Every American welfare program eventually turns into welfare for rich white people?

“A Surprising Finding on Paid Leave: ‘This Is Not the Way We Teach This’” (nytimes):

One of the biggest arguments for paid leave for new parents has been an economic one: Research has repeatedly shown that women with paid time off after childbirth are more likely to keep working.

But a new study, the largest to be done in the United States, found the opposite. In California, which in 2004 became the first state to offer paid family leave, new mothers who took it that year ended up working less and earning less a decade later. They averaged $24,000 in cumulative lost wages, it found.

For first-time mothers, there was a clear negative effect. After 10 years, the new mothers who took paid leave right after they gave birth were 5 percent to 7 percent less likely to be employed, and those who were employed earned 5 percent to 8 percent less. The researchers said the earnings decreases could be because they worked fewer hours, moved to jobs with lower wages and more flexibility, or became self-employed.

These patterns held no matter the age or prior earnings of the mother, and were true for both unmarried and married mothers, though the decreases in employment were slightly larger for unmarried women

Not too surprising. Pay people to refrain from work and they discover how enjoyable it is to hang out at home!

Usually it takes a while for a welfare program to be co-opted by rich white Americans, but this one was immediately latched onto:

Despite the large sample, the effects were limited to women who took leave immediately after it became available. Only about a fifth of women who gave birth then did so, and that group might have been more inclined to step back from work in the first place.

A variety of research has found that this group was more likely to be older, high-earning, white and college educated than those who took leave after the program had been in effect for a while. Even later, awareness of the program was low, particularly among low earners — exactly the group that research has shown gets the most economic benefits from paid leave.


8 thoughts on “Every American welfare program eventually turns into welfare for rich white people?

  1. There is a shocking number of female doctors that give up practicing to raise their kids. Nothing against female doctors but it is a waste of medical school slots to train stay at home doctor moms. Society pays a cost for training new doctors to have them punching out shortly after getting up to speed is stupid.

  2. We must end this continuing patriarcjy-imposed disparity. If we eliminate alimony and make joint custody mandatory in every state, women will be empowered to be economically self-sufficient and stop using marriage and motherhood as a financial crutch to exercise their social and legal privileges.

  3. That would explain the bipartisan victory. The media touted paid family leave as a liberal agenda, decreasing the risk of latchkey kids if women entered the workforce. Those of us on the street saw it as a conservative agenda, since all we saw were women marrying for finances over fitness & dropping out of the workforce. In the end, it was a conservative victory, enforcing the traditional gender roles. If men won’t win the bread, the government will force them to win the bread.

  4. good for them. ”high-earning, white and college educated” women are exactly the people who have their fertility most depressed by the modern American economy, despite being the women we should most want to be mothers.

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