Paid Paternity Leave at Work, Part II

Right now feminists are working very hard to get men more money.

More money in the form of Paid Paternity Leave.

Just like Paid Maternity Leave - after a new baby is born, a mother typically gets time off from work and is compensated for their time off from work.

For example in Canada... "A pregnant employee or new mother can take a paid maternity leave of up to 15 weeks. Either the mother or father can take 35 weeks of parental leave after the baby is born or adopted. The parents can share the leave however they choose."

And where does the money come from to pay for this?

Employment Insurance. E.I.

E.I. You know, those deductions that go off your paycheque from work. You grumble about it and income taxes, but you pay it because you know that E.I. also pays for various things if you become:
  • Unemployed.
  • Injured.
  • Unable to work due to illness.
  • Etc.
 And it also pays for paid maternity leave in Canada, and parental leave (which is not paid).

Let us pretend for a moment that you are a new father and your wife dies while giving birth to your new child. Suddenly you are a father, you have a newborn baby to take care of that requires attention every hour for feeding, diaper changes and just plain attention (so that they don't grow up to be sociopaths and psychopaths).

How does this new father cope with the sudden changes and manage to work at the same time? The answer is they cannot. They would have to quit their job and parent full time until the child is old enough to enter a daycare - in which case government subsidized daycare is a whole other topic I want to talk about another day.

Even a married couple (or unmarried couple, not judging here) with a child, how do they manage to cope? Does the woman stay home all the time to take care of the baby? Do they take turns while the other person goes to work? Are they somehow both doing shift work? When do they actually manage to sleep.

Any person who has been a true parent will understand the whole problem with just sleeping with a newborn in the home. Newborns wake up during all times of the night and day expecting to be fed, coddled and they will cry like there is no tomorrow until they are satisfied.

So clearly there is a need for Paid Maternity Leave and Paid Paternity Leave.

And feminists are out there trying to convince politicians that men should be given this right, the ability to have Paid Paternity Leave, to spend more time with their child and bear equal share in the responsibilities of being a parent.

Women, regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal minded should be in favour of this.

Men who are liberal minded should be in favour of this because it is about equality and fairness.

Men who are conservative minded should be in favour of this because it means they get to stay home and actually prove how much they truly are about "family values".

And there is also economic reasons why politicians should be in favour of this.

In North America not enough people are having children. Which means that less people

In Canada the fertility rate is 1.59 (2013 Stats Canada). That means the average woman has 1.59 children.

In the USA the fertility rate is 2.06 (2015) and was even called a "National Emergency" by some American politicians in 2016 during the presidential campaign.

The USA fertility rate doesn't seem so bad until you realize that their death rate is higher, their life expectancy rate is less, and their health care system is in shambles.

It is so bad that the USA is basically dependent on immigrants for population growth for a variety of reasons:

  • 1. New immigrants currently make up 23.78% of population growth in the USA.
  • 2. Immigrant mothers are more likely to have multiple children, which is keeping the USA fertility rate up at 2.06.
  • 3. Without immigrant mothers having so many kids, the US fertility rate would be dropping rapidly. Women born in the USA are more likely to have zero kids or only 1 kid.
  • 4. For every 1000 mothers of childbearing age who were born in the USA they only have 58.3 children per year.
  • 5. For every 1000 immigrant mothers of childbearing age they have a whopping 84.2 children per year.
  • 6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the fertility rate amongst immigrant women dropped from 2.7 in 2008 to 2.2 in 2014. For American-born women, the rate dropped from 2.1 to 1.8. So the birthrate dropped 14% in 6 years for American-born women, and dropped 18.5% for immigrant women.

Without immigrants the USA's population growth would stagnate and start shrinking.

Which would effect the economy because less people in the future would be paying taxes or paying into pension funds, which means elderly people would end up having their pensions cut, which means they would have less money to spend, which causes a downward cyclical effect on the economy.

So America needs people paying into pensions and paying their taxes, otherwise the whole economic system fails.

In Canada the problem is WORSE.

If you recall, the fertility rate in Canada mentioned above is 1.59 as of 2013.

The fertility rate in Canada has been dropping steadily for decades, but the changes in recent years are dramatic.
  • 2009 - 1.67
  • 2010 - 1.63
  • 2011 - 1.61
  • 2012 - 1.61
  • 2013 - 1.59
A drop of 0.08 in only 4 years.

Assuming that dropping rate remains roughly a constant decrease, the fertility rate in 2017 will probably only be approx. 1.51.

Wait 25 years, by 2042 the fertility rate in Canada might be 1.00.

Canada is already heavily dependent on immigrants to keep our population from shrinking. New immigrants make up 35.6% of Canada's population growth. And the children of those new immigrants, well, they tip the balance and inflate the fertility rate just like they do in the USA because immigrant families have more children.

With our future economy so dependent on children growing up and joining the workforce it then boggles your mind to see the kinds of things Donald Trump is doing in the USA.

  • Trying to deport immigrants and their children (who are American citizens since they were born there).
  • Trying to discourage people from visiting / immigrating to the USA through travel bans and by promoting an "An America First Policy".
What the USA and Canada should both be doing is inviting immigrants in and encouraging everyone to have more children. How do you accomplish that?

  1. Paid Maternity Leave.
  2. Paid Paternity Leave.
  3. Government Subsidized Daycare to make it easier for everyone to have kids and work.
  4. More tax benefits for working parents. Cut taxes for working families. (Trump does the opposite, he cuts taxes for the rich - people who don't need it and end up just storing their money in the bank. Money does not "trickle down".)
  5. Affordable Homes - Many young people in North America delay having children because the real estate market is too expensive.
  6. Tuition Debt Relief - Many young people in North America delay having children because they are still struggling to pay off student loans from college.
So who has it even worse than we do?

Well, for starters, Russia.

Russia's population is actually shrinking by 0.06% per year (CIA World Factbook Statistic).

The birth rate in Russia is 11.3 births/1,000 population, while the death rate in Russia is 13.6 deaths/1,000 population.

Russia's population would be shrinking even faster if it wasn't for a net migration rate of 1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population. Without the incoming immigrants, Russia's population would be shrinking by over a quarter million people per year.

During the past few decades Russia has seen a startling increase in the death rate due to a combination of factors (for profit hospitals, skyrocketing suicide rates, etc) while their economy stagnated under the weight of greedy oligarchs.

And it makes sense after all. Russia is not a land of opportunity. "Middle Class" people in Russia make only about $9,057 USD per year. The Russian economy is shrinking. The Russian ruble has lost over 55% of its value in the last 5 years.

Here is a summary: Between 2014 and 2017 Russia has been enduring a financial crisis. In 2014 a decline in confidence in the Russian economy caused investors to sell off their Russian assets, which led to a decline in the value of the Russian ruble and sparked fears of - and ultimately caused - a Russian financial crisis.

And in that kind of economic situation, who want to have children???

To put this in perspective, a mere 4 years ago in 2013 the normal middle class Russian made $15,543 USD per year. Now they make $9,057. So the Russian economy has shrunk 42% in 4 years.

What Russian is going to want to have kids during such a horrible financial crisis? They would not be feeling financially secure.

Especially since Russia doesn't have any kind of paid maternity leave or parental leave. Tax benefits for parents? Pff! The former communist country is now so capitalist that they just support rich oligarchs and ignore their own middle class.

It is also a weird situation where the per capita GDP of Russia is $26,100 USD (2016), but the average Russian doesn't make that much money. They only get $9,057 USD of that. [This is the fundamental difference between so-called GDP and "real GDP".]

The rich oligarchs in Russia take $17,043 of that money - and pocket it. The poor and middle class do all the work and the rich take 65% of the money. Makes sense right? Sort of like Trickle Down Reaganomics. Makes sense for the rich, really rips off the middle class.

And do the rich in Russia have multiple kids? Some certainly do. 2, 3 4 or more kids. But it in no way makes up for the millions of working class Russian families who only have 1 kid and contributes to Russia's shrinking population.

If you compare the USA and Russia's population growth you notice some interesting things.

In 1930 Russia had a population of 100 million.
In 2015 Russia had a population of 148 million.
In 1930 the USA had a population of 123 million.
In 2015 the USA had a population of 321 million.

For both countries the biggest increases in population were during periods of financial growth and stability, but with a marked difference in that the American economy grew faster and sharper as the population did.

  • The American population went up by 161%
  • The Russian population went up by 48%
  • Between 1930 and 2015 the US real GDP per capita went from $6213 to $55,836, an increase of 799% in real GDP.
  • Between 1930 and 2015 the Russian real GDP per capita from $2109 to $9,057, an increase of only 329%.

At which point you have to start asking yourself, which of the following is true?

  • Does a strong economy = more babies being born?
  • Does more babies being born = a stronger economy?
  • Or is it cyclical? More babies = more money = more babies = more money, etc.

Which must also mean the following can also happen:

  • Less babies = less money = less babies = less money, etc.

Having more children boosts an economy because it means more workers added to the workforce of a nation, contributing to a growing economy.

But if countries like Russia for example don't encourage people to have more children, the result is the stagnation of a population, and eventually the stagnation of the economy. Russia had a few good economic years. In 2013 the real GDP was the aforementioned $15,543. That was the highest point the Russian economy ever achieved before it slid back down to the current $9,057.

The Scary Thing is it can happen in North America

Without the constant influx of immigrants coming to the USA and Canada, both countries would be faced with a dire economic situation. There would be less workers contributing to the economy, very few people paying into pensions, potential parents would see a dire financial situation and decide to delay or even skip having children - which only hurts future generations and makes the country even more dependent on immigrants to bolster the economy.

So Canada and the USA needs to be vigilant. We need to be promoting:
  • Paid Maternity Leave
  • Paid Paternity Leave
  • Affordable Daycare
  • More Tax Benefits for Parents
The government needs to literally start investing in children in order to boost the economy in the future. That means investing in making it easier for families to be able to afford to have children - and incentivized to have MULTIPLE children.

Because frankly it is not enough to promote families to have ONE child. Government needs to be financially encouraging parents to have 2 or 3 children so that the country can maintain a stable and prosperous rate of population growth.

Overpopulation is not an issue in Canada. The country is technically underpopulated.

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