I have been pretty skeptical of proposed government policies to promote paid family leave. But a recent proposal from Kristin Shapiro, a fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, struck me as superior to previous proposals and worth considering. Her idea is to let new parents borrow from their future Social Security benefits. They could replace a portion of their wages for twelve weeks of leave, and in return delay taking Social Security benefits for a comparable period. (The calculations are being refined, but I gather that to make the numbers balance twelve weeks of leave would probably have to mean twelve weeks of delay.)
The more I’ve followed the debate, the more I’ve supported the idea. That debate continues, especially among conservatives and libertarians. Michael Strain and I argued about it in Bloomberg View recently, and Vanessa Brown Calder took up the case against it at Cato’s blog yesterday. The New York Timescovered the debate this week, too.