As a result of this insurance law, starting January 1, 2009, employers that do not have an eligible paid leave program must deduct .09% from employees paychecks. This will increase to .12% in 2010. The supposed beauty of this insurance plan is that it is 100% employee funded. Sounds good in theory, but this is where the concept of sharing the wealth comes into play. Those who contribute to this mandatory plan (employees who do not work for companies that offer paid family leave as a benefit) are able to receive 2/3 of their income up to a maximum of $524 a week for up to six weeks. Chances are that individuals who make more than $40k a year will not utilize this plan. For example, someone that makes $100K or roughly $2000 a week would probably not be able to afford to stop working for 6 weeks and receive a lowly $524 a week, especially in a single income family. So the net is, those with higher incomes are being forced to contribute a percentage of their income to an insurance plan that they most likely will never utilize. Someone making $100K will contribute $90 a year, while someone making $20K will contribute a whopping $18. If every employee that contributed to this insurance plan took advantage of it, the available funds for the plan would be depleted rather quickly and there most definitely would not be enough money to go around.
So how is this exactly helping all New Jersians? This law is specifically targeted to low income individuals and families. While I do feel compassion for those who find themselves in situations where this benefit would be helpful, it is hard to wrap my mind around giving my hard earned money to those who continue to perpetuate their situations. People do not have to take responsibility for their actions anymore, especially young men and women who are sexually active at young ages, have children, and are stuck working minimum wage jobs for the rest of their lives.
I know of a girl who is my age (34), who started having children in her teens and now has 5 children with 4 different fathers. She is currently single, and is a waitress who does not make enough money to support her family. She lives off the kindness of her mother who houses, feeds, and clothes her and her children. Yet, she has never tried to better her situation and the plight of her children. She continues to live off the largesse of the state and her mother. Where is the incentive to dig ones self out of the mire of their mistakes? I have made plenty of them in my lifetime, and I am far from free of them, but (thankfully) I have learned from them and I am better because of them. Our society of self-esteem, and no fault has yielded an entire generation of young people who believe that they are entitled to everything and anything they want. And this new law will continue to perpetuate the entitlements and not allow for young people to learn from their mistakes or to become more responsible adults. If the government bails individuals out every time they screw up, where is the lesson? The only thing that is taught is that there are no consequences for poor choices, which leads to a lifetime of irresponsibility.