July 18, 2004

Maternal Leave

I love a nice little webcomic called Greystone Inn. Saturday's strip takes a swerve into comparative social policy that disgruntles me a bit. The major pregnant character, Sam, is writing in her journal and noting that her company has a six week maternity leave program and that various EU states run 16 weeks and more, with a year off for Sweden.

It was the mention of Sweden that got me thinking. There was a recent report from Timbro, a free market swedish think tank ranking the US and the EU states and breaking out the US into its 50 component states. The EU fell into the poorest group of states and the growth prospects look pretty bad for them. If Sweden petitioned to enter into the US, they would instantly inherit a 40% poverty rate as they started being judged by US yardsticks of how much money you need to have not to be poor.

With serious discussion starting to break out regarding lengthening the work week in EU states, it's becoming clear that even they realize they've chosen a path that is simply not sustainable. It's really too bad that Sammy and all too many US leftists don't realize that and buy into a cruel system that provides cushy benefits today and pays for it by robbing the next generation of their opportunities.

Posted by TMLutas at July 18, 2004 09:03 AM