Wednesday, October 19, 2016
From the New York Times:
Paris — I spend a lot of time listening to parents around the world complain. In Kiev recently, a working mother told me the joke about how Ukrainians are raised by same-sex couples: their mothers and grandmothers.
How hard or easy it is to raise kids, especially while working, is a big part of people’s well-being everywhere. This topic rarely gets much traction in American politics, but it’s become an issue in this election. Even Donald J. Trump, when he isn’t boasting that he can grab women by their genitals, claims he wants them to have a better work-life balance.
There is a dawning sense among voters that our lack of government support for child care, and the anxiety this causes, isn’t normal. In other rich countries — heck, even in Ukraine — parents get the state’s help in their children’s early years. Americans get practically nothing.
What we do get is a pervasive national angst. A forthcoming study in The American Journal of Sociology finds that Americans with children are 12 percent less happy than non-parents, the largest “happiness gap” of 22 rich countries surveyed. The main sources of parents’ unhappiness are the lack of paid vacation and sick leave, and the high cost of child care, the authors said.
Read more here.