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Why Can’t the U.S. Figure Out How to Offer Paid Maternity Leave?

US needs paid maternity leave

Netflix made headlines recently for offering a year of paid maternity and paternity leave for parents caring for a newborn or newly adopted child. While this might seem shocking to those of us the the United States, people around the globe are probably saying that it’s about darn time. The US is the only industrialized nation that does not mandate paid maternity leave. We join right in there with Swaziland, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Oman (where 60% of men have acknowledged committing rape) in expecting women to pop out a kid and head on back to work. Maybe we can even schedule delivery during lunch breaks to make it more convenient! Why Don’t People in the US Take Time Off? Beside the fact that congress is hardly able to have a discussion about anything other than who to point the finger at next, our culture is not very accepting of anyone who doesn’t want to work 40+ hours per week. According to this survey from Glassdoor, many of us aren’t taking time off at all, even if we get paid to do so. Average American employees only took half of their paid vacation days for the previous 12 months. ...

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Maybe First Graders Should Run the Government

I don’t want to get into a huge political discussion on a Friday, but I”m sure everyone is well aware of the US government shut down this week. I also don’t need to get into the reasons why in great detail, but basically, the United States government can’t seem to practice good life and financial skills that many first graders know. I’ll use my own darling 6 year old as a prime example of why maybe first graders should be running the government. We learned lots from her in kindergarten, and now, here are some recent conversations from a first grader’s point of view. Money On Tuesday morning Jim and I were discussing the government shutdown when our daughter asked a few questions. Here is that conversation. Daughter: “What is the government, Mommy?’ Me: “It’s the President and the people elected to run our country. They spent more money than they had and had to close up because they are broke.” Daughter: “Well that’s stupid. You can’t buy things if you don’t have enough money! You remember that show we used to watch? (Referring to Suze Orman before we cancelled our satellite TV) Maybe they need to watch Suze. She ...

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Sequestration: Has the US Government Cried Wolf Too Many Times?

Remember a few months ago when all the rage was worrying about falling off the fiscal cliff? Our elected officials put on their masks and capes and saved us at the very last minute to avoid financial disaster in the US, or at least that’s what they hoped we’d believe. In reality, our leaders in Washington put off figuring out a solution that might help the United States balance our budget. They can’t agree on what everyone’s fair share of taxes is or how to control spending. As of March 1st, we are now hearing all about Sequestration and what it will do to the economy. Other than the media, it seems that no one is getting too worked up over all the spending cuts that make up sequestration. I think it’s because the US government has cried wolf too many times. We’ve gotten so used to all the posturing and deal making that the average citizen just tunes it out.

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