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The Case for Paid Family Leave

Lew Daly

Why the United States Should Follow Australia's Lead

The modest family leave bill passed by the House this spring provides four weeks of paid leave for federal employees. With growing concern about intrusive government and the exploding public debt, the fact that this bill is targeted for federal employees might insure that it never becomes law. If it does become law, and moves us up a few slots from our dismal global ranking on family support, there's still a long way to go before we reach the sort of "two-way obligation" Alstott describes between society and parents. Even modest paid leave for all working parents would mean radical change from the status quo, and such changes almost never occur in America until the political costs of inaction rise.