Working Moms

Re: Family Leave - USA behind as usual

  • I prefer my higher salary though out my entire career than paid leave which only benefits me during my "childbearing years".  I saved money for all of my leaves, and I'd think that other people would do the same.  No reason to go into debt.
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  • LOL - here we go again!

    "Greedy parents!"

    "They should have planned better/saved more money"

    If you are against FMLA - are you against guaranteed leave for family needs/newborns also or just being paid for the leave?  Would you employees could be fired for taking off any time to care for their families (or themselves) even if it was unpaid?

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  • How do these other countries pay for the leave?  Is it all through taxes?

    While I'm not necessarily opposed to a small increase in taxes to establish some sort of paid maternity leave, I definitely think that now is not the time for us to be focusing on it.

    As the wife of a federal employee, I am much more concerned with congress figuring out this debt ceiling/budget cuts mess because of the risk of possible furloughes starting in March.

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  • That made me sick to read.  I thought this was supposed to be the best country in the world to live??
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  • image KathrynMD:

    LOL - here we go again!

    "Greedy parents!"

    "They should have planned better/saved more money"

    If you are against FMLA - are you against guaranteed leave for family needs/newborns also or just being paid for the leave?  Would you employees could be fired for taking off any time to care for their families (or themselves) even if it was unpaid?

    I'm not against paid leave, I just don't think it needs to be a requirement. I think unpaid leave is great, what people are complaining about here is paid leave.

    ETA: If a job isn't paying you to be out on leave, they can pay someone else to do it.  If you want to give a full year unpaid FMLA, I'm all for it!  but trust me, not many people will take you up on that offer!

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  • image MammaBear81:
    I prefer my higher salary though out my entire career than paid leave which only benefits me during my "childbearing years".  I saved money for all of my leaves, and I'd think that other people would do the same.  No reason to go into debt.

    Exactly. Paid leave needs to be paid somehow. It would likely come as an across the board decrease in salaries. It seems more fair to have the people who are choosing to have babies foot the bill for themselves by saving to take unpaid leave.

    I can maybe understand giving employees of small businesses more protection for unpaid leave, that said, it can be very difficult for a small business. My family has a small business that employs highly skilled workers and it can be a huge disruption to business if someone is out for longer than for a standard vacation.

    My company offers six weeks paid maternity leave and two weeks paid paternity leave, which is think is pretty generous. I did not exercise my option for additional unpaid leave.

    ETA: I am not against paid leave, I think it is awesome if a company offers it, but I am against requiring companies to pay for leave.

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  • I think the US is behind on a lot of things, but in this case I'm not sure I would want guaranteed paid leave for all (who would pay?) but better family healthcare in general if that makes sense.

    Also just for fun, some studies I've read say countries like Pakistan or Greece have 12 weeks paid leave for all! Well this would be quite crappy f the pay is like $1.00 a day, so that doesn't really make me think that the countries are better places to live in.  But the "idea" that women should have longer maternity leaves is a good idea.  Implementation? That's always the hard part. 

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  • image finallyplanned:
    That made me sick to read.  I thought this was supposed to be the best country in the world to live??

    Well, how are you defining best?  Sorry, I'll take my unpaid leave over living in North Korea anyday or how about China's one child policy? 

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  • I don't buy the whole "business can't afford it" line.  Businesses and governments in almost every single other country in the world have figured it out.  Unless the people who run our businesses and government are dumber than the people running things in Uganda.  Well..  Maybe they are. 
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  • image rubber_chicken:
    I don't buy the whole "business can't afford it" line.  Businesses and governments in almost every single other country in the world have figured it out.  Unless the people who run our businesses and government are dumber than the people running things in Uganda.  Well..  Maybe they are. 

    Ummm....they lower salaries and raise taxes.... no thanks!

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  • we fund unemployment insurance and we fund social security through our payroll taxes even though many of us never use unemployment insurance.  I think this would be the same type of thing. 

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  • I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  



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  • image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    KathrynMD- I guess it won't surprise  you that I don't support unemployment or social security.  Think about how much higher your salary would be if you didn't have to pay in to those?  You could save your own money in case you became unemployed, AND save for your own retirement, no loaning your money to the government until you are 65.. I prefer the way I invest my money to the way the government does.

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  • image MammaBear81:
    image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    Yes

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  • image KathrynMD:

    we fund unemployment insurance and we fund social security through our payroll taxes even though many of us never use unemployment insurance.  I think this would be the same type of thing. 

    Yes.  We do have those programs in place although I think that the thought that those programs are well funded is false.  I am never going to support a goverment program that doesn't have a way to be self-sufficient.  I think that the current status of social security should have taught us all that lesson.

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  • I just want to say that using Pakistan and Uganda to make a point is a ridiculous strawman argument. The real basis for comparison would be countries like Canada, Germany, Japan and the UK, all of which have more generous maternity leave policies and economies that are on par with the US with lower unemployment. Let's not pretend that it's a stark choice between being an economic powerhouse and an impoverished, developing nation.
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  • image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    Yes, there are going to be medical emergencies that you cannot be prepared for.  While I do agree with MammaBear81 that people need to have savings in place to deal with any sort of emergency - car repair, job loss, medical costs - most people don't do this.

    I do, however, think that the majority of our conversations here are about paid maternity leave.  I DO think it's completely irresponsible not to be prepared for unpaid time off because of pregnancy.  The second article states "many families take on significant debt or turn to public assistance around the birth of a child." You have 40 weeks to prepare for pregnancy how can justify not preparing and saving for any amount of unpaid time off?  I don't agree with the idea that people cannot financially prepare for this time:  cut your spending, work overtime, get a second job.  You do what you have to do in order to get by.

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  • image MammaBear81:
    image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    KathrynMD- I guess it won't surprise  you that I don't support unemployment or social security.  Think about how much higher your salary would be if you didn't have to pay in to those?  You could save your own money in case you became unemployed, AND save for your own retirement, no loaning your money to the government until you are 65.. I prefer the way I invest my money to the way the government does.

    Taking a person from the article - she lost her job after having chemo/radiation for ovarian cancer. Perhaps, and the article doesn't go in to these details, she used her 6m recommended savings for her medical expenses because most people do pay a LOT out of pocket for medical expenses. She's still unemployed now and shitouttaluck because she drew the short end of the straw and ended up with cancer.

    Side note, I've always heard the recommendation is 6m of expenses in emergency savings. Never heard 6m of income.

    I support things like unemployment, and social security (which I understand was designed to be a supplement and never fully fund anyone's retirement), because I know that shithappens. People do the right thing and still fall on hard times. I feel that living in a society means you do things for the good of everyone. Where that line is drawn varies, but I don't mind paying in taxes to help those in need. 

    And I look at people, like my friend, who has zero protected leave and had to return to work at 4wks PP or lose her job. Her boss didn't even have to offer her those 4wks.

    It's not even about the few weeks being paid/unpaid. It's about losing employment altogether. 



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  • image Booger+Bear:
    image MammaBear81:
    image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    KathrynMD- I guess it won't surprise  you that I don't support unemployment or social security.  Think about how much higher your salary would be if you didn't have to pay in to those?  You could save your own money in case you became unemployed, AND save for your own retirement, no loaning your money to the government until you are 65.. I prefer the way I invest my money to the way the government does.

    Taking a person from the article - she lost her job after having chemo/radiation for ovarian cancer. Perhaps, and the article doesn't go in to these details, she used her 6m recommended savings for her medical expenses because most people do pay a LOT out of pocket for medical expenses. She's still unemployed now and shitouttaluck because she drew the short end of the straw and ended up with cancer.

    Side note, I've always heard the recommendation is 6m of expenses in emergency savings. Never heard 6m of income.

    I support things like unemployment, and social security (which I understand was designed to be a supplement and never fully fund anyone's retirement), because I know that shithappens. People do the right thing and still fall on hard times. I feel that living in a society means you do things for the good of everyone. Where that line is drawn varies, but I don't mind paying in taxes to help those in need. 

    And I look at people, like my friend, who has zero protected leave and had to return to work at 4wks PP or lose her job. Her boss didn't even have to offer her those 4wks.

    It's not even about the few weeks being paid/unpaid. It's about losing employment altogether. 

    Its like the Hunger Games! 

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  • image Booger+Bear:

    Taking a person from the article - she lost her job after having chemo/radiation for ovarian cancer. Perhaps, and the article doesn't go in to these details, she used her 6m recommended savings for her medical expenses because most people do pay a LOT out of pocket for medical expenses. She's still unemployed now and shitouttaluck because she drew the short end of the straw and ended up with cancer.

    Side note, I've always heard the recommendation is 6m of expenses in emergency savings. Never heard 6m of income.

    I support things like unemployment, and social security (which I understand was designed to be a supplement and never fully fund anyone's retirement), because I know that shithappens. People do the right thing and still fall on hard times. I feel that living in a society means you do things for the good of everyone. Where that line is drawn varies, but I don't mind paying in taxes to help those in need. 

    And I look at people, like my friend, who has zero protected leave and had to return to work at 4wks PP or lose her job. Her boss didn't even have to offer her those 4wks.

    It's not even about the few weeks being paid/unpaid. It's about losing employment altogether. 

    I agree with this and I think it's important to make the distinction between job protection and paid leave.  I fully support job protection for ALL employees.  I am pregnant and work for a non-FMLA qualifying company (we only have 4 employees).  I am only allowed to take 8 weeks off and I had to negotiate this from the original 6 weeks that my employer offered me.  Of course I wish I could take 12 weeks off, but I try to look at the positive of my situation and be happy with the leave I am getting (including 2 weeks paid by my employer).

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  • image Booger+Bear:
    image MammaBear81:
    image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    KathrynMD- I guess it won't surprise  you that I don't support unemployment or social security.  Think about how much higher your salary would be if you didn't have to pay in to those?  You could save your own money in case you became unemployed, AND save for your own retirement, no loaning your money to the government until you are 65.. I prefer the way I invest my money to the way the government does.


    Taking a person from the article - she lost her job after having chemo/radiation for ovarian cancer. Perhaps, and the article doesn't go in to these details, she used her 6m recommended savings for her medical expenses because most people do pay a LOT out of pocket for medical expenses. She's still unemployed now and shitouttaluck because she drew the short end of the straw and ended up with cancer.

    Side note, I've always heard the recommendation is 6m of expenses in emergency savings. Never heard 6m of income.

    I support things like unemployment, and social security (which I understand was designed to be a supplement and never fully fund anyone's retirement), because I know that shithappens. People do the right thing and still fall on hard times. I feel that living in a society means you do things for the good of everyone. Where that line is drawn varies, but I don't mind paying in taxes to help those in need. 

    And I look at people, like my friend, who has zero protected leave and had to return to work at 4wks PP or lose her job. Her boss didn't even have to offer her those 4wks.

    It's not even about the few weeks being paid/unpaid. It's about losing employment altogether. 



    All of this!

    We have so few safety nets in our society because no one wants to help anyone else. That means if one domino falls, like getting a catastrophic illness when you don't have insurance, the rest come tumbling after it. And the people getting hurt the most are those who are barely getting by as it is, and what some of the PPs aren't getting is that this is so beyond personal responsibility but deeply rooted in our society. The terrible secret is that if you're rich, you have all sorts of services including paid maternity leave, and if you're poor, our country says, screw you, it's your own fault you make 7.25 an hour and can't get a leg up.
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  • image jlaOK:
    image Booger+Bear:

    Taking a person from the article - she lost her job after having chemo/radiation for ovarian cancer. Perhaps, and the article doesn't go in to these details, she used her 6m recommended savings for her medical expenses because most people do pay a LOT out of pocket for medical expenses. She's still unemployed now and shitouttaluck because she drew the short end of the straw and ended up with cancer.

    Side note, I've always heard the recommendation is 6m of expenses in emergency savings. Never heard 6m of income.

    I support things like unemployment, and social security (which I understand was designed to be a supplement and never fully fund anyone's retirement), because I know that shithappens. People do the right thing and still fall on hard times. I feel that living in a society means you do things for the good of everyone. Where that line is drawn varies, but I don't mind paying in taxes to help those in need. 

    And I look at people, like my friend, who has zero protected leave and had to return to work at 4wks PP or lose her job. Her boss didn't even have to offer her those 4wks.

    It's not even about the few weeks being paid/unpaid. It's about losing employment altogether. 

    I agree with this and I think it's important to make the distinction between job protection and paid leave.  I fully support job protection for ALL employees.  I am pregnant and work for a non-FMLA qualifying company (we only have 4 employees).  I am only allowed to take 8 weeks off and I had to negotiate this from the original 6 weeks that my employer offered me.  Of course I wish I could take 12 weeks off, but I try to look at the positive of my situation and be happy with the leave I am getting (including 2 weeks paid by my employer).

    1) 6m expenses= 6m income--- every dollar of our income is allocated to go somewhere, food, clothes, savings etc. If you save 6m of your income when the sh!t hits the fan you can pull back from things like 401(k) contributions and make your money last longer.

    2) I totally agree that the US needs better HEALTHCARE.  paid FMLA is not going to help that woman with 100K worth of medical bills that have piled up because she has crappy healthcare.  If she had better healthcare she would not have to spend her savings on paying medical bills (yes, I've BTDT and it sucks) Let's fix the real problem rather than putting a band-aid over it.

     3) Yes, people do fall on hard times, heck, I have a friend living on my couch right now because she fell on hard times.  I am not against helping anyone, I will help people who actually need it!  Unfortunately our government has a bunch of broken systems (welfare, unemployment etc) that allow way to many people to abuse it so I can no longer support them (but of course I have no option but to pay into them).

    4) I will absolutely support longer unpaid FMLA, and for more employers to have to follow that rule, that would be a great start to fixing a broken system.

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  • image MammaBear81:
    image Booger+Bear:

    I'm not sure how many people read the articles posted - but the first one I found interesting because it focused on people using it for medical leave. And how people are losing their jobs after having major medical issues. But maybe they should've planned to leave their job and have emergency heart surgery?

    IMO the FMLA falls way short because so many people work for exempt employers, so they aren't even guaranteed a job if they take time off due to illness or childbirth, never mind that it's unpaid.

    And it drives me batty that some people only ever seem to talk about greedy and/or irresponsible parents who should just save more money. Life is rarely that cut and dry.  

    I've said that I'm for a longer amount of unpaid leave (and have more employers have to follow the policy), but again, that's not what we are talking about here.  People want PAID LEAVE....  Of course you don't plan to have emergency heart surgery, but that is what your savings are for... or have American's forgotten how to save money?

    The recommended amount of savings is 6 months (of both salaries) how many people can say they actually have that?  DH and I have had the rug pulled out from under us numerous times, been kicked when we were down (DH was unemployed for 9 months after my lasary has been cut 75% for the prvious 6 months) but we lived.... how is that?  We had SAVINGS, and weren't in debt up to our eyeballs like so many people are.

    KathrynMD- I guess it won't surprise  you that I don't support unemployment or social security.  Think about how much higher your salary would be if you didn't have to pay in to those?  You could save your own money in case you became unemployed, AND save for your own retirement, no loaning your money to the government until you are 65.. I prefer the way I invest my money to the way the government does.

     

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  • I have a friend who lives in Sweden. Where she's from, parents receive 16 months partially paid leave. Each partner (they do not discriminate based on gender) gets 2 months that is 'theirs' and then they can allocate the rest as they see fit. Yes, they pay more in taxes, but I've talked with her about it and it seems the pay rates also rise sufficiently. 

    It does wonders for business, actually, not hurting it. For one, they have much better long term retention of workers and lower turnover. Also, higher morale and productivity. It works out well for young workers too, as the time that parents take off is generally filled in not with expensive temp workers, but lower paid students and interns who get experience they need to be able to get a better job in the future. 

    It is also in the interest of Sweden to bolster the birth rate, and this is true for much of Europe and, believe it or not, is also true for the US. We need a larger young population to be able to support the baby boom generation as they age into retirement and their senior years. Also, any society that starts to shrink fails. Families who have security + health care + the time necessary to properly raise and care for the children they want is GOOD for society. Not just for that parent, but for everyone else. 

    A note on 'your taxes will go up' as an argument against social programs. Yes, taxes might go up. But frequently they go up by an amount that is considerably less than you are already spending for the same service. For instance, when roads are built by the government out of tax funds, it costs less out of everyone's pocket than it would cost for everyone to just pave the street in front of their own house and/or business. In countries like the UK where they have single payer health care, the taxes go up by a certain amount, yes. But that amount is SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than what the average person pays for their own health insurance in this country, let alone how much they would pay if they were actually paying all their own medical bills out of pocket. In other words, they come out ahead at the end of the paycheck. 

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  • image KathrynMD:

    LOL - here we go again!

    "Greedy parents!"

    "They should have planned better/saved more money"

    If you are against FMLA - are you against guaranteed leave for family needs/newborns also or just being paid for the leave?  Would you employees could be fired for taking off any time to care for their families (or themselves) even if it was unpaid?

    Pro: Extended unpaid.

    Against: Paying additional taxes for a government-based 'paid leave' program .

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • image KathrynMD:

    LOL - here we go again!

    "Greedy parents!"

    "They should have planned better/saved more money"

    If you are against FMLA - are you against guaranteed leave for family needs/newborns also or just being paid for the leave?  Would you employees could be fired for taking off any time to care for their families (or themselves) even if it was unpaid?

    Pro: Extended unpaid.

    Against: Paying additional taxes for a government-based 'paid leave' program .

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • image Nechie122:
    I just want to say that using Pakistan and Uganda to make a point is a ridiculous strawman argument. The real basis for comparison would be countries like Canada, Germany, Japan and the UK, all of which have more generous maternity leave policies and economies that are on par with the US with lower unemployment. Let's not pretend that it's a stark choice between being an economic powerhouse and an impoverished, developing nation.

    Thank you!! This x1000!  As someone who has lived and worked in several developing countries (Panama, Peru, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Afghanistan), I just assume people who compare these countries as being "better than the U.S." for maternity leave have clearly never experienced a developing country at all. 

    I'll take the amazing freedoms and benefits of being a woman in the U.S. over any of the countries listed in this article. 

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