Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Out-of-Wedlock "Catastrophe"

"1.72 million out-of-wedlock births amount to an overwhelming catastrophe for taxpayers and society," says Robert Rector writing for the National Review
sounding an alarm because "the overwhelming majority of the unwed mothers were young adults with low education levels, precisely the kind of individuals who have the greatest difficulty going it alone in our society" and "the general collapse of marriage, especially among the poor, lie at the heart of the mushrooming welfare state."

Of course the heart of the conservative argument: "taxpayers will spend over $300 billion providing means-tested welfare aid to single parents."

Ya gotta just love conservatives priorities when it comes to worrying about monetary issues and peoples lives.

While concerned over this "catastrophe with no dollar amount attached to the $1.72 million sinfully out-of-wedlock births or the "mushrooming welfare state" they totally ignore some very real numbers of great concern.

ExxonMobil had such a profitable year in 2009, it contributed $15 billion to the world's tax coffers. Yet the mega corporation paid not one red cent to U.SA. IRS! Exxon limits the tax bite with 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi, leaving the U.S. with not one penny of the $15 billion dollars they paid in taxes last year.

This one example of CORPORATE WELFARE - of the U.SA. allowing corporations to steal them blindly is of no concern top the fat cats who likely own shares in Exxon, my even sit on the board and applaud this corruption as good for the stock holders - good business practice - being upstanding capitalists...while tar and fathering families struggling with meager payments that wouldn't but these people toilet paper.

The entire federal budget for Health and Human Services is 30% while the current military takes 36% and another 18% goes to past military (veterans) expenses. Combined that's more than HALF of every dollar the U.S. spends. But it's welfar mothers who are the bane of the nations, causing financial ruination and a national debt we will never get out from under.

An article I came across recently by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., Director of Mental Help Net attempts to get to the root of the dufference in the moral mentality that guides conservatives versus liberals becuase value systems are a matter of moral beliefs. Dombeck says the psychologically characterized differences "between hardcore liberals and hardcore conservatives is due to Jonathan Haidt, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia," "What Makes People Vote Republican", which outlines political positions based on five independent moral dimensions:
  1. Harm/Care, which is the universal desire to minimize human suffering.

  2. Fairness/Reciprocity, which is more or less about a desire to see arguments and disputes handled fairly.

  3. Ingroup/Loyalty, which describes the desire to protect group membership (societal) boundaries.

  4. Authority/Respect, which concerns the desire to organize society into a hierarchy of social superiors and subordinates, with subordinates showing respect for the superior's superior position.

  5. Purity/Sanctity, which concerns the desire to maintain group membership in a pristine, pure, clean or proper state, and correspondingly, to reject from the group that which is dirty, impure, unclean and improper.
According to Haidt, the first two moral dimensions (harm/care, and fairness/reciprocity) are universal, and heavily used by everyone in deciding what things are moral and what are not. However, the later three dimensions (ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity) are far more important to conservative people than they are to liberal people.

While both groups think that suffering should be prevented and that members of a society or group should treat each other according to principles of fairness and respect, conservatives place much more emphasis on maintaining ingroup/outgroup boundaries than do liberals; they demand and expect that members within the groups will be arranged into hierarchies where some are in better positions (with higher status, more wealth, etc.) than others, and that all members within the society conform to their assigned positions within society without complaint.

Reading between the lines, Haidt is suggesting that the real difference between liberals and conservatives is that the two groups have very different understandings of what it means to be a society.

Conservatives think of society as a thing which is more important than the sum of its parts, and understand that it is the duty (and I don't use that word lightly) of all the individual parts of society to play out their assigned role, even if that role is not in the best interests of some of the parts. In other words, it is the duty of the individual to subordinate their own needs to the needs of the larger society. To do otherwise is to be selfish.

Liberals think of society as something that emerges from the parts, and which is never more healthy as a whole than the most downtrodden of those parts. Liberals believe the dictum that "all men are created equal" and this makes them be less enthralled with the idea of a rigid hierarchical organization for society. If all men are created equal, then the least advantaged members of society should have a realistic opportunity to climb upwards in society, and that it is society's duty (and I don't use that word lightly) to provide opportunities for the more disadvantaged members of society to make that climb possible. By helping the more disadvantaged members of society to get a leg up, liberals think that they will help society as a whole become better. This idea is expressed beautifully in the phrase, "A rising tide lifts up all boats".

Conservatives often think that liberals would like lazy people to get a free ride, but this is not the case. What liberals want is for motivated people to be able to climb upwards based on their merit and effort and not to be held down due to circumstances beyond their control, occurring on account of an accident of their birth. If all men are created equal, then discrimination or prejudice is morally unacceptable. More here.

This now begins to get philosophical and reminiscent of an October post entitled Morality, Justice, Ethics and Adoption which I invite you to read or re-read.

More importantly, as some pro-lifers are finding the ability to step back and take middle ground approach to REDUCING abortions instead of totally outlawing them, is there a way to get these hawks to back down and stop scapegoating single moms as the financial and moral runation of the nation?

How can people bemoan the breakdown of the family and the disappearing fathers as the root cause of the problem and support legal abandonment at any convenient baby drop off site and "putative: father registries which deny fathers' right? See:
'Baby Emma' case puts state adoption laws between father, child.

Family values means valuing ALL families, not just affluent ones! And I have to say while I try to understand a mindset that purports to be concerned about the welfare of the "whole", it feels like greed to me, like the real concern is their own pocketbooks and nothing else. And that, in my book of values is immoral.

Why is it that nations like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia...can provide their citizens with non discriminatory health care and other services and continue to flourish. let's see, could it be that they are spending billions on a military budget instead and re minding their on business and taking care of their own?

If we are to believe the thesis that conservatives morality is based on that is best for the "whole" does that mean they re concerned for the whole of the u.,S. or the whole of the world and U.S. ownership and "way of life" prevailing throughout? Clearly for those at the top of the financial ladder it is the latter; world dominance in a global economy.

1 comment:

Von said...

Love that headline, course teen pregancies drop off after 25..they're adults!

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget