Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Cut child-support payments in half for children born out of wedlock
I could hardly believe my ears. Was this really the same woman friend who for years had been adamantly pro-choice? Where she had always insisted that to force a woman to carry a child to term was an unconstitutional slavery, she now was now insisting that unintended pregnancy warranted a lifetime of slavery.
Watch out guys. Do not be lulled in to thinking that your "liberal" girlfriend's attitudes towards sex make pre-marital sex risk-less for you. Feminism is only interested in sex being as risk-free as possible for women, and that means shifting as much of the risk as possible onto you.
Half might be the best compromise for an already compromised situation, leaving strong incentives for both would-be fathers and mothers not to conceive or bear children outside of marriage. Half of a divorced father's child support payments is still a tremendous obligation, considering that, for women, most people judge it a tyrannical wrong to impose any obligation to become a parent. But there is a baby involved, whose mother has already proven herself irresponsible by having a child out of wedlock. The strength of that need calls for splitting the incentive equally between the man and the woman, even though the woman is the one who ultimately has the choice.
That isn't to say that existing child-support levels in cases of divorce are correct. I believe they are far too high, and generally try to squeeze as much out of the man as possible, going back again for more every time he gets a raise. The proper level would be one that strongly deters the woman from seeking a divorce, so that she will only do so when a marriage is genuinely intolerable, and not enable her to simply enjoy the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed at the man's expense but without providing the partnership and assistance that justified this support within the marriage.
Nice essay by Dalrock on the need for women to face a heavy loss of support if they seek divorce, otherwise the institution of marriage will not function and men will be deprived of basic fairness. Hey women: if he's not married to you, why the hell should he be supporting you as if he was? Thus to a rough approximation, the level of support that a divorced woman with children should enjoy should be half that of a married woman's, and that level of support should be halved again for a never married woman.
There would just be less dis-incentive for men to risk siring a child outside of marriage, but the point here is that the obligations of men in this situation are already much higher than they should be, certainly in comparison to the obligations imposed on women, where our society has decided as a matter of protected constitutional right that women have no obligations whatsoever:
His body, his labor, his hopes for family in the future, are all confiscated over the exact same unintended pregnancy for which our constitutional process has decided that women must not be forced to sacrifice anything. [Again, from my 1995 article.]
UPDATE Neo-neocon makes a different suggestion: that unmarried men be allowed to opt-out of child support in exchange for their relinquishing of all parental rights. That's closer to equality with the present standard for women (who face NO un-consented-to obligations) than my proposal is, and for that reason is even less likely to ever be adopted in our anti-male culture. Would it provide a better balance between the needs of children and the liberty interests of adults? Probably not, as it gives a free pass to men who like the idea of having lots of children they take no responsibility for.
A lot of it bears the test of time I think. Mr. Knowitall is fun, but the most important of the restored stuff is under the "Moral Science" tab, like how to vastly improve both crime control and the protection of liberty at the same time. Instead of protecting liberty indirectly as we do now, by tying the hands of the police, protect liberty directly, by articulating the full ideal of liberty and placing it in the Constitution so that nothing that shouldn't be criminalized can be criminalized.
That is a much more secure way to protect liberty and it does not depend on any restrictions on police methods. The apparent conflict between liberty and crime control disappears, and is seen to be just an artifact of our clumsy indirect way of protecting liberty.