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Dr. Helen

Gary Bauer has a decent Father’s Day article up at Politico entitled “Here’s to American Dads”:

This “dad deficit” underscores a too-often-ignored fact: that whether a father is present in a child’s life is probably the greatest factor determining whether or not that child will succeed or fail in life. Children whose fathers aren’t present are more likely to suffer from a wide variety of problems — from increased poverty, crime and out-of-wedlock birth rates to diminished educational achievement and health outcomes.

But it’s not all men’s fault. For one thing, in the American legal system, men have absolutely no say in the reproductive decisions of the women they impregnate. What’s more, as Dr. Helen Smith argues in her new book “Men On Strike,” men are responding to a culture that’s hostile to them. “Most men are not acting irresponsibly because they are immature or because they want to harm women,” she writes. “They are acting rationally in response to the lack of incentives today’s society offers them to be responsible fathers, husbands and providers.”

I think that’s an overstatement. But, as Smith notes, courts almost always favor the mother in child custody and child support decisions. Revealingly, the federal government spends $5 billion a year to enforce child support (usually from fathers) but just $10 million to enforce visitation rights (generally on behalf of fathers).

Interestingly, I have noticed that in order to look more moderate, men like Bauer try to distance themselves by saying such things as “I think that’s an overstatement.” You will see that type of comment again, just watch.

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