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.


What If Wives And Husbands Made Sustainable Marriage Their Life Goal?

Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.
April 29, 2002

In 1876, at the age of 12, little Anna Jarvis was listening to a lesson provided by her mother on the "Mothers of the Bible." At the end of that lesson, Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis concluded with the prayer, "I hope that someone, sometime will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it." And so it was that at her mother's funeral, when Anna had reached the age of 41 she resolved, "...by the grace of God, you shall have that Mothers Day."

Three years later, on May 9, 1908, simultaneously in Philadelphia and Anna's birthplace of Grafton, WV, the first formal Mother's Day service was held in the respective towns' Methodist Episcopal Churches. It was Anna Jarvis who ultimately is credited with founding and defining the purpose of Mother's Day:
"...To revive the dormant filial love and gratitude we owe to those who gave us birth. To be a home tie for the absent. To obliterate family estrangement. To create a bond of brotherhood through the wearing of a floral badge. To make us better children by getting us closer to the hearts of our good mothers. To brighten the lives of good mothers. To have them know we appreciate them, though we do not show it as often as we ought..." (see Founder)"
Outside of the profit motivation of the greeting card, chocolates and floral arrangement enterprises, it is likely that Jarvis' sentiment lingers only faintly in the 21st century mindset, given the carnage of the feminist-socialist-federal government campaign against traditional motherhood and family-building.

"To be a home tie for the absent; to obliterate family estrangement; to brighten the lives of good mothers," are sentiments antithetic to the past four decades of the feminist juggernaut. "Most mother-women give up whatever ghost of a unique and human self they may have when they 'marry' and raise children." (Phyllis Chesler, Women and Madness, p. 294 )

Anna Maria Reeves Jarvis did not understate the power that was motherhood (and implicitly the nuclear family, dad and all) at the dawn of the 20th century when she proposed "commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life." We now have ample evidence of that value as the 21st century dawns, when exception has proven the rule. We have entered the aquarian age of the new "caregivers;" attorneys, prisons, federal and state social and legal services, family courts, attorneys (did I already say that?), and child care centers.

  • "In 1940 only 8.6% of mothers with children younger than 18 were in the work force. According to the 1996 Yearbook on The State of America's Children, 57% of the women with children younger than three are now in the workforce and 60% of women with children younger than six. Nationally, 74% of women with children under 18 are in the workforce. (Children's Defense Fund, 1996)."

  • In 1940, the number of U.S. divorces was 264,000. In 2000, that number was 450% larger - 1,163,000 with approximately 75% of those divorces being originated by wives. The number of divorced people living in the U.S. is now more than 19 million. And more than 30 million children are not living with their fathers as a result of divorce and single-mother parenthood.

  • The range of attorney's fees for a divorce is $1,500.00 to $4,500.00 - for each spouse. In Texas, the average is pushing $18,000.00. At a lower end average of $6000.00, the legal branch of the Divorce Industry garnered about $7 billion dollars in year 2000. In contested custody cases which often entail psych evaluations, medical evaluations, expert testimony, legal defense of false allegations of child abuse, the costs can be staggering - $100,000.00 or more.

  • In the year 2000, 30 years after the sexual revolution, the liberation of homemakers, and the demise of fatherhood, the prison population of the United States has grown by 590% over that of 1970 (U.S. population growth was only 130%). Not coincidentally, the average prisoner age is 37, 90% are male, and at least 85% are fatherless. Not surprisingly, given that the advent of family decimation was in America's black population as a result of antifamily welfare policies, about 41% of the prison population is black males.

  • The cost of housing the exponential growth in the U.S. prison population "will soon exceed $40 Billion." The Timesizing Wire, 12/99.

  • The U.S. economy is now hugely dependent upon the Divorce Industry. Just to administer the Federal Child Support Enforcement Act of 1975, mandating rigid collection efforts by states, collectively costs an estimated $7.9 to $13.0 billion annually. California (9.7 million children under 18) alone has budgeted $1.1 billion. By comparison, Illinois (3.5 million children under 18) has a budget of $260 million, and at least 3000 child-support bureaucrats are needed to administer the program. Iowa (836 thousand children under 18) has but a paltry budget of $21.5 million. Iowa, like very other state, makes a profit from their incentivized federal participation. In 1995, collectively the states profited $431 million. No incentive to reduce divorce can be inferred from this arrangement.

    By the way, the real efficacy of these monumentally expensive efforts which were originally justified by claiming that they would force welfare "deadbeat dads" to pay up, has been nearly nil. Cooking the books, by taking over the process of collecting support payments that were already being paid without coercion, the Feds have taken credit where no credit is due - except by stealing that credit from responsible fathers and creating a multi-billion dollar useless, punitive bureaucratic boondoggle.

    Think about it; $13 billion expended annually just in federal monies alone to chase the mythological $4.6 billion in delinquent child support, confabulated in 1989. Fact: dads pay 80-90% of child support despite unrealistic awards and visitation sabotage.

  • The above figures for the collection of child support do not take into account that each county in each state also has state-funded Social Services and Court Services related to divorce, custody and support. Local DHS offices, Friend of the Court and Guardian Ad Litem offices are duplicated by the dozens or hundreds in each of the 50 states. The costs are impossible to estimate, and too time consuming to research for this brief outline. But it's safe to estimate that another $5 billion is being consumed.

  • The behemoth known as USDHHS, a federalized substitute for safe and healthy families with stay-at-home mothers, now provides an encyclopedic list of budgetary provisions for child care, child research, safe families, child support collection, foster care, domestic violence, runaways, homelessness, and child-abuse-related social services. The total expenditures for FY-2002 are projected at $25.8 billion.

    It should be noted that for the past eight years, USDHHS has broadcast the alarm that the abuse of children is epidemic in the U.S. However, the real abuse lies in the statistical jumble that:
    ~ overstates the rates of abuse by 400%,
    ~ disguises the most dangerous environments - single mother homes,
    ~ fails to note mothers are the most likely to abuse or kill their children,
    ~ fails to note that the rates of abuse are confounded by repeated abuse of the same child,
    ~ fails to acknowledge that DHHS has been singularly ineffectual in reducing the rates of child abuse,
    ~ fails to acknowledge that the safest place for a child is in a home with a biological father present,
    ~ fails to report that more than 87% of abuse allegations are unsubstantiated in cases involving divorce.
    ~ fails to report that while child abuse is abhorrent, less than 1% of U.S. children are abused,
    ~ fails to report that sexual abuse, though even more abhorrent, is 1/10th of one percent, and it isn't the biological father who is most likely to abuse.
    Despite the exploitation of the existence of abuse, USDHHS budgets 45 times more money ($3.2 billion) for 'child support enforcement' than for 'child abuse programs' ($71.9 million). Clearly, that money would be better spent getting dads back into the homes of their children.

    When all these expenditures of taxpayer dollars are summed, not including divorce costs and allowing that not all prison inmates are there because mom's working and/or dad has been kicked out, the annual financial toll for a brave new world of substitute caregiving and family sabotage is probably more than $80 billion. There is of course no current data on the social costs of lost productivity in divorce. But we do know that the social costs of damaged kids are staggering, and well beyond the figure of $80 billion. One way to put this bogglesome amount into perspective is that it represents about a third of annual post-cold-war military spending; maybe as much as two-thirds.

    Or how about the notion that if USDDHS was really focusing on child abuse, their refocused budget would provide $35,266.00 in aid per child for America's estimated 725,000 abused children.

    Another way to look at it is that, minimally, $80 billion works out to be just about one thousand post-tax dollars per head for every child under 18 in the United States. At an income tax rate of 18.5%, a given worker has to earn approximately $5,400.00 just to pay the cost per head - whether they have children or not.

    In the case of actual intact dual-earner families, with an average of two kids, that tax cost ($10,800.00) plus child care ($7,500.00), plus an extra vehicle ($5,000.00), plus a work wardrobe ($1,500.00), plus lunches, gas, parking fees, fast food ($8,000.00), etc. pretty well wipes out (-$32,800.00) the benefit of having a second breadwinner in the family. Unless of course you can work out other arrangements like, grandma watches the kids for free, you can walk to work, clothing is optional, and lunch is a bag of leftover popcorn washed down with water.

    Oh!, it's also just possible that if the work force were thinned out by about 30%, wages would rise (demand chasing availability) and the family breadwinner would actually once again earn a family-supportable wage.

    What if women and men, wives and husbands, decided that they were just going to make sustainable marriage their life goal? What if they decided that at least one of them was going to be there for the kids, and cut out the middle-person? What if they decided that they wanted to subsidize neither the government nanny-state nor the domestic law lobby and keep that money in the family? What if they decided that maybe things are out of hand and it's time to get a grip on the realities of "no-fault" divorce, women's liberation, sexual liberation, and healthy child rearing? What if we again celebrated Mother's Day as defined by Anna Jarvis and her mom? What if ......

    Nahhh!

    To paraphrase Shakespeare: First, let's kill uh, banish all the "caregivers."

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