Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and USA! USA! USA!

According to Brigid Schulte, in her book Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, the United States "ranks dead last on virtually every measure of family policy in the world," and it is one of only four countries without paid leave for parents-- our compatriots are Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland . . . Saudi Arabia -- where women can't drive-- has paid leave . . . Togo and Zimbabwe have 14 weeks of paid leave . . . Mongolia has paid leave . . . and Schulte traces this back to the early '70's, when women starting working and there was overwhelming political and populist support for government subsidized child care, but conservative "firebrand" Pat Buchanan implemented a campaign equating universal child care with Communist indoctrination; Buchanan-- who never had kids-- called the Comprehensive Child Development Act a "great leap into the dark" that would destroy the fabric of America, because when he was a kid he got to go outside and run around until dark and when you came home from school "you got mom's pie or cake . . . and that's the natural way to grow up" and this complete callous disregard for how people live, this utter political detachment from reality, made me very angry, and now we're stuck with an expensive, unregulated, often impossibly inconvenient child-care system (which can often be downright incompetent and dangerous) and I just really think that our country can improve in this regard-- while we're never going to have policies like Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, we can at least aim to have child-care policy as good as Haiti.

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