Letter to the editor of the Star Ledger, March 28, 2008:
What families need
I was deeply troubled
by Philip Kirschner's March 16 piece arguing that family leave
insurance would further slow this state's economy. The New
Jersey Business and Industry Association president fails to
acknowledge the economic reality that thousands of New Jersey
families face when time off from work is needed. Families
rely on more than one wage-earner to make ends meet, and when a
family member becomes ill or a baby is born, many are forced to
choose between caring for their loved ones and paying the bills.
This is a choice that no one should have to make, in economic
downturns or upswings. Many workers taking unpaid leave
are forced to max out credit cards or even leave mortgage
payments and other bills unpaid to get through hard times.
These unfortunate decisions are part of the reason our economy
is struggling. Providing family leave insurance can only
help families during these situations, and that's good for the
economy. The present family leave law is for the wealthy.
But what about working-class people? Aren't our families
— Maretta J. Short,
The writer is NOW-NJ