Maternity Leave
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They say 1 picture is worth 1000 words.   MONTHS OF MATERNITY LEAVE !  This picture speaks for itself. 

WORLD's POPULATION GROWTH:     The highest growth typically occurs in under-developed and educationally/politically retrograde countries.

If population growth stagnates in Western developed countries (to the point where some are losing population -negative growth- such is the case of Spain, Italy, Sweden, Russia and others), then in a matter of decades we might be swamped by masses of impoverished and uneducated Immigrants, whom may affect negatively our modern cultures and our way of life.

Well, big deal! -you might say.  That is not the future.  That is already happening!  And our civilization has not changed that much.

It has not happened -yet- my friend!  Yes, there has been massive waves of refugees and economic-immigrants moving into the western world.  But the percentages have been relatively small on a year-per-year basis.  At those rates, foreign cultures are properly assimilated, and the diversity they create may bring more benefits that problems.

But think about of the cultural and economic impact if these waves of immigrants, if instead of arriving in a country with many millions of inhabitants and growing, would arrive in a country with a lesser population and losing million of natives yearly because of negative population growth.  The impact might not be disastrous (depending on the culture and education of the newcomers), but it can not be very benign either.

Picture: Poor peasant family  in Nepal.  And yet probably this mother  gives more quality time to her children than many Americans mothers do (from National Geographic Magazine).

First of all, you will have millions of displaced people, trying to adjust to a new language and culture, and missing dearly their families and life left behind.  Then the impact on local natives having difficulty communicating for many years to come with a significant percentage of the newly arrived population.  Then you have the discrimination -fair and unfair- that is bound to happen... and so on and so forth.

DISCIPLINE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY :   To make a summary of my points, I would state that:

  1. It is imperative that we control GLOBAL population growth at the earliest.
  2. Controlling global population growth does not mean to do this by allowing the excess population in some countries to emigrate in massive numbers to those other countries which managed to control their population.
  3. When developed countries act too drastically in their family planning system, and achieve zero growth   -or reverse growth- too soon,  they might be creating a social vacuum that would only promote other under-developed countries to be more irresponsible. 
  4. It is -therefore- ironic and unfair that those countries that should be rewarded for their social responsibility, discipline, and foresight, are instead being penalized and put under international pressure to absorb huge number of aliens.
  5. There might be a temporary economic benefit, but the long term effects have an immeasurable social cost in quality of life lost.  First for the Immigrant who who has to abandon his homeland, his culture, and his family.  Secondly, for the invaded host country whose citizens will have to make significant cultural adjustments as well.  


 With the world's oil fields moving fast toward depletion,  and with energy resources dwindling even faster in our country, we should allow immigration only because of compassion, not because of perceived economic benefits to our society!


Mongolians paying a lot of attention and care to their children.  Interestingly most here are men (National Geographic).

Now we can talk about Maternity Leave!!!

 Without that Preamble on immigration that I did on the previous paragraphs of this page, you would probably not be able to understand my strong position on Maternity Leave, Child Care, Vacations, Living Wage, and other social issues.

Hence, after having covered those points on population growth above, I can now say, that I strongly believe that the Western world civilizations should be entitled to have enough children per family so as to keep their populations stable, or even with a slight growth rate (3 or 4 children per couple of parents would be proper, more than 4 or less than 3 might not be ideal).   Governments in these Western countries should promote a reasonable family size.  Once the world were to attain a global zero-or-negative growth is that emphasis on reducing further family size in Western countries should be promoted, but not sooner.

It follows from my statements above, that if we want our American females to be mothers of 3 or 4 children on the average (and not 1 or none as it is the case now) then we will have to be more supportive to parents, and in particular to mothers.

Because of their maternal instinct, many females would like to have several children, but that is economically painful, and -more than that- it is outright stressful.  In countries like Sweden mothers enjoy 90 weeks of maternity leave (see table above).  That means they do not have to go back to work until their child is one and a half years old.   Even Mexico and Brazil mothers are entitled to 3 months of maternity leave.

Childcare in mainland China. (National Geographic magazine)

  It is unbelievable that in the USA mothers who take maternity leave will have to do it on their own, there is no guarantee that their jobs will be saved for them, even for a couple of weeks.  Forget about any maternity benefits, other than the medical coverage -if they have it.   I know, some employers are somewhat more generous, but there is not Federal law obligating them to do so.  They do it as a favor to their employees, or as a gesture of goodwill and social responsibility.  And only if they feel like they can afford it.

  Some egocentrics would say,   WAIT A SECOND!  I do not want to have children.  And I do not want to be taxed, so others can have more children. 

My reply to them would be:

bulletYou are entitled to be a responsible citizen, and share all the joys and the huge burden of parenting and nation building!  Of course, it is your prerogative to have or not to have children.  Maybe you cannot have them because of a medical, or a fertility problem.  Perhaps you waited too long to get married trying to enjoy your celibacy too much, or trying to extend your intimate sex-life with your spouse too long without intromissions by children. 
bullet As a father, I find parenting a joyful and fulfilling experience.  Having said so, I must also confess that there is pain and guilt in my heart due to family relations that went awry.  If I were celibate and without children -statistics say- I would live longer.  Parental responsibilities are stressful.
bulletBeing a parent is a long-term social responsibility that would ask from you to have drastic changes in your way of life once you make that commitment. 
bullet If you do not want have children fine!  But somebody will have to have them in order for you to have Social Security retirement benefits.  And in order for our society to continue functioning. If every person in the country opted for your same egoistic type of life, we would not have an American society in a couple of generations. 
bullet I do not think I need to say much more, to justify my position on why the Government has to make sure that the society has the incentives and the protection to the family, that would promote to have children.  And -most importantly- not just to have children, but having them in an environment  that is supportive enough that these children can grow up physically and mentally healthy, and with a minimum of psychological hang-ups.

Children who ... 

bulletNever see their parents at home, because their parents are -both- too busy making money
bulletHave been left -too soon- in the hands of child care providers, instead of the care of a loving mother
bulletDo not recall having spent quality time on a resort with their parents, because they never had vacations
bulletNever saw a father, because the mother egoistically thought being single-mother was fine
bulletAre mistreated, because of ignorance, abuse or neglect
bulletAre ignored -or not loved enough- perhaps because they were born by accident 

Those children are likely to have social dysfunctions, or -at best- great pain in their hearts as they grow into adulthood.  Not conjectures on my part, those are facts! 

Child care in Russia.  Potty training time. (National Geographic magazine). 

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Editor: JX


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