Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Trump or Hillary better for working women?

Lots of confusion, outrage and interesting comments at conservative social media sites today over what some see as Trump's lurch to the left with his announcement about child care and maternity leave.

Let's take a look back at when businesses started offering health insurance--after WWII, to attract good employees during the economic recovery and boom. First it was for the major players, then moved down to the staff and low skilled. It was as unusual then as some of the Google perks are today. My husband worked for small architectural firms and we didn't have employer health insurance for many years, we bought our own. Both employees and employers got tax breaks (one of the goals of Obamacare is to grab that tax money which the president thinks belongs to the government). Eventually it became government policy for firms of a certain size, using tax breaks for the firms. Healthy employees were subsidizing the sick ones, and some sick employees simply lost jobs or couldn't change jobs. Government rules also eventually changed that. 

I worked in academe, and although we always had a fairly generous benefits package, it did evolve to include tuition for children, time off for research, travel to conferences, cumulative sick leave that could be turned in for money or donated to another employee, use of the athletic facilities for exercise, sports and recreation, free parking, special tax advantage retirement packages such as TIAA-CREF annuities in addition to our employer supported pension (403-b) which used to include medical coverage, but no longer does. Oh, and retirement at 55, which almost no business line or staff worker gets. Each year we'd get a printed statement that our tax free benefits were worth--$25,000 to $30,000. Long before the Supreme Court redefined marriage, domestic partnerships for gays (but not heterosexuals just living in sin) also included these benefits. 

Fast forward 70 years, and about half of the labor force is female, and a small percentage of those are having babies. If businesses want to remain competitive and retain good female employees, they've got to accommodate pregnancies, babies and pre-schoolers. Many already do and have generous leave packages for executives, but not lower level employees, or they have on site child care, or work from home arrangements.

Trump is a businessman, not a politician like Clinton who just repeats the same old socialist, tax the rich to give to the middle class line with the government skimming most of that. He'll work it from a tax angle, and that's iffy at this point because it always hurts small businesses and start ups whether it's socialist or capitalist plan. The government likes that because it's easier to control several large companies than thousands of little ones, and capitalists like it because it eliminates competition.

The goals are different. Government wants more breakdown of the family, more single mothers, more Uncle Sam as sugar daddy to ensure a voting block. Businesses want good employees and the smarts that women bring to the company.

Trump's plan of strengthening business is better than Clinton's plan of stealing profits.

No comments: