Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lucia Paid parental leave is a stupid idea

I am totally against paid parental leave. Most women that I have talked to have discovered that once their babies were born, they did not want to work. I did not want to work when my first child was born. But because of financial necessity, I had to try and work out a way of doing so. It just about tore me apart in the first year of my baby's life.

But the solution is not to then pay for women to take that year off. The solution is to make it affordable for their husbands to bring in enough money to pay for their families. Rather than keeping tax rates high, and then giving tax money to women to take time off from work, let the money remain with those that earned it. Make it financially viable for a man to work over time without being penalised with a high tax burden.

Remove progressive taxes - progressive taxes make it necessary for a woman to go back to work after she's had children. Progressive taxes penalise everyone, parents and single people alike.

Simple, really.

17 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is simple, Lucyna. Taxes do penalise everybody.

I'm not opposed to PPL - if it's a private arrangement between employers and staff. They can reach whatever agreement they deem suitable for both parties.

I'm totally opposed to state PPL, because, like WFF, it's a crock.

Worse, it's an immoral crock, because it shamelessly robs Peter to pay Pauline (after firstly keeping a healthy heap for themselves!).

I truly wonder at the character (or lack thereof) of those who have no qualm in helping themselves to other people's money - irrespective of the guise.

Seventh commandment, anyone?

ZenTiger said...

On one hand it is good that a 'family friendly' policy has come out.

On the other hand, their suggestion reflects the classic thinking of a socialist.

It would be really nice to get a 'think tank' approach that covers a range of options. Although, to be fair, I haven't actually read the report yet.

Andrei said...

Apart from the fact of who is going to pay for it (and we know who that really is don't we) the real agenda here is to make working mothers the norm and thus put children in the tender hands of the state and state indoctrinated child carers from an early age.

Anonymous said...

Correct, Andrei.

Zen: There's no need for any 'think tank approach'. That's a contradiction in terms as far as govt's concerned.

They just need to get out of the way and allow parents to keep the money they earn.

ZenTiger said...

I agree Sus. I just don't think it likely. Given that, I was hoping that the range of solutions offered might actually reflect a broader philosophical approach to problem solving. Maybe that's just too optimistic.

Anonymous said...

With respect, Zen, I think it is (optimistic).

Govt's first purpose - whatever the rhetoric - is to grow the size of govt.

I'm reminded of the wise words of Mencken: "All govt, of course, is against liberty".

You're right in that my solution is "not likely" right now. But the danger lies in watering one's philosophy. Call it taking the moral high ground, if you like!

Besides, things can change. Eg, I never thought the Berlin Wall would come down in my lifetime. One week in 1989 it was there; the next it wasn't. I still find that inspirational!!

Greg said...

Can an economy that gets giggly about milk-fat payouts produce income to pay for the trappings of richer nations?

I wouldn't dispute the merits of leave just the assumption that the state/taxayer must support yet aother scheme.

ZenTiger said...

Sus, I suspect you'd enjoy a book I'm reading right now (and maybe you've already read it?)

The Fatal Conceit: The errors of socialism. by F.A. Hayek.

I might try and post some topics around this book.

Anonymous said...

As I said elsewhere whatever happened to parental responsibility? May family will hopefully all have left home in the next couple of years. We had absolutely no help from the Government with brining up our children. 20+ years ago there was no PPL, i took annual leave when the children were born. We never had WFF or as I want to call it WTF.

If taxes were lowered rather than being recycled to prop up supoort for Helen and co, then I suspect we would all be better off and children would be more affordable.

I am afraid there will be many more of these bribes as Labour tries desperately to hang on to office. I really have difficulty with people who can not see that they are paying for these bribes and how much better off we would be without state interference in our lives.

Greg said...

Ah, the Austrian school. Next you'll be subscribing to Free Radical. Is this omnibus worth getting from Amazon? I can put it beside my Popper.

While you're reading Hayek I wonder if any Randian is taking lavacious pleasure in Ignatius Loyolla. The the advantage of not being a Randian is that you can read von Mies et al, Hitchens, Dawkins, and the most the holy oracle herself without having to play back everything as inspired personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg & Zen: subscribing to TFR would be among the smartest purchases you make this year! And if either of you are in business, you can claim it for tax purposes - well, it's so educational, isn't it! - & stick it up Cullen at the same time! Now that *is* a beautiful thought. :)

BTW Greg: it is possible to be a Libertarian (to the bone) like myself, but not a card-carrying Objectivist. And from your perspective, it's the only philosophy that *guarantees* your right to worship, irrespective of what I might believe/think.

Call it the "Good Neighbour" philosophy if you like. We don't have to agree with our neighbours on what they say or how they spend their money, for example, but we get along fine as long as neither party commits fraud, aggression or physical harm upon the other.

It's essentially very simple.

Greg said...

Yeah I appreciate your points. As to tax-deductions I'll reserve that to the NBR and Economist. I used to enjoy TFR back when I was a know-it-all undergrad then post-grad but cooled once I comprehended their approach to the weak (not lazy, weak), i.e. not my problem.

My only note would be on the theme of, "we get along fine as long as neither party commits fraud, aggression or physical harm upon the other."
Harm can be caused by inaction as well as action and secondly, 'harm' is broader than the hoemeostasis of a single self-interested human meatsack.

Is a neighbour who fails to prevent fraud, aggression, or physical harm (including starvation and slavery) still 'good'?
'Good' action (no fraud, aggression etc) if exclusively internal is impotent whereas internal 'bad' action (eg. indifference to fraud, physical harm of others etc) can have an external effect by failure to act.
My point is that being internally correct and moral is futile without a corresponding social action.

Anonymous said...

"My point is that being internally correct and moral is futile without a corresponding social action".

But nothing - or nobody - is stopping you from acting morally, Greg! Who's talking about not acting where harm is being done, albeit not to you? I'm not.

Eg, a neighbour who neglects his children is not 'good', just because he isn't aggressive twd me. He's breaking the very important law of not adequately providing for minors.

I can't understand what you mean when you say you think the libertarian approach to the weak/unfortunate/neglected, etc, is a case of "not my problem". That's an appalling generality - and it certainly doesn't apply to my way of thinking, or indeed any libertarian I know.

It always comes back to personal responsibility. Being responsible for yourself and those who bring into the world. Now, that's not always going to happen, sadly, resulting in neglected children, for example. But being libertarian doesn't stop me from using my free will to be charitable, for goodness sake.

The problem is that there is no perfect system - and yet you seem to fall into the trap of harking for one ... which usually translates into calls for govt intervention, always at taxpayer expense. More imposition.

To paraphrase the eloquent Lindsay Mitchell: the state can never take the place of the community & charities where likeminded people act voluntarily, bless their hearts - and all power to them.

I put it less eloquently: the state doesn't give a damn. It just wants control. The odious Sue Bradford personifies that 100%.

Thomas Jefferson put it beautifully: 'I would rather be exposed to attending the consequences of too much liberty, than to those attending too small a degree of it.'

No such thing as perfection. And we sure as hell won't get it from the state.

(Sorry. Hurried response - mtg to go to!)

Greg said...

1. Moral action. You noted that "we get along fine as long as neither party commits fraud, aggression..." This does not explicitly command an intervention by an individual against the 'child neglecter'.

2. The action of the 'child neglecter' is 'breaking the very important law'. Is that natural, jungle, or positivist law? Who puts in place and upholds such law? Who then can change such laws on a vote? The State does.
My point: without a corrective force ('state') to defend the 'law' it falls to the individual but they are not obliged to correct an offending neighbour nor, on other other hand, is the offender obliged to stand corrected.

Given that most humans seem to be motivated by fear and greed (truism imho) it's likely that most 'internally correct/moral' 'liberal' 'good' individuals will not intervene agaisnt the offender. Unless acting to uphold the liberal code itself is seen as virtuous...

3. Charity. Lindsay Mitchell's observation is proven by research in NZ. My point is against the 'altruism is evil' Randians not Libertarians. It's notable that socialist New Zealand has a low level of voluteerism and charitable giving and that is truly apalling. Obviously the huge sums of state charity and our low productivity may blunt our zeal.

4. No perfect system. Yes, not barking, harking, or mooing for one. I just happen to see the libertarian ideal (free of state) distilled above as utopian as the next constellation of social ideas.

Anonymous said...

Well said Lucyna....I agree with you.Why not lower a couples tax rate for a time as opposed to churning other peoples stolen money through the system and creaming some off the top for the State before spitting out a welfare handout to them?

Oh....I just answered my own question huh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Greg: don't want to run the risk of labouring (!) this, but I still cannot agree with you. Answering your points as follows:

1. Why are you trying to make a simple issue complex? I'm not 'commanding' anything. I was making the point that nobody is stopping you from acting as you see fit.

2. A child neglecter is breaking the law of not providing for minors. Minors are not adults and require legal protection. I'm sure I don't need to spell that out for you.

My idea of govt is tiny; but that's very different to 'no govt', which is anarchy and something to which I'm vehemently opposed. The state is (or should be) there to uphold good law, ie to protect my rights, my property and administer the justice system. As the saying goes: to protect you from me and vice versa. Govt should only be able to do what it is expressly allowed to do, (ie, its power is limited), whereas individuals should be able to do everything except what is expressly forbidden, ie fraud, force, etc. Big difference between the two.

If you believe humans are motivated by greed and fear, you have a pretty poor impression of them. That's the socialists' song: 'But people can't be trusted to know what's good for them. Thankfully, we know better!' I have a high opinion of people - and I say that having seen a lot of the world. Most behave decently. Most wouldn't dream of breaking the law.

3. Your last point is spot on. Volunteerism has decined markedly - in line with the rise of welfarism. Well, how can you help someone else when you're busy sitting on your ass with both hands out, eh.

4. Can't agree on the utopian comparison. I'm not after utopia. I repeat: I'm not silly enough to know it can exist. (The statists aren't that silly, either. Evil, yes, but not silly. It's a convenient pipe-dream for control, as far as they're concerned). I just want my freedom. Where's the problem with that in a free country?

Greg said...

Actually, I thought the 'socialists song' was that people are intrinsically 'good' and that in a tinkly winkly collective nobody will rort anyone else and all shall have prizes and composting toilets etc.

As for 'fear and greed', while obviously that's a cynical exaggeration, they are the engine behind the great arbiter of value - the free market. Even artist Damien 'pickled shark' Hirst agrees to the extend that art has only the value given to it by the market.

While art comment is a rouge herring, I point to the recent volatility in the US equity markets, the source and summit of our worship, as demonstration that fear and greed are our prime motivations... ;)

2. My point about children and neglect is that they only have the protection we adults give them. We adults define 'neglect', whether that is hours up the chimney or down the mine, access to nutrition or education, and finally we define their state of 'personhood'.
It is the adult population that defines when a foetus becomes a thing of value or when a 'child' can become sexual or economically productive. This has varied through history has it not??
Indeed, philosopher Peter Singer would contend that a new born baby is not 'human' until a few weeks after birth.

I only contend that 'law' is malleable as are the social mores that determine 'neglect'. There is no guarantee on progress.

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