The birth rate in this country is plummeting for a very obvious reason: Women don’t want babies. But the reason women don’t want babies is something conservative Republicans hate to admit: Having children is expensive and burdensome, and the US government provides mothers with very, very little help. There’s no paid leave, many women lack healthcare, there’s no financial assistance for nurseries or childcare facilities. All the while, the work of maintaining a household and raising kids is just plain hard, especially when you consider that most mothers are working full time.
Faced with these obstacles, even women who desperately want children are saying no, or are only having one child. They’re discouraged, and it doesn’t help when they learn that the governments of approximately fifty countries around the world require that mothers receive six or more months of paid leave. The enlightened leaders in these countries realize that a healthy economy needs plenty of workers. That, and stable governments need a solid tax base, which is only possible with an adequate number of citizens paying taxes.
This week’s interview is with Jenny Brown, the author of Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work, one of the most thought provoking titles we’ve seen in years. In a nutshell, Jenny believes women have finally had enough: They’re refusing to have more babies until this country’s leadership recognizes the work they do is vitally important and worthy of government support.