Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

A better gift for moms on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is about love. But it’s also about flowers. And cards. And apparently, columnists.

Dean Calbreath notes in the San Diego Union-Tribune that paid family leave insurance would be perhaps a less personal, but more welcome gift for many mothers:

A string of studies last week suggested that American mothers – particularly working mothers – are getting the short end of the stick in today’s weakening economy. More than their male counterparts, mothers are feeling the effects of rising medical costs, threats to retirement coverage, lack of maternity leave and so on, the studies say.

The Seattle Times also calls for public policy adjustments to better serve moms, specifically to Social Security and taxes:

Mothers need something more important than chocolate, restaurant reservations and flowers. They need relief from tax policies that single their gender out for pain. … Social Security benefits based on income and years in the work force weigh against women, raising the need for a “mommy benefit” that takes into account women’s often-uncompensated work.

While the Seattle Post-Intelligencer speaks up for healthier mothers internationally, it rather glaringly omits the fact that the U.S. is one of only five countries out of 173 – along with Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea – that does not guarantee some form of paid maternity leave.

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