Through a combination of legal and social “reforms”, the US now has what appears on the surface to be a dual family structure but is in legal reality a single family structure organized around the concept of child support. Where in the past a woman needed to secure a formal promise from a man in the form of marriage before she could expect him to support her and the children she bore, in this new structure the law declares that any man she has children by are bound to support her and her children whether she marries or not, and whether or not she honors her own marriage vows.For all of its flaws - and they are manifold - even the generally poor level of economics training provided by the American university system teaches the student of economics to think in terms of incentives and probabilities. Dalrock has clearly identified where most of the non-economics observers have gone wrong in failing to notice that the change in male behavior is not coincidental with the changes in female behavior, but rather, is a consequence of those changes.
While men were motivated under the old family structure, they absolutely detest the new child support system of family formation. Under the old system a man who married before fathering children could reasonably expect access to his children and the opportunity to direct their upbringing (in concert with his wife). Under the new system the children are de facto considered the property of the mother, whom the state compels him to pay so she can direct their upbringing generally as she sees fit. Since the new system has removed the incentive for men to work hard to provide for their families, it has to rely instead on threats of imprisonment to coerce men into earning “enough” income. Where men used to take pride in the birth of their children and celebrate with cigars, large numbers of men now fear fatherhood more than anything.
Under the new rules even if a man chooses the structure of marriage he is always subject to being forced into the child support model for any or no reason by his wife. No fault divorce laws are unilateral and openly celebrated by both social scientists and modern Christianity as a tool for wives to threaten their husbands. Fathers have gone from being the respected head of household to deputy parent serving at the pleasure of their wives.
Fortunately for society the awareness of the reality of the new system has been slow to spread. Most men are either uninformed about the true nature of the family court or assume that the woman they marry would never detonate their family for 30 pieces of silver. Because of inertia men continue to earn more than women, and those who have studied the question (Hymowitz, Farrell) have found that this is due to men choosing to work harder, longer, and/or more difficult and dangerous jobs than women. While the MIT economist is correct that men earn fewer degrees than women, those men who do earn degrees are far more likely than women to choose majors with real economic value. However, the gender earnings gap is still shrinking, and this has the author of the NY Times business article both puzzled and worried:
The fall of men in the workplace is widely regarded by economists as one of the nation’s most important and puzzling trends. While men, on average, still earn more than women, the gap between them has narrowed considerably, particularly among more recent entrants to the labor force.He should be worried, but he shouldn’t be puzzled. The hard earned lesson of the twentieth century was that incentives work far better than coercion when it comes to generating economic value. Yet despite winning the cold war the US and the western world has quietly elected to move from an incentives based family/economic structure (marriage) to one based on coercion (child support).
And Dalrock points to the root behavioral issue here: "The more women delay, avoid, and abuse marriage the less men will be willing to generate the surplus economic output our economy depends on."
If history is a reasonable guide, as the negative consequences of the male refusal to generate the surplus output that provides for women and children increase, the societal powers will respond with attempts to coerce rather than abandon their destructive ideology. And these attempts at coercion will fail, as do all such attempts to build a complex society on a foundation of force rather than mutual and voluntary benefit.
Because women are collectively more short-sighted and more self-centered than men, giving them an equal voice in society is tantamount to a slow-motion execution for any society. This is not theoretical, it is observable, as the equalitarian societies of Europe are already demographically in demise and in the process of losing their democracies and their property rights.
I understand that many people believe women's rights are important. But are they more important than property rights? Are they more important than democracy? What those who support women's rights are understandably reluctant to accept is that equalitarianism necessarily requires the elimination of democracy, property rights, freedom of movement, and even, in the end, capitalism and most of the tenets of Western civilization. But like it or not, that is the choice that has been made, and is being made, even today.
The Founding Fathers of the USA were no more mindless sexists than the Conscript Fathers of the Roman Senate. They knew full well what would happen if sexual equality was ever granted. It is not a coincidence, still less ironic, that those who built the greatest and freest human societies have always vehemently opposed women's rights, while the totalitarians who most avidly sought to curtail human freedom it have tended to support them.