People’s Policy Project Releases Bold Pro-Family Plan

Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project has authored a new paper offering a comprehensive set of pro-family policies, as progressives and Democrats increasingly turn to this important subject:

The seven benefits in the paper are:

  1. Baby box. Three months before the birth of a child, each family will receive a box that contains essential items like clothes and bottles with the box itself doubling as a bassinet.
  2. Parental Leave. Families will receive 36 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child. In single-parent families, the sole parent is entitled to all 36 weeks. In two-parent families, each parent is entitled to 18 weeks but may transfer up to 14 weeks to the other parent. The paid leave benefit will be set equal to 100 percent of earnings up to the minimum wage and 66 percent of earnings beyond the minimum wage. All recipients will be entitled to benefits equal to at least the minimum wage but no more than the national average wage.
  3. Free child care. After the parental leave period, children will be entitled to a spot in a free public child care center. Parents who wish to care for their children at home can opt out and receive a home child care allowance equal to the per-child wages of child care workers. For example, if public child care workers are tasked with caring for four kids at a time, then the home child care allowance would be equal to one-fourth of the pay of child care workers.
  4. Free pre-k. From age 3 to 5, children will be entitled to spot in a free pre-k center.
  5. Free school lunch. Public child care centers, public pre-k centers, and public k-12 will all provide free school lunches.
  6. Free health care. Everyone below the age of 26 will be entitled to free health care through the Medicare system.
  7. Child allowance. Parents will receive $300 per month for every child they are caring for under the age of 18. This benefit will replace the child tax credit, child and dependent care tax credit, dependent care flexible savings accounts, 529 accounts as used for elementary or secondary school, and head of household filing status. It will also mostly replace the earned income tax credit.

You can read the full paper here.

Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Can savage capitalism be humanized? Taking up the challenge of Pope Francis by Michael Stafford, ABC Religion and Ethics: “If we do not make the moral and ethical case against savage capitalism, no one will. If we do not put forward an alternative vision of an ethical economy that meets the legitimate desires and aspirations of human beings, and a politics that is representative of and responsive to our interests, no one will. If we do not remind everyone that government exists to further the common good, then it will be forgotten, or ignored. Pope Francis’s critique of savage capitalism and the dictatorship of money have created an opening for us. It is an opportunity that must be seized.”

Pope Francis and Economic Inequality: Five Essential Quotes by Bishop Robert McElroy: “Too much money is in the hands of too few, while the vast majority struggle to get by. This is a direct result of ideologies that put the free market before everything else, including the duty of the government to ensure that people’s basic needs are met. The Holy Father says that money must serve, not rule.”

The Culture of Death in Oklahoma by Michael Sean Winters, NCR: “All violence is rooted in indifference, and all violence can only be overcome, finally, by encounter.”

Crushed by the Cost of Child Care By Alissa Quart, NY Times: “The difficulty of obtaining good, affordable day care is well known as a problem afflicting the working poor. But increasingly, middle- and upper-middle-class parents are finding that day care is hard to find or access and that even when it is available it is startlingly costly.”

Homeboy Industries’ business model: A way out of gang life by Cindy Rodriguez and Jaqueline Hurtado, CNN: “There are few people who can say their job saved them, but former gang member Rafael Jimenez says he’s one of them…The 44-year-old works as a baker at Homeboy Bakery, part of Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, the largest gang rehabilitation program in the country. The program was founded in 1992 by Father Greg Boyle, who has counseled and mentored thousands of gang members.”

Samantha Power on the Duty to Intervene by Jeffrey Goldberg: “…the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria must be driving Power mad with frustration — frustration, of course, with Bashar al-Assad’s killer regime and frustration with the international community (so-called), in particular the Russians, who will do almost anything to protect the regime from censure, but also frustration with those in the administration who have spent the past two years looking for ways to distance the U.S. from the horror.”

Pope Francis’ guide to avoiding a ‘throwaway culture’ by Mary DeTurris Poust: “Since the start of his papacy, Pope Francis has focused on the many different facets of this throwaway perspective, challenging Catholics and the larger world to shun the pop-culture quest for more, more, more in favor of solidarity — with creation, with our poorer brothers and sisters, with the weak, the elderly and the most vulnerable.”

Pope Francis: neither a liberal nor a conservative, but a radical Christian with a heroic gospel by Tim Stanley: “But not only do I see a correlation between Bloy’s theology and Francis’ but I see in both the key to renewal of the Church’s mission. Benedict was always asking us to turn to Christ, whereas Bloy and Francis are asking us to imitate him.”

Pope Francis & Encounter by Michael Sean Winters, NCR: “An emerging, dominant theme of this pontificate is the word “encounter.” Pope Francis uses it repeatedly, urging Catholics to go out to the peripheries, especially to the poor and the marginalized, and encounter other persons. Among other things, this emphasis on encounter shows the new pope’s deep indebtedness to Don Luigi Giussani, the founder of Communione e Liberazione. Encounter is a central theme of his writings and a central charism of the movement he started.”