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‘Remarkable’ decline in fertility rates

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5 hours ago, bsjkki said:

My insurance immediately got more expensive. My premiums went up. My deductibles went up. My pharmacy co-pays went up. My insurance won't cover more drugs that we used and caused us a lot of hardship switching. Instead of a  flat rate co-pay for a months supply. Tier 2 and Tier 3 drugs are now a percentage. Everything is worse now. And like I said before, less companies are covering "families." We always had family coverage---didn't matter how many kids we had, family coverage was charged the same. Now it is all priced out per person. After the ACA, many things changed in the market and not just premiums so that is a false comparison. I get frustrated because it is not up to my doctor, which drugs he prescribes, it is up to my insurance company to decide what drugs they will cover.

I am sorry you now have terrible insurance but that is not a universal constant. Mine is going up steadily like all insurance but is pretty good.

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On ‎11‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 4:13 PM, smac97 said:

Here:

Well, I hav

Yet in spite of the cost it seems that the poorest people are the people having the most children.  I think the biggest reason for a declining birth rate is economic growth.  If a woman has a choice between a good job and being a mother she's more likely than not going to choose the job.  If she has no good job prospects as in developing nations she often chooses to have children.  They don't have WIC, Medicaid, or welfare in most 3rd world countries.  Yet this doesn't stop high birth rates.  

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3 hours ago, mbh26 said:

Yet in spite of the cost it seems that the poorest people are the people having the most children.  I think the biggest reason for a declining birth rate is economic growth.  If a woman has a choice between a good job and being a mother she's more likely than not going to choose the job.  If she has no good job prospects as in developing nations she often chooses to have children.  They don't have WIC, Medicaid, or welfare in most 3rd world countries.  Yet this doesn't stop high birth rates.  

There is a more intense psychological problem here. The impoverished often quickly learn that planning for the future and delaying gratification are a failing strategy. If I can save $300 a paycheck I can quickly build up a decent emergency fund and when something bad happens I can cope and everything is fine. If I can only save $30 a paycheck then one relatively minor unexpected expense can wipe out my savings for months with ease and I quickly learn that saving is futile. Eventually you only factor in short-term planning and see no point in delaying gratification. You have learned that if you delay gratification to plan ahead future events will steal everything leaving your with nothing so you learn to get what you want now.

It is a well-known and much studied psychological and economic problem and part of the reason the growing wealth gap is so dangerous. It is also part of the reason why lottery winners are often bankrupt within a decade.

That same logic applies to childbearing. If you have a hope of better financial stability you tend to plan for your children. If you do not you just go for it and hope it will work out. Ironically this is one area where the LDS Church has historically supported the “Do not worry if all your ducks are in a row first” approach.

Edited by The Nehor
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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

There is a more intense psychological problem here. The impoverished often quickly learn that planning for the future and delaying gratification are a failing strategy. If I can save $300 a paycheck I can quickly build up a decent emergency fund and when something bad happens I can cope and everything is fine. If I can only save $30 a paycheck then one relatively minor unexpected expense can wipe out my savings for months with ease and I quickly learn that saving is futile. Eventually you only factor in short-term planning and see no point in delaying gratification. You have learned that if you delay gratification to plan ahead future events will steal everything leaving your with nothing so you learn to get what you want now. That same logic applies to childbearing. If you have a hope of better financial stability you tend to plan for your children. If you do not you just go for it and hope it will work out. Ironically this is one area where the LDS Church has historically supported the “Do not worry if all your ducks are in a row first” approach.

It's kind of that way in the US now is it not?  If you wait on having children you're going to pay a higher tax rate to fund teen motherhood and those that have children irresponsibly.  It also seemed this way when I was single in the work place.  If you have no children than the people that do get first choice scheduling.  Single people are expected to put more time in at church since they don't have family or other mandatory demands on their time.  From a worldly perspective, I'd say delayed gratification is never the happiest option in this world for anyone.  So I don't really see this as an excuse for those that irresponsibly have children.  

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I am sorry you now have terrible insurance but that is not a universal constant. Mine is going up steadily like all insurance but is pretty good.

The fundamental problem with the affordable care act is that it continues to make the mistake of not differentiating between health maintenance and health insurance.

The fundamental idea with insurance is that it would cover you if something catastrophic, unforeseen and financially disabling happened to you.  I really isn't insurance if it covers common thing that you can budget.  We get homeowners insurance to cover fire and major damage, not to mow the lawns. We buy Car insurance to cover accidents, not to change the oil.  Buying something to cover changing the oil is called a service contract and is distinct from the comp and collision insurance we buy for our car.

Currently, minimally essential coverage (as defined by the affordable car act) is really a combination of a service contract and insurance. It is required to cover things like preventative coverage, doctors visits, common meds, etc, things that a reasonable family could budget for.

Before the Affordable care act went into effect, I had a high deductible plan. We budgeted for things like doctors visits and medications for us and our children, saved up for more expensive things like child birth and eye surgery (or got a loan). 

That is why my cost of insurance tripled as a result of the act. Went from covering my family for about 300/month to costing about a grand a month in one year.  (There is the premium assistance credit to help, but before the act, I had the coverage I needed paid with my own money, after the act I had coverage I didn't need supplemented by government money).

 

Edited by Danzo
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49 minutes ago, Danzo said:

The fundamental problem with the affordable care act is that it continues to make the mistake of not differentiating between health maintenance and health insurance.

The fundamental idea with insurance is that it would cover you if something catastrophic, unforeseen and financially disabling happened to you.  I really isn't insurance if it covers common thing that you can budget.  We get homeowners insurance to cover fire and major damage, not to mow the lawns. We buy Car insurance to cover accidents, not to change the oil.  Buying something to cover changing the oil is called a service contract and is distinct from the comp and collision insurance we buy for our car.

Currently, minimally essential coverage (as defined by the affordable car act) is really a combination of a service contract and insurance. It is required to cover things like preventative coverage, doctors visits, common meds, etc, things that a reasonable family could budget for.

Before the Affordable care act went into effect, I had a high deductible plan. We budgeted for things like doctors visits and medications for us and our children, saved up for more expensive things like child birth and eye surgery (or got a loan). 

That is why my cost of insurance tripled as a result of the act. Went from covering my family for about 300/month to costing about a grand a month in one year.  (There is the premium assistance credit to help, but before the act, I had the coverage I needed paid with my own money, after the act I had coverage I didn't need supplemented by government money).

 

Those did not go away. I have a high deductible plan and an HSA.

That was not a problem the ACA caused. Insurance slipping into every part of healthcare has been slowly happening for decades under pretext that preventative care lowers other costs. Insurance companies can negotiate in a way that individuals cannot so it is almost a protection racket. You have to have insurance or pay much more then everyone else. I would like to see rules in effect that require clear medical pricing and remove the ability of insurance companies to negotiate discounts. This would push insurance back into the “catastrophic” area as insurance for routine medical care would be more expensive then paying for it yourself.

Then again that is just a stopgap. I think the best thing to do is eliminate the insurance companies and rebuild with a new model but no one has the guts to do that and people are too afraid of change to support it anyways.

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15 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Those did not go away. I have a high deductible plan and an HSA.

That was not a problem the ACA caused. Insurance slipping into every part of healthcare has been slowly happening for decades under pretext that preventative care lowers other costs. Insurance companies can negotiate in a way that individuals cannot so it is almost a protection racket. You have to have insurance or pay much more then everyone else. I would like to see rules in effect that require clear medical pricing and remove the ability of insurance companies to negotiate discounts. This would push insurance back into the “catastrophic” area as insurance for routine medical care would be more expensive then paying for it yourself.

Then again that is just a stopgap. I think the best thing to do is eliminate the insurance companies and rebuild with a new model but no one has the guts to do that and people are too afraid of change to support it anyways.

Most of the insurance as we know it has come about due to tax laws and the idea of non taxable compensation.  The employers like it because it is exempt from payroll taxes and the workers like it because it is exempt from income taxes.  Payroll taxes that a company pays are usually around 10% of salaries so we are not talking about trivial amounts.

The more your insurance covers, the more compensation that you receive that is not taxable,  the more compensation the company can pay without it being subject to payroll taxes.   I believe the concept of employer insurance arose during world war two to avoid wage caps.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/upshot/the-real-reason-the-us-has-employer-sponsored-health-insurance.html

once enough people got it everyone else demanded it.  

 

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26 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Those did not go away. I have a high deductible plan and an HSA.

 

These plans still exist, but minimal essential coverage, as defined by the ACA threw in a lot of extra coverages even to these plans. Things like Maternity care, immunizations and other items that are not really catastrophic in nature.

 

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14 minutes ago, Danzo said:

Most of the insurance as we know it has come about due to tax laws and the idea of non taxable compensation.  The employers like it because it is exempt from payroll taxes and the workers like it because it is exempt from income taxes.  Payroll taxes that a company pays are usually around 10% of salaries so we are not talking about trivial amounts.

The more your insurance covers, the more compensation that you receive that is not taxable,  the more compensation the company can pay without it being subject to payroll taxes.   I believe the concept of employer insurance arose during world war two to avoid wage caps.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/upshot/the-real-reason-the-us-has-employer-sponsored-health-insurance.html

once enough people got it everyone else demanded it.  

 

Partially, the other reason is the catastrophically high income tax brackets during and following the war. People who complain about how taxes are higher now then they have ever been have no idea what they are talking about. The highest tax brackets were in the 80%+ range. Businesses realized there was little point in paying higher salaries at that point which is why stuff like company cars, health insurance, club memberships, travel benefits, company sponsored vacations, very liberal expense accounts, and the like were given in lieu of a higher salary. These have become less popular as tax rates have fallen but insurance stuck around due to the creation of entrenched interests  needing to keep it that way (insurance companies).

Edited by The Nehor
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2 hours ago, Danzo said:

These plans still exist, but minimal essential coverage, as defined by the ACA threw in a lot of extra coverages even to these plans. Things like Maternity care, immunizations and other items that are not really catastrophic in nature.

 

That's such a good point.  I don't understand dental insurance.  Is the dentist expensive?  Sure, but pretty much everybody needs to go.  So how is this spreading the risk?  The idea of insurance is to spread the risk.  Otherwise you're just wasting money paying people to push paper and argue about what should or shouldn't be covered.  

Edited by mbh26
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bluebell said:

or that women aren't able to have as many babies as those in earlier decades?  

Actually there is some of that going on.  Couples delay having children to advance careers.  Then trying to conceive first child in mid thirties becomes more difficult.  Why so many couples seek fertility treatment when they can't get pregnant.

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On 11/11/2018 at 9:48 AM, smac97 said:

From the article: "In the UK, the rate is 1.7, similar to most Western European countries."

This is less than the U.S. (1.8).

Also, it appears that maternity expenses vary significantly in the U.S. from state to state.  At the low end (Alabama):

At the high end (New Jersey):

I think Ben Shapiro has said some sensible things about this.  See here (discussing Australian healthcare):

And some sobering (though humorous) observations from Steve Crowder about Canadian healthcare:

And this:

Don't get me wrong.  I think the American healthcare system needs a lot of work.  I'm just not persuaded that socialized medicine is the way to go.

And I'm not sure that reduced maternity costs affect fertility rates.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

I have never heard of Steven Crowder  but if he likes the US system so much maybe he can pay for this lady's birth

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/jennifer-huculak-kimmel-billed-950k-us-after-giving-birth-in-u-s-1.2839319

950k? totally ridiculous.

Edited by Duncan

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"For the last four decades, women, on average, have been having first babies later in life than ever before. In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, there were more than nine times as many first births to women 35 and older than there were 40 years ago. Among younger women -- those under 30, and, particularly, those under 20 years old -- first births have actually declined."

"After 34, your chances of getting pregnant  spontaneously, without the help of reproductive endocrinology or fertility services, exponentially decline," said Dr. Catherine Herway, assistant director of maternal-fetal medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City.

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On 11/13/2018 at 6:01 AM, mbh26 said:

Yet in spite of the cost it seems that the poorest people are the people having the most children.  I think the biggest reason for a declining birth rate is economic growth.  If a woman has a choice between a good job and being a mother she's more likely than not going to choose the job.  If she has no good job prospects as in developing nations she often chooses to have children.  They don't have WIC, Medicaid, or welfare in most 3rd world countries.  Yet this doesn't stop high birth rates.  

I think that's nature. If we sense that our children have a very good likelihood of survival, we tend to have fewer children and invest more in each child. If we live in a very poor environment, we are more likely to have more children and hope that a few of them survive.

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23 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I have never heard of Steven Crowder  but if he likes the US system so much maybe he can pay for this lady's birth

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/jennifer-huculak-kimmel-billed-950k-us-after-giving-birth-in-u-s-1.2839319

950k? totally ridiculous.

Freaking Blue Cross! I hate them! They tried to not pay for my emergency hospitalization because my temperature was under 99.9 even though my scans showed clear signs of infection. My body temp is always lower than average--it always has been. Fortunately the hospital went to bat for me and they did finally pay. That poor couple. I hope they get a good lawyer!

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8 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

I think that's nature. If we sense that our children have a very good likelihood of survival, we tend to have fewer children and invest more in each child. If we live in a very poor environment, we are more likely to have more children and hope that a few of them survive.

Elizabeth Gregory, director of the women's gender and sexuality studies program at the University of Houston:

"For each year of delay a college graduate makes, she will be likely to earn more. "On average, her long-term salary will increase, so over her career her salary will be twice what it would have been if she'd started at 22. [She can expect] about a 12 percent gain in long-term salary per year [of delaying pregnancy]," she said.

"For kids getting more mature and more educated parents, there are demonstrable outcomes, such as living at a higher economic level," she said.

And obviously starting family later means you will have fewer kids.  Maybe 2 but not 3 unless you have loads of money for expensive fertility treatment. 

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12 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Freaking Blue Cross! I hate them! They tried to not pay for my emergency hospitalization because my temperature was under 99.9 even though my scans showed clear signs of infection. My body temp is always lower than average--it always has been. Fortunately the hospital went to bat for me and they did finally pay. That poor couple. I hope they get a good lawyer!

I am really sorry that happened to you!!! I hope so too!! anytime I go to the States and pillage the place I get insurance, 40$ instead of $4000 for too much Golden Corral

 

Edited by Duncan
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3 minutes ago, AdultConvert said:

Elizabeth Gregory, director of the women's gender and sexuality studies program at the University of Houston:

"For each year of delay a college graduate makes, she will be likely to earn more. "On average, her long-term salary will increase, so over her career her salary will be twice what it would have been if she'd started at 22. [She can expect] about a 12 percent gain in long-term salary per year [of delaying pregnancy]," she said.

"For kids getting more mature and more educated parents, there are demonstrable outcomes, such as living at a higher economic level," she said.

And obviously starting family later means you will have fewer kids.  Maybe 2 but not 3 unless you have loads of money for expensive fertility treatment. 

Makes sense in countries where women have good career opportunities. Marriage is becoming a less dependable source of support for many women. It worked well for my husband and I to start youngish (26) and have many children but I can't imagine how my life would have turned out if my husband decided to leave the marriage and I didn't have the financial means to be a single mom. It's an increasingly complex world.

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On ‎11‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 12:51 AM, katherine the great said:

Makes sense in countries where women have good career opportunities. Marriage is becoming a less dependable source of support for many women. It worked well for my husband and I to start youngish (26) and have many children but I can't imagine how my life would have turned out if my husband decided to leave the marriage and I didn't have the financial means to be a single mom. It's an increasingly complex world.

You don't even have to marry the man to get child support from him.  I believe in most cases you can initiate the divorce and still collect alimony.  The only undependable part is how much money the man you mate with has.  Desmond Hatchett had 33 children with 11 different women by age 32.  As a fast food worker one of his baby mamas was collecting a grand total of $2/month in child support for her child.  

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Not really (more than one undependable part), there is also the problem of collecting the money with 5.5 million parents owing over $114 billion.

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/ocsedatablog/2017/09/who-owes-the-child-support-debt

Women pay ...and don't pay child support as well, btw.

https://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2012/06/single-dads-also-get-stiffed-when-it-comes-to-child-support-payments.html

1/3 of custodial fathers should get child support:

https://www.verywellfamily.com/us-child-support-statistics-2997994

Edited by Calm

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4 hours ago, mbh26 said:

You don't even have to marry the man to get child support from him.  

No but maintaining two separate households is a huge expense. Rent/house payment, utilities, child care if both parents work, etc.

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11 hours ago, katherine the great said:

No but maintaining two separate households is a huge expense. Rent/house payment, utilities, child care if both parents work, etc.

Oh yeah, not to mention attorney's fees.  

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On 11/9/2018 at 2:13 PM, smac97 said:

Here:

Well, I have six kids.  I hope my grandchildren will outnumber me and the other three grandparents.

Here's a graphic:

_104243240_global_fertility_rates_gra640

Wow.

Hard to argue with this.  Mixed blessings here, I think.

A good number of problems will go along with this.

A lot of wiggle room in that "as long as."

In other words, we'll be working far longer than we do now.  Because we aren't having enough kids to replace us to work, pay taxes, serve in the military, etc.

Government-mandated stuff about having - or not having - kids never seems to work out well.

I wonder if we may end up turing to automation/robots as a stopgap.  I think that's likely.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

So much for the “Population Bomb” scare of the 1960s 

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A few things I'd be asking, how many people think one reason why the fertility rate is going down is due to how people had to grow up and how the world is now.  I look at my own life, I have 2 half-brothers whose teenage years were pure hell thanks to my father.  That paled in comparison to what he did to my mother and myself.  Add that in with how I had to go from semi middle class neiborhoods to some pretty bad places, how the "good kids" parents wouldn't let their children near me and most of the friends I had were varying degrees of messed up.  I know only one now from when I was a child and he's not even from the lower 48s, the rest have scattered.  A good chunk of us didn't get to have the stable childhoods that our middle/upper middle class peers had, we didn't get to have the nice extended family members around us (In my case my father isolated them from us so he could abuse us even more and get away with it, easy to control a woman who's not from the mainland when you threaten to beat, murder and take her youngest child away) nor the stable communities and in the case of many of you churches that further reinforce good family values.  Would also like to add many religious people here stateside are very harsh towards the poor and those different than themselves, big surprise many of em now have to have private armed security, cameras and all the other trappings a business in the city does.  A bit off tangent, point is people discount what a pillar of civilization religion really was, they were the ones who were there to help all, not just their own tithing kind.  Add all that together and yeah big surprise many people don't want to have kids.  I'll toss this out there again.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/health/2018/11/29/cdc-report-life-expectancy-drop-us-brooke-baldwin-sanjay-gupta-intv-vpx.cnn

Its white people who have experienced the sharpest decline, esp. white men killing themselves.  Where's the community for them?  Where's their support structure?  Compared to say Hispanics, Asians and even African American communities they are sorely lacking.  The gospel of prosperity has done much to erode people’s faith in religion being a pillar of stability and moral virtue, now to many it's little more than a profit generating machine.  All that being said, yeah I can definitely see why a lot of women would choose to have fewer or no kids, the USA and a lot of the world is becoming less and less family friendly and if we look at the USA we can see it even more.  People have no patience for children like they used too, young parents are terrified of school violence, drugs and kidnappings as well as the ever increasing costs to pay for it all.  I saw property taxes mentioned here a few times, here in CO (Going to guess UT too?) Taxes keep going up to pay for more and more people moving here for the good economy, schools and yep, low taxes.  People like to blame the weed but the main reason why we've had people moving here for well over a decade is taxes followed by what were relatively safe communities and good schools.  Now more and more "native" Coloradans are leaving due to the cost of living going up as well as the changing political climate.  We're now a blue state and the gun laws Boulder just passed has many people as well as myself quite concerned.  We already lost magpul over some liberal gun hating politician, now we have even more of their kind here fresh from places like CA, the Midwest too.  I can only imagine the stress millennial parents are having to deal with, this world isn't the one I grew up in.  I can say as a kid growing up in the 90s/2000s people on a whole were more civil, that all went out the window in the recession 10 years ago, far as I can tell anyway but that's just me.  All this stuff does have a few common things for all of us, increased taxes and costs of living here which really irritates the likes of me, I remember when $12.00 an hour would be enough to live off of.  Scariest part is that wasn't too long ago, my cousin who did grow up here tells me stories of Estes Park back in the day, it's nothing but another yuppie mountain town now.  Another concern we can see is Denver slowly losing more of their male inhabitants, one of their most stable tax bases.  Denver used to have a nickname, Manver due to the huge single male population.  Also, our relatively large LGBT population.  We're not San Francisco or Seattle but we're up there.  Single men, esp. if their jobs enable them to move can and quite often do move when things get too expensive and the wages aren't worth it.  One of my brothers moved from Sacramento to Nevada last year, mostly because of the high taxes and crime, I plan on doing the same in a few years.  No way would I buy a home here, at least the way things in Denver are going now. 

A bit long, point I'm trying to make is if I was a woman I'd take things like that into consideration before I had kids.  Good chunk of the Caucasian girls I knew growing up came from messed up backgrounds like me and learned early on that no one’s ever coming to the rescue, it's all up to you.  That's a scary thing, and when you realize you don't have the support structure your grandparents had and a lot of the immigrant/minority families have it really makes you think.  Society needs to change how they run things and more than anything people need to change and re-evaluate what they value.  I'm going to be taking care of my mother and my brothers already toss money her way, the two oldest are already set and child free so they have the income.  Thing is, moms not from the mainland USA and her side of the family is kind of stereotypical of most local Hawaiian families, they stick together.  Can't say the same for a lot of the people I’ve known here.  People need to go back to the values of their ancestors, not tossing their kids out at 18, not abandoning their parents and valuing their communities.  Religion needs to start bringing the hammer down on divorce, abortion, out of wedlock births and encouraging traditional families as well as help for the poor.  That, and really start condemning the prosperity gospel, I think that right there would go a long way in helping fix things.,  If you’re a Christian you should realize what you have was given to you, it's not yours to horde.   Funny how people cherry pick their holy texts and ignore things like the story of the rich man.  I talk to mom about stuff like this a lot and as someone who did come from a religious family she does tend to agree and now in her later years admits she's glad she never had more kids than she did and she feels bad for young families nowadays, they don't have the support network she did and now bring life into an ever child unfriendly world.  Can't say I blame women for deciding to have fewer or opt out of children outright.

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On 12/22/2018 at 7:15 PM, Calm said:

Not really (more than one undependable part), there is also the problem of collecting the money with 5.5 million parents owing over $114 billion.

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/ocsedatablog/2017/09/who-owes-the-child-support-debt

Women pay ...and don't pay child support as well, btw.

https://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2012/06/single-dads-also-get-stiffed-when-it-comes-to-child-support-payments.html

1/3 of custodial fathers should get child support:

https://www.verywellfamily.com/us-child-support-statistics-2997994

 

On 12/22/2018 at 4:12 PM, mbh26 said:

You don't even have to marry the man to get child support from him.  I believe in most cases you can initiate the divorce and still collect alimony.  The only undependable part is how much money the man you mate with has.  Desmond Hatchett had 33 children with 11 different women by age 32.  As a fast food worker one of his baby mamas was collecting a grand total of $2/month in child support for her child.  

That right there proves my point, marriage isn't what it used to be.  Should be unthinkable a man or woman should leave the marriage and leave the other partner with the job of raising the children.  The morals of people is disgusting and ever since no fault divorce it's just become worse.  The real scary part is when divorce starts there's always the risk of the father and sometimes mother snapping and wanting to murder their spouse/ex.  I grew up in a violent household and have friends who did, this stuff is a lot more common than many realize, also there tends to be a big hush about it all.  Posted this once, i'll post it again.  Before anyone cites statistics keep in mind that many times crimes go unreported and unsolved and in the case of domestic violence it quite often goes unreported, mostly because the main caregiver is afraid of retaliation.  Cops can take minutes to show up, a gun/knife can kill in seconds.

 

Edited by poptart

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