Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Exploding the myth of “Deadbeat Dads”

Dr. Stephen Baskerville e-mailed met to let me know about an important article in the Washington Times about the new show on the anti-male “Lifetime” network. If you want to understand why men don’t want to be husbands and fathers any more, read this entire piece.

Excerpt:

More than 90 percent of fathers with joint custody paid the support due, according to a Census Bureau report (Series P-23, No. 173). So deadbeats are in the minority. Also, most so-called deadbeat dads actually are dead broke. Two-thirds of men who fail to make child-support payments earn poverty-level wages, according to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. Most of the others are unemployed.

Bruce Walker, executive coordinator at the District Attorneys Council in Oklahoma City, who ran the state’s child-support enforcement program for three years and jailed hundreds of fathers for nonpayment, told the Newark Star-Ledger in 2002: “These men are seldom the mythical monsters described by politicians.”

“Many times I prosecuted impoverished men,” he told the Star-Ledger. “I prosecuted one deadbeat dad who had been hospitalized for malnutrition and another who lived in the bed of a pickup truck.”

On his blog, Dr. Baskerville links to some responses to the article, including his own:

Two powerful letters in response were published Wednesday:
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/20/the-demonization-of-dads/
http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/20/love-and-divorce/

My own letter was published Thursday (full letter below):
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/21/the-agony-of-child-support/

All three are worth reading because they are full of statistics that will shock you. Here is the best bit from the third:

Ostensibly created to recover welfare costs, child support enforcement on the federal level has failed and now costs taxpayers more than $3 billion annually. More seriously, it pays mothers to divorce or forgo marriage, thus creating the very problem it is supposed to alleviate.

Mothers are not the only ones who profit from fatherless children. State governments generate revenue from child support at federal taxpayers’ expense. By paying states according to the amount of child support they collect, federal programs give states an interest in more fatherless children. The more broken homes there are, the more revenue for the state.

Don’t forget to read the facts on the lack of male teachers in the schools, which undermines men’s ability to achieve and to be responsible. And when you’re done with that, you can read about the problem of no-fault divorce and the family court system. (A shorter version is linked here)

For those of you who are pro-life or pro-traditional marriage, I want to advise you that this issue is also a very important, although under-reported, issue for social conservatives. Fathers matter, and the state has policies in place that are discouraging men from their traditional role in the family. In the case of a divorce, fathers almost never get custody, and sometimes they do not see their children for years.

Before, I wrote about the fact that 40% of new births are to unwed mothers. Generous benefits provided by the government ensure that fathers are dispensable. Over 20 million children in the United States are raised without a father in the home. And I’m sure you know the social costs to young men and women: violence, anxiety, promiscuity, unwed motherwood, teen pregnancy, abortion, suicides, depression, drug addiction, etc.

And don’t even get me started on the false allegations of rape, harassment, etc., such as the recent Duke University lacrosse scandal. Women who make these false allegations are almost never punished! Over two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women for “irreconcilable differences”. You have to understand that thoughtful men notice these things, and they will make decisions accordingly.

Surprise! Men don’t like being treated poorly by the state. Treat us poorly enough and we’ll find other things to do with our lives than get marriage and raise children. To see what that might look like, take a look at this article on birth rates in countries that are further along the marxist-feminist agenda than the United States.

More in my series on how Democrat policies discourage marriage: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

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