President Obama put the spotlight on working families as part of his speech Tuesday. Here’s from the Sloan Work and Family Research Network’s Work and Family blog, written by Julie Schwartz Weber:
Barack Obama is now our 44th president of the United States. His thoughtful, sobering, and inspiring acceptance speech very much impressed me. However, as someone who studies and writes on work-family policy, the following language had particular punch:
“The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.”
Here’s part of the perspective on balancing work and family that Corporate Voices provided to President Obama’s transition team:
“Our government’s policies – many designed in the New Deal era – have not kept up with the new economy and the changing nature of people’s lives.” – 2008 Democratic National Platform
Working families – from all socio-economic classes – are the keystone of our nation’s economic prosperity and competitiveness. Yet as a nation we have failed all working families because public policy has not mirrored their needs or the world in which they now live and work.
There is an imbalance that exists for all working families that allows people to fulfill their roles as employees, but not as parents. Consequently, when we speak of work life balance it is only an aspiration. We propose that President Obama take it from aspiration to actuality.
Clearly, a new ethic of responsibility – of shared responsibility between the public and private sectors – is necessary to launch a bold, new vision for supporting the lives of all working families so that they can continue to drive the competitiveness of American businesses in the 21st century.