Paid Maternity leave doesn’t demand government mandate

I believe in the right to life, family values and free markets. All three need to come into play with regard to paid maternity leave. Children are literally dying because we are pressuring mothers to rush back to workforce before 6 months after birth of their children. Megyn Kelly had two women who lost babies in daycare after having to go back to work before they felt comfortable. Both lost their children the first day of daycare. 55 of every 1000 babies die in the first 6 months of life with 31 of those in the first month, according to the global study cited. If we want to get local, Delaware has the 6th highest infant mortality rate in the nation at over 7 per 1000. This makes it more compelling for Delaware to lead. 4 big ways to reduce that are no smoking, medical care, safe sleep and maternal presence. It is clear that we need paid maternal leave.

The question is how do we do it? Burdening business with another mandate is the wrong solution. It will make young women less likely to be promoted because presumably the pay will be based upon higher salary. It could increase the wage gap between men and women which would be morally wrong in my opinion. Many businesses can’t afford it. It could mean that service declines in some small businesses who would have to pay for people not working and not have enough money to pay for new workers. Small business would be at a competitive disadvantage which will stifle innovation and one of the few bright spots in the economy.

Another solution is to give a government benefit to new mothers. There is nothing wrong with that except have you noticed that the government is out of money from all of the other “great idea” giveaways?

The solution is a better way. Take unemployment insurance and have a negative checkoff 8-20 dollars a month depending upon income, for women 18 to 48 that is invested sensibly. Give them paid maturity leave for 6 months and protect their right to return for a year by law. Don’t create a new bureaucracy. The exact numbers would be worked out but these are based upon private sector short term disability and the New York experiment. No mandates, no new taxes, and no drain on business, what is there not to like? We need someone in Delaware with the courage to champion it. So I will start.

This would be voluntary in that a woman could opt out by an affirmative choice. Unless she can’t have children by natural or artificial reasons, she would be foolish to refuse to contribute 2 dollars a week for her own benefit. For it to work, there would have to be a few years of contributions to get the full benefit. Therefore starting when you’re pregnant won’t be as profitable. We could supplement the first 3 years with a special earned income tax credit paid to women who stay home with infants in order to allow the fund to amortize.

We, conservatives have the solutions Delaware needs. We need to have the courage to stand up and offer them. We need to lead our state into a bright new day.

9 thoughts on “Paid Maternity leave doesn’t demand government mandate”

  1. “Unless she can’t have children by natural or artificial reasons, she would be foolish to refuse to contribute 2 dollars a week for her own benefit. For it to work, there would have to be a few years of contributions to get the full benefit. Therefore starting when you’re pregnant won’t be as profitable.”

    This idea seems to ignore the reality of family planning. If a woman is using birth control, then why would she take a $2 a week tax? You seem to believe that people who have families do so at random. By and large, they do not.

    So, tell me how this works. A woman who is single and using birth control isn’t going to be contributing to this fund. Then, if she does get married and they decide to have children, they need to do the check-off and wait a few more years until she is eligible for maternity leave.

    Is that how you see this working out?

  2. And, just so I’m clear about this, David – it does not apply to men. So, if your wife dies in childbirth or if you, as many couples, decide that it’s better for your relative careers for the husband to stay home with the child, then that’s not on the table, since raising children is something that’s limited to women only. Is that correct?

  3. An even better way is for the mother to quit her “real” job for a couple of years and eventually work a couple of part time shifts a few nights a week while dad watches the kids. Dad goes to work in the morning and mom has the kid(s).

    Of course for this to work there must be a dad, and dad must have a job.

  4. That assumes that dad has the day shift and not retail or law enforcement or hospital work that changes shifts or that he doesn’t have 3 part time jobs working 60 hours for not enough money because his 40 a week job at dupont moved to Asia. No this is a better way, it is a real solution for the real world.

  5. Nitpicker, due to the fact that a woman who is thinking of getting married would start paying into it. Frankly, even with birth control a woman should take the insurance. No it is not a tax, it is insurance just like any other short term disability insurance. The proof it is not a tax is simple, if you don’t want it, opt out. No one will come after you. If you opt out and get pregnant, don’t try to pay two weeks before you are due and get the whole benefit. It is insurance.

    If you don’t like it, use Rick’s program. It is not as good for breast feeding or building a strong marriage, but a lot of people do it. The more choices available, the better.

  6. Real Deal, not everyone’s circumstances are the same. Yes, there are families where Dad stays home with the kids because Mom has a better job. Not everyone is on hourly wages.

    David, how much lead time are you requiring. Answer with a real question. In your original post, you said years. We aren’t talking about two weeks before delivery. So why not an honest answer from you. Under your proposal, how far ahead does a pregnancy need to be planned? A year? Two years? What is the lead time that you would require for people to plan their pregnancy?

    In your post, you said “a few years”. So what you are saying is that a single woman with no intention of having children meets the right guy, has six month engagement, and they decide they want to have children. How long, under your “a few years” plan are you saying they have to wait?

    If you want to be taken seriously, then give a serious number.

    I assume you also don’t intend this to apply to adoptions either. Is that correct?

    Also, you didn’t answer my other question. If mom dies in childbirth, then dad isn’t getting family leave of absence. Is that correct?

  7. That assumes that dad has the day shift and not retail or law enforcement or hospital work that changes shifts or that he doesn’t have 3 part time jobs working 60 hours for not enough money because his 40 a week job at dupont moved to Asia. No this is a better way, it is a real solution for the real world.

    Some people have shift work. Most don’t. That is the real world.

  8. David,

    Make up your mind….

    ““Unless she can’t have children by natural or artificial reasons, she would be foolish…”

    Or:

    “Frankly, even with birth control a woman should take the insurance.”

    So, if I understand what you are saying, David, it would be foolish for someone using, say, Norplant, to take the insurance, but should do so anyway. That’s what you just said.

    I’m just asking you a simple question.

    1. Once a couple decides to have a baby, how long do they have to wait, under your proposal?

    It’s not that hard a question. My other question is whether this applies to adoptions.

  9. “If you don’t like it, use Rick’s program.”

    Well, David, I don’t know if I like it or not, since you can’t answer a simple question about it.

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