Friday, December 25, 2015

New York Times weighs in on paid family leave, and allows a field goal for the childless


On Christmas Day, The New York Times weighs in on paid family leave today, applauding the New York City mayor Bill de Blasio for his executive order granting non-unionized employees six weeks paid parental leave starting Jan. 1, 2016, link here .

The Times pays lip service to the childless (“who choose not to have children”) who “may still have elderly parents or family members who require their care.”  That is, they are other people’s insurance policy. It does want to extend paid leave for eldercare (which the FMLA of 1993 does provide unpaid leave for).

The gay press has talked about this very little.  But it’s becoming increasing clear that participation in parenting will become necessary for equal citizenship.

I had missed the commentary Nov. 7 in Fortune by Laura Carroll, "The Brutal Truth about Being Childless at Work." She mentions a 1974 survey that showed ostracism against the childless. The article was mentioned on Meredith Vieira Christmas Day, but even the openly gay host Lance Bass (formerly 'Nsync) avoided the opportunity to bring up the possibility of gay couples' (or singles) adopting children or being expected to.
 
It’s an interesting question, too, the whole idea of low birth rates for the affluent, demographic winter and an aging population, which some on the Right rant about. True, it’s a huge economic and even a national security issue.  On the other hand, we may be reaching the limit of how many people this planet can support, being less than 2 billion in 1900 (wiki chart) .  Sustainability is a tricky subject to moralize about.
 


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