Friday, October 21, 2005

Wedded to the State by Stephen Baskerville


Writing recently in National Review Online, Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), describes the huge social costs of family breakdown and the benefits to children and society of marriage. He also points out that his agency spends $46 billion each year on programs "the need for [which] is either created or exacerbated by the breakup of families and marriages." He rightly argues that we need to address this costly "family breakdown" problem.

Indeed, his argument demonstrates more than that the runaway growth in domestic government spending is attributable to family breakdown. It is also an acknowledgement that the federal government and its hangers-on have a clear self-interest in broken families. ACF and the half-trillion dollar HHS generally constitute a massive in-house lobby of social workers, psychotherapists, lawyers and others who are not so candid as Dr. Horn about how they depend upon a steady supply of fatherless and troubled children to justify their huge consumption of tax dollars – dollars that in turn subsidize and increase the number of such children.

The smorgasbord of programs Dr. Horn lists is more than a response to broken families; it is a major cause of broken families. Before we initiate new federal programs, we ought to remember the first rule of public policy intervention, which is to first examine the effect of existing programs to see if adjusting them may correct the problem. Could our current public programs and policies be contributing to the family breakdown problem, and, if so, how can we alter them to yield better results?

Similar political courage will be needed to address the other known public programs and policies that are undermining marriage. These include:

(1) The states have failed, since the 1960's, to treat marriage as a real contract.

(2) Paternalistic "family" courts and new laws have seriously undermined fatherhood.

(3) Federally funded state child support systems set excessive awards and penalize non-payment harshly, even when the circumstances for non-payment are clearly outside the control of the payer.

Exhorting people to marry is pointless so long as marriage is a bate-and-switch carrying financial rewards for those who break it. People will simply not invest in a worthless investment, no matter how much you preach at them. If marriage was a worthwhile investment, we would see more of it.

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Blogger Vinayak said...

Thanks for this Good post.

Divorces are increasing all over the world

for e.g. In India where I come from, a country where there is NO concept of a NO fault divorce, divorces are on the increase.. In many cities there is a runaway increase :-(

This isn't just my statement, but the truth comming out of many a news report.

A latest report states "...In Andhra Pradesh (one of the southern states - a stellar performer in the IT boom), for example, a third of all the pending cases related to “atrocities on women” as on June 30 2005 are those under sections 498 and 498(A).

In the first six months this year, 3801 new cases under just these two sections were instituted....." (these two sections are regularly used by women in India to claim "cruelty" , mistreatment or dowry related cases TO GET A FAST DIVORCE :-((

While the western world generally feels that Divorce is a western disease due to gay marriages, break down in society etc etc.., it's not so any longer. Divorce is soon becomming India's biggest challenge

India is a perfect example of a confused state between western and the oriental world. The society is fast westernizing but laws can't catch up. Aspirations are impractical and the legal system is left with loopholes for the unscrupulous to exploit. Many personal laws are antiquated. The Hindu Marriage act has been left un touched for a decade and in itself a problem.

There is NO concept of a no fault divorce and so most end of claiming "cruelty' - as cruelty is a valid reason for divorce

The bottomline is that men and women keep fighting each other - no fault or with faults !!

Divorces cases are ending up in bitter battles and reach up to the Supreme Court of India, after the couple have lost a decade litigating

In India and in Asia life styles are changing every day. Aspirations are changing. Women are clamoring for more freedom. The joint family system which was the bed rock of Indian / asian society is crumbling.

One should note that India is supposedly an economic powerhouse but has little or no old age support from government. Traditional families are also known to spend entire savings to educate their sons.

The family in turn looks towards the son for their upkeep / basic maintenance in old age

After the son is educated, when a wife comes in and throws her laws away /or/ forces her husband to disown them completely, aged parents (who had spent their entire savings on the sons) and other dependant siblings are on the streets. Men who resist these moves from women are often jailed using pro-wife laws.

The females want to live in style. When boy's family fails to cope up with the demand, the girl very cleverly uses the law to her rescue. As the law still recognize an Indian wife as the helpless woman she uses wife supporting provisions to frame (say 498A) false charges against innocent men. Men get locked up or robbed of their entire savings.

This leaves elderly parents, husband's siblings behind bars and penniless. The law unnecessarily pampers the women in India.

Women often succeed with divorce cases women because of sections like 498A and 406B. The guys go bankrupt.

For more details you may visit my blog / forums

10:55 AM  

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