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Society and Economy Are Not Created by the State

Here’s a letter to William King, a commenter at Cafe Hayek:

Mr. King:

Commenting on my recent essay on paid family leave you ask “Why is the USA one [of the] very few countries in the world who give no paid maternity leave for having a new child?”

Your understanding of the facts is mistaken. In reality, many workers in America have paid leave. As Vanessa Brown Calder reports, “Private paid leave provision has grown three- or fourfold over 50 years and continues to grow. This trend indicates industry is responsive to employee demands.”

What America does not have is paid leave mandated by the national government. Yet it makes no more sense to conclude from the absence of government-mandated paid leave that no Americans have paid leave than to conclude from the absence of government-mandated dinner that no Americans eat dinner.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030