Why state mandated paid parental leave is a bad idea

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AngelRho
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09 Apr 2021, 9:13 pm

Fundamentally, state mandated parental leave, if paid for by the government, amounts to wealth redistribution that not all taxpayers would necessarily favor.

It's important to understand that parental leave is not a bad idea. Parents are normally an asset to a company that hires them. This is because parents are used to heavy responsibilities because of their children, are willing to work harder, are more reliable because they know how much is at stake for their children if they don't perform well at work. Paid parental leave as a perk or benefit is an obvious good investment that would attract the best talent, the hardest workers, and the most reliable workers.

This not an argument against paid parental leave. Some of the problems some might claim in terms of denying or not offering paid parental leave is that employees are getting paid to not work, that paying an employee to not work for 6 weeks removes the incentive for other employees to work, that leave results in a lack of productivity and loss of profits. But in larger companies this isn't much of a justification for not offering leave (this is understandable in smaller businesses with, say, fewer than 15 employees). Most, if not all, larger companies can more than afford to offer 6 weeks of paid leave. Most every company I know about with few exceptions already grant maternity leave. So offering paid parental leave is really a no-brainer. It's a good thing. The main reasonable argument AGAINST offering paid parental leave is loss of productivity and getting paid to not work being counterintuitive. However, this can be overcome by careful planning and budgeting. Companies that can plan and budget for any and every contingency will usually have the ability to offset any temporary loss in workforce by reassigning responsibilities and plan for reallocating money to account for an employee who is on paid leave. Any company that can remain competitive while make accommodations will win out over companies that aren't so versatile and adaptive.

Which leads me to my main point: If the government steps in and provides something that should be the responsibility of employers, it assumes a role that would ordinarily enhance a company's ability to remain competitive. The government is taking away their ability to compete for the best workers by putting every company on even footing. The government denies companies the right to make poor decisions, in other words, which in turn encourages bad or potentially abusive workplace practices. By equalizing good and bad players, companies stay in business when they do not deserve to, causing a drain on the economy and the marketplace. Solyndra immediately comes to mind, but so also do the too big to fail auto manufacturers such as Government Motors. Any time the government provides a service to prop up businesses that don't deserve to stay open (if it NEEDS to be propped, it doesn't deserve to operate), the government is doing a disservice to, most importantly, the consumers, and secondarily to the employees of a company caught in a tailspin. If paid parental leave is really that important, if a company has the money and the right planning to make it happen, they are better poised as more competitive and can hire who they want without fear of what might happen if an employee needs a few weeks off for parental leave. As an employee, you'll prefer a workplace that shows you your value to them by offering various benefits, and you'll get the peace of mind knowing that the company is strong enough to offer benefits and will likely continue to operate for at least as long as you want to work there. What government-issued paid parental leave mandates do is keep businesses open that are not strong, do not value their employees, and can't exist without sponging off taxpayers and wasting money. It kills innovation and forward-thinking. Everyone loses in that situation, from the employees all the way down to the customers. Such is not the case when companies are allowed to offer paid leave when they WANT to and know that it's a positive investment in the labor force.



But I think a more important issue is that



kraftiekortie
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09 Apr 2021, 10:19 pm

You have a lot of cheap-ass companies who are not as visionary as how you stated.

Or small companies.

A middle ground between obligatory parental leave and laissez-faire parental leave should be considered.



AngelRho
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10 Apr 2021, 10:49 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
You have a lot of cheap-ass companies who are not as visionary as how you stated.

Or small companies.

A middle ground between obligatory parental leave and laissez-faire parental leave should be considered.

But that’s really my whole point. Visionary companies adapt and thrive. Cheap companies that are too greedy to enjoy the money they make and invest in themselves never cut it in the long run. Instead of either enabling bad people with government policies so that they don’t have to actually care about employees or removing incentives for those who do actually care, why not just let nature take its course?

Small companies are exceptional because they don’t have the income to justify keeping someone on for paid leave or even give them assurances that they can keep a job after they have a baby. Such policies really would be harmful to small companies on the long term. State mandated paid leave, even if the government covers it, harms small companies because it means they cannot hire a replacement while an employee is on leave. Someone looking for a job will not likely accept the job if they know it’s temporary, which means they have little choice but to fire an employee once she begins her leave if they intend to stay in business. However, career-oriented women starting families aren’t going to stay in those kinds of entry-level jobs for long, anyway. That’s why most of these positions are populated by teens and college kids working their way through school. Graduates and newlyweds will typically be older, more experienced who are more likely to qualify for companies large enough to offer things like paid parental leave.



ArtsyFarsty
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13 Apr 2021, 9:24 pm

My state has paid family leave, and it is quite popular. It is funded by a payroll tax of 0.511% with a cap of $384 per year. There is an option to opt-out if one is not interested participating in such pinko-commie programs.

It covers maternity leave, parental leave for spouses/partners, caring for a sick family member, and time off to care for children if the other is on military deployment.

Personally, I think it is positive step forward. I am in the age group of women who (unless one was a high-earner), pretty much had to quit our jobs to raise children or care for ailing parents, so I am glad to pay in to a system that allows people more viable options.



IsabellaLinton
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13 Apr 2021, 9:53 pm

Time off work to raise future American citizens to be well adjusted, safe, and secure in their families?

Hmmm.

Yes of course it should be paid.

I don't know why one parent (traditionally fathers) can have a child and continue working, and the other parent (traditionally the mothers) have to sacrifice their income or their child's wellbeing in order to have a baby. That's not an easy decision to make. Don't even start me about single parents and their lack of options. Daycare options are abysmal especially for newborns, and it's even more frightening when there isn't automatic healthcare for those little ones should something go wrong and they get sick in a group care setting.



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14 Apr 2021, 3:58 am

Dear OP, 'the free market will fix it' is propaganda.
In a tight labour market, employers don't need to compete for employees. The mere announcement of jobs and investment makes states drop taxes, even help employers build their buildings etc.
And labour markets are always tight.
It's called globalization. So the worker can feel the cold wind of the international labour market, as Hayek wrote.

With healthcare tied to employment, people are forced to take whatever job they can get.
And yes, while parents make for responsible workers, they also need to leave work in emergencies, and they don't like working late. If I could hire only one of two parents and leave the childcare to the other one, that would be pretty ideal.
Due to women having to be the caregivers in early childhood, women taking care of children while fathers are working late to support their family is a systemic bias resulting from the pure freedom of not regulating anything.

As to companies that can't afford this are weak and should die: a company's goal is to make profit. Affording something that isn't absolutely necessary isn't in the interest of making profits, and if labour markets are tight, offering luxuries is not necessary. Labour markets are always tight, because healthcare is tied to employment in the US, and there's globalization everywhere.

My brother's currently in week 5 of his government paid parental leave in Norway.
Week 5 of 26. His wife was on parental leave for the first 26 weeks. My brother is not Norwegian. His son is.
Norwegians are happy to pay taxes for that.
It's not that "taxpayers don't want to pay for this". It's American taxpayers. What makes American taxpayers so different?
My guess is, the "free market propaganda" which equates any government expense that benefits the workers with totalitarian Nazi-communism.


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14 Apr 2021, 8:25 am

a) People on the Right will tend to view any program that threatens to reduce corporate profits as a "bad idea".

b) Paid parental leave threatens to reduce corporate profits.

: : People on the Right will tend to view paid parental leave as a "bad idea".


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TheRobotLives
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14 Apr 2021, 2:01 pm

Even at 100% taxation we cannot pay for all things people want.

We have to tell some people, "sorry".


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14 Apr 2021, 2:07 pm

Money is always the issue ... to members of the Right, there is never enough to support people in need, yet there is always enough to buy more guns to shoot those same people and more prisons to put away the survivors.


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ArtsyFarsty
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14 Apr 2021, 5:50 pm

Funny how the market rarely/never corrects itself in favor of the rank and file.



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14 Apr 2021, 9:49 pm

Capitalism, in its current form in the U.S., is a death cult. We've seen its failure just recently with the pandemic and the Texas energy crisis, but people still persist in worshipping money over human lives.

Personally, I think the the entire world is going to have to face-plant before people see the need for collective action.


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14 Apr 2021, 10:09 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
Capitalism, in its current form in the U.S., is a death cult. We've seen its failure just recently with the pandemic and the Texas energy crisis, but people still persist in worshipping money over human lives.

Personally, I think the the entire world is going to have to face-plant before people see the need for collective action.


Abbott got his advice regarding the power grid from a climate change denier.

But he considers dick pics a bigger problem than climate change.


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AngelRho
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15 Apr 2021, 6:53 am

XFilesGeek wrote:
Capitalism, in its current form in the U.S., is a death cult.

That’s because we don’t really have capitalism in the United States. The government plays too big a role in business. Whether politicians are controlling businesses through onerous regulation or businesses are controlling politicians through campaign donations or bribes, there is a close, unhealthy relationship between the two, and that’s always bad for consumers and voters.



magz
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15 Apr 2021, 7:06 am

AngelRho wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
Capitalism, in its current form in the U.S., is a death cult.

That’s because we don’t really have capitalism in the United States. The government plays too big a role in business.
From my point fo view (and it's evil social-democratic Europe :twisted: ), I see the problem exactly the other way around: in US, business plays too big a role in government, inhibiting market mechanisms wherever they don't benefit the big fish.

I was pretty surprised when I learned how remote shopping in US is dependent on Amazon. Here, there are hundereds or maybe thousands of various online businesses and several delivery systems so sudden change in the market due to covid was instantly adressed. The invisible hand of the market worked better in quite a socialist state 8O


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AngelRho
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15 Apr 2021, 10:43 am

magz wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
Capitalism, in its current form in the U.S., is a death cult.

That’s because we don’t really have capitalism in the United States. The government plays too big a role in business.
From my point fo view (and it's evil social-democratic Europe :twisted: ), I see the problem exactly the other way around: in US, business plays too big a role in government, inhibiting market mechanisms wherever they don't benefit the big fish.

I was pretty surprised when I learned how remote shopping in US is dependent on Amazon. Here, there are hundereds or maybe thousands of various online businesses and several delivery systems so sudden change in the market due to covid was instantly adressed. The invisible hand of the market worked better in quite a socialist state 8O

I tend to think businesses are at the mercy of politicians, but if you're right that politicians are at the beck and call of businesses, it amounts to the same thing. It's like arguing whether there is such a thing as free will because in the end it doesn't really matter. Big businesses are not big businesses because they work hard and provide value. They are big because of the amount of pull they have on public policy. My argument is that in a true capitalist society there is no pull. Big achievers are big because they achieve big things. They aren't granted monopolies, they don't get any special protection. If a mom-and-pop store closes because the big business accomplishes superior results at greater value for lower price, then the mom-and-pop business never deserved to exist in the first place. Now, small businesses have nothing to fear in a completely open, competitive market because smaller businesses with fewer employees and liabilities tend to be more nimble than large companies. There's a market for, say, handmade stained glass items, and the really good Kokomo glass just like in the original Tiffany lamps is super cheap. We have, like, 300 lbs. of the stuff at my house now. You have some companies who mass-produce the stuff, but there are little guys who make bank doing stained glass and the big guys can't touch them. It's inevitable in a free marketplace that those who do the best work and are able to meet demand will outperform and even themselves become big businesses from sheer demand and volume. If you want to start a delivery service to take on Amazon, you can do that. And now with the pandemic people are going to show a preference for eating at home, so you have people making a substantial income through services like Doordash, moving into markets Amazon can't touch. Amazon could TRY, which they'd end up big winners if they could pull it off, but these anonymous entrepreneurs are on the bleeding edge right now. When left alone, this is what competition looks like while it does what it's supposed to do. Unfortunately for America, while big businesses have politicians in their pockets (to borrow your premise), there are ALSO a lot of regulations designed to protect small businesses. The problem here is that such policies are keeping brain-dead businesses on life support to stay open. That's not going to help innovation, nor will it help the economy in the long run.

While America isn't exactly capitalist, many countries in Europe aren't exactly socialist, either. One key difference in Europe is you have a lot more people who vote in favor of policies and lend their approval. You have political coalitions that work to agree on policies that work for everyone and that more people will consent to. In America, you only have two political parties who represent exact polar opposite views. If Democrats pulled a 180 on gun control, Republicans would suddenly hit the brakes and start finding excuses for why CERTAIN people or groups of people can't have guns. Or if Republicans suddenly said, hey, tear down the wall and get rid of all immigration rules, which I'd be perfectly ok with, then suddenly Democrats would all be in an uproar about why we need tighter border security and more exclusive immigration rules. In some places in Europe, even the more socialist ones, those who have political power are themselves high achievers honestly looking out for the interests of like-minded individuals. But along with that comes stringent rules.

It's not so much that you can't do business in Europe, or even America, for that matter. It's that doing business anywhere can only happen at the pleasure of the government and those in power. Businesses shouldn't have a special place reserved at the government table to make monopolies or other government policies that only favor their interests. They do themselves more good by leaving the marketplace open, which is what you're seeing in Europe that gives the illusion of socialist policies succeeding. What you don't see through the smoke and mirrors is that a more open marketplace suits those in power at the moment. Because doing business happens at the pleasure of the government, that freedom can go away at any time the government (or an oligarch) decides that it should. When individuals have freedom, you experience what you're seeing with individual, independent, package delivery services. You're always one enforced law or regulation away from not having the freedom to do business as suits your best interest and survival. In America, that's what it is about government interference that keep people like myself somewhat nervous.



magz
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15 Apr 2021, 12:46 pm

In an ideal world, even communism would work...


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