The government (at least, the National and Act parts of it) have signalled they’ll veto Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave on the grounds that it would cost too much. (May I just say as an aside, GO SUE!)
Zetetic has shown that in the first place, compared to such fucking trainwrecks as the “Roads of National Significance” (coming soon to a negative-cost-to-benefit-ratio near you!) extended paid parental leave is fucking chump change.
But I’d like to address a second point: the rightwingers’ basic lack of understanding as to how this stuff works.
One of the arguments for things like paid parental leave (and early childhood education, and early intervention and rehabilitation of youth offenders, etc etc) is that, beyond just being a sign that your society is caring, compassionate, and supportive of not-traditionally-valued non-income-generating work (piff, socialism), it pays itself off. No, not in the current financial year, nor even in the current term of government, but within a generation (no long time if you actually care about things beyond your own net wealth balance sheet).
You pay parents to spend more time with their infants now, you get smarter, more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.
But the right don’t get that (and to an extent, I might argue Labour doesn’t get it either, given their usual willingness to fight battles on a right-determined field).
And given the right like to make stupid analogies about governmental budgets being like household budgets (wherein households can print their own money) etc, here’s one back at them:
Refusing to extend paid parental leave, ignoring the longterm benefits, on a household scale, is like crying “But I can’t afford to buy flour, sugar, and butter for $10 now! I have to cut my spending so I can buy a $30 cake on Saturday!”
Of course, to extend the analogy further, on Saturday they’ll no longer be running the household, having fucked off to the Wairarapa for a wine-tasting weekend, so why the fuck do they care if someone else has to buy $30 cake because there’s no ingredients in the cupboard? That $10 now could get them <5L of petrol!
Note – for more QoT goodness head over to her blog: Ideologically Impure