The New Republic: Opinion: Bryce Covert: How American Can Work Less
I wrote a blog last week about paid paternity and maternal, as well as sick leave all things I believe in. And this post similar to that, but just to comment on a few things that Bryce Harper said in her column. Creating employee leave system in this country that would include all of these benefits and I would even add employment insurance to that and for anyone who is not familiar with that term (well I just made that up) I’ll explain that later. But doing these things are fairly simple.
You pass a law that says employees are entitled to these benefits that their employers would pay for. Workers would pay for part of them lets say that their employers would match. No we don’t need some new Federal insurance program to handle this. This could all be handled by the employers themselves including public employers. There’s no reason workers should be taxed more especially struggling workers to pay for the benefits of others. These are things that should be financed by employers and their workers for their workers.
Bryce Covert also mentioned in her article something about allowing for employers instead of laying off workers when their business is slow that instead they would be able to cut hours instead. Instead of being completely unemployed they would still be officially employed, but now collecting Unemployment Insurance. Well at the very least the Federal Government would have to redefine the term unemployment. If you have a job and are making money from the work you do, you are not unemployed. So under Federal law you wouldn’t be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. So that would be just one problem with that.
And here is where the term employment insurance comes in. Instead of having all of these paid leave laws, we could instead create an employment insurance system that would be much simpler. And you wouldn’t need a new government program to run it or taxes to fund it. This would be paid for by employers and their workers. When their child is born, or they get sick, or need a vacation, or when their hours get cut at work just to use as some examples, they could collect from this insurance that they paid into that their employers matched.
Just because the American capitalist system and our form of capitalism is struggling that doesn’t mean we need to scrap it and become a social democracy with a socialist form of capitalism where the Federal Government manages most if not all the benefits for the people. We are more than capable of providing the benefits that our workers need and deserve through the private sector. And regulations or laws are one way to do that.