Slate’s Steven Lundsburg reports on this study by University of Virginia sociologist Amalia Miller finding–surprise, surprise!–that women who put off childbearing earn more money over their lifetimes than those who don’t:

“So, if you have your first child at 24 instead of 25, you’re giving up 10 percent of your lifetime earnings. The wage hit comes in two pieces. There’s an immediate drop, followed by a slower rate of growth-right up to the day you retire. So, a 34-year-old woman with a 10-year-old child will (again on average) get smaller percentage raises on a smaller base salary than an otherwise identical woman with a 9-year-old. Each year of delayed childbirth compounds these benefits, at least for women in their 20s. Once you’re in your 30s, there’s far less reward for continued delay. Surprisingly, it appears that none of these effects are mitigated by the passage of family-leave laws.”

And, of course, if you put off having your first child indefinitely and have no children at all, you can devote every single one of your fertile years to raising your salary base. It’s called choosing between a full-time career and full-time motherhood. And the lesson is that women, contrary to the expectations that feminism has placed inside their heads, can’t have it all. Why this should come as a surprise to anyone is beyond me.

The good news is those consumer- and taxpayer-subsidized family-leave laws so dear to the heart of the feminist establishment don’t do a darned thing.