Matthew Yglesias writes:
[E]veryone from Japan to Norway to Canada [recognizes] that having a child isn’t just a random consumption choice that we should leave entirely up to the free market.
The United States still does not.
It’s standard for countries to offer a certain amount of mandatory paid parental leave as a recognition of the special role parents play in our society (in effect, this measure lowers everyone’s wages slightly and then provides a benefit only to parents, thus enacting a small transfer of resources from non-parents to parents).
When I discuss greater state support for parents in the form of $$$, students often retort that that’s “crazy” or “impossible.” That’s when I show them data like this.
From: Tanaka, Sakiko. 2005. “Parental leave and child health across OECD countries.” Economic Journal 115, 501: F7-F28.