Continued from page 2

Mrs. Lukas said society should tear down social barriers that prevent people from helping and supporting children, but she also said she’s worried when some discuss broader government control as a way to make changes happen.

“It worries me when we talk about things like suing government to do this, because we have to recognize when it comes to government-mandated benefits, where demanding we all have flextime or paid leave, that comes as a real cost, and those costs can often be fewer job opportunities, less wages and, even for women, in some cases, less flexibility,” she said.

“I think government intervention is tempting to solve these problems, but we need to recognize that there are a lot of unintended consequences in these measures.”

Heather Boushey, a senior economist at CAP, acknowledged that the demographic shifts are “not a short-term blip,” but a new reality that must be dealt with.

“Women won’t go back home,” she said. “This is a permanent change in our economy, and we need to push the institutions around us to adapt to it.”