New parents face the 'social insecurity' of our time, so let's help
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and U.S. Representative Ann Wagner
August 1, 2018
Upon signing the Social Security Act into law in 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “the civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure … we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family.”
Over 80 years later, this still rings true.
Falling rates of marriage and childbirth, coupled with the loss of stable, good-paying employment in a rapidly shifting global economy are making young families socially and financially insecure. Today, having a child can be an income shock matched only by college tuition or a down payment on a home.
Far too many new parents take on new debt or fall onto welfare programs just to pay for their basic living costs after having a child. Stories abound of mothers returning to work just days after giving birth.
The 'social insecurity of our time'
It is estimated that just over one in 10 workers receives paid family leave from their employers, and those who do tend to be in highly paid and educated professions. This means the problems stemming from financial insecurity around having kids, such as increased debt, welfare receipt, reduced birth weight and negative cognitive outcomes for children and increased family instability are increasingly concentrated among middle- and working-class moms and dads — the backbone of our country.
This sad reality threatens our nation’s ability to provide for safe and healthy moms and kids during one of the most important periods of their lives. It makes it harder for young Americans to start families and weakens the family — the bedrock institution of our society.
It is the social insecurity of our time.