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> But should the federal minimum wage match the least amount you can live off of in the state with the higher cost of living, or the state with the lower cost of living?
Something in between. You have can’t drag it down to the lowest state nor drag it up to the highest state.
>The other issue here is that the US relies on the market to govern itself – if paid leave is good for business, then successful companies will realize this. It’s not just a civil rights issue.
Complete BS. Business act in their very own interest but at a micro level — they don’t at a macro level. Paid leave is a macro level issue. If businesses really cared about macro level issues, they would have been very loud and supportive about higher taxes for education in addition to a host of other matters that don’t directly effect the company but make society better and thus is indirectly healthy for the government. Instead, they don’t want to offer healthcare and would rather let people die and go bankrupt as long as it can’t be directly traced back to them. If business in the US really cared about macro level and long term issues — we wouldn’t be starving our infrastructures of resources.
>On top of that, paid leave penalizes people who don’t have children, because they can’t be paid as much when the company has to pay people to stay home and not work.
Of course nothing is perfect but this is not a good argument. You can’t have it both ways — do you want a population that gets older and puts strains on the population or do you want to encourage people to have children in the right circumstances and be taken care of so they become productive members of society? There’s a reason there has been a push for all these type of program in recent years in wealthy countries — they have an aging society with declining birth rates. You either incentivize having children (but in a meaningful way) or you make drastic changes in immigration to increase immigration.
Someone is always going to be ‘penalized’. Give gays marriage rights — that means more taxes from straight people will go towards gays. Food stamps —- taking taxes from the middle and upper classes to help the poor. **Someone always gets penalized, doesn’t mean it’s not best for society**.