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What Sarah learned on parental leave


Sarah, Matt, and Ezra dive into how other countries design parental leave policies — and what the US could do better. Plus: a white paper on subways, and outer space! References and further reading: RAND review on child care allowance Pew research finds birthrates are down while the desire to have kids is not ProPublica relates mothers to candy wrappers Henrik Levin charts attitudes toward working mothers with school-age children White paper on subways and pollution in urban centers 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Yeah? This is Marquez Brownie Acre and Cuba HD, and this is Andrew Manga Nellie. We will introduce you to our podcast way, form the new sedition to the Vocs media podcast network, so I've spent over ten years reviewing tech products and consumer electronics for millions of people. on the empty Beastie Youtube Channel and now on the way form podcast Andrew and I use that experience to dig even deeper into latest tech for smartphones too. I max to electric cars. So if you're gadget lover or attack head or if you just want to figure out whether the latest gadget is worth your harder in cash, give us a lesson say can find way form the empty beauty podcast on your favorite Parker,
at every Friday see over there. Always as I want a banner with me, a low and welcome to another episode of the waves on the box, media pod, cuss network Matthew, glaziers fuel as recline and back with us, Sir Cliff Ocean I'm here well, where have you been? and on parental leave. I had a baby in June and he is great and his name is MAX and is about
we're months old now, when great alarm suits whenever Amazon Rights and whose either held there we are laying amicably would have to lead that up. Yeah we'll have to start malaria tat, maybe as yet talking is important, so important part. So we thought we would come back to this with actually talking about leave policy, an enchanted failing policy, so I've been interested in for the past have you ever had to give up its about now? I have a second host to doubt whether we and what what do you think yeah. So as someone who was recently on leave and someone interestin policy, it is, I spent a little while this weekend of diving into the research around parental leave, in child care. Anything interesting to think of a kind of this way we have a lot of children who are basically zero to three. If you don't we generally agree? It is a good idea to keep our children to keep society in existence. You have these kids, who are really small, who do not fit
and you can like our norm, all public education system there too young for that public benefit in is this policy decision that every government has to make about. How do provide care to those children? How do we or do we help parents provide care to this group of children? This kind of under three sat- and you is, I think, about it now, Think it's almost like a spectrum. Where were you knows, with one, you could do nothing, which is the american option you can just have. People have children and have been credible and great. You know I'm lucky to work at a company that provides paid parental leave, but that does not mandate in the. U s the kind of did you get in the United States is a guarantee that you can keep your job twelve weeks after you have your baby. If you come back, but you are not paid, you are not required to be paid during that time. So you don't want. I don't spectrum, you know it's just. Do nothing! It's up to the parents, that's a pretty rare policy decision for governments to make
the next step is providing parental leave. You know requiring either the governor the companies to pay people while they are off raising their children. This is what most countries do There's huge variation is looking at some of the research on european countries. In the Czech Republic, women are provided with twenty eight weeks and maternity leave with seven percent of their salary, followed up with four years of parental leave, which seems like an incredibly long time paid their job or so protect its allowed prerogative yeah, so that others are true the things going on. How do we even had four set- I don't know I like this. If he's gone for four years, like the company's changed, a lot over, the company may not have the right to get so. You know that's one thing you can do you can try parental leave. You can provide subsidies, childcare! You can you say you can go back to work and we are going to make it easy, free subsidize to some level we're gonna make it affordable for you to have someone else, watch your kid or
could give people the money in kind of. Let them decide do they want to pay for child care. Do they want to stay home themselves, a surprising number of european countries reading a random view on this topic. They'll put in show notes Finland, Norway, Belgium, Austria and grease I'm at the end of friend to leave, give parents an option to receive a child care allowance or to use that allowance to purchase some kind of child care outside the home, so kind of saying. Okay, it's up to you. How are you provide care end. I think it's a really interesting decision that says a lot about a country's value. It has a huge effect on the people providing the care. I think one of things I didn't understand until I went on parental leave. Having parental leave is a fantastic benefit and like I definitely need to be for a few months after having my baby, it is also incredibly hard, which is going to sound so dumb and basic to anyone else who has been on maternity leave. It's a lot of work to be with a baby hours a day. Why, and I would say one other thing beyond it being work: it's a pie,
lonely experience, it is hard to find those people who had the baby at the exact same time at you, it is hard to go. see them when you sleep, deprived and with a very tyrannical unpredictable boss. It can be, you know, on didn't. I kind of settled into a good routine. I found it sperience of being on maternity leave, a pre lonely fine, but it is such a disruption of what I was used to and it was so different from what everyone I knew was doing so I think there's this component of you know there's a lot of things that go on in figuring out. How do you want to structure leave and child care that our part about well what's best for the kids, but it's so there's a parent on the other end, providing the care- and you do you also have what's best for them is another factor. That's going on I mean, I think, that's a good starting point. Leg is, if you think, in this
broad left a centre universe in the United States Wade. I think probably pretty much. Every body could agree that, like some mandatory parental leave would be a good idea like rather than zero, like the physical recovery from childbirth is difficult. Dreamily young children and brand new parents, like sordid needs time and like right now, we ve got nothing right: the commission beyond something like what should we do? I do think it gets more country, I shall write like when I was a non parent, just a kind of like twentysomething admirer of northern european Welfare state I would like these charts aware likes. Maiden was that, like a year and I'd be like that's great like early. Ideally, that's what we should do. to settle for, like three months, slang, fine, Billig, that's like best in class. Having had of be and have several friends have babies
I am now a little sceptical of that and, like I've actually heard from a close friend of mine who's, not from the nordic countries, but who was working and in Finland and was like put finish family leave and she said: you found it quite oppressive. there's like a social expectation that you will use the leave the you were given right. Even the like. Technically, nobody gets like stop you from going back to work on your ninth month, like there's like a very heavy expectation that, like you, will use this planet paid leggy, strong economic incentive to, like you, know it's a kind of my right. Economise verses. Go back your job, unlike even pay for cheap finnish chow. can my railway right way begin? You know if it sort of flips, again. Rethink that, like ok. So then you know: should there be free, like child care for everybody, and they?
I try to be broad minded and reflective again, like a lot of people who, I know, are sort of like relatively high, achieving professionals who went to fancy colleges and our on at least like somewhat exciting career paths and would really enjoy a government benefit that defrayed the cost of child care, but also like lots of people. Probably most people are like not as prestigious or well paid, or necessarily pleasant lines of work and they really might enjoy like more time to spend with their children? and it is actually becomes like a man. it does so little that it seems like it would be like trivially, easier to do better, but I really don't know like, but would be the circus question that I rarely here answered in these conversations to about what is the policy trying to achieve? Are these
Nato is policies. Do we want it to be the case that the american birth rate goes up right were at about one point, eight now replacement raises two point. One is the thing that people want to see happen that it is easier for more people have children right now about. According to two dad, I sought pew, about forty percent of women say they end up having fewer than the number of children they ideally wanted to have. So maybe that's the thing we want effects or is it that we just want? Somebody does have a children for some minimum level of compassion or or time with the baby suicidally do we have a preference between in babies being at home with their mothers and childcare. Should we have one what one thing that I think make conversation little bit tricky is it. I do think it operates mostly in the american context. It's very easy, rotation, because we're doing so little doing almost anything makes more sense, but in we have actually constructing a policy. You have begin with some idea of what your policy is trying to achieve, and that's only I ve
Rarely here spoke about, I think, there's properly, a reticence for the government have very strong opinions about how people raise their children or whether not people have more children when you talk about this kind of policy change on some of all that's embedded in the programme, no matter what suits it was worth discussing yet. No, I think it is a place, it's not clear in one of the things where it's like, I don't even know if we have great research to make a lot of decisions. Another is like some of these policy goals could be either the well being of the people having children. Is one policy go you might want to keep in mind and that actually leads to like some kind of funny surprising conclusions. If you know your about the earnings potential of a woman. You know having this like really long. Maternity leave actually could kind of cut against her long term earning potential because its pulling her out of the workforce for a longer period. of time, but on the other hand, you know if there is a preference, to be home longer like? That is something that might matter as well.
also the well being of children There's another goal, you're, probably thinking about as well. Is it better for a child to be home with apparent and childcare centre in a nanny, there is decent amount of research around this that unfortunate and come to super. Strong conclusions, I think you can find a lot of the research to support. Whatever conclusion your kind of looking for you to one of them, larger meadow studies on this answering through yesterday, which will put the show no suggested that for when three, there isn't really much of a difference between being in childcare facility between have being with a state on parent, but in the first year of life, Do you see some outcomes that are better for kids Hughes, whose parents are home which is not the most exciting inclusion to read like when you are someone who is about sent your kid to take care next week when there, months old, but they think you're right there's a lot of different things that we want even agree on the parameters of like what we are trying to achieve. I think like theirs is nebulous like what
trying to make life better for women and we're trying to make things easier to have kids, but it doesn't seem like there's a clear sense of like like when I think about health policy, the goal, the affordable characters to get more people health insurance. This does not like having created a clear line between the policy. unlike what they're trying to do a lot and another complicating factor right, is that there are other aspects of social policy that this wines touching on rights, this era, we you- and I were- we were talking about Controversy- Germany, about see the institute reprogram. It was like a subsidize daycare programme, but it also that kind of take the czech home with you option, where the amount of money involved was not that high, but basically that was a hundred fifty year. If you want it to be a stay at home parent in ninety five percent of cases it was a mom, but you know it was gender neutral policy instead of getting a state daycare subsidy, you could get a hundred fifty euro subsidization to stay at home.
an abstract. That seems like a pretty reasonable idea, I am particularly considering that the cost of the daycare subsidy is much higher than a hundred fifty euros. So you know you giving people some option. Reality you're also saving some money, The german employers organisation didn't like that, because it too presses workforce participation, but these social conservative party at particularly its bavarian members, but some of its non bavarian members state they were enthusiastic about this. They wanted to support traditionalist families insofar as they wanted to and what kind of hook into it, is that there are now also a lot of immigrants to Germany Right So there's a business interests, in like no women should be in the workplace and there's a kind of feminist interest in like no. We should be providing work, support,
But there is also a kind of assimilationist sense that it's a problem to have this stay at home moms programme when its disproportionately used by immigrants, and we need these kids to be in the german nursery schools, learning german language and getting assimilation having a similar. Parallel as you do that in the United States is sort of the politics of race and welfare right that, if you babe, we're going to have a subsidy program for stay at home moms and I use those words any mental image that pops up in people's heads is of a married person whose husband works full time. I think a lot of people will say: okay, that makes sense right. We should have some childcare support for working moms, but also if people want to be stay at home parents, we should do that.
But if what actually winds up happening? Is that a lot of single mothers with low levels of education and poor career prospects windup disproportionately being the people who want it? Then you have court on call welfare, where we are paying people not to work, and we have this kind of fractured social consensus in America where it's fine for parents to not work if their spouses working, but it's like, not considered fine to be a single unemployed mother, particularly if your black rate- and it's like it's very tricky because you like in both of these cases, read like Germany- is not going to write a law that says like we will subsidize stay home parents, but not if you're an emigrant. You don't like that, I think it would be perverse deficit.
the new programme for married stayed home parents who actually need less help, then single ones. But so then we wind up crafting policy too, like avoid the most politically toxic outcomes, rather than to provide like the services that we actually want typical families to have but it's a remarkably perverse cultural equilibrium right? I am so glad you brought it up because of the idea that we prize, stay at home parenting as law Is it something that you have a economic choice to do, prize stay on parenting when it is a choice made from us Space of I wanna call privilege, because a lot of people who are sitting on parents in have one parent working are struggling economically, but it's coming from a place of choice and the structure can be built either way verses when there are a lot of choices ride when when it's a big you more need to do when otherwise and by the way
what times in the cases where people are single parents, there's a lot less of social support around their children anyway, so it actually is more important for bear to be a family member there with them. It just goes back a little bit. I think, to how unbelievably unclear we are on what we actually want to achieve here. Just like how bad the discourse around family is, which is why I think it's hijacked to whatever debate we better understand that is nearest to it. Right, like we have a very well constructed debate on whether not people should work in this country and so if it just becomes actually about like mother on people, should be working at all. Whether not a family should have a worker in it. Then it gets like magnetically pulled there or there's a debate that has been very poisonous about race in this country and I do think some of this comes from just not knowing how to have a discussion about child policy of this country
you want to think so think about reading some literature here. Is that a goal that would make? I think a lot of sense, is one to make sure that families have the ability to halve the number of children they will. to have, but to day are more able to do it when they want to theirs real real trend in America right now for the late or childbirth. which is a big reason, people often and not having as many children as he will liked out, because they get past the point where Can the aura the gap has a point. Where do you know whatever happens right, but a lot of people? It's not, choice not have them earlier. It's that their jobs or on a career ladder, they don't have enough money. They there's a report. The came at a couple years ago about the difference between capstone marriage and childbearing cornerstone marriage childbearing than it used to be the you got married in her children and it was a cornerstone. Of building an adult life. There's something you built on top of you did it when you were younger increasingly it's a cat,
stone it's something you do when a lot of other things are figured out. I'm not just Europe ownership, but also like your work, life and your educational situation. I have a lot of friends who have been in lengthy grad programmes, and you know those God programmes often take you into until Europe, thirty or about thirty. But people don't want to have kids before down to the ground programme because feel like adults yet and their unstable and unsure whether gonna live. You know economic given not making not much money and that's a tough thank you and again something that I don't think we have any real framework, either culturally or politically, for discussing in a clear way. But I guess that's where it things are headed. Then you have to think about a policy that fits into that worlds. You know I think one of the reasons is comes into such collision. Also, as you know, has with people waiting longer to have children and also obviously women being angry numbers in the workforce. We wouldn't have even had this debate in a fifty years ago. There wasn't indeed for child care, because there are some one who was home
right child care. I really liked other Borceus a term for this kind of cosmetic. The silent partner in the you know, american workforce is built around this idea of silent partner as a kind of kept the train run. At home, and you know it might also be one of those cases where there are different policy solutions for different types of childbearing situations, like you might have a different policy solution for someone who is at that Capstone Laval, who is like making a decision, have children whose having fewer children they want. That might have a different policy solution, and you know someone who is single. Raising a child on their own is struggling more financial aid that, even though they re think these get grouped together as like people having babies, they might actually require quite different Paul see respond, says, and I think one of the most interesting divides in this debate. For me to think about, you know, after going on, leave is like this decision of light,
Should we give people a lot of leave, or should we subsidize their child care like what is the better policy decision? You know there's some considerations about how much it costs the government, I think I was someone like before I went on leave like mad who read about Nordic Leave policy and thought like that. So great, so much time, and then you know I was also someone who is very ready when boxes. Fourteen weeks of paid leave over, grateful. I had had those, and I was very ready to come back to work that I felt like I was being served to better by paying for child care and working in that my it is going to be happier because I'm happier in that situation but I think it's an interesting question of like how do we want to you know we have this money that a government can spend do they want to spend it towards paying parents tutor leave from their job or do they want to pay a toward subsidizing childcare here, but I mean it so, as I try to think about answers right by
to me. The biggest thing is that, like I think we should be dedicating like a lot more resources, This problem, I often see articles about like really mile to policy interventions. You know like there was a japanese programme. There was gonna cut people a cheque for about four two hundred dollars- and there was like this whole article. Unlike will this move the needle and Japan's fertility rate and it was a very sceptical and, like you know, like yellow, probably won't cause. It's like its tiny right, like that's an amount of money that will cover some of the cost of buying some socks. well I'll over. The crisis will fully cover the cost of a lifetime's where the socks for child, but you know it'll it'll, help pride and it isn't begin to touch lead The opportunity carpets of the time. You know things like that right and then, if you look at lake, ok,
What should we do about twelve year olds like this, a school for the pride and are we have what's to disagree with about day like have, the school should work, how schools should be organised, but there's no policy dispute between children of five years are children of eighteen years old that, like big, we large physical structures. The single most common profession in America is like working in these big school building like it's a really big deal, but its best are too just like start that at five right, like more and more places, have we four year old? Some places appreciate for some three year olds, but like clearly, every place should appreciate for three or out and for four year olds. Maybe you should be optional. You know we have seen as you ought to do, but like the facility should exist and like the gun and should build them. Not give is someone said like we're. Gonna have a sliding scale tax credit, so everyone can afford. Sixth grade would be like no like that's creed.
Rightly gives a huge disincentive for middle class people to have children to structure child related subsidies as a narrow, anti poverty programme, rather than just like universal provision for everyone, and once you're like there once you just own up to the fact that like, if women are not going to be silent. Partners like we need to like got up- and I spent a lot of money and kids, who are under five years old, I think some of these trade, We come a little less harsh right. It's the reason it becomes so tough to decide like exactly what want to do with an eight month old baby is that work in stick on being stingy about, but, like
their totally could be childcare centres and also an option to stay home. But so one thing I think, is really interesting about this in a ghost her to what servicing, at the beginning of the episode that America's virgin outlier in its policy here and in part, because its firm and outlined in its politics here so two pieces of this, and I want to touch on one of the things it has been interesting. The democratic party for the last gate ourselves has been the continuous near emergence of modern. What one might call modern family policy, other modern family now Bina maybe did the show and famine, policy keeps almost becoming the next big thing and then so some people may not remember this, but in two thousand and eight before Brok, Obama, ran for president. I remember
His Senate policy director was a woman in current corn blue, who is known for doing this kind of workers known for having done really really interesting articles and proposals and programmes that new american other places trying to think through. How do we build family friendly policy, given what families actually looked like now, and so she was a very big higher for Obama when he was in the Senate. Like was a big deal that he got her she was on the campaign as well, but that never became a major part of the campaign. She wasn't in the White House after after he one off it literally, so he wine and she got a job as the ambassador The OECD, which is like a really fun kind of patronage, job but not alike, at the centre of the policy. What would whatever the details or whatever it is? It just did not become a big part of Obama. Administration policy be, did overtime proposed some Universal Piquet stuff, but it just it was never is ever like what
Obama administration, are bombing campaign policy was about, and then I remember talking in twenty fifteen to people or on Hillary Clinton and Billig. What is a Hillary Clinton camping going to be about and they were Tommy's? I look like you're gonna have, for the first time a woman other the nominee for a major party for president, unlike she is gonna, make family friendly policy like the core of everything and using owes I cannot leave. Are we talking about you're innocent, like it's so much bigger than that like because it's always men doing this? They don't we what a big deal this is, but then, I think of you, like rewind the tape on silicone its twenty sixteen campaign, while there are lot of policies that she proposed around this? It was not her message like people not think of Hillary Clinton. Twenty sixteen and think of like a like a fair deal families or whatever it might have been on the other side of this Donald Trump seemed like the emergence of something we see in Europe all the time, which is a kind of right wing party
it is at no nationalist that believes that, like the real people who belong to, country should have a lot more kids, because he don't want The country be overrun with immigrants or children of other pews Agassiz who had about it UNICEF pro Social Safety net, but like very like anti immigration, etc. This is Patrick, be cannon. on some up like you can read: Pappy Cannon books like death of the west and hugely about declining birth rates and like the need for the west and practically for white people. The west begin having more kids, don't jump, maybe just some. These directions cumbersome. That's as economic policy be written directly by Wall Street, there was like the bunker trump sort of faint towards may be more fairly friendly policy. It ever goes anywhere, and so this is an interesting thing here which is why, despite it seeming an obvious, despite their seeming to be very, very large constituencies port. Despite there being a lot of thinkers in different ways,
on both sides at their lot very pro. Needless thinkers on the right, there are a lot of very pro family thinkers on the left. Businesses do neither of them coalitions ever seem to organise themselves such to make this a big deal, all evil. They know. It is right to your point about the desire to five thing like it wasn't such a big deal fifty years ago. As for the most part, families. How the only one provider in the workforce, one Rwanda staying at home, taking their kids that isn't how families are organised? Now, why hasn't? happened? I think we'd better take a break. I was the answer can explain why it hasn't happened. This episode is brought, you buy fender, football is back and the best bet you Make is downloading the fan dual sports book app. It doesn't matter if new to gambling or an old pro fan, dual has something for everyone and as an official, sports betting partner of the NFL, you know, you're, better, safe, there's, also never been a better time to use fan do because, right now
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Barely holding former mob prosecutor and host of the new podcast up against a mom up against the mob. the bail on the world's most secretive criminal organization, La Cosa Nostra, we'll talk to profit, Peters, former mobsters, an undercover agents and and Hollywood all these stories are true. New episodes dry every Wednesday starting September, eighth, listen and follow up hence the mob on Apple podcast Spotify or your favorite podcast. Ok, so I want to talk this chart. I saw a few months ago that I think like actually tackles this question, I'm so glad you're back. Why this? Why does doesn't happen? It is the only by gas clear we we will try to describe Ivory, Nygaard charts their great for the place where I can look at it, but so its firm on this
Eddie either got a lot of players looking at the gender wage gap in Denmark, showing that the gender age gap essentially related to child bearing, but it's not about that. It's about attitude towards women working when their children are very young, so he cites to state. This is in other from Princeton, Henrik Levin and he's a state of an international social survey programme where they ask people. Do you think that women should work outside the home full I'm part time or not? At all, when a child is under school age, and in the U S about eighteen percent, say women should work full time outside their home when their child is underscore aged. Forty percent say work, part time and forty five percent say so, home. There are still such strong attitudes around this in ways that really surprised me when I saw this chart that there is still widely an expectation that lake, what happens when you have a baby is that, like you so now, and you take some time off- you don't give that baby to someone else
like it is your child and, like you are going to a new I'd say, would be being the woman. I think another thing, that's pretty interesting in this same survey is when you ask people about you, know: men having children over the man is to go to work is to provide for the family like a man's, absolutely not be hope with its children. I surprise seeing that in the survey data is alive at all that from two thousand two. So I don't know there's a more up to date, version of this particular survey, but I was prize to see that it was so strongly against women working full time and it almost a bit of a chicken and egg problem like maybe, if we had better childcare and like there was a guarantee in the United States that there would be an affordable childcare spot for you that our views on women going back to work, would change, because we know there's like an affordable, safe place that american babies are being take care of. But we don't have that right now and I think that might be one of the things that you know holds this back as a key policy issue,
is that it away, like almost seems in pulling data like a little like a well. We ve settled that, like women just need to stay home with their children when their babies are born and like that's the way the world works. I agree that this is significant, but I think that, like a real problem exists, I don't. I don't do by my winds, better republicans about their just their bad they're not going to try the elderly are things we have some problems. So the question is this: I will Democrats and I do think that cares about. Might so you ve grants in their like. Ok, we shall this policy then in tunnel to the coalition. This is kind of handed off to women who are Democrats to write this policy then to be like senior enough to be doing this policy. You have to be an unusually successful professionally too, like work on a presidential campaign or be a United States. Senator rightly you, you are more successful than the average person. So you have,
men, who are very career, oriented and very successful trying to craft policy, but they are trying to craft policy for a country which does not actually have very many, like full time, stayed home moms, but has some culturally conservative instincts about this, and then you just get these collision. you know where it's like they like, won't right, a policy that delivers what people want from family policy, which is to make it easier for mothers to work part time. If that's what they. I would like to do right and so you'll get like. Sometimes someone will propose a universal family allowance right and one we think about a universal family allowance is that it could cut child poverty in half and they will become the only thing that anybody says about Firstly, family allowance, like
nobody will say that one thing a unit was a family allowance. Might let you do is like a non poor. Families with children would have some more money and they could you, that money in various ways it would defray the cost of child care. It would also defray the cost of not working full time like it's, not that the policy is controversial. but like people will sit there and spin out like endless articles about How do we get people who are some more socially conservative than the Democratic Party base to vote for arms. using economic policy solutions- and there was the time when Democrats we're supposed sell out on marriage, equality or abortion warlike pop up every three years are now after Trump is like all these think peace like you know, immigration like maybe we should say, immigrants are bad or whatever else, but this to me is like really the obvious one right that leg.
the government, could do things that would help people who have somewhat traditionalist values live the lives that they want to have have any of you structure those things in a reasonable way. Ride like you could structured the czech way, which is like hard core like get back in the kitchen kindness of em. Like that's crazy, like that, Don't do that, but so many like reasonable things that would help all families with children. One of the things that it would do is make it more economically feasible for people who have more traditional values, and notably people who have less exciting jobs than the people who are making policy right that like, if you are a working class person,
and your job is like you work at sea. Vs then like. Maybe you would rather spend more time with utter children, but I want to pull back woman, I'm a little bit to this question of the political economy of it, because it's true, The republican party does not try to solve many problems, but there's somebody does showed us off, like corporations are paying too much money and taxes dreamers are being able to stay here without fear of deportation, and is it a wall across a southern border, but maybe there could be, and the Democratic Eddie, conversely, does try to solve a lot of problems when it when it's an office and has a lot of different policy ideas going around, but neither certainly consistently, despite the fact that a lot of his ideas are popular or seem popular. Neither side focuses and one thing we ve done in this discussion- is have a lot of international comparison, and the thing that is true is it other countries political options do focus on the ideas. That is why America's
can outlier here that the the policy outliers, downstream from the political outlier like in other countries, there are political coalitions and have taken power that have chosen at some time or another, to use their political capital to make family oriented policy. The thing they were doing as opposed to other things they wanted to do right. They didn't do healthcare that time they didn't. whatever I may. Eventually, I stopped arguing about. Maybe that's what it is right, there's and maybe, answers as simple as those on all political science paper. That influence me a lot. It's about the nineteen eighty four Clinton Healthcare Bell, but called its institutions stupid, and the idea is basically that the recent America doesn't have a national healthcare play It is really hard to pass anything here, and so we just do less of everything like we're just the compared to european countries because of less social policy of every kind and adjust just where things really hard to do. You just do plus stuff. So maybe that's the answer, but a genuinely fineness puzzling like it does not. When I look at the kinds of things people choose to focus
in politics, verses, family oriented policy, which has just a massive constituency, is itself a very sympathetic constituency is actually quite politically powerful constituents an indifferent ways connects to our bodies, ideological priors and their views about the future. I I generally don't go that's? Why I'm bring up this puzzle of like it continuously almost bursting forward? I mean the Republican Party, the commissioner is very powerful and it's not the Christian. It does not get some of what it wants and look at Cavenaugh right. Look at what happens in judicial nominations, but somehow like this, never as to the front, and this is why this would be. Might my political pitch for Democrats trying to win socially conservative voters? Is that, like you saw in Germany, where it like a key
lurking. Tension in the conservative coalition is that business interests when pressed to it like they don't like love the idea of making abortion illegal, but they don't care right, but like the government using tax revenue to allow parents to spend more time with, children like day eight the right and ended a thing you could do read if you make a program that helps both working and part time and stay at home mothers, and then you notice that, like these guys in the christian coalition are like not supporting families, it's like it's very potent, because there is a real reason in its that, like the right in America gets its votes of social cultural issues, but like the palace he's all made by the Chamber of Commerce so ably wherever thought I have on that, I think it often it's just like shoved the site is a woman.
show and like. I think that is also something that holds it back. It almost in that link honestly like not to use it, but like we just don't We live with it at that stage in their light, like this actually makes me think a lot about the great reporting that propaganda has been doing on maternal mortality. You something else. You know that sets us apart from other countries, while the colonel mortality rate is falling and nearly and like every other developed country, Ares isn't just fine. Slower, it is going up lick. It is becoming more dangerous. Have babies in the United States than it was ten years ago? That's an insane fact You don't see like you're, starting to see a little bit of policymaking around that now that the public has been doing this great reporting round it, but he knew I think, this kind of his part and parcel of how we think about there's a great quota when the pro public articles around this that either deftly ring. True to my experience
having a kid is that, like women are often treated, is kind of like the candy wrapper around this exciting new candy, the baby, unlike once, you have the baby you're kind of just like tossed to this, and I think a lot of that feels really who and how postnatal care has delivered a lot of that feels really true and like how we set up like our leave and childcare policies, where you know, at the end of the day, like it's going, figured out no usually be women who do the figuring out of like how this infant is going to get cared for in the zero to three years? no I'm not a lot of ways. It feels in keeping with how we know our policy makers treat women at this particular stage in there. that you know what we're not really focusing on like the health of feed of this particular group of people in a lot of ways are we I have accepted, that it really is shameful that we have accepted the fact that women are dying in childbirth and, like that's just a fact of life in the United States. Now I think of it
True- and I think that is something that you back when I was talking Kinspeople like look all this has always been pushed aside as a woman's issues are now that a woman is running for president, it won't be, and then it said it wasn't me best because knowledge of distracted them or whatever. I just think this is important. I think that for the democratic already the amount of energy that goes into defending social security from both real and perceived attack. Here, too, the amount of energy that goes into this set of issues is is out of proportion, therapy The party has a the amount of energy goes into corporate tax cuts, as opposed to this issue is proportion- and I don't know a lot of the countries we ve talked about here- are there. Less patriarchal than America has been there, not less misogynistic. I mean some of them are right. Some of them have more of a culture of equality, but others don't suggest I think this is a situation. You can imagine a pretty different constellation. political
power and emphasis and prioritization, and it could break through and one of the points it keep making it. It feel, in recent years it has been trying to break through, and it just hasn't quite yet, like Donald Trump, with sort of like a candidate who would have been very different on this. But then he wasn't cause he's. Donald Trump, like you, Donald Trump, has is very fascinating. Quality of having looked like an ideologically coherent candidate from another country, but just like looking like that eggs impulses are and earn that he be like a good voter for that party in another country, I do not actually the leader of the party, and here I think this is something the Democrats have been talking about for a long time and you, the real question, is whether or not they do it. I do sometimes think about this world in which we, just like politics, had not gone where it did in twenty. Sixteen it just one in a more normal direction, and some of these logical fights are beginning to get figured out on both. I just kept getting figured out a supposed
being like everybody, gets thrown into this emergency, where a lot of policymaking just becomes talk about Donald Trump like this is a kind of stuff that up parties when they're out of power are supposed to be doing and figuring out. In the background, but I don't really think the Democratic Party is cost. So much of its energy is thinking about Donald Trump and the threat he he causes democracy and you know what are they going to do about m, but everything you're saying like this should be different and it could be different and hopefully will be gracious residue like how absurd on this later, but there's like an unfair scented surge of women running for office that have yes in twenty at it? And I think I read article you wrote about What happens when women yeah you do right. You do see a shift towards more representational politics of more people making policy on these. shoes. I think again, you know, runs into the issue. They think you were talking about mad that judgment
especially high achieving women who have been elected to Congress. You don't making policy for we know of is a group of women in the United States are much more diverse than that. But you see more of the energy and thought going into that speed and I think sometimes you know just a little unpredictable like what is going to be the event that you know is the catalyst for change like there s like. If you look at em, if you look at the history of gender politics and Iceland, which is very interesting and you can learn about on the under Netflix, Show explained where I was looking at it with the moment there in the nineteen seventy that really seemed catalyze reform. It was this moment where the women of Iceland just went on strike that ninety percent of the women in Iceland they just didn't, go to work. You know that the phones weren't working has phone operation is like a predominantly female occupation, the newspapers to come out like a really ground, the icelandic economy, the benefits
turning island, but a ground. The icelandic economy to a halt for a day, and that was kind of the beginning of this push towards more gender equity. This towards better childcare, better childcare policy, but yea think like you're, saying as relics. So much is caught up in just like pushing back on what is happening. It's really hard for me to sing like that, being the catalyzing thing that you know is going to get women to leave their jobs for a day to you, no demand better paid leave man. Child care. They would almost feeling out of place where we are right now, because there's music there, so many other urgent things happening around us and with that took break tagamet subways the cut is applied cast from near magazine, but it's so much more than that, its thirty minutes a week where we re wrestle with ourselves we're talking societal expectations, race,
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The de conclusion here is not like super counter intuitive, but it is interesting that it has not really been measured before people often say: one good thing about building mass transit. Is it will improve cities air, but we tower known? If that's true, They are able to use satellite Data yes, and look at at least recent new built subways. Show that there is a about a four percent drop in particulates in the air within a ten kilometre radius of city centre is genuinely core methodology. Yeah measuring air particulates from satellites after you build a subway yeah. I mean it's cool. It's it's it's internet! Amid this like this, is what space, what he was a boy people say right is like this. Are we good like people read the subway and they won't be? Are these emissions and this like a lot of complicated theoretical objections you could raise like by? That might not really have and about their showing is like you can actually look it. It does happen,
Mortality benefit of this is about five hundred ninety five million per year. They note that subway construction costs are all over the map, so it's not obvious whether that meets benefit test. I think it does for most of the cities that actually did bill subways. And it's a pretty cool all this seems fairly obvious, but it appears to be that the reason the pollution goes down is that a lot of people ride the subway and subway some consulate of pollution, but they have legs just gotta two. To show that I mean it. Isn't I mostly think about the United States at the policy implications of this, for the United States. Don't seem super duper obvious, me, but it really shows that within it, isn't it isn't it more or less? I was well so here here's the thing. This is good because clearly whatever you're saying, is not a hundred biggest american citys. have subway system sprite and
The paper shows that there are diminishing marginal returns from this pretty strictly right and see the pollution benefits of expansions are not as good right. You know. New York, LOS Angeles Chicago San Francisco Dc Boston, even Atlanta Amy. All these cities have heavy rail systems. Then almost I think we're. Ok, what are the biggest cities? They don't have any subway at all and there's a bunch like Dallas, see out all that have opted to build blight. EL systems, which I think is probably in respect, not a great idea, but with this paper looks at cities that didn't have stuff like that. So I'm not sure the inference follows that red, like Dallas already, has I think, of four or five line light rail system. So if they built a boy
New subway line. I assume they already built their light rail and the most promising transit corridors, so I mean the effect might carry. Right, soaped, sin Antonio, which has, oh well, transit at all should probably build a single line Subway along its most promising Carter, but there are tons of the really big at times like logos and in Nigeria. I think Manila in the Philippines, the huge third world city is that have no transit at all and they are showing that even some relatively small chinese city is like whew Han and stop had really positive pollution affects. So I think there are a couple things here. So one of the things that is true in the study, I think you're in a bunch of the studies we ve talked about, are on the spot. Guess just the cost in health of pollution is bigger. They pretend to talk about in politics is bigger than I think at this point, when a lotta people feel pollution is a
or less solved problem than people give give credit for, like. I grew up in southern California in the era when Elliot was really polluted. When you would be driving through you to see this x cloud of smog, people really worried about Lucian banal people see at it seems like we figured it out. People went about global warming in the future. There not his word about breeding and particulates. I must say everybody, There- certainly communities in the country that our near giant refineries and other things, but it but in general it is receding. As an issue in our politics: doesn't mean the particulates and compare. Does it mean that are not of health benefits to be found by bringing them down? So to me, the application of a paper like this is that you really do want to try to do what you can to take emissions creating vehicles, the road and their lot of approach. That one is subways right. You know we these little boy, scooters Raul around or lime scooters. Whatever I don't know if they know what they are, they their electric right, yes yap. So
there. Isn't it is zero emissions transformation, transportation option, you know, there's a fight about how many of them to have, but They really are. If you have enough of them, they are a useful replacement for cars in small point to point. Transportation needs right like that, their good foregoing around DC, from like one meeting to another and so like, maybe you'd want more about whether they really are like a nuisance on the sidewalk, but we ve given so much space to cars, and we met you like to make the joke about Doc cars being all around and he's gonna regulate them. Then they really do. Could a problem. On the other hand, you know California Still has this massive subsidy for lying, an electric vehicle. I give you by an electric car in California, Verses Augusta, I think even most hybrids their use getting a really really big tax credit on top of their still federal tax credit Yanina, the taxpayer is much larger than the cost of just like buying an electric school right. for every single person. It doesn't cover electric
or does it not? I mean I didn't think about dangerous, make logic. That's what I'm saying is like if you pay eighty five thousand dollars for a Tesla, California we'll give you like eight thousand dollars, so skaters is like kicker, but if you're like I'd like a two hundred dollar electric scooter like no way against crime, but but whatever it is just like you can imagine a lot of different policies, it isn't Subway creation that would take emissions down. or something people more worried about. You know we eat you, don't you just one answer here? You can have a lot of different answers. I think this is like an interesting space where I said Dick We fully honest. I do not fully understand their space based methodology, but it sounds really cool and very advanced. We're like that were able to get at these questions that we might not. You know. Fifteen twenty years have been able to get out about Heaven particulates or in the sky. I may. I would be very interested as we ve had like an explosion of not even like just tactless scooters, the bike share programme
becoming you know. I think in the past decade have gone from like I would not expect US those are now and like every major city seems to have a bike share programme as if you could see, I because of you like a noticeable effect of you knew of those type of programmes. Indeed, the same methodology that you're saying from subways my hunters way. Fewer people are. Writing the but there also like a lot cheaper to throw some bikes on the street and creates some docks verses. You dig up an entire subway system. So you know if there are diminishing returns on expanding your subway system and be interesting to know kind of like how these bikes scooters various forms of ambition, free transportation, if they are also bleeding to similar. Of Environmental yeah. I also did just want to note that, even for the purposes of cost benefit, they are looking at the like health implications of particular swayed. So this is like Noncom
I met considerations, pollution, wise and in terms of flight economic benefits to the city there, looking back just because it's a paper that pollution like conventionally right cities make transportation vestments, because our hoping to spur development and growth. and so on and so forth, and actually one reason you might have been sceptical about the pollution is. There was another and be our paper I think two weeks ago and each showed that subway construction leads to sprawl. In effect, wait a little bit contrary to sort of sterile but like basically anything you do to improve transportation, in the city makes the city bigger. It is less sprawl inducing to build a subway than highway, but like the only way to truly can train sprawl is like do nothing, so you can't get around town but, but you know pollution declines, even though the city grows faster right. So, like that's pretty good, because this monetary, asked to creating the subway, but
sometimes when you're thinking about pollution, the troll You know you're, imagining, basically like constrain economic activity and the air will be cleaner, but this is like you. You grow your city by building better transportation, It's just that the issue is a lot cleaner to rise up notices, pretty clean, listen to the weak. you just downloaded through the air taken out. Terrorism is actually I should mention if you live in Austin Texas, one the largest municipalities in America that has no real transit after San Antonio and Jacksonville You should come on Thursday to hear me Jane and DORA doing live performance, P m. It is at fault Trans space, which sounds really thus uncoordinated sexual excess Tribune Festival it is easier if you're in Austin, please take us out, maybe was to the US recline. So maybe
If you know where she went to, I should say the ethical issues now twice a week, which is exciting episode to spread out was with Carol Andersson on the myth of american democracy and the reality of constant border suppression. So I think it will be of interest to weeds and people are always saying to me. When is it going to be another season of the lot? Now we now November? Second, we are launching the second season of the impact, and it is all about these seven most this thing most exciting policy experiments all across Amerika is interesting and exciting. It is self you go subscribed to the feed. You will start getting episodes November. Second, you can check out a trailer view. Look my twitter page ceiling to that. I am super super excited for this autumn that lot to listen to us. So we were cut this off now but I think star producer and Engineer Griffin, Tanner thanks all of you for listening at the weeds will return on Friday.
The cut is a podcast New York magazine, but it's so much more than that. It's thirty minutes a week where we really wrestle with ourselves we're Talkin societal expectations, race, sex career ambitions and our bodies. I just spent all time on Instagram looking at health at any size. Nutritionist, talks and notify I've. You know I'm a factor on the internet. They just come to me baby. The algorithm we're here conversations you only have with your most trusted friends, so Gabby what were the most painful memories I'm jasmine Aguilera, listen to the cut on Spotify Apple or your favorite podcast app,
Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.