August 10, 2015

"What if the only people who took advantage of an unlimited leave policy were women?"

"What if those women were mommy-tracked away from the most intense, remunerative parts of a business, toward more marginal, lower-paying positions? The truth is that this already happens in many businesses. Unlimited does not mean 'consequence-free,' after all. No, for more generous parental-leave policies to really tackle the broader problem of women seeing their paychecks shrink and careers derailed by having a child during their peak earning years, norms need to change, too. Men do not just need more generous paternity policies. They need to use them.... That is just not the case right now.... So, how to get men to take some time off?..."

From "Lean Out, Dads."

121 comments:

MadisonMan said...

It's foolish for both parents to sacrifice future earnings to do childcare. One or the other does it: this arises from a simple running of numbers.

Even if you have a use it or lose it policy a la Sweden, parents will calculate the future cost and opt out if it's not worth it.

Todd said...

Women earn right to paternity leave

women and children hardest hit...

YoungHegelian said...

Can I see a show of hands of the women who want Dad to raise their babies?

Do I see a hand way in the back, there?

Let's be blunt about this: Do women want their men to help them with baby & child raising? Yes, very much so, but women want their men to help them & do it their way.

If women could just walk away from their babies without a second thought, our species would have died hundreds of thousands of years ago on the African savannah. The bond between a mother & her offspring is a big part of what makes a mammal a mammal. Do you think that animal mothers put their lives on the line to face off much larger creatures than themselves to protect their young because of something rational?

Wa St Blogger said...

Do you think that animal mothers put their lives on the line to face off much larger creatures than themselves to protect their young because of something rational?

Liberals - Science Deniers

bleh said...

I know a few women who actually think men should be forced to take paternity leave. To make things right. Because it's unfair that so many men choose not to take leave.

Roost on the Moon said...

Can I see a show of hands of the women who want Dad to raise their babies?

Spoken like a man without a wife or kids. Is this experience talking, or did you just get this wisdom from "knowing science"?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Lean in?

Lean out?

Sounds hokey.

Matt Sablan said...

I wonder when I'll be told I need to take some paternity leave despite not having children because I'm disadvantaging other people my age who ARE taking the leave.

Matt Sablan said...

On a more serious note: Paternity/maternity leave are part of a complex set of costs/benefits that rational adults approach and decide between. We can make options more or less attractive, but ultimately rational actors are going to decide what works best for their goals and situations.

Sebastian said...

"norms need to change, too. Men do not just need more generous paternity policies. They need to use them.... That is just not the case right now.... So, how to get men to take some time off?…""

Prolegomena to nagging as social policy.

Onward, comrades, to the Prog paradise of Nag & Nudge.

Achilles said...

The obvious answer to all of this is to put government bureaucrats in charge of when we can work, where we can work, how much we make, and how we spend our money.

I wonder if women feel a little used by the progressive left. I also wonder if most are smart enough to figure it out. Voting patterns suggest not.

SteveR said...

Another example where it needs to be stated:

Wishing it doesn't make it so

The sexes are different.

Gabriel said...

The people who are putting the time in, regardless of why they are putting the time in, are the ones getting raises, promotions, and seniority.

It's just another "disparate impact" argument, like credit ratings and traffic stops.

I do most of the child care in my household, the dear wife having a longer commute than I have. We have decided that one of us will lean out, it's whoever is making less money at the time we are ready to do that. The other will stay home.

YoungHegelian said...

@Roost,

Spoken like a man without a wife or kids.

I've been married to the same woman for 30 years, you pompous fuck. No kids, but I've had a white collar job in the DC area since I was 23 & I've seen this played out over & over again with co-workers who had enough money that choices could be made. Most women hate leaving their babies, and, while they can live with leaving their kids, they'd just as soon be with them, too. I've had women tell me wistfully how their husband is really a better parent than they are. It's a small sample size, but not a one has told me this without an air of sadness that it's the case.

Why is this a mystery to you? Aside from the biology, haven't you ever seen articles & articles expressing how, if given the financial option, some huge percentage of women would stay home with their kids?

bleh said...

Is Harrison Bergeron too obvious a reference?

Wa St Blogger said...

From a business expectation, uncertainty creates risk, and risk affects business decisions. But the same can be said for individuals. They also have risk and that affects their decisions. It's so simple and yet none of these problems are approached from the perspective that addresses each party's issues. Instead we focus on picking sides and maligning the other.

Mrs. Wa. St. Blogger began working again as a contractor, and it got me to thinking about how some contracting firms handle benefits. It was a rather convenient way to give control to the employee while removing the risk from the employer. Each employee has a set wage for their work, and they can then "buy" benefits that they need. For instance, the Mrs would not need a health plan because I have one for the family already. Maybe she would rather have more vacation or some other perq. With this format each employee can see what they really cost an employer verse what they take home. $60,00 in salary probably costs more like $95,000 to an employer. If the employee got 95k, but bought 35k in benefits, they would more truly understand their compensation, especially as health insurance skyrockets under the new system.

For the employer, there is also less risk this way. They pay the market rate for an employee, and if that employee wants more leave or less, or whatever, it does not change the total compensation. Everything is out in the open and makes it easy for people to compare apples to apples.

Now, if a family friendly company wants to set up a plan where they require everyone to take extra leave (not a bad policy in that many employees might improve their work performance with more down time), then they can simply require certain benefits to be included in the package (such as 30 days off every year). Then employees can look for employers that fit their values.

But heaven forbid we give the employee any choice in the matter. They might not choose wisely.

Henry said...

What if the only people who took advantage of an unlimited leave policy were people with kids?

It would be the childless people driving inequality then. And thus, the next target.

David said...

Why is this a problem? For the educated and affluent, there is a wonderful set of options. Because they are options, there are different aspects of the experience and varying outcomes become less or more likely. This is a great position to be in. None of it is easy, because remunerative work and child raising are not easy. Are we seeing all these complaints because it is not easy enough?

For the less fortunate moms, especially the never married, with very few exceptions it's not just hard. It's very hard and for some damn near impossible. These are the ones who should be complaining. In fact many are complaining, But since they don't live in Smugsville, their complaints do not get attended to. Especially in New York magazine.

Todd said...

David said...
Why is this a problem? For the educated and affluent, there is a wonderful set of options. Because they are options, there are different aspects of the experience and varying outcomes become less or more likely. This is a great position to be in. None of it is easy, because remunerative work and child raising are not easy. Are we seeing all these complaints because it is not easy enough?

For the less fortunate moms, especially the never married, with very few exceptions it's not just hard. It's very hard and for some damn near impossible. These are the ones who should be complaining. In fact many are complaining, But since they don't live in Smugsville, their complaints do not get attended to. Especially in New York magazine.

8/10/15, 3:31 PM


The issue is that they want their cake and eat it too. How dare a business understand that productivity and experience matter. If women (on average) want/need time off for family, how dare the business acknowledge that fact by allowing the men that don't, more raises / promotions. How dare the men show more value! They NEED to be made to be out just as much as the women so that they don't get ahead of the women that made the "life choice" to have children. Women have been told for years that they can "have it all". This is just another part of the bill that men will have to pay so that they can.

Larry J said...

Wa St Blogger said...

Mrs. Wa. St. Blogger began working again as a contractor, and it got me to thinking about how some contracting firms handle benefits. It was a rather convenient way to give control to the employee while removing the risk from the employer. Each employee has a set wage for their work, and they can then "buy" benefits that they need. For instance, the Mrs would not need a health plan because I have one for the family already. Maybe she would rather have more vacation or some other perq. With this format each employee can see what they really cost an employer verse what they take home. $60,00 in salary probably costs more like $95,000 to an employer. If the employee got 95k, but bought 35k in benefits, they would more truly understand their compensation, especially as health insurance skyrockets under the new system.


The actual multiplier between stated salary and actual employee cost varies a great deal between industries and even within companies in a specified industry. In my line of work (defense contractor), the multiplier is generally closer to 2.0 than 1.5. That includes not only benefits but also the other expenses for us to do our jobs, such as office space, computer hardware and software, etc. This overhead rate is a big factor when we bid on contract proposals. Companies estimate how many labor hours of different categories are required to perform a certain contract task and factor that into their proposals. Companies with high overhead have a hard time winning contracts.

If an employer simply paid the employees and had them buy their own benefits, it would raise the employees' taxes. Back in WWII, the government implemented wage controls, so companies began offering benefits packages to lure employees because the benefits didn't count against the wage limits and weren't taxed. This is how Kaiser, which used to build ships, got into the health insurance business.

Quaestor said...

Wishing it doesn't make it so...The sexes are different.

Which is why the feminazis need their own Sturmabteilung (the Pink Shirts?) to shove the shit down our throats.

This "Dad's lean out" bullshit will only accomplish one thing: Employers will favor single men over married men.

damikesc said...

Let's be blunt about this: Do women want their men to help them with baby & child raising? Yes, very much so, but women want their men to help them & do it their way.

TRUTH.

And it's that way in most things. I've had to tell my wife, more than once, "If I am doing this so badly, why are you even asking me to do it?" and then stopping it.

Spoken like a man without a wife or kids. Is this experience talking, or did you just get this wisdom from "knowing science"?

I'm going to give you an annoyance that most fathers deal with.

When I'm watching my kids, most of the members of both our families say I'm "babysitting" them, which is demeaning and really damned insulting. Nobody says the wife is "babysitting" --- just fathers from what I've seen. My wife also finds it irritating...but I've known plenty of moms who said that about their husbands/baby daddies.

Few people take the father seriously. Which is sad since I'm terrific with our kids.

Wa St Blogger said...

Larry J,

If an employer simply paid the employees and had them buy their own benefits, it would raise the employees' taxes. Back in WWII, the government implemented wage controls, so companies began offering benefits packages to lure employees because the benefits didn't count against the wage limits and weren't taxed.

You are correct about the perverse incentives of the 40s and the tax deductions. One of my other main arguments in the wage issue is the tax benefits to organizations for health plans. Ideally, health insurance would be tax deductible for companies and individuals or not for both, but not for one without the other. Still, this can be remedied by having the employer buy the insurance, but the employee still using the "buy" option if he or she wanted it.

As for other overhead, I left that out. Space, licenses, equipment, is an overhead cost that is unavoidable and is not a benefit to the employee, so it should not show up in his benefit package. It really should be part of the overhead like machinery, warehouse space, etc., or applied to specific projects depending on how the accounting is done.

jimbino said...

Limited or unlimited paternity or maternity leave is a job-killer. No entrepeneur can afford to hire any but risk-inclined young single childfree men. Group health insurance, paid vacation and sick-leave were enough of job-killers in the past.

As a computer engineer, I have always sought out non-benefitted, contract positions, where I earned about twice the hourly rate of the captive employees beside me, while forgoing all the "benefits."

Imagine Jobs and Wozniak or the Wright Bros, working out of their garages, being faced with hiring a young fecund woman! No way, José. I counsel my female friends who are sterile to assert that fact and provide medical evidence at the job interview, so that they have opportunities equal to those of men. Nobody in his right mind who's trying to run a business would knowingly hire a fecund female, affirmative action notwithstanding. But others, like Uber, would love to employ contractors! Edward Snowden last earned $200,000 per annum at Booz Allen as an unbenefitted contractor.

Achilles said...

"Few people take the father seriously. Which is sad since I'm terrific with our kids."

You know the progressive bitch who wrote that column could care less that fathers are denigrated. There would be good money betting she has written or said that fathers do a bad job and need to take classes from the government on how to be a father.

There is only hatred and denigration from these people towards anything male.

The Godfather said...

It's certainly true that we shouldn't put too high a value on high earnings, that there are other important values in life, that devoting time and energy to family is a good thing. But it does piss me off that those who say that "money isn't everything" then complain that the activities THEY favor don't pay well enough.

If you force husbands/fathers to take time off from work to spend with the family, so they won't have an "unfair advantage" over working wives/mothers, the result will be reduced income for the family. Maybe it would be a good thing for a particular family to choose lower income in return for more family time -- but isn't that a decision that each family should be free to make?

Gusty Winds said...

Is anybody concerned for the success of the company they are working for to support these families and children?

I'm all for maternity leave, and the company I work for asks the employee to use 1 week vacation, and then self-insures at 100% pay for the next five weeks. The owner is a good guy. I'm not in HR so I don't know off the top of my head how the next six weeks are covered.

We do have some husband wife teams that work here and if both took off at the same time it would hurt operationally. Most mid-sized companies don't have second stringers on the bench waiting to come in to the game. The job function of the person on leave is either 1) absorbed by other employees as additional work load and overtime, or 2) gone without for a while.

#2 makes guys pretty nervous. Through your absence the question might arise as to what your job function is in the first place. (see Office Space)

If anybody thinks the $20 to $80 million companies can afford European type full pay for six months or a year, they don't know what it's like to squeeze a 10% to 15% net profits out of a budget.

No profit...no job.

Michael K said...

"Spoken like a man without a wife or kids. Is this experience talking, or did you just get this wisdom from "knowing science"?"

Hilarious. Spoken like woman with no husband.

I have five kids. I've spent a lot of time with them, mostly after they were school age. I've changed diapers and gotten them up at night when they were crying but I never tried to nurse one of them.

JCC said...

Typical.

You can't miss work repeatedly, for whatever reason, without some repercussions on a career. So, rather than accept that rather obvious state of affairs, we'll just mandate everyone has to take time off and only work a set number of hours, etc. It's the new income equality.

Kind of reminds me of that writer who missed Switzerland so much. They made her take an hour for lunch...outside. No eating at her desk. Mandatory vacations. Family leave for daddy. No implications for the career. Wonderful.

Dr.D said...

Libs can fight human nature as much as they want, but in the end, human nature will remain unchanged. Men are providers, women are nurturers. That is how we are made. If you can't fight City Hall, how much more foolish is it to fight Nature?

Gusty Winds said...

Let's pretend Aaron Rodgers took a paid paternity leave for the months of Sept through February....

That would suck.

John henry said...

Wa St Blogger

You are right about some incentives, not about others. Some incentives cost next the employer next to nothing but are very valuable to the employee. For example, free travel for airline employees or employee discounts at retail stores.

Other things benefit both employer and employee. Company cafeterias often provide healthy meals without the need to leave the company and perhaps be late getting back. They can emphasize healthy eating programs. Great prices on the salad bar, for example. Some companies have gymns and organized exercise classes. Some even on company time. This improves health and reduces insurance costs.

the company can often buy the benefit much more cheaply than the employee could. They can buy insurance wholesale where the individual has to buy retail. Even without the tax advantage the cost to the employee is going to be less if the emplyer provides the insurance.

Re taxes: In theory all benefits must be attributed to the employee's earnings at fair market value (or actual cost?). The company that gives the employee a turkey at Christmas is supposed to include the $20 the turkey cost in the employee's w-2. In practice, the IRS policy is to overlook these kinds of benefits.

Health insurance and life insurance (up to 150% of annual salary?) are the only benefits specifically excluded by law from being counted as compensation.

Benefits provided for the convenience of the company, such as a company car for an employee on 24 hour call, are not counted as compensation.

John Henry

The Drill SGT said...

"norms need to change, too. Men do not just need more generous paternity policies. They need to use them.... That is just not the case right now.... So, how to get men to take some time off?…""

This.Won't.Work.

The track record of behavior indicates that after marriage and a baby, women work less, and fathers work more. Nothing like being the breadwinner to motivate dad

Birches said...

Let's be blunt about this: Do women want their men to help them with baby & child raising? Yes, very much so, but women want their men to help them & do it their way.

Agreed. Mother of 4.4.

I never tried to nurse one of them.

Because Science! But I don't think the author wants to get into a biological discussion....

John henry said...

JCC said:

Kind of reminds me of that writer who missed Switzerland so much. They made her take an hour for lunch...outside. No eating at her desk.

Ditto the US, for hourly, non-exempt, employees. Eating lunch at your desk would trigger overtime since you could argue that you were still "working". Even if you didn't claim that, the Dept of Labor might anyway.

That is another cost that businesses have that most people don't think about: the cost of complying with labor laws. Not the cost of the leave or whatever, I mean the cost of figuring out whether you have to provide it or not.

They can be tricky and contradictory and if you fall foul of them very expensive.

John Henry

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, Birches, I'm sure there's a story, both tragic & funny, about that poor 0.4 of a child.

Let me guess: He's a happy, well adjusted young man who plays football in High School. He plays half-back. Get it?! 0.4 of a kid? Half back?

Oh, just love my Laslo moments, however brief.

Birches said...

@ YH

Ha Ha.

Due in January.

RMc said...

The issue is that they want their cake and eat it too.

I'll just repeat the question I first asked when I was six: "Why have cake if you can't eat it?"

YoungHegelian said...

@Birches,

Due in January.

Congratulations to you, Birches! I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this as it unfolds, but I wish you all the best!

Jeff said...

When my wife an I adopted, we both took FMLA leave intermittently interleaved so we were both still working, just not as much and our son was home twice as long with us before we had to put him in daycare. We were lucky enough to be able to afford being in half pay for a few months, but it was valuable time both of us spent with him and I think we were all better for it.

David said...

I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason. The reason is that retention of talent is one of the highest priorities any organization can have. Employees are not commodities, with one being more or less interchangeable with another. Training, experience, talent, integration with the culture are all big assets that an employee has. I am sure that some women are fearful that extended leave will damage their prospects, and some blame career disappointments on having taken leave and other benefits, when in fact they are (like most of us at some point) not the inevitable winners in each competition for advancement.

Once again, I say that having the kind of options many organizations present today is almost entirely beneficial. It's a failure of analysis to turn them into obstacles.

David said...

"Nothing like being the breadwinner to motivate dad."

Or Mom, as some newly single mothers I know have learned.

jimbino said...

David says: I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason. The reason is that retention of talent is one of the highest priorities any organization can have.

Companies have traditional ways for rewarding talent (as opposed to those that discriminate against the childfree by rewarding breeding) that include bonuses, raises, promotions and stock options.

You won't lose the breeders, of course, by rewarding their breeding, but the job-killer part refers to the smart young single non-breeding men you will lose to Uber.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

I think the key to getting involved dual-parent households to take good advantage of the pro-family policies that should be offered to them is to simply acknowledge non-parity in male and female needs. If we were honest we would first admit that a 40-hour workweek is outdated. Move to 30 hours average but make it normative for men to do 32.5 and women to do 27.5. Give a year's paid leave average for any new parent, but perhaps make it 9 months for men and 15 months for women, to be taken as they see fit (or even traded up to 3 months between each other) over the course of the four years it will take until school starts.

If you make the offers unequal, that would rid stigma from the mindset of taking advantage of benefits previously offered more-or-less exclusively to the other gender. Just be honest and appeal to the fact that there are equal needs, but not to an equal extent.

Yancey Ward said...

I am just laughing my ass off right now. How unfair the world must be to reward the workers who actually are more dedicated to their jobs and their own personal professional success. Of course, if you start mandating that men take unlimited family leave, it is only a matter of time before it is the unmarried men and those without children who are targeted.

Gahrie said...

I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason.

Because it's the law in most places?

JackWayne said...

Shorter Annoe Lowrey - Ezra Klein is a sexist bastard and it's why I haven't had any children with the limp dick. And I'm not a lesbian no matter how much it looks like I hate men.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

"Companies grant it for a reason."

Because it's the law in most places?


Not the companies with the most talented and demanded workers (tech). But then, that's not a part of your vision for the American economy.

jimbino said...

Gahrie:

I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason.

Because it's the law in most places?


It is NOT the law in most places. My contract engineering jobs came with NO benefits: not paid vacation, paid holidays, paid sick-leave, or paid insurance. Edward Snowden earned $200,000 per annum without benefits as do all the Uber drivers. Contract and consulting work is booming because of socialist labor laws. In places like Germany, you can even avoid the compulsory health insurance by working as a contractor or consultant.

jr565 said...

So because women want to have kids and want time off but realize that it means they lose parity to men, they now want men to take the time off too. Sorry ladies, the choice was yours to have th kid. The guys will continue earning more money, thanks.

jimbino said...

Yes, men: you will get ahead and distinguish yourself from the disadvantaged women and others "protected" by our gummint by following Jesus and St Paul: eschew marriage and breeding, insurance and Amerikan health care, take no thought for the morrow....

Nichevo said...

None of that is real, as you haven't discussed W-2 vs. 1099. This suggests lack of real background.

And no, jimbino, if you'd shut your anti-"Amerikan" hole, I'd throw you a bone, you're like nails on a chalkboard when you get on your horse, but as it is I must prefer to contemplate delicious hetero PIV and endless breeding at your expense.

Nichevo said...

But to the OP, what cliche or catchphrase shall I deploy? Nonsense on stilts? It's not even wrong? The audience is a little stupider for having listened to that?

The answer to the question asked, of course, is that women would show themselves the less desirable choice for employees at the top levels, They would be naked before the truth of their broadly stated inability to compete and persevere. Some jobs and careers might not suffer from it, and to those spheres one's talents ought to be directed to their best fit. As in the military, where a million woman typists can free a million men to march.

To be stripped of illusion! Unheard of! What a delicious parallel-Eve must have clung to her leaves no tighter than you to your divers armors. Even the POTUS must sometimes stand naked, but not you, oh, no, not you.

R&B, you're going somewhere but first I will just have to pick apart all your little rhetorical twitches, unless you want to try again. Why "admit," for instance? You some kind of law?

jimbino said...

Nichevo, I understand your frustration. I'll stop my anti-Amerikanism as soon as the USSA stops being the single greatest threat to my freedom and that of upstanding Amerikans like Edward Snowden.

fivewheels said...

A cultural shift is indeed necessary to achieve these goals, but as usual, the idea that it might be women who need to change is apparently unthinkable. You want things to even out? Then high-status women are going to have to stop showing their incredibly powerful preference for high-earning men. You'll have to date "down," ladies.

Not going to happen? Oh, then maybe shut the hell up and let us get some work done.

Nichevo said...

Okay jimbino, why don't you tell us where it all went wrong?

Nichevo said...

To the OPE, it would not be news. It would be a dog bites man story, or rather, a bitch bites dog, dog does not bite bitch story.

chuck said...

So, how to get men to take some time off?

Make them pregnant, gender is a social construct.

Chris N said...

Some people have overly activist imaginations.

Let's build them a little play society so they can engineer that.

Bob Ellison said...

An employee once came to me and asked for a raise. He said he needed it because his wife was expecting a child. I said that that was not my problem. He said true, but I am asking for your help.

He got the raise and earned it threefold.

Treat people like family, and they will surprise you with what they can do.

jimbino said...

Bob Ellison,

What happens when your single guy employee comes to you and asks for a raise, needed because his girlfriend needs an abortion? Not your problem, but he says he needs your help.

Treat single, non-breeders as family and they will surprise you with what they can do.

Yancey Ward said...

One wishes Jimbino's parents were non-breeders.

Bob Ellison said...

jimbino, no. Non-breeders are a different type of person. They tend to be self-centered. Hedonistic. They are usually not the kind of people who make good employees. Some of them might. Right defensive end, maybe.

And I hate abortion and love children. I can support the things that I like.

jimbino said...

Bob Ellison,

Non-breeders sure are different: like Jesus, St Paul and the Wright brothers, some of them revolutionized the world without even marrying, let alone breeding. Jesus supposedly also loved little children.

But your image of Jesus and St Paul as Right Defensive Ends is enchanting.

SGT Ted said...

Funny how it's always men that are needed to do things to solve womens problems.

How about "Suck it up girls. Own your own lives and shit. Fish don't need bicycles, right?"?

Bob Ellison said...

Jimbino, are you a God-fearing man?

lgv said...

We've already had this discussion. A year of paid vacation, and then you get the resignation letter.

Here's another reality. You can't take a year off and just jump back in like you never left. Jobs change. Technology changes things.

SGT Ted said...

I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason.

Because it's required by law. Period. End of reasons. If they weren't required to by law, they wouldn't do it.

SGT Ted said...

To expand on my comment on "by law" maternity leave: If companies were so willing to grant maternity leave sans force, there would never have been a need for the law in the first place.

Nichevo said...

You people are making light, making hay, making what you will, from one of the greatest sadnesses imaginable.

R&B, bottom line it for me. How about a bag limit? Say a thousand a year. Should cover all those ectopic pregnancies. What do you say? Five thousand? Settle on three? Deal.

You know the lion's share is women cheating on their husbands, men cheating on their wives, teenagers cheating on their boyfriends and parents, don't you? Sure, life of the mother is good for me, certainly in Jewish tradition. Rape and incest, meh, I'm actually on the fence or case by case. Tay-Sachs yes. Down syndrome, I'm not so sure, aren't we a rich country?

Middle cases, is abortion the only remedy?


...


Bob, I wonder if you considered offering case 2 money towards support of the child. Certainly absent your help in case 1, he might have taken a different path. If you refused his request I hope to hell you'd have the sense never to inquire about his family.

...


Jimbino, do you advocate voluntary human extinction?

Bob Ellison said...

David is correct, SGT Ted. There are sound reasons for maternity leave, and probably for paternity leave. Happy, well-paid employees tend to be more productive.

Most of all, people want a mission in life. Their marriages and their kids can become that mission. Their jobs can also be missions, and earning lots of money can do it, too. When employees show the desire for missions, they show that they are productive.

SGT Ted said...

If so, Bob, then why did we have to get a law passed to force employers to grant maternity leave?

YoungHegelian said...

Yeah, well, it's most often the woman whose professional life is upended by the upcoming birth of her child. But, sometimes, sometimes, even the staunchest company man's life is utterly changed by the miracle of birth.

Edmund said...

Edward Snowden earned $200,000 per annum without benefits as do all the Uber drivers.

He worked for Booz, Allen and as such would have had benefits. The government frowns on hiring contractors that don't offer the basic benefits of health insurance, vacation, sick leave, holidays, etc.

Bob Ellison said...

SGT Ted, that's a good question. I like to think that the market would tend to reward good behavior and productivity, and so get employers to grant maternity leave.

I've seen a good deal of money spent to reward maternity in order to retain talent and skill.

Stupid companies will die. Smart companies, especially in America, will realize that the investment they have made in their employees is vast compared to the cardboard they have piled up in the warehouses.

Edmund said...

And if Uber drivers make $299k/year, sign me up!

glenn said...

What if the 10% of taxpayers decided (on their own of course) to spend more time with the kids. It's for the children after all.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

40-hour workweek is standard because overtime is required for hourly employees kept around in excess of that. Unless you favor getting rid of overtime then you've accepted the fact that there is social agreement on such a thing as a generally standard workweek (with some exceptions). Lowering it to 30 makes sense in an era at the end of decades of massive growth that has ballooned top compensation exponentially without doing a thing for the 90% of the rest of the workforce whose huge productivity gains helped make those increased profits happen in the first place. Plus, there are more things to enjoy in life - reflection, family time, leisure, recreation, and it's high time American corporatists recognize that. It also makes it easier to hold two jobs if one wants to.

America is a society that is maturing to the point of recognizing what every other grown-up society has realized: There is more to life than just being a cog in the wheels of someone else's money-making machinery. The execs, the professionals, and everyone else have access to those benefits and American society will not collapse if people get more time to run errands and relax and smell the roses. No one wants a gravestone that says: "He busted his hump for an ungrateful boss who worked him to death of a heart attack at age 49." No way. Maybe in the 1960s people didn't mind that. But nowadays they know better. This is just one of the many benefits of the way infrastructure and technology improves things over time: Better recreation. To fuel every increase in economic efficiency into profit without a dime going to the workers just makes the workers a greater and greater part of a robot-slave mentality, and their company a plantation. People should be treated like people.

cubanbob said...

Wa St Blogger said...
Larry J,

If an employer simply paid the employees and had them buy their own benefits, it would raise the employees' taxes. Back in WWII, the government implemented wage controls, so companies began offering benefits packages to lure employees because the benefits didn't count against the wage limits and weren't taxed.

You are correct about the perverse incentives of the 40s and the tax deductions. One of my other main arguments in the wage issue is the tax benefits to organizations for health plans. Ideally, health insurance would be tax deductible for companies and individuals or not for both, but not for one without the other. Still, this can be remedied by having the employer buy the insurance, but the employee still using the "buy" option if he or she wanted it."

A tax deduction for both the employer and employee would be double dipping. If employer benefits like health insurance and the employer paid portion of FICA were taxable to the employee as ordinary income things would be much different in terms of how people view benefits and taxation. A self employed pulls full freight in terms of FICA and doesn't get to deduct their health insurance. As a rule of thumb for me in my business the cost of the employee is salary or hourly rate, paid vacation time, paid sick leave, FICA-FUTA , unemployment insurance , health insurance and other benefits and all of the mistakes they make. Depending on the salary the extras run between 20% to 30% with the highest benefit cost proportionally being the minimum wage earner exclusive of mistakes. Even if I was paying 77% to woman with children, the net cost would be the same or more than paying men the 100% simply due to the shorter amount of hours; the work gets behind which has a significant cost.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Latest polls suggest Trump has increased his lead either slightly or significantly since the debate. He seems to have a solid 25-30% of the Republican vote. In retrospect he has made an obvious tactical blunder. He should have also run in the Democrat primary, where he would have picked up another 20-30% of the vote, and thus been positioned perfectly for a 3rd party run. He could have promised both parties that he would not run a 3rd party campaign. It's unlikely that a broken promise or two would significantly affect a property developer's reputation.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much some would like it to be otherwise, companies tend to take notice of who is there day in and day out. All other things being equal, it's only natural to want to elevate the employees who are there most often and also those able to devote more time and effort to their craft. Disincentivizing hard work in the name of equality does not sound like a great economic plan.

jimbino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

Blogger jimbino said...
Gahrie:

I don't agree that maternity leave is a job killer. Companies grant it for a reason.

Because it's the law in most places?

It is NOT the law in most places. My contract engineering jobs came with NO benefits: not paid vacation, paid holidays, paid sick-leave, or paid insurance. Edward Snowden earned $200,000 per annum without benefits as do all the Uber drivers. Contract and consulting work is booming because of socialist labor laws. In places like Germany, you can even avoid the compulsory health insurance by working as a contractor or consultant.

8/10/15, 6:22 PM

You do understand the difference between 1099 and W2 income? One is an employee and one is not.

jimbino said...

Yo Edmund: The government frowns on hiring contractors that don't offer the basic benefits of health insurance, vacation, sick leave, holidays, etc.

Tell that to TI, Honeywell, Rockwell, Rockwell Collins, Tracor, BDM-MSC and many others for whom I worked, totally unbenefitted, in design of the B-1, F-111A, Minuteman, doomsday communications, tank warfare, rockets and nuclear weapons triggers.

Michael K said...

"every other grown-up society has realized: There is more to life than just being a cog in the wheels of someone else's money-making machinery."

Yes, its working well in France which has 35% unemployment. The laws of economics have not been repealed no matter how much the left wishes it were possible.

When I was applying to medical school, admission committees discriminated against women because it was thought there was a doctor shortage and women would not spend as many hours practicing as men physicians. That was 50 years ago.

Today, physician recruitment firms report that female physicians work about 25% fewer hours than male physicians. Sexism !

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
When I was applying to medical school


… back in the dark ages.

Nichevo said...

Right, J. On w-2 with BAH Snowden could have had a nice package. On 1099 he would have got a little more cash and no bennies, including Social Security and UEI.

glenn said...

Back in the day a company I consulted to gave 22 paid sick days a year., one of the department supervisors made sure to use every one of them. When it was time to downsize he was surprised to be one of the downsizes. He went to the labor commission, the Union, and the company president, then he went looking for a job.

Laslo Spatula said...

Do you know how many fake children I have to have to get a day off as a male?

I am Laslo.

Skeptical Voter said...

Look if you are (a) eager to move up; (b) like your job; and (c) in a position/profession where you can work alone or after hours (house counsel in a Fortune 50 corporation in my case) you are likely to work long hours and skip vacation. After a while your untaken vacation starts to pile up, and the HR department gets nervous. So your boss presses you to take vacation; and maybe at some point the company wants to "buy down" your untaken vacation.

Truth to tell a lot of jobs in corporations are crap--not terribly fulfilling. But some aren't--and this lady wants to tell me that I "have to take paternity leave", so I won't be unfair to the ladies. Take a hike Jill!

jimbino said...

Nichevo:

On 1099 he would have got a little more cash and no bennies, including Social Security and UEI.

That's ignorant: a contractor can work on a W-2, either with or without benefits. He will pay FICA taxes and be subject to Unemployment and Workers Comp taxes. Indeed, a good reason to work as a contractor on a six-month contract is that you can get unemployment benefits for the other six months you spend at the beach in Rio "looking for jobs."

On a 1099, you are still responsible for paying the damn socialist FICA taxes that entitle you to SS and Medicare benefits. But you get a LOT more cash and you can write off lots of expenses you can't as a W-2 employee.

David said...

Some of our commenters may overestimate the degree by which maternity leave is required by law. Below is how Wikipedia summarizes American legal requirements for maternity leave. You will note that the federal requirement is for unpaid leave. A few states have adopted paid leave policies but only a small percentage of American workers are covered by these laws. One source says that only 59% of females giving birth are covered by the federal law, the rest falling within the varying exemptions.

There has been significant growth in all kinds of leave for private workers in the last 23 years. http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/paid-leave-in-private-industry-over-the-past-20-years.htm

Paid maternity leave as such is more and more the norm with larger employers. The new trend is for "consolidated leave" which is available for any and all purposes. BLS says about 25% of American workers now have this benefit.

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, signed into law during President Bill Clinton's first term, guaranteed maternity leave to many new mothers across the nation. It mandated a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave to mothers for the purpose of attending to a newborn or newly adopted child.[8] However, the act did not attain universal coverage as it included several limiting stipulations. In order to receive maternity leave, employees must work in a firm of 50 or more employees, maintain employment with the same business for 12 months and have accumulated at least 1,250 working hours over those 12 months.

State legislation[edit]

Paid maternity leave by state
Many states have supplemented these federal regulations and provided more extensive maternity leave benefits. There are currently 25 states that expand upon federal legislation in some manner. Fourteen of these states, along with the District of Columbia, have addressed eligibility requirements by lowering the firm-size threshold from 50 or more employees down to as low as 10 employees.[9] Seven other states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have adopted more generous maternity leave lengths that allow longer absences for the purpose of child rearing. Moreover, some states have enacted legislation enhancing the benefits of leave programs. California, New Jersey and Washington, for instance, operate programs that require private-sector employers to pay their employees who utilize maternity leave at partial replacement rates.[3] Similarly, three other states and the District of Columbia designate childbirth as a temporary disability thus guaranteeing mothers paid maternity leave through Disability Insurance (TDI) provisions.[9]

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Anyone who yammers on about "laws of economics" without conceding that economics reflects social values (some more arbitrary than others) should submit to the law of the political jungle and agree to a cudgel of mine landing some heavy wallops on his polished head just for pissing me off.

Because the laws of politics matter, too. And the first rule of the laws of politics is to never piss off the wrong person.

Michael K said...

"Blogger AReasonableMan said...
Michael K said...
When I was applying to medical school

… back in the dark ages."

Yes, that was my point, Those admissions committees back in the dark ages were right !

"Anyone who yammers on about "laws of economics" without conceding that economics reflects social values "

Fucking hilarious. "Social values" means "What I want." Good luck with that.

"agree to a cudgel of mine landing some heavy wallops on his polished head just for pissing me off. "

Oh yes, that's working well in Ferguson, MO. Are you really that stupid ?

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Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Fucking hilarious. "Social values" means "What I want." Good luck with that.

Hey. It works for Don Trump and Mitt Romney. The only difference between me and you is that you believe those guys' dicks taste better than I do.

"agree to a cudgel of mine landing some heavy wallops on his polished head just for pissing me off. "

Oh yes, that's working well in Ferguson, MO. Are you really that stupid ?


We'll see. You're about what… 70 or so? Yes, you'll find out which of us is stupid when you get cracked in the face, geezer.

Michael K said...

"The only difference between me and you is that you believe those guys' dicks taste better than I do. "

What a brilliant repartee !

Your argument, sir, is exactly what I expected.

As to laws of economics, I doubt you could understand this, but minimum wages are an example.e

the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here). The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession. In contrast to the January-June loss of restaurant jobs in the Seattle area: a) restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period (data here), b) overall employment in the Seattle MSA increased 1.2% and by 21,800 jobs (data here) and c)non-Seattle MSA restaurant employment in Washington increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs

Oh well, math is hard. Especially to the dull normal.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

the 1,300 job loss between January and June is the largest decline over that period since 2009 during the Great Recession (data here).

And since you're an unapologetic Republican, the obvious conclusion is that you prefer we go back to the policies (related to tax, regulation and otherwise) OF "2009 during the Great Recession", rather than this comparatively tiny blip standing out since then.

Your brain must be really small. Keep telling me about what you're going to do to make things better for your masters: Trump and Mitt. Or is it David and Charles? Sheldon?

Yep. There's some sort of "economic law" that says their needs must prioritized over everyone else's. And Lord knows they're feeling needy. Or so Republican twats like you believe.

Or maybe you're just felating them.

Michael K said...

Fools ignore data which proves them wrong.

CFO Todd Penegor talked about the pressure to pay higher wages and said that “we continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that’s customer self-order kiosks, whether that’s automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant. And you’ll see a lot more coming on that front later this year from us.”

So the company will now use machines to do jobs that used to be done by people who have become too expensive to employ. We keep hearing that these minimum-wage laws benefit restaurant workers. But since many will no longer be working in restaurants at all, the reasonable conclusion is that the activist campaigns to raise the minimum wage are mainly intended to benefit the unions that back them.


OK, the lesson is over. Go back to DailyKos for your economics, dope.

"Republican twats like you believe. "

Is this the level of your intelligence, ritmo ? I'm surprised you can use a keyboard.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Most things surprise you.

If you want to work at an automated McDonalds, no one's stopping you. That you think economically sustainable standards of living are created by competing for the cost of a machine, just shows that you need to be put behind a fryer. Which I'm sure the Ferguson people will be happy to do to you. Once they kick your ass.

So get off your knees, take the K-corporate cock out of your mouth, and take your beating before they put you in your cage. Or face the challenge. Which you won't. Because all the bravado in the world is available to you in your gated community if you only stay behind your keyboard.

What a knowledgeable and realistic vantage point for dictating what reality is. Hahahahahhaaa. You are a feudalist.

Michael K said...

I have reached my tolerance for this silly frothing twerp.

Have a nice day at your minimum wage job.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Any day I don't have a corporatist's cock in my mouth is a good day.

But you wouldn't know anything about that. Are Don Trump's pubes orange, also?

If so, how does that go with your salt-and-pepper mustache?

You like to use the word "frothing" a lot. Maybe it's the cum you see dripping down your mouth when you look in the mirror.

Don Trump's cum.

It's good cum. Creamy. And rich. Very rich.

Richer than you, even.

But that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...

"Blogger Eric the Fruit Bat said...
Lean in?

Lean out?

Sounds hokey.

8/10/15, 3:00 PM"

Believe this is part of the the Hokey Pokey?

chickelit said...

Ritmo goes full Titus.

I'm chuffed. I've been waiting for that.

chickelit said...

2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 is as good a retort as any to the "question" posited by Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

"2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 is as good a retort as any to the "question" posited by Althouse."

Surely, Paul considered taking care of the household and the children within it as work!

You think the reference to "work" means holding down an income-producing job in the modern sense? That would be a nutty thing to believe.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ritmo goes full Titus."

No, Titus in his fullness would break free of whatever political obsession had its grip on the thread and give us real relief. You need a wild sense of fun and abandon to begin to replicate Titus.

Ann Althouse said...

For some reason, I'm dedicating my pre-6-a.m. writing to arguing with chickelit.

Rusty said...

Rhythm and Balls said...
Anyone who yammers on about "laws of economics" without conceding that economics reflects social values (some more arbitrary than others) should submit to the law of the political jungle and agree to a cudgel of mine landing some heavy wallops on his polished head just for pissing me off.


We do. Every day.

Nichevo said...

Hey Monty,

Il potere logora chi non ce l'ha.

Cynicus said...

Women have the biological urge to stay near their babies and protect them and take care of them. It has been my experience that men have a biological urge to gather as many resources as possible to take care of the family, including working massive overtime to earn more and provide for the family. The fear that their family must be provided for is what sends men scurrying back to work after the baby is born.

Douglas B. Levene said...

Let's think about what the unintended consequences might be of a law requiring men to take paternity leave in order to hold them back, too, in the climb up the greasy pole. Would ambitious men cheat - by working without pay? Would they defer having children until they were well settled on their career paths? That seems pretty likely, since they don't have the same biological clock ticking that women do.

The better solution, it seems to me, is for very ambitious women to marry much less ambitious men, men who are willing to be house-fathers or to have part-time jobs that permit them to be the primary care givers.

mikee said...

My former employer had a generous vacation leave policy. We had 4 weeks off after a few year's employment at my level. But to take that time off was problematical, because if we could be absent from my job for 4 whole weeks, let alone more than one week straight, we were likely to be fired as redundant. And if we tried to take one day a week for multiple weeks, let alone multiple weeks in a row, we were slacking off somehow. So almost everyone in the company basically took four weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years, to not lose the vacation paid time at year's end, and to hide among the rest of the herd not at work.

No matter how one took vacation, it was a negative in terms of evaluations for pay raises and promotions.

Somehow I suspect that maternity leave for all works pretty much the same way, say what one will.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, here's a thought: Men and women are different.

For some things, men's differences are superior. For other things, women's differences are superior.

For being a good worker in a hard charging field (i.e. most of the ones where you can make a lot of money): men's differences are superior.

You want to get ahead in those businesses? Live like a man. You don't want to live that way? Then you're not going to get ahead.

You life. Your choices. Deal with them. Don't whine, and demand that everyone else change their behavior in order to make you happy.

Kirk Parker said...

Yancey,

Jimbino could make an honest man out of himself, but he won't.

Kirk Parker said...

Roost,

This dad (of 4 babies) most definitely sees it Hegelain's way.

sorry.


R & B,

"Give a year's paid leave average for any new parent"

Do you know how completely insane that would be?

befinne said...

I'm the father of three, and took off a day or two at their births. Then smoked a cigar, then went back to work. Didn't really expect my employer to pay me for procreating.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

No, Titus in his fullness would break free of whatever political obsession had its grip on the thread and give us real relief.

Through defecation? That's what 70% of his comments are about.

Apparently your idea of "relief" is very limited, Madam She-Trump.

Laura said...

The state of defecation is very important to those with anal fixations and fissures.

If overtime is so important, why are salaried employees still legal? Why not crack the state whip on the self-employed?

How exactly does one tax the slackers?

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

What if men were different from women?

Tom said...

If I'm gone from work for that length of time, isn't it natural to assume they won't need me?

Further, men typically have a strong psychological need to work and provide for their families. While there is a psychological need to so be with their families, the need to provide is powerful. Why would we encourage men to damage their naturally occurring pyche simply in order to support women who take leave?

Finally, isn't this really up to the individual and their family?