The most significant economic and sociological change of the past half-century has been the entry of women into the labor market. Public policies that govern the workplace have not kept pace with this demographic shift, however. For the most part, tax law, labor law and employee benefits law were designed decades ago on the assumption that the typical household would have a full-time working husband and a homemaker wife.
These anachronistic public policies are not only out of step with the way most Americans are living their lives, they are causing considerable harm. To remedy these problems we need to bring public policy institutions into the 21st century. What follows are five ideas.
1. Make Employee Benefits More Flexible.
2. Make Employee Benefits Portable.
3. Make Wage and Hour Laws More Flexible.
4. Tax Fairness for Working Spouses.
5. Tax Fairness for Stay-at-Home Parents.