Fatherhood and the Government

 

Did you hear about the new book on anti-gravity? It’s impossible to put down.

Who doesn’t like a dad joke every now and then? Something that is just as likely to get groans as it is laughs. That joke I found on a website called fatherhood.gov. The “dot-gov” part should stand out to you. Yes, the federal government is using taxpayer dollars to tell bad dad jokes. Jokes are just a small part of it. There are lots of other resources on the site that are designed to help men be better fathers. It says that funding for the site is “provided through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.” Only politicians have the nerve to refer to spending as “deficit reduction,” but whatever you call it, it is taxpayer money that is being spent.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis just signed a $70 million dollar bill to promote fatherhood as well. We cannot underestimate the importance of fathers in our society. As former president Barack Obama once said:

We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

Having a father in the home means less crime, poverty, and hopelessness. All good things that should be promoted. My question is, should the government be the ones doing this? My experience is, anything that can be done, the government can do half as well for four times the price. Should we expect anything different from their fatherhood initiatives?

An argument can be made that more fathers stepping up to raise and provide for their children will mean less welfare and smaller prison populations. If that were to happen, then yes, government spending would go down and the fatherhood programs would have paid for themselves. Still, I don’t see boys turning to the government to learn how to be men.

Boys should be learning how to be responsible men and fathers from their own dads. So, what do we do now that so many were denied that experience? We have generations of boys growing up in more or less matriarchal families with fathers who didn’t bother. One would hope that churches, synagogues, and mosques could pick up the slack. Looking at the moral decay in our society, it doesn’t seem that the church is up to the task. For the good of our culture, that will need to change, but what about the government? Do you believe these government programs can really improve families, and the culture? Or could the money be better spent (or not spent at all)?

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Tucker Carlson a few months back highlighted the family-friendly policies that some country (Poland? Hungary? Don’t recall) had enacted, to counter the nation’s flagging birth rate by vastly cutting the taxes levied on couples raising more than one, two, many children. At some point their tax burden was near zero. Seemed quite sensible to me, based on the economic law that one gets more of what one subsidizes.

    Putin has been offering big tax advantages in such cases. Maybe even subsidies.  I don’t remember the details, but as far as I know, they haven’t had much effect. 

    • #31
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    A society gets more of what it celebrates and less of what it mocks. If you have been consuming American popular culture these last 40 years, you have learned that single moms are heroes, single dads are deadbeats, married moms are brilliant, and married dads are dorks.

    To me, the dad problem is not going to be solved with money because it is not a problem of money. It’s a problem of culture. If we want more responsible men our culture needs to start celebrating responsible manhood.

    And who do we turn to for that? Hollywood?

    It wasn’t that long ago that Hollywood celebrated responsible manhood, AND motherhood, AND parenthood, AND traditional families…

    But it might be too far gone now.

    • #32
  3. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Tucker Carlson a few months back highlighted the family-friendly policies that some country (Poland? Hungary? Don’t recall) had enacted, to counter the nation’s flagging birth rate by vastly cutting the taxes levied on couples raising more than one, two, many children. At some point their tax burden was near zero. Seemed quite sensible to me, based on the economic law that one gets more of what one subsidizes.

    Putin has been offering big tax advantages in such cases. Maybe even subsidies. I don’t remember the details, but as far as I know, they haven’t had much effect.

    Poland strikes me as perhaps having suffered from declining birthrate more due to financial issues, so financial incentives might be enough; whereas Russia’s declining birthrate seems to come from much deeper issues.  Of which a new one might be, to borrow from Starship Troopers, “more meat for the grinder.”

    • #33
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Tucker Carlson a few months back highlighted the family-friendly policies that some country (Poland? Hungary? Don’t recall) had enacted, to counter the nation’s flagging birth rate by vastly cutting the taxes levied on couples raising more than one, two, many children. At some point their tax burden was near zero. Seemed quite sensible to me, based on the economic law that one gets more of what one subsidizes.

    Putin has been offering big tax advantages in such cases. Maybe even subsidies. I don’t remember the details, but as far as I know, they haven’t had much effect.

    Poland strikes me as perhaps having suffered from declining birthrate more due to financial issues, so financial incentives might be enough; whereas Russia’s declining birthrate seems to come from much deeper issues. Of which a new one might be, to borrow from Starship Troopers, “more meat for the grinder.”

    A birthrate tends to go down when the population becomes wealthier.  Russia’s urban populations are a lot wealthier than they were when the Soviet Union collapsed, but the trend has been going the other way lately, while Poland is still becoming wealthier.  So, as you say, deeper issues. 

    • #34
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    Tucker Carlson a few months back highlighted the family-friendly policies that some country (Poland? Hungary? Don’t recall) had enacted, to counter the nation’s flagging birth rate by vastly cutting the taxes levied on couples raising more than one, two, many children. At some point their tax burden was near zero. Seemed quite sensible to me, based on the economic law that one gets more of what one subsidizes.

    Putin has been offering big tax advantages in such cases. Maybe even subsidies. I don’t remember the details, but as far as I know, they haven’t had much effect.

    Poland strikes me as perhaps having suffered from declining birthrate more due to financial issues, so financial incentives might be enough; whereas Russia’s declining birthrate seems to come from much deeper issues. Of which a new one might be, to borrow from Starship Troopers, “more meat for the grinder.”

    A birthrate tends to go down when the population becomes wealthier. Russia’s urban populations are a lot wealthier than they were when the Soviet Union collapsed, but the trend has been going the other way lately, while Poland is still becoming wealthier. So, as you say, deeper issues.

    And by that measure we should expect Russia’s population to be increasing, shouldn’t we, since so much of the country isn’t that wealthy?

    And as mentioned in the Greatest Interview Ever, On Any Subject, with Mark Steyn, they comment on how important cultural confidence is in these matters.  Poland has a lot of that, Russia not so much.

    • #35
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    A large part of the lack of fathers in the home must be laid at the feet of generations of Feminists who have told girls and women that they don’t need a man or marriage to make kids or have a good life. Then they denigrate men with concepts like “toxic masculinity”. The feminists have managed to remove any shame or stigma from single motherhood, and many celebrity women are praised for having kids with no permanent father. Is it any wonder that middle-aged men have high rates of suicide and drug use?

    • #36
  7. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    A large part of the lack of fathers in the home must be laid at the feet of generations of Feminists who have told girls and women that they don’t need a man or marriage to make kids or have a good life. Then they denigrate men with concepts like “toxic masculinity”. The feminists have managed to remove any shame or stigma from single motherhood, and many celebrity women are praised for having kids with no permanent father. Is it any wonder that middle-aged men have high rates of suicide and drug use?

    Plenty of blame to go around.

    • #37
  8. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    A large part of the lack of fathers in the home must be laid at the feet of generations of Feminists who have told girls and women that they don’t need a man or marriage to make kids or have a good life. Then they denigrate men with concepts like “toxic masculinity”. The feminists have managed to remove any shame or stigma from single motherhood, and many celebrity women are praised for having kids with no permanent father. Is it any wonder that middle-aged men have high rates of suicide and drug use?

    And if you can’t spell potatoe then you will not be permitted to criticise.  

    • #38
  9. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

     

    The problem of missing fathers is horrible;  the government as a substitute father is worse than no substitute father at all.    I think men at Church,  sports coaches, martial arts instructors have a role at pitching in as substitute fathers;  I think the government has no positive role at all.

    • #39
  10. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

     

    The problem of missing fathers is horrible; the government as a substitute father is worse than no substitute father at all. I think men at Church, sports coaches, martial arts instructors have a role at pitching in as substitute fathers; I think the government has no positive role at all.

    As is government serving as husband to single women.

    • #40
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