I came across this article in Sojourners. It's worth taking a look at (though I think you have to sign up to see it, but don't worry it's free and worth the sign up because they have other great articles). The article is about how it sucks to be a worker in the US because so many jobs don't have benefits that are desperately needed, and it's taking it's toll on the family. There wasn't much in there that I hadn't already come across, but I was glad to see that a Christian based magazine was showing awareness and concern for this problem. Here's my favorite part:
"We need to think long and hard about what kind of economy we want to create for the next generation of workers. What are the basic standards that should be common to all jobs, not just the best jobs? At the very least, the United States should follow the lead of other advanced economies and provide paid time off for workers who are ill, have an ill family member, or need time to care for a new child. We should also ensure that safe, affordable, and enriching child care is available to every parent. We need to incorporate into our policymaking the recognition that those working in low-wage jobs may be unable to make ends meet and that their employers are not filling in the gaps with benefits."
Of course the other side of this discussion is what will happen to businesses, esp small ones, when the fringe costs (is that what they are?) go up. Perhaps it shouldn't be all on the business' shoulders? Some days I wish I was an economist so I'd have a better idea of what was really at stake here.