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Old 05-27-2013, 02:53 PM   #581
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Re: Second Wives Club

Ok, I am very late to the party, but think I may have some good to contribute, but fair warning, this will be long, probably not controversial, and I am a thread killer, so no one will probably respond.

A little background about me, I am a recent law school graduate, sitting for the bar in July, have extensive family law background, and have been a WOHM and a SAHM. And contrary to a comment I read in the early pages of this thread, my law degree was not handed to me. I grew up very poor and worked my way up (with THREE kids!) and have almost $200,000 in loans to show for it. I finished college while my husband was overseas in Iraq, and I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old being diagnosed with autism. It was the worst time in my life, I never slept, I was not a good mother, but I got through it and graduated at the top of my class with two degrees (I was also in school full time and working part time as a waitress). I also had NO family, we lived in upstate NY with the military, and I had to battle snow 10 feet high to even get to school in the winter. I did not pay for my undergrad degree because we were low income, had 2 kids, and my Pell grants covered my tuition. So, I do believe that it is possible for most women to go back to school, but it is a very personal choice for every family. On top of that, college degrees are a dime a dozen, and unless you go for something specific and marketable, it may not be worth it for your family to go through the stress to finish a degree that wont be utilized.

Additionally, I think the elephant in the room is that, not everyone CAN, either with their socioeconomic status or intelligence level. I think a lot of the conversations in this thread have been dominated by the posters particular socioeconomic status. Additionally, while everyone here I believe is intelligent, well thought out, and articulate, it is a simple fact, that not everyone will be a lawyer, or a doctor, or even a nurse. Approximately 50% of the country has an IQ below 100 (which is why 100 is the median IQ), and many will work service jobs (and many with IQs above 100 will also work these jobs!) or work for low wages. It really may not be possible for this portion of America to go back to school, or it wouldn't be worth it! Not everyone can just go back to college easily, absorb the information, and then put it to good use, this is a LUXURY that not everyone in America has. Yes, everyone should live up to their full potential, but if college has a negative return on investment, it is not worth it just to say you have a college degree! In fact, a trade school would probably be much more utilized than a college degree in this economy. Additionally, socio-economic status also plays a large part.

However, I do think it is good for women to take charge of their own well being, and have a contingency plan. Face it, 50% of the population is getting divorced, and women come in here to DS every day shocked that one day their spouse up and left. However, ALIMONY certainly plays into this contingency plan! Alimony serves a very important social function. FIRST, it disincentives divorce. Which generally, the courts, and society view as a positive social benefit. Society doesn't like divorce, and if a husband is thinking of leaving, but knows he may have to pay his wife thousands a month in alimony for her sacrifice, then he may think twice. Additionally, it also incentivizes spouses in bad marriages to get out when it gets really bad! For example, if a woman is being abused by her husband, but has no safety net, she may leave if she knows that she is entitled to alimony from her husband and can afford to leave the marriage. A VERY good article written by one of my professors is titled, Marriage, Divorce and Quasi Rents: Or I gave him the best years of my life. It explains that a woman's most marketable years are her child bearing years while she is young, and a husband's most marketable years are while he is older because his earning potential is at its peak, and that incentivizes men to leave their wives while they are older, and the woman is less marketable in her older age. I cant find a link to it without having to log in to JSTOR, but here is another good article titled "What is a Wife's Worth?" that refers to his article: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...&brand=ucpress

Next, about the United States vs. Canada maternity leave. I actually wrote an article comparing the maternity leave policies of multiple countries in a comparative law course, and the US maternity leave policy is SHOCKING. The United States has one of the lowest female participation rates in the workforce, partially because it is so hard for a mother to transition into and out of the workforce. It actually WOULD NOT raise taxes to have a comprehensive maternity leave program in the United States. Think about it this way, if a woman can stay in the workforce, leave to have children, and then reenter smoothly, then over her life, she will pay more into the system in taxes, over a woman who leaves the workforce and cannot reenter, therefore, paying into the program that assisted her. Additionally, many women leave the workforce and then turn to social welfare programs, a comprehensive maternity leave program would partially just be a diversion of funds from a welfare program to a maternity program, which is better for women in the long run. I will put a very points from my paper below, if anyone wants to read all 35 pages, I will gladly send it to them.

The United States is part of a select group of countries, comprised of the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia, and Lesotho, who do not mandate any type of paid maternity leave for new mothers. Additionally, the United States is also in a select group of countries who have not adopted the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” convention of the International Labor Organization, even though 39 other nations have accepted it, including nine Iron-Curtain countries. Furthermore, the United States has more than a 10% disparity in the employment rates between men and women. In addition, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. In the largest companies, men are 96.6% of CEO’s, 92.5% of top earners, 85.9% of executive officers, and 83.9% of board members. In the 2012 election cycle, it was heralded that there were now 20 women senators, even though this means that 80% of the United States Senate is still comprised of men.
This paper explains that these disparities are a result of a system in the United States that does too little to afford women and mothers equal participation in the workforce. I will compare the laws and regulations of the United States to those of Canada, Belgium, Iceland and Sweden, and show that the United States is failing its women, mothers, families and economy. I will show that not only would it be economically and socially equitable to encourage workforce participation, but that it would be economically and socially beneficial to promote an agenda of inclusiveness when it comes to women and mothers in the workforce.

Sweden has one of the most extensive maternity and paternity leave policies in the world. First, a pregnant woman is required to take two weeks of paid leave before or after the delivery of a baby. A pregnant woman can also take indefinite leave for the duration of her pregnancy if the job poses a risk to the fetus, paid at 80% of her wages. A woman may also take 50 days of the last 60 days of her pregnancy on leave if her job is physically demanding, also paid at 80% of her earnings.
After delivery, the parents are (collectively) entitled to 480 days of paid leave. Of the 480 days, 390 are paid at 80% of the parents’ salary (up to 49,305 euros per year, or about $65,171 U.S. dollars), and the remaining 90 days are at a flat 20 euros per day, or about $26 U.S. dollars. Sixty days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining is split between the parents, but can be transferred from one parent to another. Additionally, the parent’s are each entitled to 18 months leave from work, unpaid. A parent may also take the same amount of parental and maternity leave if another child is born or adopted within 30 months of the earlier child. The leave can be taken any time before the child’s 8th birthday, and the paid and unpaid leave may be divided between the parents and used individually or consecutively for the most flexibility. The leave may also be used to split up full workdays, for example, a hundred days of paid leave would allow a parent to work half time for 200 days. In addition to parental leave benefits, either parent is allowed to reduce their workday by 25% (unpaid) in order to care for children up until the age of 8. Also, Sweden offers generous childcare and sick child programs.
In order to qualify for 80% of your salary, a parent would need to have had an income greater than 20 euros a day (or about $26) for 240 days before the expected date of delivery or adoption. If the parent has not met this requirement they are not entitled to 80% of their salary, but they are eligible for 20 euros per day for 480 days (or about $12,689 U.S. dollars total). In order to fund these extensive leave programs, payments come from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and employers and self-employed individuals make contributions. Employers pay 31.42% on all employees’ earnings total, and 2.2% of this is earmarked for this parental insurance, and the government makes up any shortfall. Finally, a study found that because the leave policies allowed fathers to stay home at well, for each month the father stayed home instead of the mother, her income increased by 7% in the long term. Thus, these policies have also been a tool to help close the gender pay gap. Moreover, there is no incentive to hire men over women because both parties are entitled to leave for the care of children.

b. Canada

The Canadian government has both a leave and benefits program available to new mothers, where women can take between 17 and 52 weeks of leave from their jobs, depending on the length of the employment and the hours worked. A pregnant woman or new mother can take 15 weeks of maternity leave, and then either parent may take up to 35 weeks of paid parental leave, or the leave may be split between the two parents. The program pays the parent 55% of their weekly salary, up to a maximum of $485 per week, and low income families can receive up to 80% of their weekly salary, but still capped at a maximum $485 weekly.
This program is funded through the Federal Employment Insurance Program, where employers contribute 2.49% of earnings and employees contribute 1.78% of earnings. These benefits are also taxed in the same way as traditional wages. In order to qualify for the leave program, the employee must have been employed by the same employer continuously for 600 hours over the previous 52 weeks (totaling about 11 hours per week). Unlike Sweden, the program does not allow “stacking” of children, and there must be 600 hours worked between children in order to be re-eligible for the program.



Finally, I think every family needs to do what is best for them. I do not know yet whether I will be a WOHM or SAHM, but being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, and no woman should ever be shamed because of her decision to stay home. In fact, if I decide not to use my law degree, and instead stay home with my children, I hope that no one will lament the fact that ALL I did was stay home when I had so many other opportunities, because raising children is a very noble and difficult professor. However, I do believe that I can serve a unique social function of helping others with my law degree, so I am waiting to find a position that works well with my family obligations. And in the end, I am just doing whats best for my family, like every other woman on this thread.

In conclusion, I really hope no one is offended at this post. Please don't take any single word out of context, because absolutely nothing in this post is meant to diminish any woman's worth or value.

If you got this far, salutes to you!


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Old 05-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #582
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Re: Second Wives Club

We praise our kids and we tell them that they are smart. So far it's working.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:01 PM   #583
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Re: Second Wives Club

And if it makes a difference and my opinion is entitled to more weight, I AM a 7 year DS veteran.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #584
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We praise our kids and we tell them that they are smart. So far it's working.
Please don't misunderstand. We praise our kids, and often. I just try to praise them for working through a problem rather than using the phrase "you're so smart". I slip sometimes because they ARE smart, LOL.

My personal experience with being told "you're smart, you should know this/this should be easy for you" is part of my motivation. Also, what works in my particular household and for my particular family won't work for everyone and I'm not suggesting it will.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #585
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Ok, I am very late to the party, but think I may have some good to contribute, but fair warning, this will be long, probably not controversial, and I am a thread killer, so no one will probably respond.

A little background about me, I am a recent law school graduate, sitting for the bar in July, have extensive family law background, and have been a WOHM and a SAHM. And contrary to a comment I read in the early pages of this thread, my law degree was not handed to me. I grew up very poor and worked my way up (with THREE kids!) and have almost $200,000 in loans to show for it. I finished college while my husband was overseas in Iraq, and I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old being diagnosed with autism. It was the worst time in my life, I never slept, I was not a good mother, but I got through it and graduated at the top of my class with two degrees (I was also in school full time and working part time as a waitress). I also had NO family, we lived in upstate NY with the military, and I had to battle snow 10 feet high to even get to school in the winter. I did not pay for my undergrad degree because we were low income, had 2 kids, and my Pell grants covered my tuition. So, I do believe that it is possible for most women to go back to school, but it is a very personal choice for every family. On top of that, college degrees are a dime a dozen, and unless you go for something specific and marketable, it may not be worth it for your family to go through the stress to finish a degree that wont be utilized.

Additionally, I think the elephant in the room is that, not everyone CAN, either with their socioeconomic status or intelligence level. I think a lot of the conversations in this thread have been dominated by the posters particular socioeconomic status. Additionally, while everyone here I believe is intelligent, well thought out, and articulate, it is a simple fact, that not everyone will be a lawyer, or a doctor, or even a nurse. Approximately 50% of the country has an IQ below 100 (which is why 100 is the median IQ), and many will work service jobs (and many with IQs above 100 will also work these jobs!) or work for low wages. It really may not be possible for this portion of America to go back to school, or it wouldn't be worth it! Not everyone can just go back to college easily, absorb the information, and then put it to good use, this is a LUXURY that not everyone in America has. Yes, everyone should live up to their full potential, but if college has a negative return on investment, it is not worth it just to say you have a college degree! In fact, a trade school would probably be much more utilized than a college degree in this economy. Additionally, socio-economic status also plays a large part.

However, I do think it is good for women to take charge of their own well being, and have a contingency plan. Face it, 50% of the population is getting divorced, and women come in here to DS every day shocked that one day their spouse up and left. However, ALIMONY certainly plays into this contingency plan! Alimony serves a very important social function. FIRST, it disincentives divorce. Which generally, the courts, and society view as a positive social benefit. Society doesn't like divorce, and if a husband is thinking of leaving, but knows he may have to pay his wife thousands a month in alimony for her sacrifice, then he may think twice. Additionally, it also incentivizes spouses in bad marriages to get out when it gets really bad! For example, if a woman is being abused by her husband, but has no safety net, she may leave if she knows that she is entitled to alimony from her husband and can afford to leave the marriage. A VERY good article written by one of my professors is titled, Marriage, Divorce and Quasi Rents: Or I gave him the best years of my life. It explains that a woman's most marketable years are her child bearing years while she is young, and a husband's most marketable years are while he is older because his earning potential is at its peak, and that incentivizes men to leave their wives while they are older, and the woman is less marketable in her older age. I cant find a link to it without having to log in to JSTOR, but here is another good article titled "What is a Wife's Worth?" that refers to his article: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...&brand=ucpress

Next, about the United States vs. Canada maternity leave. I actually wrote an article comparing the maternity leave policies of multiple countries in a comparative law course, and the US maternity leave policy is SHOCKING. The United States has one of the lowest female participation rates in the workforce, partially because it is so hard for a mother to transition into and out of the workforce. It actually WOULD NOT raise taxes to have a comprehensive maternity leave program in the United States. Think about it this way, if a woman can stay in the workforce, leave to have children, and then reenter smoothly, then over her life, she will pay more into the system in taxes, over a woman who leaves the workforce and cannot reenter, therefore, paying into the program that assisted her. Additionally, many women leave the workforce and then turn to social welfare programs, a comprehensive maternity leave program would partially just be a diversion of funds from a welfare program to a maternity program, which is better for women in the long run. I will put a very points from my paper below, if anyone wants to read all 35 pages, I will gladly send it to them.

The United States is part of a select group of countries, comprised of the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia, and Lesotho, who do not mandate any type of paid maternity leave for new mothers. Additionally, the United States is also in a select group of countries who have not adopted the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” convention of the International Labor Organization, even though 39 other nations have accepted it, including nine Iron-Curtain countries. Furthermore, the United States has more than a 10% disparity in the employment rates between men and women. In addition, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. In the largest companies, men are 96.6% of CEO’s, 92.5% of top earners, 85.9% of executive officers, and 83.9% of board members. In the 2012 election cycle, it was heralded that there were now 20 women senators, even though this means that 80% of the United States Senate is still comprised of men.
This paper explains that these disparities are a result of a system in the United States that does too little to afford women and mothers equal participation in the workforce. I will compare the laws and regulations of the United States to those of Canada, Belgium, Iceland and Sweden, and show that the United States is failing its women, mothers, families and economy. I will show that not only would it be economically and socially equitable to encourage workforce participation, but that it would be economically and socially beneficial to promote an agenda of inclusiveness when it comes to women and mothers in the workforce.

Sweden has one of the most extensive maternity and paternity leave policies in the world. First, a pregnant woman is required to take two weeks of paid leave before or after the delivery of a baby. A pregnant woman can also take indefinite leave for the duration of her pregnancy if the job poses a risk to the fetus, paid at 80% of her wages. A woman may also take 50 days of the last 60 days of her pregnancy on leave if her job is physically demanding, also paid at 80% of her earnings.
After delivery, the parents are (collectively) entitled to 480 days of paid leave. Of the 480 days, 390 are paid at 80% of the parents’ salary (up to 49,305 euros per year, or about $65,171 U.S. dollars), and the remaining 90 days are at a flat 20 euros per day, or about $26 U.S. dollars. Sixty days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining is split between the parents, but can be transferred from one parent to another. Additionally, the parent’s are each entitled to 18 months leave from work, unpaid. A parent may also take the same amount of parental and maternity leave if another child is born or adopted within 30 months of the earlier child. The leave can be taken any time before the child’s 8th birthday, and the paid and unpaid leave may be divided between the parents and used individually or consecutively for the most flexibility. The leave may also be used to split up full workdays, for example, a hundred days of paid leave would allow a parent to work half time for 200 days. In addition to parental leave benefits, either parent is allowed to reduce their workday by 25% (unpaid) in order to care for children up until the age of 8. Also, Sweden offers generous childcare and sick child programs.
In order to qualify for 80% of your salary, a parent would need to have had an income greater than 20 euros a day (or about $26) for 240 days before the expected date of delivery or adoption. If the parent has not met this requirement they are not entitled to 80% of their salary, but they are eligible for 20 euros per day for 480 days (or about $12,689 U.S. dollars total). In order to fund these extensive leave programs, payments come from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and employers and self-employed individuals make contributions. Employers pay 31.42% on all employees’ earnings total, and 2.2% of this is earmarked for this parental insurance, and the government makes up any shortfall. Finally, a study found that because the leave policies allowed fathers to stay home at well, for each month the father stayed home instead of the mother, her income increased by 7% in the long term. Thus, these policies have also been a tool to help close the gender pay gap. Moreover, there is no incentive to hire men over women because both parties are entitled to leave for the care of children.

b. Canada

The Canadian government has both a leave and benefits program available to new mothers, where women can take between 17 and 52 weeks of leave from their jobs, depending on the length of the employment and the hours worked. A pregnant woman or new mother can take 15 weeks of maternity leave, and then either parent may take up to 35 weeks of paid parental leave, or the leave may be split between the two parents. The program pays the parent 55% of their weekly salary, up to a maximum of $485 per week, and low income families can receive up to 80% of their weekly salary, but still capped at a maximum $485 weekly.
This program is funded through the Federal Employment Insurance Program, where employers contribute 2.49% of earnings and employees contribute 1.78% of earnings. These benefits are also taxed in the same way as traditional wages. In order to qualify for the leave program, the employee must have been employed by the same employer continuously for 600 hours over the previous 52 weeks (totaling about 11 hours per week). Unlike Sweden, the program does not allow “stacking” of children, and there must be 600 hours worked between children in order to be re-eligible for the program.

Finally, I think every family needs to do what is best for them. I do not know yet whether I will be a WOHM or SAHM, but being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, and no woman should ever be shamed because of her decision to stay home. In fact, if I decide not to use my law degree, and instead stay home with my children, I hope that no one will lament the fact that ALL I did was stay home when I had so many other opportunities, because raising children is a very noble and difficult professor. However, I do believe that I can serve a unique social function of helping others with my law degree, so I am waiting to find a position that works well with my family obligations. And in the end, I am just doing whats best for my family, like every other woman on this thread.

In conclusion, I really hope no one is offended at this post. Please don't take any single word out of context, because absolutely nothing in this post is meant to diminish any woman's worth or value.

If you got this far, salutes to you!

You hit so many points right on the nose.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:06 PM   #586
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We praise our kids and we tell them that they are smart. So far it's working.
There is nothing wrong with telling your child that they are smart. Everyone likes hearing that, even as adults . But like you said you praise them also. You point out the things that they did well or accomplished.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #587
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And if it makes a difference and my opinion is entitled to more weight, I AM a 7 year DS veteran.
Rather than quoting the long post previous, I just quoted this, but I think you nailed a lot of important points here. America's lack of support for mothers leaves them having to make a decision, whereas many other countries allow them to have both. You can be an average, middle class family, stay home for a solid year, and return to a great career. A woman who feels the need to return to the workforce sooner for any number of reasons can feel confident leaving her baby in the loving hands of her husband. Instead of paying a stranger nearly their entire paycheck to do it.
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:25 PM   #588
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Re: Second Wives Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by HisFadedStar View Post
Ok, I am very late to the party, but think I may have some good to contribute, but fair warning, this will be long, probably not controversial, and I am a thread killer, so no one will probably respond.

A little background about me, I am a recent law school graduate, sitting for the bar in July, have extensive family law background, and have been a WOHM and a SAHM. And contrary to a comment I read in the early pages of this thread, my law degree was not handed to me. I grew up very poor and worked my way up (with THREE kids!) and have almost $200,000 in loans to show for it. I finished college while my husband was overseas in Iraq, and I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old being diagnosed with autism. It was the worst time in my life, I never slept, I was not a good mother, but I got through it and graduated at the top of my class with two degrees (I was also in school full time and working part time as a waitress). I also had NO family, we lived in upstate NY with the military, and I had to battle snow 10 feet high to even get to school in the winter. I did not pay for my undergrad degree because we were low income, had 2 kids, and my Pell grants covered my tuition. So, I do believe that it is possible for most women to go back to school, but it is a very personal choice for every family. On top of that, college degrees are a dime a dozen, and unless you go for something specific and marketable, it may not be worth it for your family to go through the stress to finish a degree that wont be utilized.

Additionally, I think the elephant in the room is that, not everyone CAN, either with their socioeconomic status or intelligence level. I think a lot of the conversations in this thread have been dominated by the posters particular socioeconomic status. Additionally, while everyone here I believe is intelligent, well thought out, and articulate, it is a simple fact, that not everyone will be a lawyer, or a doctor, or even a nurse. Approximately 50% of the country has an IQ below 100 (which is why 100 is the median IQ), and many will work service jobs (and many with IQs above 100 will also work these jobs!) or work for low wages. It really may not be possible for this portion of America to go back to school, or it wouldn't be worth it! Not everyone can just go back to college easily, absorb the information, and then put it to good use, this is a LUXURY that not everyone in America has. Yes, everyone should live up to their full potential, but if college has a negative return on investment, it is not worth it just to say you have a college degree! In fact, a trade school would probably be much more utilized than a college degree in this economy. Additionally, socio-economic status also plays a large part.

However, I do think it is good for women to take charge of their own well being, and have a contingency plan. Face it, 50% of the population is getting divorced, and women come in here to DS every day shocked that one day their spouse up and left. However, ALIMONY certainly plays into this contingency plan! Alimony serves a very important social function. FIRST, it disincentives divorce. Which generally, the courts, and society view as a positive social benefit. Society doesn't like divorce, and if a husband is thinking of leaving, but knows he may have to pay his wife thousands a month in alimony for her sacrifice, then he may think twice. Additionally, it also incentivizes spouses in bad marriages to get out when it gets really bad! For example, if a woman is being abused by her husband, but has no safety net, she may leave if she knows that she is entitled to alimony from her husband and can afford to leave the marriage. A VERY good article written by one of my professors is titled, Marriage, Divorce and Quasi Rents: Or I gave him the best years of my life. It explains that a woman's most marketable years are her child bearing years while she is young, and a husband's most marketable years are while he is older because his earning potential is at its peak, and that incentivizes men to leave their wives while they are older, and the woman is less marketable in her older age. I cant find a link to it without having to log in to JSTOR, but here is another good article titled "What is a Wife's Worth?" that refers to his article: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...&brand=ucpress

Next, about the United States vs. Canada maternity leave. I actually wrote an article comparing the maternity leave policies of multiple countries in a comparative law course, and the US maternity leave policy is SHOCKING. The United States has one of the lowest female participation rates in the workforce, partially because it is so hard for a mother to transition into and out of the workforce. It actually WOULD NOT raise taxes to have a comprehensive maternity leave program in the United States. Think about it this way, if a woman can stay in the workforce, leave to have children, and then reenter smoothly, then over her life, she will pay more into the system in taxes, over a woman who leaves the workforce and cannot reenter, therefore, paying into the program that assisted her. Additionally, many women leave the workforce and then turn to social welfare programs, a comprehensive maternity leave program would partially just be a diversion of funds from a welfare program to a maternity program, which is better for women in the long run. I will put a very points from my paper below, if anyone wants to read all 35 pages, I will gladly send it to them.

The United States is part of a select group of countries, comprised of the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia, and Lesotho, who do not mandate any type of paid maternity leave for new mothers. Additionally, the United States is also in a select group of countries who have not adopted the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” convention of the International Labor Organization, even though 39 other nations have accepted it, including nine Iron-Curtain countries. Furthermore, the United States has more than a 10% disparity in the employment rates between men and women. In addition, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. In the largest companies, men are 96.6% of CEO’s, 92.5% of top earners, 85.9% of executive officers, and 83.9% of board members. In the 2012 election cycle, it was heralded that there were now 20 women senators, even though this means that 80% of the United States Senate is still comprised of men.
This paper explains that these disparities are a result of a system in the United States that does too little to afford women and mothers equal participation in the workforce. I will compare the laws and regulations of the United States to those of Canada, Belgium, Iceland and Sweden, and show that the United States is failing its women, mothers, families and economy. I will show that not only would it be economically and socially equitable to encourage workforce participation, but that it would be economically and socially beneficial to promote an agenda of inclusiveness when it comes to women and mothers in the workforce.

Sweden has one of the most extensive maternity and paternity leave policies in the world. First, a pregnant woman is required to take two weeks of paid leave before or after the delivery of a baby. A pregnant woman can also take indefinite leave for the duration of her pregnancy if the job poses a risk to the fetus, paid at 80% of her wages. A woman may also take 50 days of the last 60 days of her pregnancy on leave if her job is physically demanding, also paid at 80% of her earnings.
After delivery, the parents are (collectively) entitled to 480 days of paid leave. Of the 480 days, 390 are paid at 80% of the parents’ salary (up to 49,305 euros per year, or about $65,171 U.S. dollars), and the remaining 90 days are at a flat 20 euros per day, or about $26 U.S. dollars. Sixty days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining is split between the parents, but can be transferred from one parent to another. Additionally, the parent’s are each entitled to 18 months leave from work, unpaid. A parent may also take the same amount of parental and maternity leave if another child is born or adopted within 30 months of the earlier child. The leave can be taken any time before the child’s 8th birthday, and the paid and unpaid leave may be divided between the parents and used individually or consecutively for the most flexibility. The leave may also be used to split up full workdays, for example, a hundred days of paid leave would allow a parent to work half time for 200 days. In addition to parental leave benefits, either parent is allowed to reduce their workday by 25% (unpaid) in order to care for children up until the age of 8. Also, Sweden offers generous childcare and sick child programs.
In order to qualify for 80% of your salary, a parent would need to have had an income greater than 20 euros a day (or about $26) for 240 days before the expected date of delivery or adoption. If the parent has not met this requirement they are not entitled to 80% of their salary, but they are eligible for 20 euros per day for 480 days (or about $12,689 U.S. dollars total). In order to fund these extensive leave programs, payments come from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and employers and self-employed individuals make contributions. Employers pay 31.42% on all employees’ earnings total, and 2.2% of this is earmarked for this parental insurance, and the government makes up any shortfall. Finally, a study found that because the leave policies allowed fathers to stay home at well, for each month the father stayed home instead of the mother, her income increased by 7% in the long term. Thus, these policies have also been a tool to help close the gender pay gap. Moreover, there is no incentive to hire men over women because both parties are entitled to leave for the care of children.

b. Canada

The Canadian government has both a leave and benefits program available to new mothers, where women can take between 17 and 52 weeks of leave from their jobs, depending on the length of the employment and the hours worked. A pregnant woman or new mother can take 15 weeks of maternity leave, and then either parent may take up to 35 weeks of paid parental leave, or the leave may be split between the two parents. The program pays the parent 55% of their weekly salary, up to a maximum of $485 per week, and low income families can receive up to 80% of their weekly salary, but still capped at a maximum $485 weekly.
This program is funded through the Federal Employment Insurance Program, where employers contribute 2.49% of earnings and employees contribute 1.78% of earnings. These benefits are also taxed in the same way as traditional wages. In order to qualify for the leave program, the employee must have been employed by the same employer continuously for 600 hours over the previous 52 weeks (totaling about 11 hours per week). Unlike Sweden, the program does not allow “stacking” of children, and there must be 600 hours worked between children in order to be re-eligible for the program.



Finally, I think every family needs to do what is best for them. I do not know yet whether I will be a WOHM or SAHM, but being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, and no woman should ever be shamed because of her decision to stay home. In fact, if I decide not to use my law degree, and instead stay home with my children, I hope that no one will lament the fact that ALL I did was stay home when I had so many other opportunities, because raising children is a very noble and difficult professor. However, I do believe that I can serve a unique social function of helping others with my law degree, so I am waiting to find a position that works well with my family obligations. And in the end, I am just doing whats best for my family, like every other woman on this thread.

In conclusion, I really hope no one is offended at this post. Please don't take any single word out of context, because absolutely nothing in this post is meant to diminish any woman's worth or value.

If you got this far, salutes to you!


*applause*
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:55 PM   #589
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Originally Posted by HisFadedStar View Post
Ok, I am very late to the party, but think I may have some good to contribute, but fair warning, this will be long, probably not controversial, and I am a thread killer, so no one will probably respond.

A little background about me, I am a recent law school graduate, sitting for the bar in July, have extensive family law background, and have been a WOHM and a SAHM. And contrary to a comment I read in the early pages of this thread, my law degree was not handed to me. I grew up very poor and worked my way up (with THREE kids!) and have almost $200,000 in loans to show for it. I finished college while my husband was overseas in Iraq, and I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old being diagnosed with autism. It was the worst time in my life, I never slept, I was not a good mother, but I got through it and graduated at the top of my class with two degrees (I was also in school full time and working part time as a waitress). I also had NO family, we lived in upstate NY with the military, and I had to battle snow 10 feet high to even get to school in the winter. I did not pay for my undergrad degree because we were low income, had 2 kids, and my Pell grants covered my tuition. So, I do believe that it is possible for most women to go back to school, but it is a very personal choice for every family. On top of that, college degrees are a dime a dozen, and unless you go for something specific and marketable, it may not be worth it for your family to go through the stress to finish a degree that wont be utilized.

Additionally, I think the elephant in the room is that, not everyone CAN, either with their socioeconomic status or intelligence level. I think a lot of the conversations in this thread have been dominated by the posters particular socioeconomic status. Additionally, while everyone here I believe is intelligent, well thought out, and articulate, it is a simple fact, that not everyone will be a lawyer, or a doctor, or even a nurse. Approximately 50% of the country has an IQ below 100 (which is why 100 is the median IQ), and many will work service jobs (and many with IQs above 100 will also work these jobs!) or work for low wages. It really may not be possible for this portion of America to go back to school, or it wouldn't be worth it! Not everyone can just go back to college easily, absorb the information, and then put it to good use, this is a LUXURY that not everyone in America has. Yes, everyone should live up to their full potential, but if college has a negative return on investment, it is not worth it just to say you have a college degree! In fact, a trade school would probably be much more utilized than a college degree in this economy. Additionally, socio-economic status also plays a large part.

However, I do think it is good for women to take charge of their own well being, and have a contingency plan. Face it, 50% of the population is getting divorced, and women come in here to DS every day shocked that one day their spouse up and left. However, ALIMONY certainly plays into this contingency plan! Alimony serves a very important social function. FIRST, it disincentives divorce. Which generally, the courts, and society view as a positive social benefit. Society doesn't like divorce, and if a husband is thinking of leaving, but knows he may have to pay his wife thousands a month in alimony for her sacrifice, then he may think twice. Additionally, it also incentivizes spouses in bad marriages to get out when it gets really bad! For example, if a woman is being abused by her husband, but has no safety net, she may leave if she knows that she is entitled to alimony from her husband and can afford to leave the marriage. A VERY good article written by one of my professors is titled, Marriage, Divorce and Quasi Rents: Or I gave him the best years of my life. It explains that a woman's most marketable years are her child bearing years while she is young, and a husband's most marketable years are while he is older because his earning potential is at its peak, and that incentivizes men to leave their wives while they are older, and the woman is less marketable in her older age. I cant find a link to it without having to log in to JSTOR, but here is another good article titled "What is a Wife's Worth?" that refers to his article: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...&brand=ucpress

Next, about the United States vs. Canada maternity leave. I actually wrote an article comparing the maternity leave policies of multiple countries in a comparative law course, and the US maternity leave policy is SHOCKING. The United States has one of the lowest female participation rates in the workforce, partially because it is so hard for a mother to transition into and out of the workforce. It actually WOULD NOT raise taxes to have a comprehensive maternity leave program in the United States. Think about it this way, if a woman can stay in the workforce, leave to have children, and then reenter smoothly, then over her life, she will pay more into the system in taxes, over a woman who leaves the workforce and cannot reenter, therefore, paying into the program that assisted her. Additionally, many women leave the workforce and then turn to social welfare programs, a comprehensive maternity leave program would partially just be a diversion of funds from a welfare program to a maternity program, which is better for women in the long run. I will put a very points from my paper below, if anyone wants to read all 35 pages, I will gladly send it to them.

The United States is part of a select group of countries, comprised of the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia, and Lesotho, who do not mandate any type of paid maternity leave for new mothers. Additionally, the United States is also in a select group of countries who have not adopted the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” convention of the International Labor Organization, even though 39 other nations have accepted it, including nine Iron-Curtain countries. Furthermore, the United States has more than a 10% disparity in the employment rates between men and women. In addition, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. In the largest companies, men are 96.6% of CEO’s, 92.5% of top earners, 85.9% of executive officers, and 83.9% of board members. In the 2012 election cycle, it was heralded that there were now 20 women senators, even though this means that 80% of the United States Senate is still comprised of men.
This paper explains that these disparities are a result of a system in the United States that does too little to afford women and mothers equal participation in the workforce. I will compare the laws and regulations of the United States to those of Canada, Belgium, Iceland and Sweden, and show that the United States is failing its women, mothers, families and economy. I will show that not only would it be economically and socially equitable to encourage workforce participation, but that it would be economically and socially beneficial to promote an agenda of inclusiveness when it comes to women and mothers in the workforce.

Sweden has one of the most extensive maternity and paternity leave policies in the world. First, a pregnant woman is required to take two weeks of paid leave before or after the delivery of a baby. A pregnant woman can also take indefinite leave for the duration of her pregnancy if the job poses a risk to the fetus, paid at 80% of her wages. A woman may also take 50 days of the last 60 days of her pregnancy on leave if her job is physically demanding, also paid at 80% of her earnings.
After delivery, the parents are (collectively) entitled to 480 days of paid leave. Of the 480 days, 390 are paid at 80% of the parents’ salary (up to 49,305 euros per year, or about $65,171 U.S. dollars), and the remaining 90 days are at a flat 20 euros per day, or about $26 U.S. dollars. Sixty days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining is split between the parents, but can be transferred from one parent to another. Additionally, the parent’s are each entitled to 18 months leave from work, unpaid. A parent may also take the same amount of parental and maternity leave if another child is born or adopted within 30 months of the earlier child. The leave can be taken any time before the child’s 8th birthday, and the paid and unpaid leave may be divided between the parents and used individually or consecutively for the most flexibility. The leave may also be used to split up full workdays, for example, a hundred days of paid leave would allow a parent to work half time for 200 days. In addition to parental leave benefits, either parent is allowed to reduce their workday by 25% (unpaid) in order to care for children up until the age of 8. Also, Sweden offers generous childcare and sick child programs.
In order to qualify for 80% of your salary, a parent would need to have had an income greater than 20 euros a day (or about $26) for 240 days before the expected date of delivery or adoption. If the parent has not met this requirement they are not entitled to 80% of their salary, but they are eligible for 20 euros per day for 480 days (or about $12,689 U.S. dollars total). In order to fund these extensive leave programs, payments come from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and employers and self-employed individuals make contributions. Employers pay 31.42% on all employees’ earnings total, and 2.2% of this is earmarked for this parental insurance, and the government makes up any shortfall. Finally, a study found that because the leave policies allowed fathers to stay home at well, for each month the father stayed home instead of the mother, her income increased by 7% in the long term. Thus, these policies have also been a tool to help close the gender pay gap. Moreover, there is no incentive to hire men over women because both parties are entitled to leave for the care of children.

b. Canada

The Canadian government has both a leave and benefits program available to new mothers, where women can take between 17 and 52 weeks of leave from their jobs, depending on the length of the employment and the hours worked. A pregnant woman or new mother can take 15 weeks of maternity leave, and then either parent may take up to 35 weeks of paid parental leave, or the leave may be split between the two parents. The program pays the parent 55% of their weekly salary, up to a maximum of $485 per week, and low income families can receive up to 80% of their weekly salary, but still capped at a maximum $485 weekly.
This program is funded through the Federal Employment Insurance Program, where employers contribute 2.49% of earnings and employees contribute 1.78% of earnings. These benefits are also taxed in the same way as traditional wages. In order to qualify for the leave program, the employee must have been employed by the same employer continuously for 600 hours over the previous 52 weeks (totaling about 11 hours per week). Unlike Sweden, the program does not allow “stacking” of children, and there must be 600 hours worked between children in order to be re-eligible for the program.

Finally, I think every family needs to do what is best for them. I do not know yet whether I will be a WOHM or SAHM, but being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, and no woman should ever be shamed because of her decision to stay home. In fact, if I decide not to use my law degree, and instead stay home with my children, I hope that no one will lament the fact that ALL I did was stay home when I had so many other opportunities, because raising children is a very noble and difficult professor. However, I do believe that I can serve a unique social function of helping others with my law degree, so I am waiting to find a position that works well with my family obligations. And in the end, I am just doing whats best for my family, like every other woman on this thread.

In conclusion, I really hope no one is offended at this post. Please don't take any single word out of context, because absolutely nothing in this post is meant to diminish any woman's worth or value.

If you got this far, salutes to you!

so well said
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #590
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Re: Second Wives Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by HisFadedStar View Post
Ok, I am very late to the party, but think I may have some good to contribute, but fair warning, this will be long, probably not controversial, and I am a thread killer, so no one will probably respond.

A little background about me, I am a recent law school graduate, sitting for the bar in July, have extensive family law background, and have been a WOHM and a SAHM. And contrary to a comment I read in the early pages of this thread, my law degree was not handed to me. I grew up very poor and worked my way up (with THREE kids!) and have almost $200,000 in loans to show for it. I finished college while my husband was overseas in Iraq, and I had a 3 month old and a 2 year old being diagnosed with autism. It was the worst time in my life, I never slept, I was not a good mother, but I got through it and graduated at the top of my class with two degrees (I was also in school full time and working part time as a waitress). I also had NO family, we lived in upstate NY with the military, and I had to battle snow 10 feet high to even get to school in the winter. I did not pay for my undergrad degree because we were low income, had 2 kids, and my Pell grants covered my tuition. So, I do believe that it is possible for most women to go back to school, but it is a very personal choice for every family. On top of that, college degrees are a dime a dozen, and unless you go for something specific and marketable, it may not be worth it for your family to go through the stress to finish a degree that wont be utilized.

Additionally, I think the elephant in the room is that, not everyone CAN, either with their socioeconomic status or intelligence level. I think a lot of the conversations in this thread have been dominated by the posters particular socioeconomic status. Additionally, while everyone here I believe is intelligent, well thought out, and articulate, it is a simple fact, that not everyone will be a lawyer, or a doctor, or even a nurse. Approximately 50% of the country has an IQ below 100 (which is why 100 is the median IQ), and many will work service jobs (and many with IQs above 100 will also work these jobs!) or work for low wages. It really may not be possible for this portion of America to go back to school, or it wouldn't be worth it! Not everyone can just go back to college easily, absorb the information, and then put it to good use, this is a LUXURY that not everyone in America has. Yes, everyone should live up to their full potential, but if college has a negative return on investment, it is not worth it just to say you have a college degree! In fact, a trade school would probably be much more utilized than a college degree in this economy. Additionally, socio-economic status also plays a large part.

However, I do think it is good for women to take charge of their own well being, and have a contingency plan. Face it, 50% of the population is getting divorced, and women come in here to DS every day shocked that one day their spouse up and left. However, ALIMONY certainly plays into this contingency plan! Alimony serves a very important social function. FIRST, it disincentives divorce. Which generally, the courts, and society view as a positive social benefit. Society doesn't like divorce, and if a husband is thinking of leaving, but knows he may have to pay his wife thousands a month in alimony for her sacrifice, then he may think twice. Additionally, it also incentivizes spouses in bad marriages to get out when it gets really bad! For example, if a woman is being abused by her husband, but has no safety net, she may leave if she knows that she is entitled to alimony from her husband and can afford to leave the marriage. A VERY good article written by one of my professors is titled, Marriage, Divorce and Quasi Rents: Or I gave him the best years of my life. It explains that a woman's most marketable years are her child bearing years while she is young, and a husband's most marketable years are while he is older because his earning potential is at its peak, and that incentivizes men to leave their wives while they are older, and the woman is less marketable in her older age. I cant find a link to it without having to log in to JSTOR, but here is another good article titled "What is a Wife's Worth?" that refers to his article: http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresse...&brand=ucpress

Next, about the United States vs. Canada maternity leave. I actually wrote an article comparing the maternity leave policies of multiple countries in a comparative law course, and the US maternity leave policy is SHOCKING. The United States has one of the lowest female participation rates in the workforce, partially because it is so hard for a mother to transition into and out of the workforce. It actually WOULD NOT raise taxes to have a comprehensive maternity leave program in the United States. Think about it this way, if a woman can stay in the workforce, leave to have children, and then reenter smoothly, then over her life, she will pay more into the system in taxes, over a woman who leaves the workforce and cannot reenter, therefore, paying into the program that assisted her. Additionally, many women leave the workforce and then turn to social welfare programs, a comprehensive maternity leave program would partially just be a diversion of funds from a welfare program to a maternity program, which is better for women in the long run. I will put a very points from my paper below, if anyone wants to read all 35 pages, I will gladly send it to them.

The United States is part of a select group of countries, comprised of the U.S., Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia, and Lesotho, who do not mandate any type of paid maternity leave for new mothers. Additionally, the United States is also in a select group of countries who have not adopted the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” convention of the International Labor Organization, even though 39 other nations have accepted it, including nine Iron-Curtain countries. Furthermore, the United States has more than a 10% disparity in the employment rates between men and women. In addition, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar that a male earns. In the largest companies, men are 96.6% of CEO’s, 92.5% of top earners, 85.9% of executive officers, and 83.9% of board members. In the 2012 election cycle, it was heralded that there were now 20 women senators, even though this means that 80% of the United States Senate is still comprised of men.
This paper explains that these disparities are a result of a system in the United States that does too little to afford women and mothers equal participation in the workforce. I will compare the laws and regulations of the United States to those of Canada, Belgium, Iceland and Sweden, and show that the United States is failing its women, mothers, families and economy. I will show that not only would it be economically and socially equitable to encourage workforce participation, but that it would be economically and socially beneficial to promote an agenda of inclusiveness when it comes to women and mothers in the workforce.

Sweden has one of the most extensive maternity and paternity leave policies in the world. First, a pregnant woman is required to take two weeks of paid leave before or after the delivery of a baby. A pregnant woman can also take indefinite leave for the duration of her pregnancy if the job poses a risk to the fetus, paid at 80% of her wages. A woman may also take 50 days of the last 60 days of her pregnancy on leave if her job is physically demanding, also paid at 80% of her earnings.
After delivery, the parents are (collectively) entitled to 480 days of paid leave. Of the 480 days, 390 are paid at 80% of the parents’ salary (up to 49,305 euros per year, or about $65,171 U.S. dollars), and the remaining 90 days are at a flat 20 euros per day, or about $26 U.S. dollars. Sixty days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining is split between the parents, but can be transferred from one parent to another. Additionally, the parent’s are each entitled to 18 months leave from work, unpaid. A parent may also take the same amount of parental and maternity leave if another child is born or adopted within 30 months of the earlier child. The leave can be taken any time before the child’s 8th birthday, and the paid and unpaid leave may be divided between the parents and used individually or consecutively for the most flexibility. The leave may also be used to split up full workdays, for example, a hundred days of paid leave would allow a parent to work half time for 200 days. In addition to parental leave benefits, either parent is allowed to reduce their workday by 25% (unpaid) in order to care for children up until the age of 8. Also, Sweden offers generous childcare and sick child programs.
In order to qualify for 80% of your salary, a parent would need to have had an income greater than 20 euros a day (or about $26) for 240 days before the expected date of delivery or adoption. If the parent has not met this requirement they are not entitled to 80% of their salary, but they are eligible for 20 euros per day for 480 days (or about $12,689 U.S. dollars total). In order to fund these extensive leave programs, payments come from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, and employers and self-employed individuals make contributions. Employers pay 31.42% on all employees’ earnings total, and 2.2% of this is earmarked for this parental insurance, and the government makes up any shortfall. Finally, a study found that because the leave policies allowed fathers to stay home at well, for each month the father stayed home instead of the mother, her income increased by 7% in the long term. Thus, these policies have also been a tool to help close the gender pay gap. Moreover, there is no incentive to hire men over women because both parties are entitled to leave for the care of children.

b. Canada

The Canadian government has both a leave and benefits program available to new mothers, where women can take between 17 and 52 weeks of leave from their jobs, depending on the length of the employment and the hours worked. A pregnant woman or new mother can take 15 weeks of maternity leave, and then either parent may take up to 35 weeks of paid parental leave, or the leave may be split between the two parents. The program pays the parent 55% of their weekly salary, up to a maximum of $485 per week, and low income families can receive up to 80% of their weekly salary, but still capped at a maximum $485 weekly.
This program is funded through the Federal Employment Insurance Program, where employers contribute 2.49% of earnings and employees contribute 1.78% of earnings. These benefits are also taxed in the same way as traditional wages. In order to qualify for the leave program, the employee must have been employed by the same employer continuously for 600 hours over the previous 52 weeks (totaling about 11 hours per week). Unlike Sweden, the program does not allow “stacking” of children, and there must be 600 hours worked between children in order to be re-eligible for the program.



Finally, I think every family needs to do what is best for them. I do not know yet whether I will be a WOHM or SAHM, but being a SAHM is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had in my life, and no woman should ever be shamed because of her decision to stay home. In fact, if I decide not to use my law degree, and instead stay home with my children, I hope that no one will lament the fact that ALL I did was stay home when I had so many other opportunities, because raising children is a very noble and difficult professor. However, I do believe that I can serve a unique social function of helping others with my law degree, so I am waiting to find a position that works well with my family obligations. And in the end, I am just doing whats best for my family, like every other woman on this thread.

In conclusion, I really hope no one is offended at this post. Please don't take any single word out of context, because absolutely nothing in this post is meant to diminish any woman's worth or value.

If you got this far, salutes to you!

I'm so glad you have the specific facts. I was trying to write a post like this but was too lazy to look up all the facts. (It would not have been this good either!)

I love the points you have made. It occurred to me a day or two ago that everyone is talking here about going back to school but there are only so many jobs you can do with college/university type schooling. Not everyone likes, wants to or do well in those jobs. The discussion was really biased in that respect.
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Last edited by vatblack; 05-27-2013 at 04:27 PM.
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