Dads Against the Divorce Industry
DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.
DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.
The Child Support Industry: Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.
Socialism With A Sexist
September 9, 2002
"Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" was the once famous phrase that illustrated the futility of trying to change things that are inherently uncontrollable.
The Child Support Industry has mutated into one of those unbridled phenomena. That it exists at all flies in the face of every vestige of common sense and constitutional principal which once were the essence of the Founder's Republic. To borrow a priceless phrase: "In a nation which has declared time and again that death is preferable to tyranny ('Give me liberty or give me death,' 'Live free or die,' 'Millions for defense, not one penny for tribute!' - Jonah Goldberg 9/4/02)" it is a boggle that we have come to this.
When I coined the phrase "Divorce Industry" nearly ten years ago, the intent was to summarize the myriad abuses it represented in an appropriately descriptive phrase, which would lend itself to bringing this aberration of the social climate under control. It was an attempt to remove the "can't see the forest for the trees" blinders.
The Child Support Industry now presents a parallel problem. There are some brilliant and dedicated individuals on the front lines of this cultural conflict who are leading the assault on the various facets of this social aberration; child support awards, non-custody, restraining orders, visitation, worker registration, garnishment, move-aways, abuse allegations, and that infamous bęte noire - the deadbeat dad.
Thanks to the efforts of the Roger F. Gays, Stephen Baskervilles, Stuart Millers, Melanie Cummings, Trudy Schuetts, and Dan Boddickers, just to name a very few, there is a growing awareness that America has a Family and Fatherhood crisis.
So why is a social history lesson necessary and what has it remotely to do with the topic of Child Support?
Because ideas have consequences, and those consequences can destroy a culture. So it is vital to call them by their historically relevant names, i.e., to call a spade a spade, to avoid repeating disasters. We can do very little about the weather, but we can save a culture from destroying itself.
The Ideology of Socialism
"Religion is the opiate of the masses," Karl Marx contended - he the co-progenitor of socialism, along with Engels and Lenin. The suggestion was that blind faith and allegiance to a set of principles dulled the sensibilities of the people, and that class warfare would awaken the proletariat from its slumber.
"A political revolution was essential, in Marx's view, because the state is the central instrument of capitalist society." - MSN EncartaTo summarize, the key elements of fundamental Socialism and its various outgrowths are:
"The socialist doctrine demands state ownership and control of the fundamental means of production and distribution of wealth, to be achieved by reconstruction of the existing capitalist or other political system of a country through peaceful, democratic, and parliamentary means." - MSN Encarta
"(The Communist branch of Socialist) theory foresaw that in capitalist societies, a small vanguard of professional revolutionaries was necessary to infuse the working masses with revolutionary fervor and overthrow capitalism." - MSN Encarta
"Stalinism ... was Leninism taken to the next level, the goal of centralized power and a massive bureaucracy increased. Socialism, in the minds of the(se) idealists, (was) to be the ‘super democracy’ – the ultimate equalizer. ... the political principles and economic policies developed by Joseph Stalin from Marxist-Leninist thought ... included centralized autocratic rule and total suppression of dissent." - MSN Encarta
- Political revolution led by a small group of professional revolutionaries who exploit class differences.
- Expansion and empowerment of the State in the regulation of industry and the concomitant transfer of wealth.
- Centralized autocratic rule and suppression of dissent.
The reason that the Child Support construct has grown to such an exponential degree with such rapidity, accompanied by draconian measures of enforcement is because it is the product of a virulent and wrong idea. Dr. Paul R. McHugh calls this phenomenon the "Overvalued Idea:" "An overvalued idea is a thought shared with others in a society or culture ... with an intense emotional commitment capable of provoking dominant behaviors in its service. Indeed the idea fulminates ... growing more dominant over time, more refined, and more resistant to challenge."
The most virulent overvalued ideas, those that reach near delusional quality are those driven by Fear, Distrust, Envy and Ignorance (or Disinformation). Marx knew this, Lenin knew this, Stalin knew this, and even the sanctified Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew this: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (December 7, 1941)"
Child Support, an overvalued idea, has its roots in Roosevelt's New Deal (1933). It was his political answer to the worst financial collapse in American History (Stock Market Crash and the ensuing Great Depression). It was an ideology through which he exploited class divisions between wealth and poverty in order to generate massive expansion of Federal agencies and centralized government power. Within this agency expansion was the Works Progress Administration, which was the master agency for, among others, "welfare grants for local distribution (including aid for dependent children)." This was the beginning of the welfare state.
Three decades later, it was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who, in the sixties massively expanded the child support industry under the auspices of the Great Society programs. The delusory idea that it was within the State's authority, using your tax money, to support both legitimate and illegitimate children (AFDC) and their mothers (not fathers) was born. In part it was driven by the political fear of the rising civil rights movement.
Tragically, it dealt a deathblow to the nuclear black family in America. Prior to the expansion of this program in the sixties, the nuclear black family was well established, with 67% of black children living with both parents. In a steady downward progression over the next 35 years following the expansion of the welfare State, the status of the two-parent black family was decimated to a mere 33%.
And it was accomplished ideologically with a deliberate lie. The Great Society leviathan, displacing all of its liberal guilt, transferred the blame for the poverty of the black minority on the male head of the house (shiftless, lazy) and declared war on the black family with the "no-man-in-the-house" rule.
Welfare workers conducted midnight intimidation raids on black welfare homes to assure that welfare recipient women and their children were not sharing their homes with fathers or boyfriends. Never mind that the real reason for their poverty was racism and a preference for hiring black women over the bęte noire black male.
This was the State program that gave birth to that strawman, the "deadbeat dad."
The Merger of the Child Support Industry and Socialism
The Child Support Industry:
State control of the fundamental distribution of wealth
Well before today's evolved concept, support for dependent children had become the central tenet of the welfare state, and hundreds of billions of dollars were extorted from American taxpayers towards supporting a massive State bureaucracy that doled out AFDC funds.
Once Equal Opportunity quotas were in place and the American public became disenchanted with the dole, that same public also began to demand responsibility and accountability from welfare recipients. But in a pantyhose victim-feminist, society, responsibility and accountability rest only on male shoulders.
Again to the point, the sub-rosa presumption of guilt was placed on the black male for failing to support his variously sired offspring. But this was a hidden agenda in the affirmative action era. And the "deadbeat dad" mantra was substituted for the equally offensive and mendacious "shiftless Negro" of the Jim Crow era.
Forty years after the fact of the no-man-in-the-house rule, it has been forgotten that first Roosevelt and later L.B.J. disenfranchised the black male and his fatherhood role, while simultaneously fostering illegitimacy by countenancing, if not lionizing black females who conceived more children.
An ill-conceived 1975 remedial measure, the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) was created in response to the demand for welfare accountability. It was reasoned that the need for welfare would be ameliorated if the State could just get black men to pay their child support. The reality, however, was that few child support awards were in place because black women chose not to betray the identity of the fathers.
And even when such awards were in place, black men had little income to attach. The program could not pay for itself, let alone replace welfare. Consequently, the federal CSEP took over all child support collection functions in a constitutionally inconceivable and massively centralized State power grab.
Between 1969 and 1975, the legislated destiny of the black family was revisited on the white family through a succession of mandates far more devastating than the welfare state. No-fault divorce, Roe v Wade, and finally the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) laid the groundwork for the no-white-man-in-the-house rule.
I believe that Dr. Stephen Baskerville has repeatedly made the point that the advent of no-fault divorce essentially disposed of the marriage contract. There is, after all, no contract when one partner to that agreement can simply and unilaterally walk away. The entire concept of marriage and family was further decimated by Roe v Wade.
While there might be consensual sex, impregnation created a unilateral female right to dispose of life, eliminating the father role.
And finally, CSEP provided the incentive of a guaranteed income to females who walked away from their husbands and marriages, taking the kids in tow. So successful has that incentive been, that wives now initiate 75% of all divorces when children are involved. AFDC and no-man-in-the-house rule redux.
The end result has been the creation of a leviathan, State-controlled Industry whose sole function is to affect a massive transfer of wealth from the male to the female. It only takes a cursory review of the Annual Statistical Report posted on the OCSE Office of Child Support Enforcement web site to substantiate this claim.
According to Table 4., for the five years 1996-2000, nearly $73.5 billion dollars in child support collections has been processed through OCSE. To put that dollar amount into perspective, one of the nation's largest retailers, Walmart, had sales of about $147 billion in 1998.
Tables 8. and 10. demonstrate that 82% of those dollars collected derived from non-welfare related sources, i.e., fathers who were most likely already paying their child support through local agencies prior to the creation of OCSE.
Meanwhile, Table 42. tells us that there were almost 10.7 million divorced or never married support cases in the year 2000 with child support orders. And from a wide variety of sources, we can estimate that about 10 million of those are fathers. In a nation of approximately 55 million adult males over the age of 18, that's 1 in 5 being monitored by the OCSE.
Tables 16., 29. and 62., show us that for each OCSE $1.00 spent, $3.95 is collected; administrative costs 1996-2000 were more than $18.6 billion dollars; and that in year 2000, 58,171 staffers were employed directly and indirectly by OCSE. Crunch the numbers a bit, and you find that staff costs average $30.75 per hour, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, or nearly $64,000 per staffer, per year.
Can there be any doubt that a powerful State-controlled Child Support Industry exists - or that coincidentally, it pays a much higher average wage than that earned by the men it collects from?
Socialism, Plain and Simple
In the sixties, riding on the back of the civil rights movement, came the women's equality movement. By rough estimate, in about fifteen years this original equality movement had accomplished the majority of its goals, with little resistance from males. And what rose to the surface afterward was the angry, militant, revolutionary radical feminist contingent who exploited the equity origin with a dramatically accelerated campaign of Fear, Distrust, Envy, Ignorance and Disinformation.
Where the early women's movement was more characterized by peace, love, sexual freedom and equality, the subsequent transmogrification was straight out of the Marxist handbook; class warfare with a sexist twist. It was now the victimized female (the impoverished proletariat) vs. the oppressive male patriarchy (the wealthy, abusive bourgeoisie).
In the social climate of 70s and 80s with its revolutionary unrest between blacks and whites, males and females, the pantyhose politician emerged as the archetypal male legislator. Such was the intimidation of the radical feminist elite, whose character lynchings of prominent male legislators, those who did not toe the line, proliferated.
The formal power of the State became the ineluctable handmaiden to the Sexist Socialist revolution.
Centralized State Regulation of the Sexes
In a breathtakingly quick succession, radical feminist hysteria led to the suspension of male constitutional rights with a series of legal precedents and centralized federal mandates:
- 1969: No-fault divorce began to sweep the nation.
- 1973: Roe v Wade gave absolute life choice to females only.
- 1975: The Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) began an ever-expanding pogrom of paternal intimidation.
- 1979: Sexual Harassment became the password for pro-female protectionism in government and private industry.
- 1986: The Bradley amendment to the CSEP forbade retroactive downward adjustments to child support orders, locking fathers into a potential lifetime of indebtedness. Child support arrearages had been precluded from being discharged in bankruptcy.
- 1994: The Violence Against Women Act legislatively certified males as predators.
- 2002: The Cox-Boxer bill proposed to tax unpaid child support.
In 2000, more than 79 percent of the paternity findings in Los Angeles County, Calif., were by default, meaning that the suspected father never had his day in court. (Thompson, 4/12/02)
It goes without saying that these fathers will not likely know that they are in arrears until it's too late. And because of the rabid feminist opposition to exculpatory DNA evidence, it won't matter anyway. They will find themselves in the same company of men who have been ordered to pay unrealistic child support, and when they can't meet the payments they will be subjected to a range of punitive measures.
But nothing will be said in the pantyhose media about the irresponsible women allowing themselves to be impregnated, or deviously looking to extract a child support paycheck.
Although our nationalized divorce system is expressly "no-fault", divorced dads are presumed to be at-fault as is implicit if not explicit in now customary outcomes:
- Despite the fact that the right to parent your child is one of the most fundamental constitutional guarantees, 9 of 10 fathers are presumed to be inferior parents, as demonstrated by custody awards. Uncounted fathers have spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to secure joint custody, only to be rebuked by the courts as unworthy. For most fathers, the loss of their right to mold and nurture their children, and the loss of their affection, is absolutely devastating - and completely disregarded by the State.
- A trumped-up charge of child molest or abuse against a divorcing father almost guarantees that he will be removed from his child's life for at least a year while his case is investigated by the State and its biased minions. And even if the case is determined to be unfounded, the threat of future charges remains a deterrent to his further efforts to remain in his child's life.
- Similar to the child-related false allegations, a divorcing female spouse in most jurisdictions will be allowed an ex-parté hearing should she express a "fear" of her spouse, and a restraining order will be placed against him, often without his knowledge.
- Child support awards have little to do with meeting the fundamental needs for housing, nutrition and the education of a child. The case has been made, and re-made, that they are thinly veiled alimony awards, with no accountability demanded of the custodial parent.
- An obligee (dad with a State-imposed support order) loses all rights to illness, injury, or job loss as a mitigating factor in seeking a temporary or retroactive reduction of the order. Those seeking reductions will most often find themselves being awarded a higher amount.
- Any obligee may be subjected to a court award based on "imputed" wages. If in the court's estimation they are earning less than they "should," the obligation may be arbitrarily increased at the whim of the court.
- Should the divorced dad's ex-spouse choose to relocate to another state, taking their child(ren) with her, few jurisdictions will prevent this from happening, even if it means that the father will lose all physical contact with his child(ren).
- There is no upward limit on the amount of "child support" that may be awarded. And in most jurisdictions, a biennial review of the obligee's income status will be ordered to enable the court (or the antagonistic ex-spouse) to determine if an upward adjustment will be ordered. If her employer won't give her a raise, she can always ask the court to increase her other paycheck.
- Obligees who fail to meet their full support order may be subjected to a range of punitive measures including loss of recreational licenses, driving licenses, and professional licenses. If they remain in arrears, the State may subject them to local or federal imprisonment, despite the constitutional guarantee against debtor's prisons.
- All obligees are presumed to be potential if not actual deadbeats. Consequently they are tracked from job to job, and upon discovery, with or without voluntary acknowledgment to their employer, a wage garnishment is mandatory.
- It is a virtual certainty that neither visitation sabotage, willful alienation of the child(ren), poor moral conduct, nor perjured allegations or any combination thereof will result in court punishment of the custodial mother.
- And here is perhaps the defining point as to why the system is demonstrably unconstitutional; absent an abuse charge, no married parent has a mandate from the State to spend "x" dollars per month on their child, to pay for their college education, nor how much time they may spend with them. Yet.
The most egregious violation of constitutional rights is the implicit presumption of guilt and lack of due process inherent to each of these foregoing provisions.
Modifications and half-measures are no longer viable. This Socialist State leviathan has become a threat to the Republic.
Everything about the Child Support Industry is un-American. It is a Bolshevik attack against the family. It is a Socialist scheme for sexist wealth redistribution. It is a Communist regime of suppression. It is a Fascist acquisition of wealth production. And far from least, it is an immoral stain on the fabric of a great nation, which was once a free nation.
It's time to restore rights and responsibilities for children to nuclear families. It's time to demand that citizens rise and fall on their own merits. It's time to issue a cease and desist order on ideological social engineering. It's time to impose moral sanctions on sexual irresponsibility. It's time to restore the honorable role of fatherhood.
It's time to abort the Child Support Industry - period.
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