Headline June 27, 2014

''' O'' MOM DEAREST : 


*KIngs, Queens And Despots," a short list of world's most wealthy rulers published by Forbes magazine, comes with a number of caveats.

Valuing these  multi-billion dollar  private fortunes is a  ''tricky nosiness,'' says Forbes.

Most royal families decline to comment on their wealth, so estimating the real wealth of kings, queens and despots, remains as tricky as ever.''

But time enough, I dare say,  to get to  return to real life issues and  to the  subject Post: 

TO BE SURE, Workplace dominates Europe. So What Europe needs to understand is that putting women to work is only half the challenge.

AT THE TIME,  -To the untrained eye,  - Patricia  Hewitt's two jobs might seem an odd combination:

As Tony Blair's secretary for Trade and Industry as well as his minister for Women and Equality, she dealt in trade deficits and gender disparities-

 IT entrepreneurs and nurseries, industrial productivity and parental leave.

Unorthodox as the mix may be, Hewitt's twin briefs reflect Europe's emerging demographic challenge:

The problem is a triple whammy :  falling birthrates,  an aging and shrinking workforce. a looming pension hiccups and crisis.

To solution was to get more people working while producing more babies for the future. Could Europe do both:

So, thus is the baseline.

TO ITS CREDIT, the European Union sees the issues clearly. For years it has planned a premium on boosting woman's employment, in the interest of both gender equality  -what it calls:

A "fairer distribution of men's and women's roles"  - and the need to deal with the demographic crisis.

Trouble is, the policies of its national government often thwart that goal. From Germany to Austria to much of southern Europe, traditions of working daddies and stay-at-home  mommies still dominate.

Tax and social programs often discourage women from working. So does the comparative scarcity of flex time and day care.

European women have grown sceptical that they can juggle both work and babies, with obvious consequences.

If Europe succeeds in putting more women to work,  only to see births fall, then it will fail in its broader effort to avert a demographic disaster.

The picture isn't uniformly dark.

Britain now allows parents of young children to negotiate flexible hours with employers. The Dutch have pioneered s national flex   -time policy. Greece is pumping millions into creating day  -care services.

And recently France launched a new pro  -family program that would award monthly stipends of Euro 160 to parents with children under 3, as well as pay E800 to every women in her seventh month of pregnancy.

Indeed, France's commitment to   Ia familie   may be a model. In recent years it has produced both Europe's highest rate of working mothers   -and a baby boom.

The situation in Germany is starkly different. The working mothers are often dubbed  ''raven mothers''  for abandoning the family nest.

Government policy actively discourages women from rejoining the work force after giving birth; second incomes are taxed in the highest bracket.

Public health care is free for home-based mothers, and if both parents work they pay hefty premiums.

In Italy, where cultural expectations are similar, there are also few part-time jobs or day-care services.

According to Daniela Del Boca, a demographer at the University of Turin, "Italian women's response has been to give up having children."

Spain somewhat recently started giving  E100 to working mothers with young children to encourage them to stay on the job, but that hardly seems much of an incentive.

For European governments committed to reform, the toughest task will be helping parents without deepening the economic divide between men and women.

Flex time and part-time jobs tend to be less-skilled, lower-paid positions:

Which often means that working mothers must downscale their career aspirations in order to manage their schedules.

Europe's industries lose their talent   -and its women lose money, prestige, and in old age, a big chunk of pension income.

The bottom line: without change, Europe's career women will remain skittish about starting families.

And those who do will wonder why they should bother venturing out into the workplace afterward.

Catch-22. It's the European way.

With respectful dedication to all the  Parents  in the  world. See  Ya  all  on  :
!WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' The Royal Fortune '''

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice of the Voiceless


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