In order to create a more secure world for children and their parents, Anne Alstott argues, we must fundamentally change the way we think about parents' obligations to children—and about society's obligations to parents. Drawing on the same innovative thinking that propelled her and Bruce Ackerman's influential work The Stakeholder Society, Alstott proposes a solution both pragmatic and controversial. She outlines two unsentimental proposals intended to improve parents' economic options while respecting every individual's own choices about how best to combine paid work and child-rearing. Rejecting both state paternalism and easy libertarianism, Alstott's proposals are bold and unapologetic in their implications.
Readership: Students and scholars of law, women's studies, economics, and public policy; parents and anyone concerned with family issues.
Anne L. Alstott, Jacquin D. Bierman Professor of Taxation, Yale Law School
""Novel and thought provoking...Alstott [argues] that society should share in the costs of raising children because... of mutual obligation between caretakers and society: caretakers have an obligation to provide continuous care [for their children, a requirement] imposed, in part, by the state; the state thus has an obligation to care for caretakers' lost opportunities. Her argument is well supported and thoughtful... No Exit should open up a useful dialogue."—Perspectives on Politics"
""Is having children just another peculiar taste, like hang-gliding or world travel? Anne Alstott's important new book explains why not. Alstott brings much-needed clarity to the debate over what society owes to parents. Her policy analysis and proposals will be controversial, but no one involved in the care work debate should skip this book."—Joan Williams, author of Unbending Gender and Director of the Program on WorkLife Law, American University"
""Anne Alstott provides a thought-provoking and innovative response to one of the enduring questions for a liberal society: How to reconcile a commitment to individual autonomy with the urgent need to require that our children be nourished and cared for? Alstott persuasively describes and defends a "no exit rule" for caretakers, but then argues that the government has a corresponding responsibility to provide opportunities for parents and other caretakers. She details a public system of caretaker resource accounts and life-planning insurance designed to ensure that caretakers retain meaningful life opportunities despite their sacrifices. This book will spark spirited discussion throughout the academy, as well as among policymakers who will find in No Exit a concrete reform
agenda."—Elizabeth Garrett, Professor of Law, University of Southern California"
""Alstott succeeds in making an extremely compelling case: public policy can do a much better job rewarding and supporting modern day mothers and fathers who provide indispensable care for children. A powerful and timely book."—Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of Creating A Life"
Part 1 - Why Continuity of Care is Important for Children - and Costly for Parents
1: 1 What is Continuity of Care?
2: The Cost of Continuity for Parents' Lives
Part II - Why Society Imposes the "No Exit" Obligation - and What Society Owes Parents as a Result
3: Should Society Expect Parents to Provide Continuity of Care?
4: No Exit and Parental Autonomy
Part III - New Programs to Assist Parents
5: Caretaker Resources Accounts
6: A Closer Look at Caretaker Resource Accounts
7: Life-Planning Insurance: Extra Help for Parents of Ill or Disabled Children
Part IV - Why Workplace Programs Aren't Enough
8: Parents and Paid Work
9: Practical Limitations of the Family-Friendly Workplace
Part V - Implementation
10: Implementing Caretaker Resource Accounts
11: Implementing Life- Planning Insurance for Parents