Paid Family Leave Mandated by the Government Is Not Pro-Family

Reducing taxes for all families to increase their take-home pay is the most pro-family policy.

For the Christian Left, paid family leave sounds like a no-brainer: the government should pay for or require businesses to pay for one or more parents to take time off work to spend with a newborn. We should offer the greatest family leave available, according to a recent Christianity Today piece titled "Christians Shouldn't Need a Mandate to Provide Paid Family Leave." When it comes to family leave, Christians who own or own businesses should set the example. Three advantages of parents taking time off to spend with babies are listed in the article:

   1. Leave for parents may save lives. "There is unquestionably a connection—even if a weak one—between babies who survive and maternity leave."
 2. Similar purifying laws from the Old Testament "which in practice gave new mothers a rest after birth."
  3. In the first several weeks following birth or adoption, men should spend time with their children. "Fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to bathe, change diapers, read bedtime stories, and wake up in the middle of the night to tend to their children, according to research."

Paid Family & Medical Leave - A Better Balance
While points one and two are up for debate, point three is a fallacy that occurs after the fact. Good fathers take parental leave; paid leave does not make men into better fathers.

It makes sense for fathers and mothers to spend as much time as possible with their newborn children. Another fallacy, though, is the idea that companies or the government should foot the bill for this period of time. This is known as a non sequitur, or a broad logical leap. Moms and dads should budget for and pay for their own time off.

Remember, Americans, that early in the twentieth century, a lot of Christians pushed for a forty-hour workweek, mostly so that fathers could spend more time with their families. What is the outcome of that? Undoubtedly, paid family leave will be abused in a similar way. Babies will be left with grandmothers before parents depart for Cancun. Dads will go golfing with their friends. It will just end up being another paid holiday.

The Christian Left needs to abandon the socialist fallacy that says people can be made good or bad by government action. That is not the power of these policies. Paying family leave won't make deadbeat dads into amazing fathers because, according to Christian doctrine, people are born with a strong predisposition toward evil that only Christ can overcome.

In the past, mothers worked from home and dedicated all of their time to raising their children. Dads have always had outside jobs. Without paid family leave for fathers, how did families raise the "greatest generation"? Mothers didn't realize they needed to work outside the home, away from their children, until after World War II. These days, parents want someone else to pay them to spend months caring for their newborns. Since the United States is one of the richest societies in history, the majority could probably afford to pay for it themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, paid family leave is not pro-family. In order to pay off the debt the state must borrow in order to pay for it, additional taxes will be needed, either now or in the future. The wealthy may pay higher taxes, as socialists desire. But every dollar removed from the wealthy diminishes investments in new employment, which eventually leads to reduced pay. The result of forcing companies to pay for this leave is similar: fewer jobs and lower wages. Socialists only see the immediate result, which is that family leave is beneficial and should be funded by the state. As a result, they are unable to identify the antifamily implications. People who practice good economics must take the long term implications into account.

The author uses "the Bible's frequent injunctions to help one another in love (Rom. 12:13)" as justification for advocating for government- or company-funded paid parental leave. However, seen in context, the Bible exhorts people to utilize their own funds rather than those provided by the government to aid others. Charitable giving is the duty of all people, not just company entrepreneurs.

The paid family leave that many European nations enjoy is something that American socialists covet. These same socialists contend that since the US is wealthier than other countries, the government can and ought to foot the bill for this leave as well. However, it should go without saying that if Americans are wealthier than Europeans, they can save up and pay for paid family leave themselves rather than the US government or their employers having to foot the bill. When the lowest paid workers are unable to, churches and charitable organizations have a chance to intervene and offer assistance. It is unnecessary for the government to impose it on other people.