Good piece from Ezra Klein at Vox: America loves mamas, but we’re lousy when it comes to policy that would help mothers. Two-thirds of moms have to do double shifts — in addition to the taxing job of being a mother, they work outside the home as well. And the United States is one of the only nations in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave (see map above). Given the realities of the modern economy, this is a scandal (the situation for paternity leave is even worse).
We make mothers choose between spending a month with their newborn child or keeping a roof over their child’s head. That’s not how it looks in countries that value the work mothers do.
You might remember that Rep. Clarke Tucker tried running a bill which would provide six weeks of paid maternity leave to state employees. The bill was blocked in the Senate Public Health committee, where four senators (John Cooper, Scott Flippo, Gary Stubblefield and Cecile Bledsoe) killed the effort to give mothers who work for the state of Arkansas time to spend with their newborn infants. Happy Mother’s Day.
p.s. Among Medicaid beneficiaries who don’t work, a third are taking care of a home or family member. If you recognize the obvious truth that being a mother is a job — that taking care of family is work — you might recognize that these folks are the working poor too.