The Paternalism of Paid Parental Leave

The Paternalism of Paid Parental Leave
Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times via AP

The center-right American Enterprise Institute and the center-left Brookings Institution have a new report about paid parental leave. The members of their working group disagreed about much, but they were able to put forward a compromise plan. In this plan, new mothers and fathers would be able to take eight weeks off, with 70 percent of their usual compensation paid to them by the government, up to $600 per week. The program would be funded by a small payroll tax on all workers.

The working group was aiming for a mix of centrism and hard-headed policy analysis, and in that they succeeded. Seventy-one percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats support paid parental leave, so the compromise is in line with public opinion. And the report comprehensively details the various tradeoffs posed by different parental-leave plans.

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