Log in

No account? Create an account
Welfare state myth busting - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Welfare state myth busting [Feb. 20th, 2006|08:26 am]
Arvind Narayanan
[Current Mood |pleasedpleased]

via fark: European women screwed by the very welfare state policies intended to protect them.

"For all the myths of equality that Europe tells itself, the Continent is by and large a woeful place for a woman who aspires to lead."

"...women account for 45 percent of high-level decision makers in America, including legislators, senior officials and managers across all types of businesses. In the U.K., women hold 33 percent of those jobs. In Sweden—supposedly the very model of global gender equality—they hold 29 percent. Germany comes in at just under 27 percent, and Italian women hold a pathetic 18 percent of power jobs."

"Europe is killing its women with kindness—enshrined, ironically, in cushy welfare policies that were created to help them. By offering women extremely long work leaves after children, then pushing them to take the full complement via tax policies that discourage a second income, coupled with subsidies that serve to keep them at home, Europe is essentially squandering its female talent. Not only do women get off track for long periods, many simply never get back on."

I had never doubted that the welfare state destroys overall economic productivity, but a direct causative effect is surprising. Pleasantly surprising.

As for three year paid maternity leave, I have only one word: INSANE.

Of course, I can see the other side of the argument. Equality only means equality of opportunity and not outcomes. Maybe Europeans are better parents, and maybe that's why the US public school system is so screwed up. Nevertheless, I'd much rather live in a state where you have to take a pay cut to be a good parent than one where you have to fund everybody else's kids even though you have no intention of becoming a parent yourself.

[User Picture]From: annamaryse
2006-02-20 09:41 am (UTC)
I agree with your post. The problem these days is that after 3 years out of the workforce, you can't get back in!

In the US in particular, it's very hard for women to get into the workforce if they're not 23-24 years old and right out of school. There is an insane double standard and it's a dirty little secret that doesn't get discussed... especially since many families are unable to survive without being dual income.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-02-20 11:14 am (UTC)
Then live in that state! Me, I don't want to, and I don't have to. Ain't freedom great?
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-02-21 07:27 am (UTC)
Freedom is great, but what you say isn't exactly freedom. States still have boundaries etc.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-02-21 07:31 am (UTC)


Forgot to add this - the statement following "via fark" - did you mean to link it to arvindn.livejournal.com or the article in fark?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-02-21 07:48 am (UTC)

Re: Addendum

Aww crap... that was supposed to link to an article in newsweek. Fixed now.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-02-21 09:00 am (UTC)
All that matters to me is that I have freedom to live in a state which is as I want it to be; or at least a close simile thereof. I live in one, and that means my requirement for freedom is fulfilled. I *want* my state to have a boundary; if it didn't, I would use my freedom to find one that has. If none exists that has a boundary, I am no longer free, but constrained by what someone else considers "free".

Freedom is not about removal of boundaries. Freedom is about providing that which is required and/or wanted.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-02-21 04:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, I didn't realise you were talking about your personal freedom and not that of a person who doesn't voluntarily submit to his/her government's extortion policy. Sandeep.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-02-21 09:22 pm (UTC)
That person also has freedom as long as they can get what they want; if they can move to a country whos policy they approve with, they also have freedom.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-02-21 12:00 pm (UTC)
Another question : if so what social factors account for this this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4648282.stm)? Say any one of the following reasons? 1. The statistics apply to only "very top management" and "power" jobs. 2. Women sidelined from usual jobs due to the phenomenon you mentioned take to business and do well in them. 2a. Women have better business acumen. 3. Alimony totally balances the inequality created by this phenomenon. In any case if women are successful enough to own 48% of the wealth in Britain and are projected own 60% by 2025 ( I suspect this is far from the case with US but I don't have statistics ) doesn't it mean that they have equal control over sources of income, not necessarily power jobs? Anyway I agree with you that it is pure extortion to force people to fund others' kids. I am merely curious about the economic dynamics. Sandeep
(Reply) (Thread)