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Paid Menopause Leave – Because I Deserve It

#LeadOnLeave Is Sooooo Darn Awesome!

Recently I’ve seen flurry of sharing of a Valerie Jarrett promoted piece of foolishness. Propagandize government enforced perks and progressives clamor to get on board. Publicize perks for doing nothing—with eeeeeevilllll businesses footing the bill—and they will practically hyperventilate.

Paid Menopause Leave

According to the fallacious video “The United States is the ONLY developed nation WITHOUT paid maternity leave.” Compare that American wasteland to the lustrous and caring Germany—where new mommies get 14 weeks off with full pay— and it’s apparent that we have it bad here in the suckland of the world.

 

First, let’s be clear that there is tons of maternity leave (including paid leave) in the U.S. of A. It’s just not mandated by the government. You aren’t “entitled” to it (yet) just because you have the ability and wherewithal to conceive a child.

Second, in the U.S. both business owners and employees have (some measure of) freedom. If you want a job that provides 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (read that: 14 weeks that the company has to pay you for not working, just because you want something for nothing—because womb), here are your options: 

  1. Move to Germany.
  2. Get a job with a company that offers women 3+ months of paid leave whenever they choose to multiply.
  3. Start your own company and give yourself 14 weeks off whenever you give birth or, heck, whenever you want 14 weeks off. (And do the same for your employees, or course, you greedy wench.)

But It Doesn’t Help Actual Women

Just for fun, we’re going to take a mental journey into the land of the wicked business owner who is too greedy and selfish (by definition) to care about humans. (Yes, I know you would never want to actually own a business because business owners are awful people who know nothing but their own appetites and only the poor, beleaguered employees have a grip on the good and the right, but stick with me for a minute…)

Given these choices, whom do you want to hire?

  1. The candidate who will actually show up to work and do the job
  2. The person who will take off more than 25% of the year, demand to be paid for it, for whom you have to fill in, and whom you can’t fire for not showing up and doing their job?

Tough choice.

Back in the Florida public university system, there was an unwritten rule:

If you aren’t sure you will hire the woman/minority you are considering, do not put her/him on the short list.

Why? Because if a woman or minority got on the short list but did not end up being hired, the chances for a lawsuit rose exponentially. The mandates and special classes and affirmative actions often hurt the very people they were intended to help. (I’m using the word “intended” loosely here, as I don’t necessarily think those promoting anti-discrimination exceptions are really motivated by helping the disenfranchised huddled masses.)

Once again, women are making themselves a “special class” who need accommodation for their anatomies and reproductive capabilities. We want equality and we want speciality. Both. Now.

[P.S. We have six kids. When I had them, I chose to stay home with them, even though I had just finished college and Sam was still in graduate school. (Read that: dirt poor.) No one paid me to stay home. I accepted both the rights and the responsibilities of being a stay-at-home parent.]

Pay Me Now

My “baby” is 11. I’m out of the child-bearing phase. But that should not be cause for discrimination! I want my leave, too!

All I’m asking is that progressives and other fairness advocates pay me for taking time off for the rest of my life for Menopause Leave. I mean, just look at what menopausal women often have to deal with (cue sad music and soft lights):

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Acne
  • Vaginal itching, dryness, and pain
  • Mood swings
  • Increased anxiety
  • In creased irritability
  • Increased frequency in urination
  • Fluctuating hormones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heard disease

For the love of all that is holy, who needs paid leave more?! These thirty-something hipsters who are working on their 1.9 children or me?

I accept PayPal.

{ 81 comments… add one }
  • Kristy April 14, 2015, 1:25 pm

    Love this! If companies want to pay maternity that’s their choice. If maternity leave is mandated, then would companies have to pay for 14 weeks of “sick pay” for when people in a car accident or other accidents And need time off work.

  • IDIAT April 14, 2015, 1:47 pm

    Hey – where’s my paid leave for andropause?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 14, 2015, 2:41 pm

    It’s only fair, Kristy. And fairness is all that matters.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why Mormon Feminists Should Remove the Word “Mansplaining” From Their Collective VocabulariesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 14, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Holy cow, that’s really a thing. IDIAT, absolutely, you deserve paid time off.

    Can you imagine how much worse it would be for middle-aged workers with that kind of mandate? Bah!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • KS April 14, 2015, 5:12 pm

    You’ve misunderstood how paid parental leave works. t’s not paid by the employer but by the state from disability and other funds (though companies may choose to provide additional payments to their employees to make up the difference).

    I was new to the area when I gave birth to my first child, without family or friends to help. Because of paid leave in California, I was able to choose to stay home with my baby for several months, giving me precious time to bond with my little one and find quality childcare. Then, when the time came, I smoothly transitioned back to work with an employer who accommodated my pumping needs.

    We all have different life and family circumstances. Paid parental leave is one way we can help mothers to get that precious, nurturing time with their babies, regardless of their financial situation.

  • Mel April 14, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Don’t worry, you’ll get it. It’s called Social Security.

  • Naismith April 14, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Having a baby is not “doing nothing.” It is producing the next generation of tax-payers and productive citizens. That is a huge contribution that benefits everyone and I do not mind contributing towards the worthwhile goal.

    I can understand why Germany is willing to invest in the next generation. When I lived in West Germany in the 1970s, their population was in decline, and the negative growth was impacting their economy. In the U.S., we have a healthy flow of new citizens through immigration, but the Germans are kinda xenophobic and only allowed foreigners to come as gastarbeiters, guest workers filling labor needs but never attaining citizenship.

    When the wall to the East came down, it was not rhetoric by a USAmerican president, but the West German desire to have all those Aryan families back in the fold. In part because they lacked access to good birth control, East German families were larger than the West, and so reunification solved the population problem….for a generation. Now they are again below replacement levels. So it makes sense that they would encourage their best and brightest women to contribute their genes to the pool.

    “We have six kids. When I had them, I chose to stay home with them…” Wait a minute, recently you declared, “For the past 28 years I’ve had a home business.” So which is it?

    I don’t give a flip what you did with your so-called life. I am not entitled to revelation as to what any other mother is supposed to be doing and I don’t believe in one-size-fits all solutions. But please choose one or the other; you don’t get to claim to do both. If you were running a business, you weren’t nurturing your children at the same time. The physical location of you being in the home does not matter.

    As to whether the US should have benefits for motherhood, what about the spousal benefits for social security and Medicare? Do you also oppose those?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 14, 2015, 9:51 pm

    KS, you’ve misunderstood how disability works. Employers pay for it either by:

    1. paying premiums to a state-run insurance program
    2. making payments to an insurance company
    3. paying workers directly

    You know the old saying, “there’s no free lunch”? Well, yea.

    I don’t mind if companies provide paid parental leave to their employees. I mind if it’s mandated.

    That said, how a particular paid maternity leave program would work depends entirely on the legislation, which doesn’t yet exist.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why Mormon Feminists Should Remove the Word My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 14, 2015, 9:52 pm

    I think we both know there are vast differences here. But I’m not a fan of SS either.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 14, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Having a baby is not “doing nothing.”

    In the context, I’m pretty sure we both know the reference was to service to the company being asked to foot the bill as opposed to some selective general welfare.

    It is producing the next generation of tax-payers and productive citizens. That is a huge contribution that benefits everyone and I do not mind contributing towards the worthwhile goal.

    And some companies don’t mind contributing to that noble cause either. Good for them and may all the women who want to be paid for producing taxpayers flock to those companies!

    Our church does teach this strange thing called “self-reliance.” That multiply and replenish bit is a commandment,

    However, if we can legislate that particular groups of people must pay for particular events/good/services that someone on high has deemed “good for the world” I’m on board! My husband and I preach chastity and the Word of Wisdom. Together have reduced the average rate of venereal disease, out of wedlock pregnancy, drunken loitering, drug addiction, and a host of other social ills. That is also “a huge contribution that benefits everyone” so I’ll be looking for my check for that, too! (I’m sure you won’t “mind contributing towards [that] worthwhile goal. I still accept PayPal.)

    I don’t give a flip what you did with your so-called life.

    So why do you read my flipping blog? (And what is a “so-called life” anyway?)

    I am not entitled to revelation as to what any other mother is supposed to be doing…

    So here’s the weird thing, Naismith. The post is about legislation mandating behavior, which actually require some people to pay for the decisions of others. In other words, personal revelation has nothing to do with it because it’s no longer a personal choice. If you support the legislation you are overriding the decisions of others, their own personal revelation notwithstanding.

    Did you miss that?

    But please choose one or the other; you don’t get to claim to do both.

    No idea what you’re talking about. What two things did I claim to do? We had babies. I chose to stay home. We paid for our babies ourselves.

    As to whether the US should have benefits for motherhood, what about the spousal benefits for social security and Medicare? Do you also oppose those?

    I oppose social security all around. It’s a ponzi scheme. For years I’ve supported movements that would allow people to opt out and self-insure.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Supports Religious and LGBTTQQIAAPFPOC* Rights – Sort OfMy Profile

  • CamBendy April 14, 2015, 10:41 pm

    Hah! I read this post aloud to my husband this afternoon and said, “Just watch someone come in with crazy talk!”

    Two things I predicted have already happened:

    #1 Someone arguing that employers don’t pay for maternity leave and that it really grows on magic money trees.
    #2 Someone arguing that being forced to pay for others’ lifestyles is just “investing in the future.”

    I think I should win something!

  • Oregonian April 14, 2015, 10:55 pm

    cambendy do you remember the very long health care debate a few years back with niasmith saying we have a right to health care and alison asking where that right was endowed and the crickets that came after that?

    i think us old-timers should remember that if it leans socialist niasmith will take it to her bosom and give it tender hugs.

  • Oregonian April 14, 2015, 10:56 pm

    speaking of old-timers do you know why my comments never show up when i make them?

  • Yoshi April 14, 2015, 11:57 pm

    Our General Authorities and Auxiliary leaders just spent 12 hours impressing upon us the importance of protecting the family. They did not counsel us to protect corporations. Considering this on top of the fact that the cost for parental leave (about $30 per year per employee) is greatly outweighed by the social and economic benefits (fortune.com/2015/02/05/paid-parental-leave-costs), paid parental leave is a cause worth supporting.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 12:20 am

    Yoshi, pretending that our general authorities and auxiliary leaders supported a particular piece of progressive maternity legislation is, of course, fallacious. And the constant conflation of individual encouragement to do X with having the government do X is as well.

    There is, however, something the church actually does teach specifically: self-reliance.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Remembering RobesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 12:21 am

    Oregonian, not sure why you aren’t seeing them. I can see them and they were not modded.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Lifestyle Hacks: Increased Productivity With Personalized RoutinesMy Profile

  • Maggie2 April 15, 2015, 12:36 am

    Night owls unite!

    Talk about privilege. American’s are so used to the perks of freedom that they won’t stop demanding more and more stuff until we lose it. Every entitlement costs us freedom. Read some history.

  • Hedgehog April 15, 2015, 4:52 am

    So. I agree with Naismith on this one.
    Is there no sense of social contract in the US?

  • IDIAT April 15, 2015, 7:52 am

    I’m okay with a social safety net to some degree, the obvious issue being reasonableness. People in other posts have brought up all sorts of “feel good” things to do to promote family and marriage, many of which are already being done in high tax rate foreign countries. But, when I ask those posters to show the numbers that such feel good measures are actually helping, I don’t get any. All across the world, even in high tax nations where quality of life of supposedly so good, marriage and family are still disintegrating. Forcing employers to provide paid leave (who will just pass the buck to the consumer) or having the government provide reimbursement (who will pass the costs onto the public vis a vis taxes) is not the solution. And, in fairness, if you’re going to give the mother 14 weeks of paid leave, you should do the same for fathers.

  • Naismith April 15, 2015, 9:27 am

    I don’t consider the church teachings on self-sufficiency to be “strange.” (Your snarky comments only detract from what validity is in them.)

    As LDS, we have all agreed to bear one another’s burdens, and care for one another. The only question is how best to implement that.

    I know of several young couples in various wards who also thought they would pay for their babies themselves just like Alison and I did, but it turned out that the baby was born with special needs or developed cancer or whatever. So they qualified for programs, including those from tax dollars. I am happy to contribute to help my brothers and sisters in that way.

    I also believe strongly in self-sufficiency. But it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can do. For many, that grace comes from other people, and governments can be an efficient way to provide needed services.

    When my husband was bishop and when I was RS president in the USA, we spent a lot of time trying to track down health care for people in our ward who had needs, spreading fast offering dollars as far as they can go, tracking down free clinics held in other churches, initiating paperwork to get on a waiting list for a compassionate program with a pharmacy company. We wondered what it would be like to live in a country with universal (not necessarily government-run) health coverage, where time could be spent in ministering rather than hours and hours of church welfare.

    The impact of access to health care is well documented. In the US, medical bills are cited as a factor in over half of bankruptcies, compared to only 5% in the UK and up to 15% in Canada. Further, the 5-country studies by Harvard’s Bob Blendon conducted since the 1990s consistently show that Americans score lowest on measures of health care coordination, highest on medical errors, and highest on reports of not filling a prescription due to cost.

    It is not quite true that businesses do everything on their own. They rely on government-maintained roads for delivering products, use government-run utilities, and often get local tax breaks. We’re all in this together.

    To fail to invest in the future workforce may be profitable in the short-term, but is not sustainable in the long run. That is one reason that in countries where the birth rate is below replacement, corporations are willing to take steps that encourage intelligent, educated women to pass on their genes.

    I don’t think that families with a special-needs child should be left to fend for themselves, which often means becoming homeless and hurting all the other kids in the family as well.

    I do think that we should all be as responsible as we can, and good stewards of benefits that we receive. I support a mandatory HIV test for a women who will give birth at Medicaid expense, and I support drug tests for those who will receive SNAP benefits (I particularly support WIC because it can only be used for healthy foods, and has a breastfeed-promotion component, including offering pumps to employed moms).

    I am not saying that I would automatically support paid maternity leave. But in having a serious conversation (rather than a witty snarkfest) perhaps we could come up with a solution in the middle that moves us closer to the Zion society that we all desire.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 9:32 am

    CamBendy, you win the Mormon Clairvoyant of the Year Award. I’m sure you already know what the prize is. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Lifestyle Hacks: Increased Productivity With Personalized RoutinesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 10:08 am

    Hedghog, yes, there is some sense of a moral contract, but that always involves the idea of ceding some rights for protection of others.

    American started out with rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (The last was often argued among the founders to better be “property.”)

    As the success of this freedom experiment—with all it’s inherent rewards and risks—has proven itself, some have become more and more likely to try to advance those “rights” to mean all sorts of things. We have a “right” to “free” education, a “right” to “free” healthcare (what “basic” means in this context is anyone’s guess), the “right” to “free” contraception, the “right” to “free” maternity leave. The list goes on endlessly. The right to free books, swimming pools, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, housing, transportation, etc. etc. etc.

    The problem with extending this “social contract” is that few acknowledge the actual cost in freedom of doing so.

    The conversation talks about the benefits and feel-good-ness of government imposed this, that, or the other, but never the actual costs. This is not just a progressive issue, it’s both democrat and republican. It’s how both parties buy votes. “Look what I will give you for free!”

    Utah loves to tout its status as “the reddest state in the union” (meaning most conservative). In truth, I find Utah to be very socially conservative, but not very fiscally conservative…even though most Utahans think they are. It’s true that Utahans are personally charitable (often being deemed the #1 most charitable state in the US), but they are pretty willing to sell their souls for a mess of government

    As per the contract itself, each time we give government the job of providing, we cede a freedom. At what point does America not only stop being a “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” but also stop allowing other countries many of the luxuries they enjoy? I lovingly invite all those unwilling to face the risks of freedom to move to a socialist country where, apparently, nothing can go wrong (as long as the US is protecting them…) 🙂

    Defining a line on a continuum is always a fuzzy prospect. But as we continue to move down the line toward more government control/provision and less freedom, it is consequential. At some point our ceded rights outweigh our protected ones.

    I believe the real “social contract” is largely with individuals. We are to love and serve others, not mandate that the someone else do most of the heavy lifting so we can sleep well at night.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why Mormon Feminists Should Remove the Word “Mansplaining” From Their Collective VocabulariesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 10:12 am

    You get a big “ditto” from me on all that.

    For the record, I know of many US companies that provide paid leave to both mothers and fathers. (My brother-in-law worked at one in Oregon back when they were having kids. Sam’s university didn’t provide that.) I think that’s great if it is feasible for the company to do so. It’s one way a company can choose to attract employees. It’s a perk that, for some can be seen as an inducement.

    Let the company and the employee choose what works best.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Lifestyle Hacks: Increased Productivity With Personalized RoutinesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 11:13 am

    Your snarky comments only detract from what validity is in them.

    Naismith, I dare say you are known in the Bloggernacle for smack. Let’s just hold hands and agree to be snarky friends. 🙂

    As LDS, we have all agreed to bear one another’s burdens, and care for one another. The only question is how best to implement that.

    Exactly. And I think the mandate is to bear them individually, not by govermental fiat. (You’ll notice that even the temple recommend only requires a full payment of tithing, not a fast offering or humanitarian mandate. I find that interesting.)

    Many months ago in a (public) Facebook discussion, Daniel Dubei (who used to write under the moniker “The Good Democrat”) said:

    …charities will never be stable enough, large enough, with the full capability required, to help all, or at least most, of the poor of any given country. They will always lag behind the capability of governmental programs…The beauty is that, because I am one of 300 million, my cost to providing these wonderful services is low. I can go on living my life knowing that I have helped out millions of people without breaking my own bank or anyone else’s bank.

    Dubei is the quintessential promoter of “government as guilt assuager.” Look at me! I can live free of guilt, knowing I have helped millions, < strong >without making any notable sacrifice at all! Woo hoo!

    I realize that it’s pretty sweet to find a worthy cause and then force, say, Donald Trump to deal with it. But maybe that’s not what the gospel teaches us to do.

    I am happy to contribute to help my brothers and sisters in that way.

    Naismith, sincerely, you keep making this claim as if you really did make a very personal contribution to their medical bills. (Maybe you did, but that isn’t what you are promoting here.) If you are “happy to contribute,” then by all means do. I not only support you in your contributios, I applaud you. But please don’t keep saying, “I’m happy to contribute,” when you really mean, “I’m happy to force everyone in the country to contribute.” They aren’t the same thing.

    I do not applaud mandating this particular support to someone who would otherwise choose to use their resources to, say, save children from child sex slavery or adopt disabled children or educate people on pre-pregnancy insurance options or vaccinate kids in third world countries or teaching indigent families about inexpensive nutrition options or whatever other good they would choose to do with their resources if they weren’t redistributed in the way you (and some others) have deemed “best.”

    I also believe strongly in self-sufficiency. But it is by grace that we are saved after all that we can do. For many, that grace comes from other people, and governments can be an efficient way to provide needed services.

    Efficiency and expediency aren’t my end all, be all. Again, if you don’t measure all the costs, it’s not a thorough evaluation. That said, salvational grace isn’t about redistribution of earthly resources nor is about being “saved” from earthly difficulty.

    [I have also been a RS president in a ward where all but one family (my own included) lived in poverty.]

    The impact of access to health care is well documented.

    This isn’t the slam dunk you seem to think it is.

    If cars were to be legislatively banned and the government sent in troops to repossess and crush all autos in the US, do you know that death by automobile would plummet from over 316,000,000 per year to ZERO. There’s your ZERO FATALITIES solution. Great solution, right?

    As per my response to the “social contract” question, of course health care helps people generally. But pretending that means the government should provide it to everyone is simply fallacious and doesn’t remotely address the costs (monetary and mostly otherwise).

    In the US, medical bills are cited as a factor in over half of bankruptcies, compared to only 5% in the UK and up to 15% in Canada.

    So here is my sincere question. Why not move to the UK or Canada and become a citizen? Why are’t you promoting that everyone do so? I suggest that the reasons to stay in the US for so many—in spite of the risks involved with freedom—are inextricably intermingled with the benefits of the freedoms we provide.

    Not unlike the possible reasons to choose to come to earth with moral agency—in spite of the ultimate risk of doing so. Sincerely, is our risk at choosing to come to earth and being allowed to choose to utterly reject God not exponentially greater than our risk to be without “free” contraceptive services?

    It is not quite true that businesses do everything on their own. They rely on government-maintained roads for delivering products, use government-run utilities, and often get local tax breaks. We’re all in this together

    Ah, the “you didn’t built that” argument! It had to come at some point! So let’s parse this. Do you notice that the ultimate power play is to IMPOSE a government regulation (roads, utilities, “tax breaks”) and then claim ownership because of the imposition?

    We have “free” government schools which, due to human nature and forced redistribution, most people will eventually partake of. Then, when someone want to do something, they are told they OWE the government for the “free” education—that they were mandated to contribute to—and are now slaves to the state.

    To fail to invest in the future workforce may be profitable in the short-term, but is not sustainable in the long run.

    Here are my problems with the implication of this statement:

    • Government takes money from the earners and then “invests” it back in citizens
    • Government redistribution is a better “investment” than the earners would make themselves
    • Government must do this nebulous “investment” in order to sustain itself
    • Etc.

    That is one reason that in countries where the birth rate is below replacement, corporations are willing to take steps that encourage intelligent, educated women to pass on their genes.

    First, we do have a child tax credit. How much “inducement” do people need to keep the ponzi scheme from toppling? (The ponzi scheme that is only necessary because so many are sucking at the government teat in the first place…) Second, you said “corporations are willing” in the same context of mandating companies to provide reproductive inducements. Third, I suppose we are fining low IQ and low education women who reproduce?

    I do think that we should all be as responsible as we can, and good stewards of benefits that we receive. I support a mandatory HIV test for a women who will give birth at Medicaid expense, and I support drug tests for those who will receive SNAP benefits (I particularly support WIC because it can only be used for healthy foods, and has a breastfeed-promotion component, including offering pumps to employed moms).

    I’m happy to say we have found something to agree on here. Agreed:

    1. Good stewardship
    2. Mandatory testing for Medicaid expense (but we might disagree on outcome for negative testing…)
    3. Mandatory testing for SNAP
    4. Support of WIC for truly indigent for all the reasons you mentioned and also because the require (or used to?) nutrition classes and mostly (I would make some serious tweaks) promote low-cost/high-nutrition choices

    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Church Supports Religious and LGBTTQQIAAPFPOC* Rights – Sort OfMy Profile

  • Bonnnnie April 15, 2015, 11:31 am

    I’m not a Mormon (and not a momma, yet) so I hope it’s ok to post here.

    I’m a pregnant woman in my late 20s, due on June 5th. My company doesn’t offer any paid maternity leave. I wish they did (I mean it would be nice to take time off and get paid, right?), but they don’t.

    I am an adult. I chose the job and knew the benefits package offered. (I can read and chose to do so before singing my contract.) I chose to have sex and took the risk of getting pregnant. (I was actually on birth control, but I know that doesn’t guarantee no pregnancy. I can read and chose to do so.) Now that real life consequences are occurring I am choosing to figure out how to deal with them and I’m not expecting anyone else to do it for me.

    See how pro-choice I am? Democrats should *love* me!

  • Jonnnnie April 15, 2015, 11:36 am

    My girlfriend just commented so I will, too.

    We are not rich. We are on the low end of the pay scale. We didn’t graduate from college. Bonnnnie went for two years to a community college, I started working right out of high school. We could have done it but really didn’t want to. I work in a skilled trade so didn’t think it was worth it.

    I guess we are strange in our group because we are very conservative even though we could qualify for handouts. We just won’t do it. We CHOOSE to be responsible for ourselves, our choices, and in a couple of months for our daughter and any others to follow.

    Keep telling people that government support isn’t the answer. I heard more than half of our country gets handouts. Where will it end?

  • Barnie Lives April 15, 2015, 12:44 pm

    I still. want to know what this meant Niasmith.

    –I don’t give a flip what you did with your so-called life. I am not entitled to revelation as to what any other mother is supposed to be doing and I don’t believe in one-size-fits all solutions. But please choose one or the other; you don’t get to claim to do both. If you were running a business, you weren’t nurturing your children at the same time. The physical location of you being in the home does not matter.–

    What is the skeleton you’ve exposed?

  • Hedgehog April 15, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Alison,

    “We have a “right” to “free” education, a “right” to “free” healthcare (what “basic” means in this context is anyone’s guess), the “right” to “free” contraception, the “right” to “free” maternity leave. The list goes on endlessly. The right to free books, swimming pools, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, housing, transportation, etc. etc. etc.
    “The problem with extending this “social contract” is that few acknowledge the actual cost in freedom of doing so.”

    So, of course none of those things are “free”. They are paid for by taxation. I happen to think in general that’s a good thing. I have to question how free is someone burdened by ill-health who cannot afford healthcare, who cannot get insurance, and who because of their condition cannot work? How free is someone who cannot read, who has no education? Lines need to be drawn, of course, but I sense we would draw them in very different places. There are very different ways of looking at freedom.

    In my most cynical moments, I have begun to wonder whether the extreme conservative self-reliance rhetoric put forth by some members (I’m not implying you necessarily, I’ve seen it various places on the internet), is because they actually members to feel a loyalty towards our nations, towards our compatriots, to feel in community with our nations and compatriots. It can sometimes feels like a jealous church in that respect.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Hedgehog, I’d like to respond. That last paragraph (I think?) got a little jumbled, so I missed the point. Could you repost that?

    (And, yes, I’m extremely conservative with libertarian leanings. I’m OK with the label. 🙂 )
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  • Hedgehog April 15, 2015, 1:29 pm

    Ooh, it is jumbled. Sorry. The intended version:
    In my most cynical moments, I have begun to wonder whether the extreme conservative self-reliance rhetoric put forth by some members (I’m not implying you necessarily, I’ve seen it various places on the internet), is because they don’t actually want members to feel a loyalty towards our nations, towards our compatriots, don’t want us to feel in community with, or gratitude towards our nations and compatriots. It can sometimes feels like a jealous church in that respect.
    It feels like an insistence on separation from the nation. I’m not happy about that.

  • IDIAT April 15, 2015, 3:02 pm

    Speaking of health care, I wonder what you think of Medi-Share health premium plan and its requirement of Christian belief. I glanced at the site and wasn’t quite sure if a Latter-day Saint would qualify. I wonder if some entrepreneurial Saint could start a similar program to meet Obamacare requirements.

  • IDIAT April 15, 2015, 3:13 pm

    This becomes a threadjack, but I think most conservatives are fine with taxes. It’s the progressive tax system that they don’t like. Impose a flat tax like tithing and I don’t think you would hear complaints. But the middle class in America is taxed to death, and all around us we see disability fraud, welfare fraud, government waste, etc. My schoolteacher mother used to grit her teeth as parents in Cadillacs picked up their children on the free lunch program. The progressive tax approach is a blatant wealth redistribution effort.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Bonnnnie, good for you and Jonnnnie. And welcome to MM. 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 6:18 pm

    Hedgeghog, I’ll answer your second paragraph here and the last where you rephrased.

    So, of course none of those things are “free”. They are paid for by taxation. I happen to think in general that’s a good thing.

    And that is where we differ. Whether or not the things themselves are good isn’t the issue to me, it’s who decides. If the government largely owns the “social contract” they also determine the “social good.” I don’t trust them to do that and think history backs me up.

    There are very different ways of looking at freedom.

    There are, but I think the common usage is understood. Of course, I can claim more individual freedom if I get to enslave the rest of the world to secure it. But is that ethical?
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Thanks for rephrasing.

    Why would my “extreme conservative self-reliance rhetoric” impact someone’s loyalty to another country? The only interpretation I can figure is that you don’t like noting the dependence other countries have on the US, dependence that is provided because of it’s freedoms? Is that what you’re referencing?
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 6:33 pm

    IDIAT, I can’t speak to very specific aspects of the program as I’ve only looked at it in passing. (And I would guess Mormons would not be allowed to join.)

    I have no ethical problem with people freely choosing to manage risk with insurance. Some insurances are a good value and some aren’t. We own a number of policies and avoid others.

    As for health insurance, it shouldn’t be attached to an employer, but to an individual. Competition (across state lines and wherever) should not be prohibited by the government. Pooling of all sorts should be allowed.

    I actually think it’s often much more fiscally sound (outside of, you know, a mandated government bureaucracy that forces non-insurance “insurance” and fines those who don’t comply—and outside of situations where someone else (like an employer) pays premiums) to self-insure for typical medical expenses and get a large umbrella policy to cover catastrophic expenses.

    When we were first married, we were both in college and very poor and could not afford insurance. We purchase an catastrophic health plan and set aside a bit every month for typical expenses, meds, etc. When we decided to have a baby, we made a non-insurance cash deal for prenatal checkups and the delivery of our daughter.
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 15, 2015, 6:46 pm

    Of course you are right. Fair tax, flat tax, something reasonable to provide the things the government should actually be providing. Get back to personal responsibility, self-reliance, service to others, truly being our brothers’ keepers not foisting the responsibility on “the collective.”

    The tax code is an abomination, and I’m not just saying that because it’s April 15th. I’m an accountant and with hesitation I can tell you that the bloated system is an enormous barrier to people taking care of themselves. Until you’ve personally setup and run a payroll, don’t even talk to me. That should be required of every elected official who touches the tax code.

    Yes, fraud is rampant. But who cares when someone else pays for it?

    Remember the Obama phone lady? Was I the only person who wondered why she could ride the DNC bus across town, stand all day on the street, scream and cheer and wave signs for Obama…but she couldn’t work at a job? (She changed her tune pretty soon…)
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  • Naismith April 15, 2015, 6:46 pm

    “And, in fairness, if you’re going to give the mother 14 weeks of paid leave, you should do the same for fathers.”

    Um, how is that “fair”? The woman is the one on bedrest, possibly having surgery from which she needs to recover, breastfeeding. Why is it not okay to recognize those differences and address them?

    My husband never missed a day of work and only a few hours of sleep due to our pregnancies. I needed two surgeries to try to put my body back together and will live with a disability the rest of my life. Please do not pretend that the cost to us was the same.

  • CamBendy April 15, 2015, 6:49 pm

    Oregonian, yes, I remember that. People need to look up the word “rights.” And I gratefully accept the MCOTY award. Thank you.

  • Naismith April 15, 2015, 7:14 pm

    “So here is my sincere question. Why not move to the UK or Canada and become a citizen?”

    You are suggesting that I, a U.S. Army veteran who has sacrificed much so that you can sit safely in your big house in Utah and lecture about the cost of freedom, need to leave your country because you and I have different views of appropriate taxation?

    “I suggest that the reasons to stay in the US for so many.”

    Yes. Because most people do not share your views. My community has voted consistently for decades to levy additional education taxes to pay for music programs and building upgrades in the public schools. Our US. Congress voted in a health care law that is so popular that when a Republican legislator asked for horror stories, she was inundated with positive anecdotes instead. We have public libraries available to everyone instead of only a few libraries built in a few cities by a few wealthy families. We have a strong interstate highway system, and mass transit in many cities. We have a public school system that provides a pathway to prosperity for many. The rate of poverty among our elders has declined markedly since the introduction of Social Security and Medicare. I applaud those steps towards ensuring that all Americans have the basic resources that they need to be productive citizens and look forward to more progress towards that goal.

    Of course it isn’t “free” out of thin air. Of course we will pay taxes. But that is generally the most efficient way to do things. Try buying private health insurance that matches Medicare; it costs much more. By pooling our efforts, we can make those dollars go farther. How much taxes would we have to pay, or how expensive would that insurance be without such programs? Would we really be more free if few can afford it?

    In the country where my husband served a mission, many families have to give away the children they cannot feed. Sometimes they end up in loving homes. Sometimes they end up as child prostitutes, with every orifice of their body savaged repeatedly until they are infected with a fatal venereal disease by the time they are 12 years old. How free are those families?

    Wait, if you don’t want to pay taxes, why don’t YOU go off on an island somewhere?

    I am proud to be an American and a Mormon. I was baptized in Germany, have lived in South America, and spend time in Southeast Asia. There are many different ways to care for the needs of citizens and every country has its downfalls. What do you suppose the tax structure was like during 4th Nephi?

    My faith does not lead me to the same conclusions that you do. And that’s okay.

    Hedgehog and I don’t always agree, but on this one, she has spoken well what I also feel, despite happening to be LDS in different spots on the globe.

  • Hedgehog April 15, 2015, 9:14 pm

    Alison,
    “Why would my “extreme conservative self-reliance rhetoric” impact someone’s loyalty to another country? The only interpretation I can figure is that you don’t like noting the dependence other countries have on the US, dependence that is provided because of it’s freedoms? Is that what you’re referencing?”

    ! No. Dependence on the US?
    I was speaking within a church framework. So, some church members here confuse the extreme conservative rhetoric coming from members in the US with gospel teaching, and they then teach it as such. Unfortunately. It can feel to us that it is the church that is pushing those views. I guess I also needed to clarify that by ” the extreme conservative self-reliance rhetoric put forth by some members … is because they don’t actually want members to feel a loyalty towards our nations…” I’m meaning lds church members.
    Personally I think self-reliance also includes being part of a community, and for that community to help those within it if required. To me that community can be the nation as much as it can the church. But it can often come across, to those of us outside the US at least, that the church doesn’t want that.

  • IdRatherNotSay April 15, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Naismith said: “Um, how is that ‘fair’? The woman is the one on bedrest, possibly having surgery from which she needs to recover, breastfeeding. Why is it not okay to recognize those differences and address them?

    My husband never missed a day of work and only a few hours of sleep due to our pregnancies. I needed two surgeries to try to put my body back together and will live with a disability the rest of my life. Please do not pretend that the cost to us was the same.”

    After having had a cesarean and after having lived in politically liberal D.C. for the last near decade and being grateful for the fact that we did not feel the frightening impacts of the recession as much as others did, I have to say, I agree with Naismith on this one.

    I’m neither conservative nor liberal. I think both extremes are dangerous. I don’t know what would be worse: a complete free-for-all full of system abusers who work the middle class to death or a world of heartless, self-righteous individualists who would throw a single mother to the curb because “she got herself into this mess” when her husband left her. All things in moderation!

  • Hedgehog April 16, 2015, 2:54 am

    Alison, from an above comment in reply to Naismith:
    “We have “free” government schools which, due to human nature and forced redistribution, most people will eventually partake of. Then, when someone want to do something, they are told they OWE the government for the “free” education—that they were mandated to contribute to—and are now slaves to the state.”
    Well I have to say, my family and I do not feel like slaves to the state, nor do we feel resentfully beholden. On the contrary. I feel immense gratitude. So, as an example: My childhood was during the 70s in Britain. I was able to take advantage of “free at the point of delivery” musical instrument tuition, available at the time. I dare say, music tuition is all too likely one of those things that’s going to be regarded as wholly unnecessary. However, music had enriched my life immeasurably. I was able to to participate in things I could never have done without that tuition. I’m not a professional musician, but I am able to pass the skills I learnt on to my children. For me, that’s greater freedom, not less.

    More generally, I’m not understanding why it is a bad thing for a country to say, if you are going to be employing our citizens/residents, there are certain minimum of standards we expect you to meet in the way that you treat them. You are not exploit them. So, health and safety legislation, sick pay, mandatory notice period, minimum wage etc.

  • MOQT April 16, 2015, 6:40 am

    Fun fact: The church doesn’t provide paid maternity leave to its own employees, though they could, of course, if they deemed it important enough. But if paid maternity leave is offered, it would seem only fair to offer the same amount of paid sick leave for people with mental and physical illnesses who also need time off, but because of things they didn’t choose and have no control over.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 8:28 am

    Good point, MOQT. Of course, people do not have to work for the church. They choose to because, overall, they like the package. Freedom! 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 8:37 am

    Because maternity leave isn’t just about physically delivering a child. It’s about bonding and adjusting, which father’s also do. Paternity leave is offered and often demanded on the same premise. Leave for adoptions, which have nothing to do, obviously, with the physicality of giving birth are demanded on the same premise although having nothing to do with physical “disabilities.”

    But, like I said, menopause can also be disabling. Send me my check!
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  • MOQT April 16, 2015, 8:58 am

    It is a pretty good package. And I’m glad I don’t have to pay for other people’s maternity leave because, being single myself and having no other income, I need just about every cent to pay for my own expenses.

  • IDIAT April 16, 2015, 10:49 am

    Naismith — my wife had normal pregnancies and deliveries of our five kids. In fact, for number four, she was out of the hospital within 48 hours because our insurance company was offering a $250 incentive (her idea, not mine). I got up with my wife when she fed the babies, kept her company, changed diapers, for all five kids, and still got up in the morning and went to work. I suppose I dozed off occasionally during those early morning feedings, but I would say I was as involved as a father could be (since I lack mammary glands) about 95% of the time. So, if someone is going to demand paid maternity leave, then I say pay the fathers like me, too. I would have loved to have had 14 weeks of pay with wife and baby. (I haven’t been able to take off more than 10 days vacation at a time in 35 plus years of working) In fact, by paying fathers to stay home, perhaps they’ll “bond” even that much more with their children. Now, I personally don’t want mandated paid maternity or paternity leave. I say let the market place address it. But if you’re going to harp on the good and greatness of it, then at least be fair and apply it to all parents. Heck, we all know how important grandparents are in a child’s life. Why not include them as well? Like all well intended programs, you can see how quickly the effort can spiral out of control.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 11:03 am

    Naismith, if you play the “I was a Relief President,” “My husband was a bishop,” or “I am a US veteran” card one more time, I’m pretty sure the earth will implode under the sheer majesty of it all. None of those freely chosen positions, however, demand logic be removed from the discussion.

    You are suggesting that I, a U.S. Army veteran who has sacrificed much so that you can sit safely in your big house in Utah and lecture about the cost of freedom, need to leave your country because you and I have different views of appropriate taxation?

    I’m suggesting that anyone (including you) is free to move to a country with all the perks you prefer (with its attending package of risks and rewards). But you haven’t moved and people do still flood to the US as they have since its founding. Which suggest that just maybe we have a good thing going and maybe every time we sell a freedom for a government benefit we move further toward a tipping point from which we cannot return. (And, yes, if you don’t get that I’m going to continue to lecture you in spite of your amazingness.)

    The idea that we can somehow implement every massive government program you like from every other country without serious (if unintended) consequences to the integrity of our society is utterly misguided. Systems just don’t work that way.

    No one seems to understand that when you have 1,250 programs that “only cost $3!” you have $3,750 of programming fees, not $3. No one wants to do the actual arithmetic. Which, of course, is one of the reasons most politicians and big-government proponents hate the idea of a single-tax system. They don’t want anyone to feel the actual costs, they want to euthanize us all under a mountain of tiny costs that individually are “no big deal.” And there’s no way to satiate the appetites of those who can spend other people’s money.

    “I suggest that the reasons to stay in the US for so many.”

    Yes. Because most people do not share your views.

    Interesting take away. “Most people” stay in the US and most people come here for handouts or federally implemented perks? And apparently the US because such a great nation because it was founded on principles of socialism and freebies. Even the most progressive history books haven’t (quite) caught up to your “truth.” You must see to getting that corrected!

    My community has voted consistently for decades to levy additional education taxes to pay for music programs and building upgrades in the public schools.

    I’m glad you live in utopia, but I don’t give a flip what you did in your so-called community (to turn a phrase). It’s easy to support an agenda with anecdotal tidbits from a pseudonym and unidentified location, because there’s no fact check. (When you write under your real name, you have to be more careful (and honest) about what you claim.)

    That said, there is no constitutional problem with communities voting for music programs. (Whether I agree with the idea or not. And I do not.) There is a problem with federally mandated ones. The actual conversation here is not in opposition to companies choosing to provide maternity leave nor even about cities or states voting to implement them, but about federally mandated maternity leave.

    Conflating “it’s a good thing” with “the government must provide it” is the problem.

    For the record, homeschoolers on average are far from wealthy and almost all are single-income homes. We have to pay taxes to public schools anyway and don’t get federal funding for music. But those who want it…wait for it…still have it. How is that possible? We voluntarily pool resources.

    For years in Florida I directed a children’s choir (for which I charged $1 per week (at the suggestion of one of the moms because, incidentally, people value things more if they have to pay even nominal amount)) and in Utah I directed a homeschool swing choir for teens for a few years (for $10 per month or barter). My kids have been involved in homeschool bands, orchestras, choirs, musical theater companies, art, dance, drama, sewing, cooking, various sports, you name it.

    We do it the old fashioned way: parents decide what activities will most benefit their kids and the look for ways to provide it.

    My now 17-year-old daughter also is in a (non-homeschool) performing company (Utah COPA Principal Company, she’s the blonde in the third header image). She has multiple weekly courses and toured in NYC and performed in the Kennedy Center last February.

    How did she do it? The government didn’t pay for it and, in spite of our “big house in Utah,” neither did we. (We expect our kids to earn their activities (and clothes and cars and gas and insurance and college) rather than have them provided for them.) She worked as a janitor early in the mornings, after school, etc.

    Our US. Congress voted in a health care law that is so popular…

    Fact check. We all know the saw about stats and how they can be manipulated, but Pew says the majority disapprove of ACA. Still, popularity isn’t the litmus test for constitutionality. As I’ve said before, human nature indicates that most people will cheer for personal benefits in spite of harmful consequences either to themselves (in the future) or to others. Particularly when they become removed from the reality about how rare and fragile freedom really is. The Constitution be damned if I get to collect.

    It’s no secret that it’s easy to buy votes with promises of “free” stuff. And that is the weak link in America. The greed of the people. Not the kind of progressive “greed” that is roundly promoted (it’s greedy to want to choose how to spend the money you earn). But the greed of the wanting something for nothing (and being willing to risk losing everything to get it).

    Don’t forget, Obama was going to provide gas and mortgage payments for all. Hallelujah! I guess that doesn’t apply to these darned “bit houses in Utah.” I wish he had told me before!

    Try buying private health insurance that matches Medicare; it costs much more.

    I’ve never used Medicare or Medicaid (even when we qualified, actually). We always either self-insured, had an employer plan, or purchased individual policies. Feel free to fill me in on how much Medicare costs.

    By pooling our efforts, we can make those dollars go farther.

    Pooling doesn’t make dollars go farther. Taxing everyone for the benefits of a few just brings in more dollars because you have more people.

    How much taxes would we have to pay, or how expensive would that insurance be without such programs? Would we really be more free if few can afford it?

    If you want the kind of “freedom” that comes from socialism or communism, you have many choices. Let me know how that works out for you!

    Wait, if you don’t want to pay taxes, why don’t YOU go off on an island somewhere?

    Strangely, because I’m not the one trying to “fundementally transform” the United States. I’m trying to stick with what is left of the founding principles that made the US the world power and protector of freedom.

    What do you suppose the tax structure was like during 4th Nephi?

    United Order. Which only works when “the people were all converted unto the Lord” or at least to a very similar value set that includes contribution and honor. It doesn’t work when people are in it for the freebies (plus free contraception!)

    My dad lived with us until he died last May. As time went on he became more and more disabled. In spite of that he absolutely insisted on doing everything he possibly could (even when I advised against it). Every day this man who could barely walk (with a cane) made his bed, took out his garbage cans (down a long flight of stairs!), go get the mail (even in the winter, he would sneak out to do it). He loved to go on car rides, so we all took him with us whenever we drove anywhere. Anytime anyone pulled into a gas station, he would jump out and swipe his card to pay for the gas. When he couldn’t jump out, he would quickly dig out his wallet and hand the driver his card and tell them his PIN, before they even stopped the car. You could protest all you wanted. He insisted. (At first I wouldn’t let him do it and told my sister what he was doing. She said, “He wants to contribute however he can. Let him do it.”)

    If communities were largely made up of people remotely like my dad—a Depression era kid who started helping to support his family working as a soda jerk at Snelgrove’s at 14—this kind of community would thrive. Yes, Naismith, I would readily give up even my “big house in Utah” to live in such a place (or maybe build everyone else a “big house” to suit them). But most people aren’t like him anymore. (Have you ever seen Cinderella Man? People who would do anything to support their families and were hesitant to take a handout (and would pay it back the first chance they got, if they could)? That was the culture of people like my dad.)

    You’ve been to housing projects, right? Those buildings were once shiny new. What happened? How many of these freely offered gifts are treated with care and appreciation?

    I grew up with people of very little means all around me. When we built our “big house in Utah” we chose to build in a relatively economically diverse neighborhood. We have large homes and small homes and multi-family dwellings and basement apartments within my ward (which is only a six block by 2 block rectangle). We have business execs, entrepreneurs, professors, seminary teachers, students, retirees, cabinet makers, horse breeders, candy makers, etc. I have seen hundreds of examples of people with almost nothing who did not turn to drugs, crime, violence, and who did not destroy their surroundings. Rather, they were frugal and thoughtful and kept their surrounding neat and tidy. I have lived in poverty myself and didn’t turn to those things either. What is the difference?

    When I was poor I would have welcomed the United Order, but not because I was poor and wanted to “pool” with the rich people. It was for the sake of a united community. Now that I’m not poor, I would still welcome it, for the very same reasons.

    As I’ve written before, the cannery is my favorite church place on earth. It is sacred to me in how we all work together to, literally, feed the poor. I love the way the church manages such operations, the way the provides accountability, the way it meets needs to sustain others while encouraging good stewardship and self-reliance. It’s voluntary and almost completely free of corruption. If there is a model I support, it’s much as the church welfare works now.

    On the other hand, I have a brother (not David, the one most people know) whom we adopted when he was 10 (David and I were babies and my weird sister was birthed by my parents, whatever that means… 😉 ). He only lived with us for six years when he chose to move back with his biological father after a bio sibling found him (all the kids were put up for adoption when the bio mother died in a car accident). (His abusive, alcoholic, perpetual welfare bio dad kicked both of them out after a couple of months and he’s been on his own since.) This brother, R., has been married and divorced multiple times (at least four?) and has children scattered about the country from many women. He has never supported any of them. He has been on public assistance since he was a teen and managed to continue because he was able to be declared “mentally incompetent.” He’s not. He’s not very educated because he dropped out of school after he left our home, but he was above average intelligence and plenty smart enough to game the system. He lost his last job (about 30 years ago) because, “Well, I didn’t really want to get up this morning.”

    He gamed the church…for a while. He moved from place to place, giving his sad story, and getting all he could from the church. Then the bishop would catch on and pull the funding. So he moved to a new ward. Eventually, he got blacklisted by the church.

    Why does the church blacklist people at all instead of just helping? Because collectively the powers-that-be recognize the less-than-united values that are far too common.

    [I think this officially qualifies for longest MM comment ever. You’re welcome. 😉 ]
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  • IdRatherNotSay April 16, 2015, 11:16 am

    I think it’s great to let people/businesses regulate themselves. I can see the, “They CHOSE to work there” argument. It would hold more water, in my opinion, if there were an abundance of employers that offered great benefits and just as many that offered no benefits and the employee truly could choose between the two. I think that problem is that over time, fewer businesses are offering fewer benefits to their employees so at some point, everyone’s going to be working part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits because businesses aren’t really required to offer anything right now – they mostly just do so to be competitive employers. Workers are desperate though, so competition for good employees isn’t as fierce as it was pre-recession. Once the competition lowers their standards, so will everyone else. I think it’s going to get to the point where it isn’t necessarily that someone CHOOSES to have no leave/benefits, that’s just how it’s going to be. I think that in some ways, we’re already there. I don’t think we should be okay with this. I see it in my friends/family’s/students’ lives already. My own father who has worked for his employer for 27 years and had great insurance during that time now has to pay private insurance-like premiums with huge deductibles and minimal coverage. This is at a corporation that is making RECORD profits and is cutting employee salaries, benefits, etc. Since people have to eat, they’ll take what they can get. I am against the Affordable Care Act, but I can see how so many people supported because of this very thing. People have to have some access to health care, right? And if employers (who are making record profits) aren’t going to help shoulder the burden, it’s all going to be on the taxpayer, manifesting in harmful catastrophes like Obamacare.

  • IdRatherNotSay April 16, 2015, 11:17 am

    I am sorry – MORE employers are offering FEWER benefits…

  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 11:17 am

    Well I have to say, my family and I do not feel like slaves to the state, nor do we feel resentfully beholden.

    That wasn’t the position I took. I didn’t say you felt like a slave nor that you were resentful. But when you are forced to donate your labor to a cause you don’t control, you are a slave to those who chose the donation even if you really, really like your master and even if you really, really like what they chose to do with your wages.

    My childhood was during the 70s in Britain. I was able to take advantage of “free at the point of delivery” musical instrument tuition, available at the time. I dare say, music tuition is all too likely one of those things that’s going to be regarded as wholly unnecessary. However, music had enriched my life immeasurably. I was able to to participate in things I could never have done without that tuition.

    See my response to Naismith, above. I’m glad you were grateful for what others provided, but that’s not a universal reaction (how many kids, as a percentage, love school? Sometime watch A Girl of the Limberlost. Some people really value school.) Just as important, perhaps, is the idea that you really do think this could not have happened without a government subsidy. Yet it happens without them (even among those without “means”—like my own kids) all the time.

    My daughter worked for her lessons, took her lessons, is incredibly grateful for them, and understands their monetary value (and how much work it takes to earn that value). She is not only able to “pass the time,” but has saved enough money for a number of semesters of college so far by working as a performer.

    Ultimately, who has more “freedom” with regards to music?

    More generally, I’m not understanding why it is a bad thing for a country to say, if you are going to be employing our citizens/residents, there are certain minimum of standards we expect you to meet in the way that you treat them. You are not exploit them. So, health and safety legislation, sick pay, mandatory notice period, minimum wage etc.

    This post is about a specific new perk and you’re bundling a lot of things in your question that probably deserve individual discussion. Generally speaking, however, it’s a bad thing for the federal government to mandate specifics because it puts control of our lives with a bureaucracy rather than with individuals. If I don’t like the job that is offered, I can choose another or, in fact, create it myself.
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  • MarshallLaw April 16, 2015, 11:23 am

    I know I need a course in logic before I can post here, but I don’t understand the claims of all those who just want the government to give more and more. The US would not be great without the freedom that made it possible. Wise up before it’s too late!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 11:29 am

    Unfortunately. It can feel to us that it is the church that is pushing those views.

    This post isn’t about the church’s position, but the church is, in fact, “pushing those views.” There is a display on Temple Square about self-reliance. I have a bunch of photos that I intend, someday, to post. Maybe sooner than I thought.

    Personally I think self-reliance also includes being part of a community, and for that community to help those within it if required. To me that community can be the nation as much as it can the church.

    I agree that it can. But the US Constitution specifically limits the scope of the federal government for all sorts of really good reasons.
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 11:30 am

    What about siblings????? Do we not care for the deep and abiding love between brothers and sisters????
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 16, 2015, 11:38 am

    I can see the, “They CHOSE to work there” argument. It would hold more water, in my opinion, if there were an abundance of employers that offered great benefits and just as many that offered no benefits and the employee truly could choose between the two.

    IdRatherNotSay, why isn’t there an abundance? (I’d argue there is, but I’m going with your premise here.) What is stopping you (or Naismith or Hedgehog or…) from starting a business and employing people with a veritable laundry list of unbelievable perks? That’s not a rhetorical question. Anyone feel free to respond (because the answer is the answer…)

    I think that problem is that over time, fewer businesses are offering fewer benefits to their employees so at some point, everyone’s going to be working part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits because businesses aren’t really required to offer anything right now – they mostly just do so to be competitive employers.

    Except that isn’t true. 🙂

    Workers are desperate though, so competition for good employees isn’t as fierce as it was pre-recession.

    So, again, you could start a business and have your pick of the absolute overflowing abundance of amazing workers!!!

    My own father who has worked for his employer for 27 years and had great insurance during that time now has to pay private insurance-like premiums with huge deductibles and minimal coverage.

    So why doesn’t he buy his own policy? We privately insured from 2001–2013 and chose the plan that best met our needs and finances. If his company has crappy coverage, why doesn’t he get his own? Or get a job with coverage he likes?

    People have to have some access to health care, right? And if employers (who are making record profits) aren’t going to help shoulder the burden, it’s all going to be on the taxpayer, manifesting in harmful catastrophes like Obamacare.

    Or we could do it the old-fashioned way and have people “shoulder the burden” of their own health care.
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  • Begger April 16, 2015, 12:04 pm

    The “united order” run by a government is called a totalitarianism.

    You all seem like decent people, just severely unversed in history. Dangerous.

  • IdRatherNotSay April 16, 2015, 2:50 pm

    “What is stopping you (or Naismith or Hedgehog or…) from starting a business and employing people with a veritable laundry list of unbelievable perks?”

    Because it’s so free and so easy and most businesses don’t fail in the beginning, taking people’s investments with them? How do you know I haven’t tried?

    Maybe I’m missing something. All of the statistics I have read have said that job creation in the US today mostly consists of minimum wage, part-time positions without benefits. In fact, I have heard this used several times by conservatives as their answer to Obama’s claim that the economy is “bouncing back.”

    I think I’m off topic – this is supposed to be about paid maternity leave. I still don’t know how I feel about the paid part… but I kind of have a bad taste in my mouth right now. This is why I typically do not discuss politics with extreme liberals or extreme conservatives. Asinine statements get thrown around, which shut down real discussion and close the door on open-mindedness and critical thinking. “Why don’t we offer maternity leave to siblings?” Come on. 😐

    I love you, Alison (in an internet blog-reading audience kind of way) and I love your blog. We disagree here, though. Actually, I don’t even know if we disagree, because I don’t know how I feel about paid maternity leave. This has been spun in so many different directions that my head hurts.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 17, 2015, 10:28 am

    Because it’s so free and so easy and most businesses don’t fail in the beginning, taking people’s investments with them?

    Exactly. 🙂

    Most people don’t start businesses and don’t succeed in running businesses because it’s freakishly hard and risky and scary, particularly when you start adding zeroes and employees and other people’s livelihoods are on your back. It’s not remotely the same as showing up 9:00–5:00, putting in your hours, going home, and having your paycheck directly deposited into your account. There are massive responsibilities and possible massive rewards for being able to navigate that. There is also a massive potential downside. They naturally go together.

    In spite of the fact that most people won’t/can’t do it, those people who won’t/can’t somehow feel qualified to dictate how someone who can/did start a business should run it. They don’t know how to succeed at business…and yet…they DO! And they want to legislate that vast knowledge to business owners who actually took the risk and did the work.

    Since no one in the US is obligated to create jobs, no one in the US who does create jobs should be required to create a particular kind of job with particular wages, benefits, perks. If you don’t like what’s offered, go elsewhere or create what you do like. (Including paid maternity leave for as long as you want!) And if you can’t/won’t create the job you like, you might want to ask why you think someone else can/should.

    I see asinine posts all the time from progressives about how, for example, Walmart costs taxpayers billions because some people who work for Walmart still require government benefits. As if those people working at Walmart were forced to give up a lucrative positions with better pay to be Walmart cashiers or something. As if someone else created a better job for those in the same skill set, but Walmart wouldn’t allow them to take it.

    If someone thinks paid maternity leave is awesome sauce, create a job and offer it to employees. Then the employees can decide whether or not that particular benefit (combined with the rest of your job package) is what they really want.

    I’m 50. Neither my husband nor I would see maternity (or paternity) leave as valuable. When we were having kids, we did have job offers from companies that offered it, but they were never the best offers, all things considered, so we didn’t choose them. Freedom!
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  • Hedgehog April 18, 2015, 2:12 am

    So to be more on topic, on maternity/paternity leave, my husband had 2 weeks leave when both our children were born. And Britain has just introduced Shared Parental Leave, which will allow parents to decide between them how to use that leave.

    To address your replies, Alison:
    “But when you are forced to donate your labor to a cause you don’t control, you are a slave to those who chose the donation even if you really, really like your master and even if you really, really like what they chose to do with your wages.”
    Forced? What force? I can always choose to leave right? That’s what you’ve been saying elsewhere. I’m back with Naismith on this one. I don’t really follow the argument that if I vote for politicians who support what you would describe as wealth redistribution then I am forcing other people to pay for that, and that isn’t fair. What I am voting for is the type of society I want to live in. A society where everyone matters, not just those capable of earning the most money. A society where community and working together is important. What I am voting for is greater freedom of opportunity for more people, rather than greater freedom to control my individual purse strings. That opportunity doesn’t have to be music. It can be sport, or science, or computer programming, or drama etc. A society which enables greater freedoms of opportunity in that manner allows its members to discover and use their talents, and that can be a benefit to everybody.
    I have a free vote, as do you, of course.

  • Naismith April 18, 2015, 9:28 am

    “…most people come here for handouts or federally implemented perks?”

    Most people come here for opportunity. And often that does take the form of federally mandated opportunity, such as public schooling.

    Colin Powell is the perfect example of this. His parents came from Jamaica seeking opportunity, and they were all hard workers. Their son attended public schools through college, and because of that education was able to give back to their new country through extensive service as a soldier and statesman.

    He might not have had the same opportunity to receive an education and bless his country if he had moved to a spot on the globe where a free quality public education is not available. I want more Colin Powells in the generations to come.

    When it comes to the uninsured paying for their own medical bills, there are a few things to keep in mind. Someone may go to the ER, need surgery, and end up with a $15,000 bill that takes them years to pay off. They may brag that they paid for their own medical care. But they may have forgotten that the real bill was $120,000, only the hospital wrote off all but a smaller figure that their income suggested they could handle. The hospital did not do this out of the kindness of their corporate hearts; they were compensated by federal funding to safety-net hospitals (because if an uninsured patient presented at a private hospital ER needing surgery, once stabilized they would have been shipped to a hospital that handles uninsured patients) and also compensated by inflated charges to those who have insurance. One of the goals of health care reform is to erase those hidden costs and require everyone to pay their own way, which will be a good thing as far as encouraging personal responsibility.

    I am not overly impressed with arguments about going back to the vision of the Founders, because Blacks weren’t considered people and women couldn’t vote. This is our day, we get to decide what kind of America that we want now.

    I could tell the same stories that Alison does about taking responsibility for my own health care and children’s education. I also paid cash to have babies, which meant no drugs and going home in 24 hours, often signing out against medical advice. That does not make me better or more righteous that the mother who accepts Medicaid for her birth.

    Despite the many similarities in our experiences, I just have a different viewpoint on these issues.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 18, 2015, 2:30 pm

    Forced? What force? I can always choose to leave right? That’s what you’ve been saying elsewhere.

    No, what I’ve been saying is that rather than change America to match more socialist nations (that are, factually, enabled by America), why not just go somewhere that already provides what is supposedly such awesome sauce?

    The unintended consequences of moving America further and further down a socialist path are not only untested, but apparently not even evident to those who favor this route. Few even attempt to discuss the consequences because who doesn’t want to get something for nothing?)

    …f I vote for politicians who support what you would describe as wealth redistribution then I am forcing other people to pay for that, and that isn’t fair.

    You are forcing people to pay for things you support, if your support is popular enough. But I didn’t say it’s not fair. I said it’s wrong.

    What I am voting for is the type of society I want to live in. A society where everyone matters, not just those capable of earning the most money. A society where community and working together is important.

    Actually that’s the kind of society I want to live in. I just want to persuade people with logical and moral arguments, not with the threat of going to jail.

    What I am voting for is greater freedom of opportunity for more people

    But is that the actual outcome? Are people in the UK more free than people in the US? Are you more free with music than my daughter?

    I undestand the motive, I disagree that the outcome is what you think it is or want it to be.
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 18, 2015, 2:49 pm

    Most people come here for opportunity. And often that does take the form of federally mandated opportunity, such as public schooling.

    People used to come here to be free of tyranny. Willing to take the risks of doing so. That is what made this country great. (And, yes, I think it’s great.)

    I agree that many people who come here today do it for the free stuff. Because that makes for a solid, healthy community, right? People who join up so they can get stuff. Like my brother being fake Mormon just until he got on the dole.

    Of course that does become unsustainable at some point. That’s a real world thing; an arithmetic thing.

    As I’ve said before, with the exception of some security and common sense communicable disease issues, I’m an open border person. I would love to let anyone who wants to live in freedom and follow the rule of law join us in this great experience. But that doesn’t work in an entitlement society for the very reason you said.

    One of my best friends in Florida was Hispanic. She was a new member, baptized just the week before we moved there. She told me in great detail all the elaborate mechanisms that she was taught “from my people” for how to game the US system (how to have babies for “free,” how to get food and housing (far better than my husband (with a PhD) and I could afford), how to get clothes and even toys (who knew?)).

    One day as we sat in a parking lot about to head home—as she was telling me yet another technique—she turned to me and gasped. “I bet Mormons don’t do that, do they?”

    He might not have had the same opportunity to receive an education and bless his country if he had moved to a spot on the globe where a free quality public education is not available.

    But I bet he would.

    Someone may go to the ER, need surgery, and end up with a $15,000 bill that takes them years to pay off. They may brag that they paid for their own medical care. But they may have forgotten that the real bill was $120,000…

    Which is why catastrophic insurance works. ew people have catastrophic medical bills, so it’s relatively inexpensive but very useful should you be one of those who do. Even as freakishly poor students with two kids and me at home, we could afford it.

    One of the goals of health care reform is to erase those hidden costs and require everyone to pay their own way, which will be a good thing as far as encouraging personal responsibility.

    In theory, kind of, sort of. What you have is government-mandated health care that later requires government mandates health care coverage as the “solution” for the problem the government created in the first place.

    But let’s be real. Government is the creator of hidden charges and overblown costs. The invented the $760 toilet seat and the $7,622 coffee maker.

    That does not make me better or more righteous that the mother who accepts Medicaid for her birth.

    Just more self-reliant.
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  • CamBendy April 18, 2015, 2:56 pm

    I still don’t see why those who want maternity leave don’t start companies that give maternity leave. Seems like the perfect solution.

    Nismith, why aren’t you impressed? If both you and Alison COULD do that, why should *I* pay for someone who doesn’t feel like doing it? Why should *I* be frugal and pinch pennies and feed my kids on rice and beans (and we are FAR from even middle class) while the lady in front of me in the grocery line uses her SNAP for POTATO CHIPS and CAKE MIX. (That was TODAY.)

    ***Did you see the story about the movie star and her welfare food for a week? What a joke.

  • Linda April 18, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I’ve been reading here for probably five years but I’ve never left a comment. Today I think I need to speak up.

    The church teaches self-reliance, not “income equality.” When you start making “opportunity equality” to mean that you have to be able to HAVE and DO anything anyone else can HAVE or DO you have moved beyond freedom to communism.

    In America, “opportunity equality” isn’t “outcome equality.” It’s giving you the freedom from oppression that keeps YOU from making of YOUR life what YOU will make of it, not what OTHERS can make of it by giving up what they have made.

    If you really believe in this, you will OPEN YOUR OWN HOME and allow ANYONE who WANTS to to move in. If you have a home, they deserve it to.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 18, 2015, 5:22 pm

    CamBendy, I did see it. It was Gwyneth Paltrow supposedly taking the “food stamp challenge” and pretty hilarious (except that she took herself so seriously, as celebrities are wont to do).

    Her challenge was to eat on $29 for a week. So, of course, she purchased ingredients for organic, artisan guacamole, just like all of those in poverty. And then after three or four days she caved into the massive pressure of it all and went to a couple of lavish feasts. Poor dear.

    When we were finishing up college—and had two children—we spent between $20-$22 per week on groceries (without food stamps). In today’s dollars that is between $34.67–$38.14. For four people. AND it included things like shampoo, soap, etc. Holy cow, on her budget, we would have had $116, a veritable treasure trove of delectibles!

    How did we do survive? A few quick notes:

    • Rice, beans, potatoes, veggies, occasional super cheap meat (cooked in the slow cooker) or cheap chicken parts. (And, I admit, ramen.)
    • Pickle juice with mayo for salad dressing (it’s actually pretty good), broth from cooked chicken for soup, and other “re-used” kinds of things.
    • Generics (sometimes watered down), coupons, rebates, dollar store items (we didn’t have a real dollar store, in my day it was Pic ‘n’ Save), discontinued, day old, etc. (One bottle of V-8 shampoo that I can get for 88¢ today can last a couple of months, easy.)
    • Traded babysitting with others if we wanted to go out alone (I actually made and copied “babysitting bucks” and a bunch of moms made kind of a co-op).
    • Walked and rode bikes (even in the snow! poor me!) most of the time. (We had one car (a 1979 VW Dasher Diesel (read that: a piece of junk)), but it rarely started in the winter and was a crap shoot the every other season.)
    • Very rare paid outings were to a dollar theater (which used to actually cost a dollar) and a fast food joint with a 2-for-1 coupon.

    I’m currently (finally) writing a post about how young adults can pay their way through college without government assistance and without mommy and daddy footing the bill. My kids are doing it (I have one finishing grad school, two undergrads, another three still at home) so I know it’s possible, but people always balk at the idea. (This, of course, because they are promoting the idea that the government, again, should provide them with the “opportunity” to go to college because they “cannot” go otherwise. Ahem.)

    More money saving ideas coming. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Women at Church: Translating Gendered DoctrineMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 18, 2015, 5:31 pm

    Linda, a hearty welcome. Thanks for coming out of lurking mode!

    Yessiree, what made America great was people who cherished freedom and the opportunity to do what they could to build the lives they wanted. It wasn’t to set up one class that took from another for gain.

    It’s such a skew of the American Dream. Now we’re in a constant state of envy, just dreaming to get what someone else earned.

    When I lived in poverty, eating the beans and rice and ramen, I never, ever dreamed that legislation would give me the “right” to have the stuff the families—the ones who had become educated and worked for years to reach where they were—on the other side of the city had. I never hoped for that or wanted it. And I sincerely do no understand anyone with that mindset, either for themselves of as some kind of political philosophy.

    I just wanted to become educated myself and find worthwhile things I could do to help build the family and life we wanted. We’ve had ups and downs along the way, more than most would guess. But my personal position didn’t change my principles.
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  • Hedgehog April 19, 2015, 12:43 am

    “No, what I’ve been saying is that rather than change America to match more socialist nations (that are, factually, enabled by America), why not just go somewhere that already provides what is supposedly such awesome sauce?”
    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that factually enabled bit!!! It’d be a whole different discussion.
    Last I heard the US was democracy, meaning you get a vote on the type of government you want. But also inherent in that is the implicit agreement that the majority say goes. And you’ve really only two parties, so I guess that makes things quite polarised at times, with the people at the far ends of each side perhaps feeling put upon by the other. I don’t see that changing unless you introduce more political parties and opt for coalition governments of the types seen in Europe.

    “But is that the actual outcome? Are people in the UK more free than people in the US? Are you more free with music than my daughter?”
    On health, I would give an unequivocal yes. People in the UK are freer than people in the US. Am I more free with music than your daughter? I don’t suppose so, looking at us individually. It’s great that your daughter had the opportunity to work for her lessons. Where did she work, and at what? And who paid her? It would be foolish to pretend every child has the opportunity to work for their music lessons. Once I was old enough, I had a part time job, I worked to earn the money that enabled me to go on the overseas exchange tours of the youth orchestra I was in, but that initial investment in me, in providing those first lessons in school, I would have missed those opportunities and experiences.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 19, 2015, 9:15 am

    Hedgehog, thank for engaging here. I appreciate it.

    I think there is some equivocation in your answer. As I said earlier, if we redefine “free” to mean “able to do things and have things at other’s expense” then, yes, the more we redistribute wealth the more “free” a certain class of people will be. But that’s not the way I’m using it and not the way it has ever been used (except in progressive rewriting of history) in America.

    We are not the land of the (people who get stuff because other people work) and home of the brave. America was “the land of opportunity.” And by that I do not mean “the land of opportunity to take stuff from other people so I can have more.” It was the opportunity to own your own land and make your own way and worship as you chose, a land with no royalty. Just people, doing their best.

    I think I mentioned that Monica worked as a janitor to pay for her classes/tour.

    It would be foolish to pretend every child has the opportunity to work for their music lessons.

    Why? My kids have all done it. How are they particularly privileged in doing so? Sometimes it takes some creativity and it always takes determination and a willingness to understand opportunity cost. (If you are working to earn money for classes, you aren’t hanging out very much and you aren’t spending money on fancy clothes, etc. Resources are limited.)

    You have to understand that a different part of US progressive/socialist political rhetoric is that there are a gazillion “jobs Americans won’t do.” Our economy will utterly fall apart (in a progressive view) if we don’t have illegal aliens here to do all that crap work.

    On the contrary, I did a ton of those jobs, and all my kids have been willing to do anything (legal and moral) they could when the started so they could gain skills and experience. They could easily get one of those gazillions jobs that, supposedly, are beneath all American citizens. So I know the rhetoric is false.

    It’s hard to take both sides of the argument:

    1. There is nothing for kids to do!
    2. There are tons of jobs, but no one will do them because they are yucky!

    I teach my kids that any honest work is honorable work. And the truth is, if they are dependable, conscientious, and hard working, they have never stayed at the “yucky” jobs for long. As they say, “good help is hard to find.”
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  • Jemima April 19, 2015, 11:23 am

    The problem that is being missed again and again by liberals, socialists, etc., is that when you take something that is GOOD when done by INDIVIDUALS and make it the stewardship of the GOVERNMENT you pervert the motives of those doing the GOOD.

    When you give BIG things (health care, education, the INTERNET) to the government to run, you must have ULTIMATE faith in that government to have PURE MOTIVES.

    No offense intended as I think all those in this discussion are sincere, but it is nearly delusional to think any government can ultimately handle that kind of power. It’s historically verifiably false, too.

    As someone who had ancestors who were slaves, I want a government that is as free as possible while still protecting our sovereignty and not an inch (or dollar) more.

  • Hedgehog April 20, 2015, 3:41 am

    “Why? My kids have all done it. How are they particularly privileged in doing so? Sometimes it takes some creativity and it always takes determination and a willingness to understand opportunity cost.”
    Perhaps I need to ask how old your daughter was at the time then, and at what age she began her music tuition?

    I don’t think I ever said kids shouldn’t be taught to work. Of course they should. As I teach mine. As was I and all my siblings so taught. We are all workers. I’ve certainly done my share of unpleasant jobs. And I wrote earlier of course lines need to be drawn, just that we’d draw them in different places.

    It’s looking to me as though the different histories of our respective nations have resulted in different influences coming to play out now. I guess I also need to consider we are much smaller, so as a nation we’d be closer to a state, I guess. I’m supposing federal imposition might feel a bit different on such a scale? I’m trying to understand where your views are coming from anyway.
    In Britain we saw first the agricultural and then the industrial revolutions. The former reducing employment opportunity on the land, and the latter creating opportunity in the mills and factories, and of course the mines. But conditions in the mills, factories and mines were often appalling, and the poor were frequently treated as so much disposable fodder. Death due industrial accident (including of small children employed to crawl around working underneath operating machinery) was extremely high, and caring employers were few and far between (the few good employers tended to be Quakers). These employees often were effectively slaves to the employer who provided very poor housing and were paid in company currency that could only be spent at the company store. Charitable and philanthropic organisations did what they could, but it wasn’t enough. It was these abominable conditions that gave rise to reforms and legislation, that lead to the development of trade unions, outlawing of child labour and so forth.
    So, I read the extreme rhetoric in the US, and I think, I don’t want to return to the conditions of Victorian England, and why would the US want that? From that perspective the US looks little different to India.
    I appreciated Id’RatherNotSay’s comment beginning:
    ” I think that problem is that over time, fewer businesses are offering fewer benefits to their employees so at some point, everyone’s going to be working part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits because businesses aren’t really required to offer anything right now – they mostly just do so to be competitive employers. Workers are desperate though, so competition for good employees isn’t as fierce as it was pre-recession. Once the competition lowers their standards, so will everyone else. I think it’s going to get to the point where it isn’t necessarily that someone CHOOSES to have no leave/benefits, that’s just how it’s going to be. I think that in some ways, we’re already there. I don’t think we should be okay with this.”

    Do things really have to come to such a pass as a return to Victorian conditions before a society says, actually government does have a role in regulating, and in protecting people?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 20, 2015, 10:56 am

    Perhaps I need to ask how old your daughter was at the time then, and at what age she began her music tuition?

    Our kids start earning their things when they turn eight. (Age of accountability and all. 🙂 ) We got the idea from Richard and Linda Eyre a couple of decades ago. (Perhaps from their book Teaching Your Children Responsibility…can’t recall for sure, I read most of their books back in the day.)

    I don’t think I ever said kids shouldn’t be taught to work. 🙂 I was just responding to your specific statement saying, “It would be foolish to pretend every child has the opportunity to work for their music lessons.”

    I guess I also need to consider we are much smaller, so as a nation we’d be closer to a state, I guess. I’m supposing federal imposition might feel a bit different on such a scale?

    That’s a good insight and probably very true.

    One of the foundational elements of the US is that the Constitution as specifically written to restrict powers of the federal government. The 10th Amendment, in particular, specifies that the federal government only has the power to do things specifically enumerated and that the states retain all other rights. (As I’ve noted, the feds have incrementally overstepped that again and again and again—and are attempting to do it here—and that is the danger.)

    As an aside, when I lived in England (Leeds), people would say, “Oh, you’re from the United States? Do you know___________?” 🙂 Often we don’t think about how size matters. However, when the Constitution was written, America wasn’t nearly as large as it is now. I think the founders were responding to problems inherent in any overreaching government entity.

    Oh, btw, my bishop’s son was just called to England Leeds SLOVAK speaking. I don’t think they had Slovak speaking missionaries when I was there. Very cool? Is that near your area? You might meet him. 🙂

    But conditions in the mills, factories and mines were often appalling, and the poor were frequently treated as so much disposable fodder.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but when I lived there one of the striking things to me was that there seemed to be very little of what Americans would call “middle class.” There seemed to be mostly aristocracy and then lower classes and some lower middle class. Again, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, that was my experience and may just have been the area I lived in.

    It seems the socioeconomic mobility that America is (was?) known for wasn’t particularly a reality in the UK. Perhaps my perception is wrong or that has changed?

    I was 19 and not a single other person in the young adult class had been or was going to go to college. We didn’t talk a lot about economics (mostly the boys liked to flirt with me and the girls liked to make fun of me (particularly about my lack of fluency is true English 😉 )), but we did talk about life and future. They told me there were two school tracks for children, one was college bound and the other was not (trade?) and seemed to be determined fairly early on. A number of them talked about being “on the dole” (which was a phrase I hadn’t heard until then) and seemed to look at it as a simple lifestyle choice. (That was very unAmerican at the time and totally shocked me. Not so foreign in the US anymore.)

    These employees often were effectively slaves to the employer who provided very poor housing and were paid in company currency that could only be spent at the company store. Charitable and philanthropic organisations did what they could, but it wasn’t enough.

    There have been horrendous bosses since the dawn of time. I honestly can’t speak for other countries, particularly those where, typically, the “regular folks” were serfs who worked at the behest of someone else on someone else’s land and often couldn’t even earn the right to own the land.

    One of the huge draws to the US was that regular folk could actually own land. (Occasionally it was even given away free in order to induce people to settle very new, tough terrain.)

    But how does one come to own land when you are poor? Here, anyway, there are LOTS of ways.

    Sam and I started with nothing and lived in tiny apartments. We became educated (my parents helped me—I got a BA; Sam’s did not—he got a PhD), moved to another state with literally $200 to our names, found a place to rent that didn’t require a big deposit (hard!), lived there for a year and SCRIMPED, moved to a 1,200 square foot home in bad condition on a lease to own agreement (meaning part of our rent would apply to the home price if we chose to buy in a year), and a year later took out a mortgage. (We had been married for eight years when we bought our first home.)

    We didn’t always live in “a big house.” 🙂

    I have a number of friends (I’m a homeschooler, remember) who have lived their dream of going “off the grid.” They buy a very, very cheap piece of land out in the boondocks somewhere and live off the land. They raise crops and animals and some have very little need for money or commerce at all. This is what people who could own land almost always did. The non-agriculture or non-sustainance vocations were something of an anomaly. In a bustling town, most people would farm and you’d have one general store owner, one blacksmith, one teacher for the one-room schoolhouse, etc.

    Self-reliance skills!

    I look at it kind of like homeschooling. When my oldest told me (at six) that she wanted to homeschool, I argued with her about it. No way, no how. Homeschoolers are freaks. I’m not a “certified” teacher. I have no idea how to do it.

    Truth is, homeschooling is fairly simple and straightforward. It’s not rocket science. Or close. (And teaching certification is mostly classroom management and very short on content expertise.) But over the decades of “free” public school, parents have almost universally forgotten how it’s done, because they didn’t have a model for how to do it. The model has become “when your child turns 5 (or younger!) the state (and increasingly the feds) take over until they are adults.” Go get on with your childless life. We’ll take care of it. Have some “me time.”

    We can’t grow our own food, we can’t cook anything from scratch, we can’t teach our kids to read or do arithmetic, we can’t have music lessons, we can’t do anything unless the government steps in to “help” us. And thus we become more and more helpless.

    Give a man a fish…

    Why would the government want us to become helpless? Dependence = control. Dependence = power. Dependence = money.

    From that perspective the US looks little different to India.

    You need to look at the demographics. American ain’t no India. You have to ask yourself why it’s not.

    Do things really have to come to such a pass as a return to Victorian conditions before a society says, actually government does have a role in regulating, and in protecting people?

    The “extreme” US rhetoric is simply restatement of the founding principles that built this county. Rather than “return to Victorian conditions,” those principles took the US to incredible heights—and brought much of the world along with it. (I don’t say that as a point of pride. I had nothing to do with it. I say that as historical fact.)

    To understand better where I’m coming from, I suggest these:

    1. The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
    2. The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

    The UK rules in classic drama, however. I’ll cede that any day of the week! 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Women at Church: Translating Gendered DoctrineMy Profile

  • Hedgehog April 21, 2015, 2:24 am

    “Our kids start earning their things when they turn eight. …
    …I was just responding to your specific statement saying, “It would be foolish to pretend every child has the opportunity to work for their music lessons.””

    So, am I to believe your daughter was employed as a janitor age 8? In order to pay for her music lessons? Because I’m finding that one difficult to buy. Really, I am.
    I’m all for children paying for stuff they want. Here a child needs to be 15 before they can be employed by someone else – I think there’s slightly different rules for family in family businesses (my mum’s parents ran their own shop, and she spent much of her time “at home” weighing tomatoes and wrapping fish growing up). I always had to earn any pocket money (I think my first job at home was brushing the stairs, and I was under 8, and once I turned 8 my main task was the family ironing), but there is no way at all my parents could possibly have afforded to pay me enough for me to pay for my music lessons, however many jobs I did. That would have been a distant dream. As it was our clothing was handed down from our older cousins and from church members with older kids, and sometimes my mother would make clothing from fabric she’d been able to buy cheaply. My parents did all that gardening stuff, some years more successfully than others, they had a food storage, which we sometimes had to rely on, and my mum could feed a family of 9 a meal for 50p total back in the 80s, and needed to. Shoes were paid for by collecting stamps (an early loyalty scheme I guess) from the supermarket and petrol station. We grew up very frugal. So, nice idea to give kids control of their own budget, but, there needs to be some wherewithall to do it. So when I say not every child has the opportunity to work to pay for their music lessons, that is what I mean.

    My kids go to school. It’s a good school, so we’re fortunate there. For them, given neither my husband and I are particularly social people, I think it’s necessary so they learn to get along with other people, especially given our son has an autistic spectrum diagnosis, and our daughter exhibits similar tendencies. They enjoy it, and are doing well. But my husband and I supplement that curriculum. He teaches them Japanese, and I assist with music, and literature. We can both assist with maths and science. Our son loves computer programming, so I bought him books about programming and computer languages back from when he was 6 years old, which he was able to teach himself and understand – computer programming education in our schools leaves much to be desired, and I certainly don’t rely on school to do everything. But our education helps. My husband has an engineering degree and is a chartered engineer, and I studied material science & engineering and have a PhD. Many children do not have those benefits.

    There are those who home educate in this country. One of our ward members does so, though the oldest opted to go to school when he turned 12. Quite a few of the children at my kids’ school were home educated for a while.

    I didn’t mean to imply the US looks like India now, rather that from much of the tea-party rhetoric that reaches us here, India is where you’d be headed. And I don’t believe there is still “free” land out there in the US for the taking. I’d be very surprised if that was the case.

    So, on class. Britain does have a middle class. But it is two distinct groups Upper middle class, well educated, wealthy, and very high Anglican or atheist often. Not too many upper middle class church members. And more in in the south than the north of the country (though Cheshire and Harrogate are in the north). Not so much Leeds probably. Then there’s lower middle class, that’d be your shop owners (like my grandparents) for instance, and who tend to be aspirational for their kids. It is reported social mobility is falling. But it was fairly mobile when I was growing up – I was the first in my family/extended family to go to university. And was perhaps more mobile for my mother’s generation of postwar baby boom children. My mum didn’t go to university, but she did have a grammar school education to age 18, and all us kids benefited from that. Many working class/lower middle class children in her generation who passed the exams to get into grammar school went onto university and moved into the professional classes. Most grammar schools were abolished in the 70s.

    In my stake growing up, there were a few upper middle class people, now that I look back, but they didn’t behave in the typical upper middle class way. There were a lot more lower middle and working class members. And there was significant proportion of members who didn’t see the value of education beyond the age of 16. My current stake president’s parents felt that way. They built their own small business. He worked at something else, and his older children are now attending university. So attitudes are changing slowly as the generations pass.

  • Naismith April 21, 2015, 10:14 am

    (About Colin Powell’s success) “But I bet he would.”

    Hmmn. Interesting bet, because the odds were definitely not in favor of a young black man. Young black USAmerican males have more chance of going to prison than to college. By a long shot. And as a taxpayer I would rather pay for public schools than for prisons.

    I am sure that while he was growing up, Powell’s family looked like just more of “those people” that have been demonized here.

    I’ve lived in Brasil, where public schools do not allow one to advance in a career. None of the LDS kids went to public school. When Elder Martins became the first general authority of African descent, the news releases touted his success story of pulling himself up from a poor upbringing to being an oil company executive. I bet that he went to private schools, which his biography confirmed. The Brasilian taxpayers had decided that they would rather pay for their own children’s education directly than make true opportunity available for all–and besides, they need a two-tier system because they rely on maids and cooks and people to do manual labor (in part because the electrical system is not reliable and the many appliances that USAmericans take for granted would be burned out by the first surge–so laundry is still done by hand in most places.)

    If we want to go back to the Founders, please note that all the New England colonies had tax-supported public schools in the 1600s, a trend that only continued after the Revolution. An educated populace is the foundation of USAmerican democracy.

    [about paying for one’s own music lessons] “Why? My kids have all done it.”

    A lot of kids have to work to help support their families, or to pay for their own education. In Brasil, one of my teenage girls’ best friend was from such a family. He got up every morning for early morning seminary, spent the day working in his family’s store, attended high school from 7 to 11 p.m., and then got up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning to do it all again. His parents were not members of the church, so he had no support to do the church stuff. I heard he served a mission. To be fair, he would have preferred to play basketball rather than music, but neither choice was available to him despite long hours of hard work.

    I believe that public education and health care IS teaching a person to fish–providing them with the basic resources that they need to be productive and give back to society.

    This is my last comment. I am not trying to change anyone’s view, but only demonstrate that a lot of faithful LDS have different views on our responsibility to one another.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 21, 2015, 10:59 am

    So, am I to believe your daughter was employed as a janitor age 8? In order to pay for her music lessons? Because I’m finding that one difficult to buy. Really, I am.

    It’s kind of hard to have a civil conversation when your honesty comes into question. 🙁 Anyway, no, I didn’t say she was employed as a janitor at age 8, at least not in the same way. (She didn’t have musical theater training at age 8.) She has worked as a janitor for two years, her junior and senior years in high school.

    My oldest daughter (now 27), however, was actually employed as a “mother’s helper” when she was in second grade (that’s age seven). Yes, really. We weren’t pursing some kind of employment for her :p, but she had a strong tendency to clean her friends’ bedrooms before she would play in them. She didn’t make a big deal about it or anything, she just liked to have her surroundings in order. Because of her behavior, the mother of one of her friends asked her to come over a couple of times per week to help organize the daughter’s room (which them became other kids’ rooms, which became family rooms, which became the kitchen…) for an hourly wage. She thought it would motivate her daughter to see a peer keep things clean and be more fun. Plus Jessica was really good at it.

    After a few weeks (word of mouth) another mom asked her to do the same thing, etc. So she helped clean, organize, make simple meals, wrangle toddlers (all with the mother still there in the home). She was a professional big sister. She absolutely loved it. It made her feel so grown up and she loved making her own money. She was very proud of her accomplishments.

    Still, when my kids are eight they work mostly for us. We don’t give an allowance and they all contribute to the family with chores, dishes, etc. But they can choose to do all sorts of extra things for pay. (And by choose, I mean if they want to buy stuff, they can choose to work for the stuff or just not have the stuff.) So they pay for their clothes and activities and, yes, even birthday and Christmas presents they give to others.

    As they get older the paid work transitions to outside the home. That generally means babysitting, weeding, lawn mowing, delivering things, sweeping, raking, house cleaning, laundry. (More of the “jobs Americans won’t do.”) When they are old enough they almost always transition to fast food, because that’s something teenagers are allowed (and skilled enough) to do. They have never stayed their long because they work hard and gain skills and move to better jobs.

    Monica, for example, now teaches a musical theater class for younger kids at the same school she attends and has done enough commercial work to save up for much of college. (And she still does janitorial to pay for the her classes.) As they’ve gotten older, my other kids have worked retail, landscaping (one of my daughters is majoring in landscape management), clerical, web tech, etc. My oldest (the mother’s helper) created her first website when she was nine years old. (She seemed technically inclined, so I taught her basic HTML.) Pretty soon (literally, by time she was 11) she was better than I was and has remained so. One of her minors was in computer science and her master’s degree (which she will complete in June) is in information systems. For her entire college career she’s worked in web tech, graphic design, etc., and now TA’s some info systems classes as well as does research in IS.

    Here a child needs to be 15 before they can be employed by someone else – I think there’s slightly different rules for family in family businesses (my mum’s parents ran their own shop, and she spent much of her time “at home” weighing tomatoes and wrapping fish growing up).

    Few regular places will hire anyone under 16 in the US, I think the legal age for “regular” employment is 14. Babysitting, yard work, menial labor, tend to be exceptions. I understand the problems with child labor, but think often the laws do a disservice to our children.

    I recall some of my peers in Leeds telling me about UK laws dictating the age at which a child could be left home without an adult. I don’t remember the age they told me, but I was blown over by it. I said, “I was a babysitter years before that!” I couldn’t believe it. Do you know what I’m talking about? My impression at the time was that it made capable teens seem like babies. (They agreed with me on that, actually, thinking the laws were stupid.)

    …but there is no way at all my parents could possibly have afforded to pay me enough for me to pay for my music lessons, however many jobs I did. That would have been a distant dream.

    But the truth is, kids don’t need music lessons. Yes, I had music lessons from the time I was six. I was concert master in my high school (and then summarily put my violin under my bed, never to seriously play it again) and a singer, but my kids did not and those that are musical interested are still better than I am.

    That said, I honestly think people get in a mindset that says, “I can’t afford…” or “I can’t possibly…” and so they close their minds to all the possibilities. When my youngest kids wanted to take karate recently I bartered my web skills to create and update their website for them in exchange for tuition. My kids work that off doing things at home, like mowing the lawn, cleaning out cupboards, wedding, whatever I need.

    Will every karate studio (or music teacher or dance company or math tutor or…) make that deal with me? No. Did it take me a while to find a place we really liked that also would work with us? Yes. But you might be surprised at how a business/teacher/coach might respond to a child who really, really wants to participate in something and is willing to work for it.

    …my mum could feed a family of 9 a meal for 50p total back in the 80s, and needed to.

    First, just seeing the “50p” made me happy. Second, way to go mum. As I noted above, yes!

    My kids go to school. It’s a good school, so we’re fortunate there. For them, given neither my husband and I are particularly social people, I think it’s necessary so they learn to get along with other people, especially given our son has an autistic spectrum diagnosis, and our daughter exhibits similar tendencies. They enjoy it, and are doing well.

    I’m a homeschooler, as you seem to know. Please know that I really don’t have care what other people do about schooling in general, but this statement seems (perhaps you didn’t mean it that way?) to be one of those “well, we can’t homeschool, so don’t get in my face about that” statements. I wouldn’t get in your face, except that, just to be clear, the fact that you and your husband aren’t social doesn’t mean (a) that your kids need to be in school to learn to “get along with other people” (and, in fact, school can be the antithesis of that) and (b) that your kids will learn to be social in school in spite of your personal and home influence.

    If you didn’t mean that as some kind of statement about school location, please just ignore my caveats. 🙂

    Many children do not have those benefits.

    I agree that many children don’t have those benefits. But my husband didn’t either. Dr. Ben Carson didn’t either. The idea that children can only become successful and/or move beyond their parents with a government nanny is where I have a problem.

    I didn’t mean to imply the US looks like India now, rather that from much of the tea-party rhetoric that reaches us here, India is where you’d be headed.

    Hedgehog, if tea party rhetoric were going to take the US to India, it would have already happened, since tea party rhetoric if FOUNDING rhetoric. It’s the “extreme rhetoric” that made the US the world superpower. I understand that you might not hear that on the news in the UK, however.

    And I don’t believe there is still “free” land out there in the US for the taking. I’d be very surprised if that was the case.

    No, there isn’t free land anymore. Of course, a great deal of that is from federal government intrusion. (Which is kind of the point.) Do you know that the federal government “owns” 57.4% of the land in Utah? And vast majorities of most of the western states? The feds “own” 640 million acres of land in the US. (Wow, how many people could live off that?)

    And home building in most areas is tightly regulated. The more regulation, the less people are able to care for themselves. They aren’t allowed to care for themselves because the government outlaws the things most people can do on their own, to get started out.

    I can’t do what my ancestors did: find an empty plot of land, put up a temporary shelter, work with my family (and maybe neighbors) to put up a permanent dwelling. No, I not only have to purchase land from a developer (usually), have a (state) licensed engineer certify the plans that were made by a (state) licensed architect for the house that is built by a (state) licensed contractor that is approved by a (state) licensed inspector following all the regulations set by the city code (for example, in Lindon, indicating that a house can only be X feet tall at the lowest corner and that a stair landing cannot be split and that a porch with a one foot drop or two or more stairs within X inches must have a full railing and…). You know, to protect us from ourselves. (I know these things because we built our last two houses custom. You know, my “big house” thing.)

    As the government becomes more intrusive, it allows for less and less autonomy and more dependence, which moves generationally backward. We have moved a long way from our founding principles that created an environment for self-reliance, hard work, and innovation.

    Thanks very much for the demographic info. It’s hard to know how much of my 19-year-old self remembered/interpreted correctly.

    In my stake growing up, there were a few upper middle class people, now that I look back, but they didn’t behave in the typical upper middle class way. There were a lot more lower middle and working class members. And there was significant proportion of members who didn’t see the value of education beyond the age of 16. My current stake president’s parents felt that way. They built their own small business. He worked at something else, and his older children are now attending university. So attitudes are changing slowly as the generations pass.

    That’s pretty much how it seemed in my ward. Most of the kids thought I was crazy to be in college. A waste of time. (To be clear, I don’t think college is the end all, be all for everyone, but much of the time it’s a good thing, even if you don’t work in the field you graduated in.) I’m glad to hear that education is becoming more valued, whether it’s in college or not.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Emotional Labor – The Injustice of It AllMy Profile

  • Hedgehog April 21, 2015, 2:12 pm

    Naismith: “I believe that public education and health care IS teaching a person to fish–providing them with the basic resources that they need to be productive and give back to society.”
    Amen.

    Alison: “It’s kind of hard to have a civil conversation when your honesty comes into question.”
    My apologies for any offence. I was trying to drill down on the point, which wasn’t clear, and I had asked at what age etc. You appeared to be prevaricating somewhat.
    So, the music thing is probably getting to be a dead horse by now, but just because you apparently don’t value music tuition as young as 6 and no longer play, doesn’t mean that would be the case for everyone. I certainly valued being being able to learn trumpet from age 9, and I still play. The point is the opportunity.

    “Hedgehog, if tea party rhetoric were going to take the US to India, it would have already happened, since tea party rhetoric if FOUNDING rhetoric.”
    My point is, the founding conditions no longer exist.
    Since you mention building/planning regs., in many cases these serve to balance your freedoms with the freedoms of your neighbours, you know things like their access to sunlight, available piped water pressures and all the rest. When our neighbours extended their bungalow to the side and put in a loft extension we were able to go and look at the plans at the planning office, and had the opportunity to raise any objections. Since the roof-line (and thus our access to sunlight) was largely unchanged, and the extension to the side replaced a a large shed, we didn’t object. They exist to balance the needs of the whole community.

    Public education is vital. That you have the skills to home educate if you so choose, is not an issue. Not everyone has those skills though. There have been children beginning school who had never seen a book before, and had no idea what to do with one. There are homes where there are no books.

    It’s been an interesting conversation. Like Naismith, I’m not really expecting you to change your mind. I enjoy many of your posts, but on this you really do come across as blind to your privileges, to borrow a currently popular bloggernacle phrase. You’ve pointed out what you didn’t have, but yet got where you are. Maybe think a little more about what you did have. How your particular set of talents/abilities helped you to do that. Other people have other skills better suited to other things.

  • Barnone April 21, 2015, 3:50 pm

    I’ve stayed out of this because I know what always happens. Uck.

    Hedgehog, I really don’t think you are the one to lecture on what the conditions are in the US and how it should best be managed. Not to offend, but really, I think you’ve shown that you really don’t know much about American history, how it works, or the current political climate.

    Naismith is American but is a known . . . antagonizer? About 90% of what she posts is just to argue and when she is shown to be mistaken she never corrects herself she just moves to the next argument. She’s also socialist-y-ish. But sometimes her back story contradicts, so sometimes I think she’s a sock puppet.

    Anyway . . .

  • Carmen April 21, 2015, 4:17 pm

    This is what I see:

    H & N: the government has to give us stuff or bad thing happen, and all the things we want are good

    A: they are good things but the government doesn’t usually have to give them to you

    H & N: Yes, they do because not everyone can have everything and then it’s not fair and people SUFFER

    A: Not everyone can have everything but almost everyone can have most things they need

    H & N: No they can’t because I only got something because the government gave it to me

    A: I did this and got it without the government

    H & N: But that wouldn’t work for me because everything is different for me

    A: My husband did this and got it without the government

    H & N: But that wouldn’t work now because it is different now

    A: My kids are doing this and get it without the government

    H & N: But that won’t work for my kids because well just because I said so and that can’t work for every person on earth and through all history so it doesn’t matter anyway

    A: So you can go without that and get other things

    H & N: See you’re just a mean greedy American and you’ll end up like India because it’s not 1776 anymore.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 21, 2015, 4:31 pm

    I don’t have time to comment at length right now, but wanted to note something. Naismith said:

    …a lot of faithful LDS have different views on our responsibility to one another.

    This post has never, ever been about “our responsibility to one another.” It has always been about what we do and don’t legislate. If you feel a responsibility toward someone for something (like, say, maternity leave) then I completely support you in:

    1. Paying for it
    2. Providing it to your employees
    3. Finding ways to make it cost effective
    4. Trying to persuade others to pay for it
    5. Trying to persuade others to provide it to their employees
    6. Writing posts on the benefits of maternity leave
    7. Speaking in public forums on the value of maternity leave
    8. Asking your employer to provide it
    9. Quitting your job in favor of a job that offers it

    What I do not support is you (collective you) saying, “I have decided that maternity leave is awesome—plus I want to get paid to stay home after having my babies—therefore we should force everyone who has actually offered jobs to people (not me!) to give this to everyone.”

    Sincerely, if you think maternity leave (or anything else) is a “responsibility” you have to someone, put your money where your mouth is and start providing it to people. If you don’t personally provide it, you’re just passing the entitlement buck.

    If not doing this yourself, then we’re really talking about what should be legally required of someone who is doing something (providing jobs) that they are not legally required to do in the first place.
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  • budgielove April 23, 2015, 6:23 pm

    ***What I do not support is you (collective you) saying, “I have decided that maternity leave is awesome—plus I want to get paid to stay home after having my babies—therefore we should force everyone who has actually offered jobs to people (not me!) to give this to everyone.”***

    A thousand amens and thank yous.

    If you really believe that anyone should be able to come to America and be given citizen benefits, those immigrants should be boarding in your own house. But I bet that’s not true for Naimith. Why not?

  • NoNameToday May 26, 2015, 5:49 pm

    I saw a link to this on Facebook today. Not daring to enter that fray, but here I’ll say I agree. But you can’t tell a feminist group you are opposed to maternity leave without being called “anti-woman” because tolerance only goes one way, baby.

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