Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Welfare Reform: Liberals Were Chicken Littles
ToogoodReports ^ | May 7, 2002 | Paul M. Weyrich

Posted on 05/07/2002 5:52:42 AM PDT by Starmaker

Liberals, either by design or simply because they believe in wrong ideas, often make outrageous statements. Yet they are seldom held accountable. Scott Stanley, now deputy managing editor of Insight Magazine, when he was editor of a publication called "Review of the News," was the only media person to systematically juxtapose what liberals said with what really happened.

Well, the House Majority Leader, Dick Armey, has borrowed a leaf from Stanley and in a "Dear Colleague" letter examined what the liberals said about welfare reform as enacted in 1996 vs. the reality of what really took place since the bill was passed. It is only fair that Armey should perform this task, since every time the massive Clinton tax increase of 1993 is mentioned, a dozen liberals pop up out of nowhere to remind Armey that he had predicted a terrible recession if the bill was passed. We had no recession and instead enjoyed record prosperity. Armey counters that the recession was avoided because the Republicans gained control of the Congress in 1994, cut spending, and passed tax cuts which avoided the recession.

But I digress. Back to the welfare reform measure, which the GOP Congress passed in 1996. The first time around, Clinton vetoed the measure. The GOP Congress passed it again with minor changes, and Clinton vetoed that bill as well. For a third time, the Republicans in Congress made a few small changes to the bill and sent it to the president's desk. Dick Morris, who at that time was still advising Clinton, told him he had better sign this welfare bill or risk losing the election to Bob Dole, who was prepared to make Clinton's 1992 pledge "to end welfare as we know it" a major issue in his campaign against Clinton. Clinton reluctantly signed the measure. Now, it is up for re-authorization.

So as this is debated in Congress, Armey went back into his files and this is what he found:

Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund, called the bill that Clinton signed an "outrage...that will hurt and impoverish millions of American children." She went on to say that the welfare reform act would leave a "moral blot" on Clinton's presidency and on our nation itself which will never be forgotten.

What actually happened, according to the Majority Leader, is that there are 2.3 million fewer children living in poverty than there were in 1996. Armey added sarcastically that the "moral blot" on the Clinton Presidency had nothing to do with welfare reform.

Meanwhile, back then The Urban Institute predicted that the welfare reform bill would push 2.6 million more people into poverty and cause eight million families to lose income. And Patricia Ireland, the then-president of the National Organization for Women, predicted that the bill Clinton signed, "places 12.8 million people on welfare at risk of sinking further into poverty and homelessness." Peter Edelman, then Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS, resigned his post in protest over what Clinton had done, claiming that the welfare reform law would do serious injury to American children and create "more crime, increased infant mortality and increased drug and alcohol abuse." He also predicted an increase in family violence and abuse against children and women.

What really happened, according to Armey, is that there are 4.2 million fewer people living in poverty today than in 1996, despite the recession.

The poverty rate among single mothers is at the lowest point in U.S. history. Crime has gone down over this same period, and the Department of Agriculture says there are nearly 2 million fewer hungry children now than in 1996. Employment of young single mothers has about doubled and employment of mothers without a high school diploma has increased by 60%.

The share of children living in single mother families has fallen, while the share living in married couple families has increased, with no correlated increase in abuse against women and children.

And finally, the out of wedlock birth rate has remained flat for the past five years and has actually decreased among the African-American community.

That is quite a record, and one that directly contradicts the predictions of the experts.

Now Robert Carleson, who was Ronald Reagan's welfare director in California in the 1970s when Reagan became famous for welfare reform which worked and who also handled Reagan's welfare reform work when he was president, has this advice for the Congress as it now considers re-authorization: Leave the Bill alone. It is working. Don't try to fix it.

Carleson, who helped to draft the 1996 bill and who is now a senior fellow at the Free Congress Foundation, said he could think of ways to improve the measure here and there but once that Pandora's Box is opened, it paves the way for all sorts of revisions by the liberals which will end up destroying the good work this bill has accomplished.

Meanwhile now that Armey is leaving the Congress and must find gainful employment, I suggest a three times a week column to be also taped for radio and television, which would compare statements made over the years by liberals compared with what really has happened. The Cold War would be a splendid point to begin such a project.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/07/2002 5:52:42 AM PDT by Starmaker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Starmaker; psyops; Colorado Tanker; Libertina; pissed off janitor; happygrl;Dennisw;sjackson...
Bump, PING!!! Sick em Armey!
2 posted on 05/07/2002 5:58:53 AM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Starmaker
"Welfare Reform: Liberals Were Chicken Littles"

And don't forget that they are American Political Life's biggest chicken s..ts!

3 posted on 05/07/2002 6:23:56 AM PDT by Enterprise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Starmaker
Although most states have shaved welfare roles by as much as 50%, mosts states, unfortunately, are actually spending MORE on welfare than ever.
4 posted on 05/07/2002 10:26:57 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Starmaker
And finally, the out of wedlock birth rate has remained flat for the past five years and has actually decreased among the African-American community

But the abortion rate has increased in states which passed the "family caps" guidelines recommended in the Welfare Reform Act.

One bonus that comes with dead children .....they don't require much in the way of food and shelter. One wonders if this is not part of the plan.
5 posted on 05/07/2002 1:37:33 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
But the abortion rate has increased in states which passed the "family caps" guidelines recommended in the Welfare Reform Act. One bonus that comes with dead children .....they don't require much in the way of food and shelter. One wonders if this is not part of the plan.

If you oppose "family caps" on the basis that they encourage abortion, which is a good basis for objecting, what would be the tenets of welfare reform that you would propose? Step into the shoes of Tommy Thompson for a moment...

6 posted on 05/07/2002 2:47:19 PM PDT by The Giant Apricots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: The Giant Apricots
I would use more carrot and less stick. But the main thing I would do is emphasize personal responsibility in an equal way for both parents. That means getting serious about both parents being equally responsible and accountable for the kids they co-create.

I would set up programs which reward States for the number of people, especially parents, who complete job training and education milestones. For example bonuses to states which have higher rates of high school graduation. Bonuses to states which have low unemployement rates, bonuses to states who move more people off of welfare including dependent children. Bonuses to State which have reduced both OOW births and abortion. (Right now States are praised for reducing OOW births only).

For example if a single parent moves gets a job and is contributing to the support and care of the child, that's great. But if he/she still can't make ends meet alone, then we need to make up the shortfall of the missing parent States which have higher numbers of TWO parents contributing to the support and care of their children would also get a bonus.

I'd provide more job training and education and even job placement help to parents who agree to support their kids. One program that is being proposed is the State (or Feds I'm not sure) paying 1/2 of the salary for the first year to employers who hire welfare recipients. This sounds like a good plan. I'd extend it to people who's kids are receiving welfare if the parent agrees to pay child support (the amount would have to be figured out). Basically try to set up programs that would give priority in jobs to those who are actively supporting their kids over deadbeats even if the deadbeat is more qualified. The government paying for 1/2 the salary for the first year plus skill training would be a big carrot for both parents and employers to reward responsible behavior. Provide perks like education, job skill training and even job placement to parents who have a proven track record of supporting their offspring. The government could also offer heftier tax credits to parents supporting their kids in the same why we provide mortgage credits to promote home ownership.

I would create programs in schools aimed at letting people know what the welfare and child support rules are and basic fianancial management, what it takes to support and raise a child in TIME and MONEY and other resources. And I would make sure the boys KNOW up front that they are not going to get off scot free if they co-create a child. We need to pound in the 50/50 responsibility theme. Right now, we are busy educating our young women to accept their second class stutus based on pro-creative status. This is counterproductive to creating good responsible citizens. If you tell someone right off the bat they are second class citizens who will be treated unfairly as a matter of public policy, they have no incentive to be good responsible citizens. "Equal justice for all" is a hollow concept for them. A person who has no vested interest in a system they see as inherently unfair from the get go is more likely to abuse the system. It's called passive-aggressive.

Lastly, I would do a major PR campaign letting people know that welfare to children (including subsidizing child care facilities so that parents can work) is subsidizing the defaulted obligations of BOTH parents, not just one. Time is a resource just like money. If you are neither paying for your kids nor taking hands on care of them, you are in default of your parental obligations.

Taxpayers have a right to know exactly and truthfully who's obligations they are subsidzing with welfare dollars. We need change the rhetoric about "single mothers" and "deadbeat dads" and instead spend a lot more time talking about PARENTAL OBLIGATIONS to kids created in a fair and equal way.
7 posted on 05/07/2002 3:39:34 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne;harrison bergeron;paul atreides;wasfree;wwjdn;senator pardek;xm177e2;right2parent
Time is a resource just like money. If you are neither paying for your kids nor taking hands on care of them, you are in default of your parental obligations. Taxpayers have a right to know exactly and truthfully who's obligations they are subsidzing with welfare

I agree with much of what you have said. Yet, one problem is that the current system assigns the Time obligation primarily to the mother, and the Money obligation primarily to the father.

And there is the root of the entire problem.

8 posted on 05/08/2002 2:44:18 PM PDT by The Giant Apricots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nick Danger
P I N G !
9 posted on 05/08/2002 2:45:25 PM PDT by The Giant Apricots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
But the abortion rate has increased in states which passed the "family caps" guidelines recommended in the Welfare Reform Act.

OK, so offer free sterilization or Norplant to welfare women

One possible reason for reduced crime: when welfare pays the rent, you don't need a reliable guy as your husband. It's more fun to hook up with a drug dealer with lots of cash to take you places and buy you presents. If he gets blown away tomorrow, well, there's another one around somewhere.

A large percentage of men tend to want to make money, so they can attract women. If being in a good job attracts women, then they will study and work hard to be promoted into a good job. If being a drug dealer makes you attractive to women, many will become dealers. The women control the incentive system

10 posted on 05/08/2002 2:55:43 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: The Giant Apricots
Yet, one problem is that the current system assigns the Time obligation primarily to the mother, and the Money obligation primarily to the father.

This is indeed a big part of the problem. But one that could be solved if people decided that both time and money invested in children is of equal value and equal importance. We need fathers for more than just money but our society doesn't emphasize that. We are too busy trying to find ways for people to get off the hook in all ways and discount the personal responsibility of both parents towards meeting their obligations to their kids.
11 posted on 05/08/2002 3:20:42 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
OK, so offer free sterilization or Norplant to welfare women

Ok, fine by me. And what about free sterilization for men who produce children who end up on welfare? And free condoms? And spending more money on developing more male contraceptive options? There is a Norplant-like drug for men in the works right now, for example. (It has side effects similar to Norplant for women though and no one knows the long term health risks). Think we could offer it free of charge to men who have produced kids who end up on welfare?
12 posted on 05/08/2002 3:26:08 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
A large percentage of men tend to want to make money, so they can attract women. If being in a good job attracts women, then they will study and work hard to be promoted into a good job. If being a drug dealer makes you attractive to women, many will become dealers. The women control the incentive system

Hmmmmm. Seems to me you're saying that women are responsible for men deciding to become drug dealers. Is that right? What about personal responsibility? Are men exempt?
13 posted on 05/08/2002 3:28:49 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Lorianne
Ok, fine by me. And what about free sterilization for men who produce children who end up on welfare?

An exercise in futility when applied to the welfare-class. What's the incentive to the guy to go along? With the woman, she has the incentive of the state not paying for any more kids.

The government has little leverage on the guys of the welfare neighborhoods. You can't seize their salaries for child support if they're not working a regular job. The woman may not even know his correct name or where he lives(even if he has a fixed address, which many don't).

And even if you sterilize 90% of the guys, all it takes is a few unsterilized guys with active libidos

15 posted on 05/08/2002 6:39:40 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Seems to me you're saying that women are responsible for men deciding to become drug dealers. Is that right? What about personal responsibility? Are men exempt?

I'm talking about incentives. Many people don't care about morality, only incentives. If stealing is easier than work, and poses little risk of actual punishment, then they will steal. If consequences are actively enforced, then they may decide to work instead

There is a type of person who doesn't care about sin, about right-versus-wrong, about honor, or about justice. This type only cares about satisfying his or her percieved needs. If he's hungry and doesn't have cash for McDonalds, his solution will be to bash some old lady and take her purse. If he's horny, he will drag some woman into an alley. If dealing drugs will satisfy his desire for income, then he will deal drugs. The only way to deal with this person is to either alter the incentive system, or kill him. Killing them is probably the more cost-effective long-term solution, but it is politically unpalatable at this time

16 posted on 05/08/2002 6:50:14 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
An exercise in futility when applied to the welfare-class. What's the incentive to the guy to go along? With the woman, she has the incentive of the state not paying for any more kids.

I see. So we use the kids as hostage to social engineer her behavior, meanwhile the kids get cut off welfare. Mom can sit by and watch the kids go without while dad goes on his merry way? Is this the plan? Sounds kind of unfair and unequal to me. Sounds kind of harsh on the kids too. This was the "family caps" agenda in a nutshell only it backfired, and the abortion rate went up. Also, it didn't work as planned as people just gave one kid to a family member who then applied for welfare on the kid's behalf so the new kid would be covered. It just didn't work out whichever way you look at it. Abortion went up and non-compliance with the new rules was rampant... not the kind of "behavior modification" they were looking for I don't think.

The government has little leverage on the guys of the welfare neighborhoods.

So go after the women and kids ... basically because you can? Fairness and equal justice under the law, the cornerstones of our republic, goes right out the window? What this proposes is that women who procreate are lesser citizens than men who procreate, and will be held to a different unequal standard .... plus, the kids will be punished to make the point.

Look I agree women who procreate irresponsibly need to modify their behaviour, but so do men. I don't accept the "boys will be boys" argument. And I sure as hell don't accept unequal standards under the law on sexual/reproductive matters. People who want to live under that system should move to Nigeria or fundementalist Islamic countries or China. We're not perfect, but we're a damn sight better than these places.

The bottom line is it take TWO people to create a new person. Both are responsible for either preventing conception or standing up and being accountable for the consequences. You either believe in personal responsibility or you don't. That goes for men as well as women. It's just that simple.
17 posted on 05/08/2002 8:04:16 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
So go after the women and kids ... basically because you can? Fairness and equal justice under the law, the cornerstones of our republic, goes right out the window?

In a perfect world, everybody would be happy. It's not a perfect world. There are guys being forced to pay child support for kids even AFTER DNA evidence proves they are not the biological father. Why? Because they're the ones that can be grabbed.

The facts of life are that the woman has all the choices. If she chooses to abort, there is not a damn thing the biological father can do to stop her, even if he's legally married to her. Women have agitated for decades for the "right to choose". Well, now they have the choice.

The case we're talking about is women who choose to have babies, because they know the govt will support them. If the system is changed so that having a baby you're not able to support creates an uncomfortable situation, then women will make damn sure they're not going to get pregnant

The bottom line is: I've got three kids of my own to support. I DO NOT want to support the kids of some welfare mom, and will support measures to discourage welfare types from having kids at my expense -- by any means necessary.

18 posted on 05/09/2002 6:11:35 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: The Giant Apricots
VERY WELL SAID!!!
19 posted on 05/09/2002 6:19:52 AM PDT by wwjdn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
In a perfect world, everybody would be happy. It's not a perfect world. There are guys being forced to pay child support for kids even AFTER DNA evidence proves they are not the biological father. Why? Because they're the ones that can be grabbed.

Well, this is unfair. What's more it can be changed and the system made more fair by universal DNA testing at birth. Are you suggesting we not try to correct inequity and injustice in our society?

The facts of life are that the woman has all the choices. If she chooses to abort, there is not a damn thing the biological father can do to stop her, even if he's legally married to her. Women have agitated for decades for the "right to choose". Well, now they have the choice.

Well, I for one support the choice NOT to abort. I don't see why one would on the one hand say he/she is pro-Life (as I and many are) and then proceed to demonize and punish the people (actually the children of people) the people who don't abort! This makes no logical sense. Also, it boils down to punishing children for being born, which is really really unfair. There has to be a better way.

The case we're talking about is women who choose to have babies, because they know the govt will support them. If the system is changed so that having a baby you're not able to support creates an uncomfortable situation, then women will make damn sure they're not going to get pregnant

These kind of behavior modification plans aimed at only women have never worked. What actually happens is you create a perminent underclass of people, women and their children, which feeds the cycle of poverty and dispair.

If you go to any developing country where there is no social safety net for OOW kids or orphans, you see the most horrible things in the streets. I've been to many of these places and I can say I don't want to walk out my door and be confrtonted with such destitution and crime in my own country.

The bottom line is: I've got three kids of my own to support. I DO NOT want to support the kids of some welfare mom...

The thing is, the kids are not just hers, they have a father too. We cannot just ignore this fact. I don't want to pay for irresponsible behavior of MEN and women either. But I know my tax money is going to support the irresponsible father's lifestyle just as much as the mother's. ... and will support measures to discourage welfare types from having kids at my expense -- by any means necessary.

I won't support ends-justify-the-means measures that violate the human rights of women (like in China) or grossly unfair laws for women (like in Nigeria or other fundementalist Islamic countries). I don't want to live in a country which trashes human rights of one group of people solely based on sex.

I don't want to pay for irresponsible people either. If I have to make a choice between living in a totalitarian state with unequal justice under the law and paying more taxes for welfare I'll choose the latter. But I don't think I have to make that choice. That's why I'll continue to demand equal personal responsibility and equal accountablity of both parents to children created.
20 posted on 05/09/2002 11:04:53 AM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
The bottom line is it take TWO people to create a new person. Both are responsible for either preventing conception or standing up and being accountable for the consequences. You either believe in personal responsibility or you don't.

I see no argument with your principles. Now how do we place them into operation? Further, how do we keep people who can't support their kids from further procreation? They have a right to have sex - they do not have a right to create lives they will not support. How do we stop them?

21 posted on 05/09/2002 11:18:20 AM PDT by jimt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
You seem to be espousing more welfare. I couldn't disagree more.

Remove the kids from the irresponsible biological parents if they aren't self supporting within two years. There are plenty of folks who would adopt and they should be given irrevocable custody, except for clear mental or physical abuse. Temporarily sterilize the irresponsible indiscriminate breeders (Norplant, et al.) until they are self supporting and can support any kids they create. This type of "family" produces the vast majority of criminals. Cut it off at the source.

While my solution is clearly too radical and intrusive, the idea of further vacuuming my pockets to support irresponsible breeding is also too radical and intrusive. Parasites don't deserve first dibs in the choice category.

22 posted on 05/09/2002 11:28:31 AM PDT by jimt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: jimt
I see no argument with your principles. Now how do we place them into operation? Further, how do we keep people who can't support their kids from further procreation? They have a right to have sex - they do not have a right to create lives they will not support. How do we stop them?

I don't see a magic bullet. I'm not willing to go in for totalitarian measures like China and I don't see such measures being supported in America. In practice that means decent people who believe in equal justice are over a barrel so to speak. But we're not totally helpless.

I think we have to think longer term. First step IMO is to acknowledge in our everyday speech and mores that parents have obligations to kids they co-create. Never, ever verbally in any way shape or form give the impression we don't believe in personal responsibility. Don't cut anyone any slack whatsoever. This is really important because what we have to do is change the mindset that people in the US have come to believe that no matter the problem, it's always the other persons's fault. Pass the buck is our real national passtime, not baseball.

The next thing I would do is go into the schools and pound it into our kids that if they create a new life they WILL BE held accountable. Both parents, 50/50. No exceptions. I would NOT indoctrinate our young people to believe that inequity is OK. Making others pay (especially young children) for your part mistakes will NOT be tolerated. To me this is non-negotiable. If you create a kid, you create automatic obligations for yourself for at least the next 18 YEARS! This point cannot be made often enough in our schools and it has to be equal, 50/50 down the line obligation. The last thing we need to be teaching children is how to pass the buck onto someone else.

And we need to follow through with this, make sure both boys and girls know that society holds them accountable for their actions. There should be zero doubt about how serious we are about this. We could start by making kids accountable for all their actions from Kindergarden on up, not just OOW pro-creation. This sets the tone early on and conditions kids to believe they will be held personally accountable.

Basically, I take a stance similar to Bush's stance on terrorism. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. There are NO nuetral parties. IMO, making excuses for bad behavior and letting people off with zero accountability makes one part of the problem.
23 posted on 05/09/2002 12:22:00 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: The Giant Apricots
Because of the agency's overbroad interpretation of a non-welfare applicant, MOST of the child support "awarded" has absolutely nothing to do with welfare. These terms of art define the legitimate class affected by the Social Security Act at the same time they fool the sheep into thinking the terms are used in their generic context. The law defines "child support" and "absent parent." The presumptive condition is "dependency," also defined in the act.
24 posted on 05/09/2002 1:00:40 PM PDT by right2parent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
These kind of behavior modification plans aimed at only women have never worked. What actually happens is you create a perminent underclass of people, women and their children, which feeds the cycle of poverty and dispair.

If you go to any developing country where there is no social safety net for OOW kids or orphans, you see the most horrible things in the streets. I've been to many of these places and I can say I don't want to walk out my door and be confrtonted with such destitution and crime in my own country.

Funny, you didn't see the kinds of horror you describe in the US prior to the enactment of the AFDC system in the 1960s. What happened then is that girls tended to be careful to not get pregnant, because the consequences of unwed motherhood were unpleasant. They didn't have that many abortions, girls of reasonable intelligence just deferred having sex with any male that came along. Girls waited until somebody came along that seemed to be good husband-material. If one got pregnant anyway, the kid was adopted and raised by a relative

I realize that you have your own ideas of what is fair, proper, and just. But, guess what? They don't work.

Looking at the entire extent of recorded human history, only one thing has reliably worked: women not having sex with a man unless he was good husband-material, getting married, and then putting in the effort to make the marriage work. I realize this does not appeal to you. But any other approach will just wreck the whole society

Welfare only works as long as the number of welfare recipients is small compared to the number of productive taxpayers. Once a threshold is reached, the system breaks down. More and more taxpayers decide "Enough! I don't care anymore about any kids but mine. Either their own families support them, or they die". Then we have a much bigger situation with more hardship, than if we changed the incentive system before everything broke down

25 posted on 05/09/2002 1:47:35 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Funny, you didn't see the kinds of horror you describe in the US prior to the enactment of the AFDC system in the 1960s. What happened then is that girls tended to be careful to not get pregnant, because the consequences of unwed motherhood were unpleasant. They didn't have that many abortions, girls of reasonable intelligence just deferred having sex with any male that came along. Girls waited until somebody came along that seemed to be good husband-material. If one got pregnant anyway, the kid was adopted and raised by a relative

Great points!

26 posted on 05/09/2002 1:59:46 PM PDT by The Giant Apricots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Unfortunately for many people, we live in a democractic republic, not a dictatorship. So, we either have to accept everyone as equal citizens under the law or change our form of government.

What happened in times past was that women were unequally sanctioned and shamed (relative to men who procreated OOW), forced to give birth in secret and forced to give up children. Girls/women were also forced by family memebers to abort. We also had orphanages where children shuffled off. Everything was swept under the carpet and kept hush-hush. I don't see this aspect of our past as something to glorify and emmulate.

Also, I don't see advocating two different sets of laws and policies based on gender as being a good thing. We can see how this system has worked out in places like Nigeria where women are stoned to death for OOW sex but her partner is not even so much as fined. No thanks, but people who want to live in a system like that are free to immigrate.

Also, why is it so common for men like you to completely ignore their own personal responsibility in their comments regarding procreation. Conservatives talk about personal responsibity but when we get right down to the nitty gritty, what many of them mean is an exemption for men. Besides being unfair, this portrays a lack of integrity IMO and makes Conservatives look bad and their word worth toilet paper.

And why can't we expect men to be responsible for their own moral behaviour, and woman hers? Why do we expect women to police everyone's behavior in addition to her own? Is it because some men's behavior is so irresponsible and they are such weasels that they need a scapegoat to blame for it?
27 posted on 05/09/2002 2:49:54 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Well, this is unfair. What's more it can be changed and the system made more fair by universal DNA testing at birth. Are you suggesting we not try to correct inequity and injustice in our society?

The greatest acts of horror and mass-murder in the last few centuries were committed by people who decided to overturn systems that worked (but were perceived as "unfair" by certain members of the intelligensia) in favor of systems that were more "fair" (but which didn't work)

From the Terror of the French Revolution, to the deliberate famines in the Ukraine, to the Killing Fields of Cambodia, tens of millions of people have been murdered because somebody felt that they stood in the way of "fairness"

No thank you. I'm not interested in being fair. I'm interested in systems that are self-regulating via negative feedback, rather than systems that need a police state watching over each individual to ensure he behaves "fairly"

28 posted on 05/09/2002 2:51:57 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
I'm not interested in being fair.

Well good then, that's settled. So, why are you complaining about having to pay for other people's kids? It's not fair, but hey, so what?
29 posted on 05/09/2002 3:08:20 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
As I've been saying, I'm interested in workability more than "fairness". I prefer a system where there may be some degree of inequality, but the average person is reasonably prosperous, and is able to live, work, and raise a family in peace -- to a system where everyone is equally poor, miserable, and in fear of being killed. You may have different preferences -- to each their own

The facts of life are that, wherever "fairness" has been given preference over workability, the result has been poverty, death --- and even more "unfairness" as the "fairness enforcement" parts of the system are taken over by people who are good at working the system to their own advantage

30 posted on 05/09/2002 4:33:04 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
"The facts of life are that, wherever "fairness" has been given preference over workability, the result has been poverty, death --- and even more "unfairness""

This is untrue. Our entire country was founded on principles of "fairness". No taxation without representation, "equality and justice for all"... "equality and justice for all" .... any of those ring a bell? I wouldn't say the USA has been a failure or led to poverty, death and more unfairness. To the contrary we have become the richest nation on earth, with the best health care, the most fair legal system. There is less "unfairness" here than anywhere else in the world, so "fairness" has worked out pretty good for us all relative to other eras and other places in the world. I don't see any reason not to continue on this path.

Also, remember Thomas Jefferson was profoundly influenced by witnessing the French Revolution first hand. It inspired him (as well as many of our Founders) toward the principles of fairness that they set forth in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. The founding of our country was a specific repudiation of systems that had been in place for thousands of years, monarchies and "caste" systems of social heirarchies. Our very Founders rejected systems that had "worked" for thousands of years. They decided to go out on a limb; to try something radically and completely different that had never been tried before, all based on principles of fairness and equality.
31 posted on 05/09/2002 6:47:45 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
"I don't see advocating two different sets of laws and policies based on gender as being a good thing.

Christian principles do advacate different standards and norms. The ideal of a patriarchal system of government, bestows the natural right of guardianship on the father. This is the system of government that was taken for granted by the founders of this country. When a father may be stripped of this natural right without due process, the system breaks down (please ask me how). That's what has occurred in this country, and that is what "SauronOfMordor" sees as our catalyst for revolt. I'm not being over the edge here, at all. That's the very principle behind natural law. You can try to avoid the truth of the matter, but look at what that has accomplished.

32 posted on 05/09/2002 8:56:06 PM PDT by right2parent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: right2parent
Christian principles do advacate different standards and norms. The ideal of a patriarchal system of government, bestows the natural right of guardianship on the father.

Well assuming that this country is set up on "Christian" principles, where are all these Christian fathers and why aren't they doing any of this "guardianship"? If men are the natural patriarchs, the ones who are charged with looking out for everyone else, then why are we blaming everything on women? If you're a "gaurdian" and a "patriarch" that means you're the leader and the buck stops at your door. Were is the leadership? All I see is sissy whining about the behaviour or women but no trace of accountablity for the erstwhile natural patriarchs or leaders. If you're a leader, you take responsibitiy. If you run for cover, you're not a leader.

This is the system of government that was taken for granted by the founders of this country. When a father may be stripped of this natural right without due process,.....

How is the father "stripped" of due process if he isn't even around? Who is doing the stripping?

.... the system breaks down (please ask me how).

Ok how? And please explain how the parent who is abdicating responsibility is the one who is being "wronged" or stripped of something. It seems to me it is the child, if anyone, who is being stripped by the parent abdicating his/her obligations.

That's the very principle behind natural law.

Our laws are man made and as such are subject to the whims of the people in charge of making them. Which is why if you're not part of the law making process, you're most likely out of luck. That is why more people want to be part of the political process, because they don't trust a ruling elite to act in their best interest. In fact, they KNOW from experience that when they were not part of the process their "guardianship" was not all it was cracked up to be. Take a spin around the world looking at "patriarchal" countries. You've got poverty to the max, abuse, child abuse and sexual exploitation, slavery. You name it. Elitist systems only "work" from the perspective of the elite. That is why our non-elitist country has a line wrapping around the globe 10 times of people trying to get in. I sure don't see them lining up to live in countries with traditional "patriarchal" rule.

This was also the principle behind our system of 3 branches of govenment ... to avoid a monarchy or ruling elite from forming, and the principle behind our system of representantive democracy and term limits, so no one person or group could gain an absolute hold on power. The reason is our Founders had the good sense to know that absolute power currupts absolutely. This "rule" holds true on all levels.
33 posted on 05/09/2002 9:29:36 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Well assuming that this country is set up on "Christian" principles, where are all these Christian fathers and why aren't they doing any of this "guardianship"? If men are the natural patriarchs, the ones who are charged with looking out for everyone else, then why are we blaming everything on women? If you're a "gaurdian" and a "patriarch" that means you're the leader and the buck stops at your door. Were is the leadership? All I see is sissy whining about the behaviour or women but no trace of accountablity for the erstwhile natural patriarchs or leaders. If you're a leader, you take responsibitiy. If you run for cover, you're not a leader.

I'm sorry, I can't read past this. See ya.

34 posted on 05/09/2002 9:36:39 PM PDT by right2parent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: right2parent
Bye-bye :-)
35 posted on 05/09/2002 9:41:46 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
"How is the father "stripped" of due process if he isn't even around? Who is doing the stripping?"

I'm glad you asked. Who want's to dissolve the marriage or agknowlegment of paternity? There may be cause in doing so, but what is the purpose of the civil action? It is to show abandonment or neglect.

36 posted on 05/09/2002 10:00:26 PM PDT by right2parent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Also, remember Thomas Jefferson was profoundly influenced by witnessing the French Revolution first hand. It inspired him (as well as many of our Founders) toward the principles of fairness that they set forth in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

The Declaration was written in 1776. The Constitution was written in 1787. The French Revolution started in 1789.

The French Revolution revolved around establishing "equality" in an economic sense. It proved to be a bloody prelude to the Russian Revolution

The American Revolution revolved around the small property owners of the US wanting to keep their property, and be left alone by large central governments. I would think the American revolution was more successsful than the bloody horror that engulfed France and its neighbors during the Napoleanic years

This is untrue. Our entire country was founded on principles of "fairness". No taxation without representation, "equality and justice for all"... "equality and justice for all" .... any of those ring a bell? I wouldn't say the USA has been a failure or led to poverty, death and more unfairness. To the contrary we have become the richest nation on earth, with the best health care, the most fair legal system. There is less "unfairness" here than anywhere else in the world, so "fairness" has worked out pretty good for us all relative to other eras and other places in the world. I don't see any reason not to continue on this path.

You are (deliberately or not) putting out the classic Marxist argument which confuses "equality of rights" (ie, a poor man having the same protection against violence and fraud by a rich man, as vice-versa) with "equality of condition" (if someone has less than average, the State may forcibly take away stuff from someone who has more than average). The former creates peace, prosperity, and security. The latter creates poverty and death wherever it is tried.

The Americans did not copy the French -- the French tried to copy parts of the American Revolution, but when they adopted the goal of "equality of condition" rather than "equality of rights", things went a bit sour. This happens EVERYWHERE that the productive are robbed to support the unproductive. Note that I'm talking about robbery (ie the tax-man grabs your stuff at threat of armed violence), rather than voluntary charity. Back when the indigent were supported by charity rather than taxes (before the Welfare State), we did not have Calcutta-like starvation in the US, nor did we have large masses of unproductive welfare recipients

37 posted on 05/10/2002 6:28:25 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
There is a type of person who doesn't care about sin, about right-versus-wrong, about honor, or about justice. This type only cares about satisfying his or her percieved needs.

Congratulations! You've just defined X42.

38 posted on 05/10/2002 6:34:11 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
You are (deliberately or not) putting out the classic Marxist argument which confuses "equality of rights" (ie, a poor man having the same protection against violence and fraud by a rich man, as vice-versa) with "equality of condition" (if someone has less than average, the State may forcibly take away stuff from someone who has more than average). The former creates peace, prosperity, and security. The latter creates poverty and death wherever it is tried.

No, I'm not confusing the two. With regard to taxes going to welfare AT ALL, is not taxation without representation because we as a body of voters have voted to fund welfare! If we want, we can vote NOT to fund welfare. That would be equally valid under our system of government. But this was not the original discussion we were having.

The original discussion was WHO is responsible for kids created. You seemed to think it was only the mother and that the mother and children should suffer the consequences with no help either from welfare or the support of the father. This is a fundemental flaw in the concept of "personal responsibility". It weakens the whole case. Either every individual is responsible for his/her actions and their consequences, or no one is. Fish or cut bait.

As well, the concept of unilataral responsibility for children has NEVER WORKED. Absolutely never. The result of large numbers of fathers abandoning their obligations to their young has been infanticide, abortion and of course extreme poverty which leads to illiteracy, drugs, crime, basicaly the breakdown of the entire social order.... and the cycle continues to the next generation.

Note: I'm not saying women are blameless. Absolutely not. What I'm saying is the problem is complex and involves BOTH parties to irresponsible, unsustainable child creation. It can only be unraveled and solved by holding both parties responsible for their conduct and its consequences.

So, whether we keep the welfare system or not, we still face the same problems. How to end this cycle? In my personal opinion (and reluctantly believe me) we need to keep welfare because it buys all of us a measure of safety and a more civil life. I wish we didn't have to ante up to live in a civil decent society, but IMO we do. It is part of the "infrastructure" cost if you will for the high standard of life most of us want. The alternatives to not paying are just plain lousy.

If I could, my first choice would be to somehow make both parents meet their obligations to their kids, not welfare, or as little welfare as possible. I'd like to see us move in that direction. To do that we have to rebuild our entire culture to one which harps on "personal responsibility" of parents to the children they co-create. Actually personal responsibility in all realms.
39 posted on 05/10/2002 11:00:00 AM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
The original discussion was WHO is responsible for kids created. You seemed to think it was only the mother and that the mother and children should suffer the consequences with no help either from welfare or the support of the father. This is a fundemental flaw in the concept of "personal responsibility". It weakens the whole case. Either every individual is responsible for his/her actions and their consequences, or no one is. Fish or cut bait.

My original point was that women bear some responsibility for who they choose to conceive children with. I agree that a husband and father has a responsibility to his kids. This has been the pattern in US society up until around the 1960's.

Prior to the 1960's, a husbandless mother with young kids would rely on relatives, her church, or private charity to help out. The consequences of husbandless parenting were sufficiently bad that women were more selective in who they had kids by, and tended to get married. This kept the level of illegitimacy sufficiently low that husbandless women COULD be supported by their families (since there would be at most one woman in the extended family at any point in time) without creating hardship for the extended family

Then welfare came along. Low-income men discovered that welfare benefits added up to more than they could contribute to a family from a minimum-wage job, and the result was an explosion in illegitimacy

No, I'm not confusing the two. With regard to taxes going to welfare AT ALL, is not taxation without representation because we as a body of voters have voted to fund welfare!

If I could convince a majority of voters to send you to the gas chambers, would you go along with that as proper, since we as a body have voted for it? How about re-instituting slavery? That had the support of the majority of the voting population in the US at one time.

Read again what I wrote in #37. You ARE confusing the two. "Equality of rights" means that what is legal for A is also legal for B, and what's illegal for A is also illegal for B. "Equality of condition" means that if A is economicly worse off than B, then it is legitimate to take away some of B's stuff without B's consent and give it to A. I support the former. The latter is the classic Marxist viewpoint, which I reject

You keep saying that we would have a horrible situation without AFDC and the rest of the Welfare State. Prior to the 1960's we did not have AFDC, and we did not have a horrible situation.

40 posted on 05/10/2002 11:50:31 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
"Equality of rights" means that what is legal for A is also legal for B, and what's illegal for A is also illegal for B.

It appears we concur. So, if creating an child you either can't or won't support is irresponsible or wrong for A it is irresponsible/wrong for B as well.

"Equality of condition" means that if A is economicly worse off than B, then it is legitimate to take away some of B's stuff without B's consent and give it to A.

Except that we did NOT take away from B without consent, we voted on funding welfare because most voters thought at the time (1960's) it would solve some problems. It turns out we were wrong about much of the strategy and miscalculated unintended consequences. Ooops. Now we're trying to correct some of those mistakes. Welfare Reform is supposed to be about correcting or recalibrating the welfare system, not creating new problems (like "family caps" did). Let's be more careful and not be so "wrong" again. IMO a better strategy this time around would be focussing on individual responsibility.

You keep saying that we would have a horrible situation without AFDC and the rest of the Welfare State. Prior to the 1960's we did not have AFDC, and we did not have a horrible situation.

That was in large part because we DID require fathers to be responsible moreso than we do today ie "shotgun weddings". I'm not suggesting we go back to that, but the premis of dual responsibility for kids (by the people who created them) is a sound premis. We can build on that.
41 posted on 05/10/2002 1:30:48 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Lorianne
Except that we did NOT take away from B without consent, we voted on funding welfare because most voters thought at the time (1960's) it would solve some problems.

You, perhaps, voted in favor of welfare. I did not. It does not have my consent. This is what I'm talking about.

If two guys walk up to you and say "We need money for a worthy cause. The two of us vote that you should give us the money that we want. We outvote you. Now hand over your purse or we will hurt you", would you agree that you consented to hand over your purse?

You may protest that my example is improper, with a vote of 2 against 1. Well, would it be more proper at 2 thousand against 1 thousand? At 2 million against 1 million? Where does the magic come in?

We are in a situation where a large percentage of the voting population pay little or no income taxes. Over half of income tax revenues come from the top 10% of income producers. The people who pay little taxes have no incentive to keep govt spending down, and every incentive to keep their benefits high.

42 posted on 05/10/2002 2:56:18 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
You, perhaps, voted in favor of welfare. I did not. It does not have my consent. This is what I'm talking about.

Well I wasn't around when these big programs got started. If I had been, I might have voted for them, I can't say. A lot of people apparently thought it was a good plan. In any case, it's too late to change history. We tried it, it didn't work (or large portions didn't work) and now we need to move on from there. What I'm suggesting is that in the moving on phase, we not compound our errors by dredging up schemes from the past that didn't work either, like unilateral scapegoating, and pretending that is "reform".

Regarding your metaphor of democracy as thuggery: This is a simplification of how our system works. It has an element of truth to it... the tyranny of the masses sort of thing, but you ommitted that what happens also is a move to the center. Under our system, in general, two extremes cancel each other out and we get a middle position. Whatever your beef is with our system (and I agree it is not flawless) what is a better system for determining public policy?

We are in a situation where a large percentage of the voting population pay little or no income taxes. Over half of income tax revenues come from the top 10% of income producers. The people who pay little taxes have no incentive to keep govt spending down, and every incentive to keep their benefits high.

This is true. One vote per person is a powerful force, and perhaps it will doom us, who knows. But so far, in the overall, it has worked out well for us. This is getting into a much larger discussion than welfare. There are scads of public policies I don't like. I'm sure it's the same for you and most people. What are the alternatives for people who have disagreements with how things are run in our country?
43 posted on 05/10/2002 4:41:50 PM PDT by Lorianne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson