Sunday, June 13, 2010


The NYTimes published an interesting article, In Sweden, Men Can Have It All. This is a pro/con (mostly pro) analysis of Sweden's leave policies and their effect on the working world and gender equality. I found it fascinating (and attractive!).

Sweden had already gone further than many countries have now in relieving working mothers: Children had access to highly subsidized preschools from 12 months and grandparents were offered state-sponsored elderly care. The parent on leave got almost a full salary for a year before returning to a guaranteed job, and both could work six-hour days until children entered school. Female employment rates and birth rates had surged to be among the highest in the developed world.

The question to wrestle with is whether paying nearly 50 percent of your income in taxes to get what Sweden would be worth it. The article seems to imply that Sweden does have it together in terms of economy and productivity, but I think there would be extremely stiff resistance in the US to implement any kind of policy like this here.

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