Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Pamela Gershuny (Southeast Missouri State University College of Business) has posted "The Combined Impact of US Laws on Single Mothers and Their Children" on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Flaws in TANF, child support enforcement, a regressive tax structure, wage gaps, gender pregnancy family responsibilities discrimination, and the FMLA, combine with market shifts in the economy to drown single mothers in the workforce. No longer able to compete in the job market by working the same number of hours as childless women and men, the choice to become a mother heightens their risk of job discrimination, bankruptcy, and poverty. The nation invests heavily in wealthy families through the home mortgage interest deductions, capital gains tax treatment, 529 college savings tax deductions, and child tax credits. A minimal change in the investment in single working mothers based on their demonstrated abilities can be made by reforming the tax structure, re-instating the Downey-Hyde Amendment, mandating universal 5-day paid leave policies, mandating living wages at a minimum in night shift employment, and implementing flexicurity. The first section of this paper examines how single mothers developed into a unique segment of the workforce over the last 50 years. The second section discusses new socio-economic realities including; the governments’ current investments in labor that sustain income inequality and the increasing level of income volatility for both high and low wage earners. The third section reviews the current state of medical knowledge on the protective effect of mothers for children. The fourth examines change to a new “normal.” The fifth concludes that the US must shift from an unsustainable investment strategy in human capital.