unless you make a certain amount of income......... the poor should not have sex because it should only be allowed to the rich.................................. [and you called who a slut???]

Also if the GOP claims that sex should only occur for the purpose of procreation..... well, is it any wonder they act like they do?..... The question is why do they buy so much Viagra and such? what do they use it for?

8:25AM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

Why? Probably because those regulations were put in force by cavemen.

5:58PM PDT on Jul 6, 2012

It's really depressing.

8:50PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Yes, the Republican POV: support life, right up until birth. Then it's time to abandon ship and leave mothers and children at the side of the road.

8:43PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Couldn't have said it better myself. **America touts motherhood as the supreme in women's gifts, but then when it comes time to really SUPPORT mothers, it doesn't.** As a nurse, we had to use all of the above-mentioned leave in order to be at home after birth. Nurses would start planning a year or two in advance of trying to get pregnant, use no vacation or sick time, just so they could be with their infants at home for 6-8 weeks.

5:27AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

What a silly title. I think that if people choose to have kids, they need to be responsible for them. That responsibility includes choosing a job/career wisely: if you want to be a full-time parent, obviously, you can't also have a full-time job. If you want to leave the kids with carers some of the time, obviously, you need to assess the costs of those carers. I also don't want to work double the hours so that a co-worker can take time off to have children. Nor do I want my pay reduced so that my employer can afford to hire someone to cover for a co-worker on maternity leave. And so on.

Do those views mean I, and anyone who shares them, including policymakers, "hate moms?" No, I have massive respect for someone who manages to be a good parent and raise decent kids. I just don't think that the rest of us have to sacrifice so that someone else can have kids, sorry. Saying that people like me "hate moms" is offensive and divisive.

10:21PM PDT on May 31, 2012

DEMOCRATS = PRO MOMS AND PRO BENEFITS FOR ALL WOMEN'S RIGHTS!

TEAPARTY/REPUBLICANS = ANTI-WOMEN. SUBLIMINAL MESSAGING TO HIDE THEIR "WAR ON WOMEN."

7:03PM PDT on May 31, 2012

In a crowded country with crowded schools and no money for infrastructure why reward procreation?

Some parents have it hard and most do sacrifice but for something that they effectively own. It costs $200k per child in combined direct spending and opportunity cost such as lost career opportunities.

Society invests as much in K-12 education. Most families consume more of that than they will ever pay in combined real-estate and sales taxes. Society once invested the equivalent of $100k-$200k in infrastructure per person but no longer does so. You can see the result. It once invested $50k to provide for one low-skill job and as much as $500k per high-skill job. Much of that investment has moved off-shore.

Parents get an income tax deduction by which they can avoid paying for the investment that they necessitate.

Finally, if they pump out more than they can support, the taxpayer provides.

If I save for a $200k boat, I am selfish. If you pump out a $200k child (or multiples) without saving for it, you are generous. If I miss payments on the $200k boat, the bank takes it back. If you miss payments on the $200k child, the government makes them for you.

Given that society does not have jobs for and therefore does not benefit from the number of children being produced today, the average parent is a parasite on the non-parents.

In the face of that, they expect paid time off.

6:30AM PDT on May 31, 2012

All of these problems,would end with abstinence...

4:13AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Lets be clear, the US doesn't mandate paid maternity leave, that doesn't mean no one offers it. It would be nice if this blog was actuate at least half of the time

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