As "ban the box" gains more momentum, we should remember that the substance of this effort is rooted in something deeply American. It advocates for equity and justice -- giving qualified job seekers a fair opportunity. But it also suggests that the foibles of our pasts don't impair the promises of our lives.
After their decades of hard work, Americans deserve to retire with dignity and security. The proposed Department of Labor Best Interest Rule will help them do just that if we can just get it over the finish line and beat back selfish opposition coming from within parts of the financial services industry.
Robert Litan and Hal Singer are certainly entitled to their opinions, no matter how ill-informed. And industry has every right to seek to influence regulations by hiring "experts" to help them make their case. But no one should mistake what Litan and Singer have published for actual economic analysis.
The United States is one of the few nations on the planet where paid family and medical leave or earned sick time is not the law of the land. In fact, only 12 percent of private-sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employers. Access to paid leave is particularly low among Hispanics, African Americans and low-wage workers.
At one point or another, we all will have to separate from our baby, no matter what age they are. That being said, some parents are forced to do this in an unfathomable amount of time. When we look at an average leave being 6-12 weeks of unpaid leave in the United States, for many, that would be a gift.
The battle over a rule proposed by the Department of Labor, which would require retirement plan advisors to be fiduciaries to plan participants, has descended to a new low. The securities industry lobby has been earning its keep, persuading some members of Congress that putting the interest of plan participants first is actually a bad idea. No mean feat.