Essay about Statutory Entitlement Of The United States

1602 Words Dec 1st, 2016 7 Pages
According to the OECD, the United States is the only nation amongst its ranks that does not provide a “statutory entitlement” to parental leave, for mothers or fathers. Though 59 percent of Americans claim to be entitled to leave, lack of statutory protection means that the availability of leave is tenuous at best-- and a large number of low-wage workers do not have access to leave at all. Outside of an economic context, public policy communicates our “values” as a society. Thus, if we are a society that places value on strong family relationships and parent-child bonds, then it follows that we should engage in efforts to improve them. A statutory entitlement to parental leave would be a clear affirmation of this “value.” Aside from appeals to “values,” a statutory entitlement to parental leave in the United States has the potential to benefit certain demographic groups that are precluded from advancement (namely women), and improve the long-term outcomes of children. The framework that we will use to arrive at our conclusion is a utilitarian one, that weighs and analyzes both the immediate and long-term economic effects of the policy. Furthermore, this paper will assume that parental leave will be provided via a social insurance program, similar to the one that has been implemented in California (employees pay a portion of their income to fund the program). This paper will argue that while mandatory parental leave will present significant challenges to firms,…

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