||[Sep. 17th, 2006|02:38 pm]
Two things in the newspaper this morning that irritated me (riffing off of blamantin's post):
- Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq - I literally read the first three paragraphs and got angry. What the hell does loyalty to the GOP affect how well they're going to run a country? Maybe they wanted to start with the tax cuts already...ugh.
- Kid-Friendly Policies Don't Help Singles - I'm not sure what the point of this article is, but it starts out with a single woman complaining she doesn't get leave like a new mother gets right after having a child. Someone should sit her down and tell her the reason a new mother gets leave is she's staying at home caring for the child, not so she can finish a doctoral dissertation. This complaint seems really asinine to me.
One of the things I never liked at work was justifying my time away from work. More than once, I scheduled a vacation close to a deadline and was forced to explain in detail why I needed to take the time off. To my mind, why should my employer care why I am leaving and do they really want to get into the business of prioritizing my vacation to visit my fiancee vs. a maternity leave vs. a doctoral dissertation etc.?
I've long had the radical idea to make all jobs paid by the hour and include no free vacation. Since your employer isn't paying you when you're gone (for any reason) they have less justification to try aprove or deny your time away and it would allow people to take longer time away from work if they were willing to accept the loss in pay. Also, if everyone is paid by the hour, there would be less incentive for employers to push overtime since it would cost them real money unlike the current salaried position with de facto overtime.
Since society probably wants to give working mothers a break to raise children, this money could come from the government in the form of a stipend or other payment, but should be divorced as an obligation on the employer. In America, I think too many societal benefits are expected to be provided by the employer (maternity leave, health care etc.) that are more fairly taking care of by the government. This would also be more fair to people who don't hold "traditional" (or any) jobs.
Anyway, I don't have any hope these kind of changes will ever happen in America though...
I agree a fair bit. I think the "conservative" policy that all of societies issues need to be addressed entirely by the capitalist system through jobs and such is just bunk. It makes so much more sense to have society as a whole (which the gov't represents - a body for governing society) take care of things that deal with universal welfare (it's even in the preamble to our gov't's constitution). Issues like maternity leave, retirement, health care, sick leave, etc.
Another thought that was percolating in the back of my head:
I've never seen a daycare which will take a child under 6 weeks of age due to health/immunization issues. Therefore, it's impossible to hire out for care for an newborn infant, so one of the new parents is forced to take at least 6 weeks off from work.
Or recruit a grandparent, other family member, or friend to look after their child so they can work.
(just for the record, no I don't think anyone should feel like they have to do that....of course if I had my druthers, all families would be able to afford for one parent to stay home with the children if they wanted to do so, too)
I think my thought was that not everyone has the option of recruiting someone. Everyone (given money) can hire daycare, but you would have to find something unofficial to cover the first 6 weeks if you had no family, no friends, etc, which seems very wrong, since that's such a delicate time. And it's reasonable to realize that there are people who basically are without a nearby/available support network (believe me - we saw and heard about many such cases).