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Should Fathers Be Incarcerated for Child Support?

 
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:28 am
Closely related to the act of slavery has been the practice of debt bondage. Beginning in Biblical/Classical times, people who defaulted on their loans could be imprisoned, enslaved, or simply executed. The actual word "Draconian" comes from the Greek lawmaker, "Draco", who in 7th century BCE, codified legislation regarding the enslavement of debtors. The Shylock's right to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," is another ghastly reminder of this antiquated practice.

By the 16th century, defaulters were no longer enslaved or summarily executed, but instead, were led to prison cells by the thousands. In many instances they were charged for food and could only eat what they were capable of begging from pedestrians walking by the windows of the jail. In the beginning of 19th century America, thousands of people, more than half WOMEN, languished in debtors prison-- usually for amounts under ten dollars.

This practice was abolished in the 1830's; we believed in the humanitarian principle that, to give the creditor, in any case whatsoever, power over the debtor's body, was morally distasteful. Yet, however, we have no problem doing this to fathers who are incapable of paying for their children. In many cases, children they did NOT want to have, did not consent to, and cannot afford to provide for.

We live in an age where there is no excuse for a woman to have a child if she is not 100% committed to raising this new life. MANY of the men who've I've seen locked up for child support have been either mentally disabled, without career options, or held hostage to a birth certificate they never signed.

There is never a situation where removing the father element, locking him in prison, and depriving that young life of a paternal figure, is acceptable. It does nothing for the child, nothing for the mother, nothing for the state, and nothing for the situation as a whole.

This practice is nothing less than barbarism and should be spoken against at every available opportunity.
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Type: Question • Score: 12 • Views: 4,853 • Replies: 109

 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:35 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:
MANY of the men who've I've seen locked up for child support


how many of these men do you know?

I've never met one, let alone known anyone else who's met one.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:36 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:
or held hostage to a birth certificate they never signed.



dna testing is cheap enough

loan the poor guys enough money to get the testing done

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:39 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:
fathers who are incapable of paying for their children. In many cases, children they did NOT want to have, did not consent to, and cannot afford to provide for.


actually the nicest thing you could do is buy a carton of condoms and give those MANY men you've seen locked up a box or two

it would be better for everyone
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:50 am
@ehBeth,
Firstly, I work in the prison industry helping incarcerated men and women. So I would assume it's fair to say I see more than the average Joe. Just as you say condoms are cheap, so is birth control for a woman. So are abortions. So is adoption. And if we DO believe in the principles of individual-autonomy (which is why we morally consent to abortion in the first place-- allowing a woman the ability to control her own reproductive abilities-- then it is only fair to insist that she take responsibility for her CHOICE to have that child and be the person responsible for ensuring their livelihood.)

This being said, it is not like the situation is restrained to "we lock men up, further truncating their ability to be actively responsible parents," or "do nothing."

Whenever a cry has been called to abandon some outdated methodology, every critic has created this false dichotomy. "WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?! IT'S EITHER THIS OR NOTHING!" That is the sign of a puerile mind.

ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 10:58 am
Also, the whole "I've never met anyone.." argument is another logical fallacy we call the "appeal to experience." Not valid, and frankly, it's something I expect on Facebook, not a2k.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 11:02 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
Your complaint was about the result of men having unprotected sex and not paying child support.

There are ways for men to prevent that. No sex is the first line of protection from unwanted pregnancy.

Don't like that one?

Not having unprotected sex is the next level of preventing unwanted pregnancies - from the male point of view.

Used protection and still being asked to pay child support?

Have a dna test run.

_______

None of this is rocket science.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 11:03 am
@ZarathustraReborn,
Quote:
Also, the whole "I've never met anyone.." argument is another logical fallacy we call the "appeal to experience." Not valid, and frankly, it's something I expect on Facebook, not a2k.



back atcha


ZarathustraReborn wrote:

Firstly, I work in the prison industry helping incarcerated men and women. So I would assume it's fair to say I see more than the average Joe.
0 Replies
 
ZarathustraReborn
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 11:26 am
No, me stating I see "more than the average Joe" is not a logical fallacy. It means that I have access to real data. I KNOW how many fathers are incarcerated for this. I work in this industry, ie, it is not an appeal to emotions. This particular field is my area of expertise. I work in social services, have a MA in philosophy, and specialize in family solutions. Research the issue a little.

A 2009 study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank in Washington, D.C., found that only half of the child support debtors in California prisons had reported income in the two preceding years. And the median net income of the others was a mere $2,881.

An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics in 2002 by the Urban Institute’s Sorensen found that approximately 10,000 men were in jail for non-payment of child support, representing 1.7 percent of the overall U.S. jail population. (Prison populations have skyrocketed since then by the way.)

Secondly, this argument was not about fathers having sex without birth prevention measures. Where do you get that from? I never said it. And that aside, condoms are far less effective than feminine contraception. Many men DO use them and still have children. Many men think their significant other is ON birth control and they either are lying, or irresponsible with managing their cycle. So then the man does not want a child, she does, has it despite him not being financially equipped to the task, and after DNA is confirmed, the man is tied to a grind stone the next eighteen years.

Women want the right to choose, but don't want to take the responsibility inherent in that decision. IMO, men should be required to sign a declaration of intent-- much like a prenump-- with women they choose to have children with, stating they wanted the child, and outlining whatever financial agreements they've come to. If the man refuses to sign it, well, have the child at your own expense. You can't say we have no choice, but demand that we share equal responsibility. That is morally unconscionable.
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 12:10 pm
I'm opposed to the whole concept of debtors' prisons, so I don't support incarcerating deadbeat dads who are unable to pay, only those who are able but unwilling. I also think the amount of proof a deadbeat dad must provide to show he is unable to pay, rather than unwilling, is a bit much. I knew a homeless guy in Maine once, who had to appear before a court in New York, to show he couldn't pay anything. He either had to hitch or walk.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 12:46 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:

No, me stating I see "more than the average Joe" is not a logical fallacy. It means that I have access to real data.


you have access to anecdotes in your situation
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 12:48 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:
Many men think their significant other is ON birth control and they either are lying, or irresponsible with managing their cycle. So then the man does not want a child, she does, has it despite him not being financially equipped to the task, and after DNA is confirmed, the man is tied to a grind stone the next eighteen years.


I have no sympathy for this line of poop.

Birth control is pay to play. Someone doesn't want to be a parent, doesn't want to pay child support - they better be responsible for the birth control.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 12:55 pm
@Kolyo,
Yeah, I see a big difference between unwilling and unable.

Then again - I have a big love for the pay to play concept.
0 Replies
 
ZarathustraReborn
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:05 pm
@ehBeth,
Do you know what anecdotal is? I work with inmates. In a prison. Meaning, I know numbers. I deal with their social cases. I just posted data for you. Quantitative data. 1.7% is not anecdotal. The fact that MOST fathers in prison for it made less than $3,000 in a year is NOT anecdotal.

You keep parroting this "pay to play" and "be responsible" line. But you just won't apply that to the only person CAPABLE OF RESPONSIBILITY. Her body, her cycle, her choice-- but none of the responsibility, right?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:11 pm
I believe that the theory here is that they are getting locked up for bad parenting, not being a debtor. I have over the years seen a lot of guys go to great lengths to not pay, on principle, because they believe that a bitch fucked them over, and that the government helped them. This usually involves making sure that they dont make much money so there is nothing to be handed over to the ex. The doctor who delivered my boy for instance joined the military for the sole purpose of ******* his ex wife, who had expected almost 20 years of big paydays, but who only got small paydays because a military doctor does not make much by comparison to a good private practice doctor. He took great joy in his out maneuvering the ex, who when they were negotiating the divorce never dreamed that he would do such a thing.

I dont have an opinion on jail for lack of payment of child support, this is not something that I have sent any time considering. I look forward to hearing the arguments on both sides of the issue.
ZarathustraReborn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:19 pm
@hawkeye10,
No, you can be the worst parent in the world, but as long as you PAY, you will not be arrested or imprisoned. You could never see your child once, but forget to pay, and there's suddenly a need to incarcerate people.

I am not saying that there are no immoral, scheming men out there. But there are just as many, if not more, women who are willing to scheme/scam simply because of the protections in place for them. Again, as I addressed, women want the final say in everything-- which is perfectly reasonable, even moral-- but you should also then bear the brunt of the responsibility for your actions. Since you are the only one who has a decision in the process.

I also never said that there shouldn't be PROTECTIONS for women. Credit scores is a protection against bad debtors; no need for a pound of flesh. This being said, I suggested a biological prenump. I might even suggest Federal Jobs Programs which would be offered prior to incarceration. Anything. But incarceration? Putting these men around dangerous, violent criminals where they are likely to be further disenfranchised, become afflicted with PTSD, raped, et cetera? Absolutely not.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:40 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
ZarathustraReborn wrote:
the only person CAPABLE OF RESPONSIBILITY?


You think there aren't two people responsible for a pregnancy and its outcome?

Ciao baby

http://media.tumblr.com/a1ca0033bbf8d5353bf98e660f5ede61/tumblr_inline_nk35pmNsj31sgdl42.gif
ZarathustraReborn
 
  0  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:46 pm
@ehBeth,
If the father has no choice, how is her DECISION to keep and raise that baby anyone else's decision? You keep evading this. Impregnation is NOT "having a baby." Those are distinctively different phenomena. That is why you can abort an fertilized seed, but not a child. That scientific, biological separation.

I might consent to SEX, but that does not mean I consent to having a CHILD. If you can't understand that difference, you probably should just leave the conversation.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:53 pm
@ZarathustraReborn,
Quote:
No, you can be the worst parent in the world, but as long as you PAY, you will not be arrested or imprisoned

I think the theory is that not paying child support is by definition bad parenting.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2015 01:55 pm
@ehBeth,
I know of at least two men who have been locked up for 1 or 2 weeks in order to remind them they owe it to their kids to support them. I dont support putting them in jail for longer periods of time because they cant earn money while in jail.
 

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