John Stossel had a great column last week arguing that the free market, not government regulation, is the key to providing flexibility, day care, and any other working mom conundrum you can think of. IWF’s upcoming “Women’s Progress” book even gets a shout out.
Many people who call for increased government regulation point to “family friendly” laws in Europe. But Stossel points out that these laws come with a heavy price:
“In Europe, the unemployment rate for women is over 10 percent — double the rate in the United States. From 1970 to 2003, employment in the United States increased 75 percent, by 58.9 million jobs. Yet in France, Germany and Italy, where many job benefits are mandated, employment grew only 26 percent, by 17.6 million jobs. And many of those new jobs were in government!
“If a woman wants a career and a family, that’s great. But why must government force other people to help her out? Forcing companies to behave in a certain way just limits the marketplace of possibilities.
“Leaving workplace choices to women and employers creates better opportunities for both. The forthcoming book by Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women’s Forum, ‘Women’s Progress: How Women Are Wealthier, Healthier and More Independent Than Ever Before’ points out that American women have never enjoyed more options or such a high quality of life. From 1997 to 2002, the number of female-owned businesses climbed 20 percent to 6.5 million firms.
“That happened because in America, despite numerous attempts by bureaucrats to kill it, the entrepreneurial spirit lives. Let’s not suffocate it with government rules that will only reduce women’s choices.”