A true capitalist knows how much of a drag babies can be on their businesses. If the government forces the capitalist to hire a female through equality laws, his business now runs the risk of spending the time training and getting that female experience only to lose her for a few months when she gets pregnant and bears a child. This hurts his business and his profits. Until a few years later, of course, when the child hits the ripe old age of five and can start making shoes. Then it is back to raking in the big bucks for the true capitalist.
An article posted yesterday at The Nation explains this same story from another angle: that of the parents trying (and increasingly failing) to make ends meet after giving birth in the United States because of laws that protect businesses over families. The biggest issue as indicated by the author is not the lack of leave time, which has been addressed through FMLA, but the lack of pay during that time and businesses heavily cutting that back.
Almost 30 percent of employers offered paid leave for new mothers in 1998; only 16 percent did in 2008.
Realistically, even 30 percent is rather abysmal in the richest country on the planet but nearly half of that is obviously far worse. The article also describes the story of one woman who experienced complications with her pregnancy and lost her job because of the extended time off. This makes her a part of an important statistic from the article: “over a quarter of all workers…either quit or are let go of their jobs when they need to take leave.” It’s a dog-eat-dog world and when one dog has to stop eating for a medical purpose like giving birth, the people at the top who make the money and the policies just don’t care enough to help them out the way they should.
And in the United States the lack of a universal health care system adds another layer to the job loss. Parents now may have the added worry of having to care for a newborn with either no coverage or increasingly expensive premiums with no income. Which would help explain one of the reasons the U.S. continues to rank so far behind so many other countries in the infant mortality rate. We are still nine spots below the hated Castro regime in Cuba and thirty-eight rungs down the ladder from those awful socialists in France. Those anti-capitalists and their love of children! How dare they take care of babies in spite of the free market!
But I guess there is good news in the U.S. There are folks out there who care so very deeply about children they are willing to take absurd legislative positions in the interest of children. Therefore, I can only assume these same people will support some great social spending programs that will protect the baby and the parents from losing their jobs when a birth occurs. Right…right?
Or maybe they will just give the baby a pat on the back when it’s born and say, “good luck out there kid. Hope it doesn’t suck to start your life in poverty.” Because that’s what Jesus would do.