March 9, 2014
Imagine what shape business would be in without supply-side economics. We build business by keeping taxes and government interference minimal. Supply-side socioeconomics is the parallel principle that will balance budgets by rebuilding marriage and the middle-class.
Existing policy offers only stimulus leading to permanent non-marriage, especially in low income groups. In some urban areas 90% of children are raised outside marriage.
Today’s social policy is a very sick donkey. Social problems, “social issues”, and endless spending are what comes out of the animal. Democrats rush in to clean up the mess and are seen as being helpful. Republicans stand around hoping not to spend money – but eventually cave in because of the “Titanic Principle”: we must rescue women and children before the ship goes down.
Both parties are buried under the consequences. Washington has been deadlocked for decades, for lack of policy that works for Americans. Obamacare -- the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society was invented -- is now sinking the ship. The new Millennial welfare state is a certainly-fatal drag on the economy, the dollar, and the taxpayer.
Supply-side socioeconomics gets in front of our very sick donkey. It leads individuals out of poverty, crime, and socioeconomic bedlam by establishing positive choices and futures for low-income Americans that do not exist today.
The choices government offers to individuals today penalize attainment of the American dream that most of us want. Existing policy does not empower individuals – or the Nation -- to succeed. It “suckers” Americans into becoming institutionalized failures of the state.
Welfare is a government-sponsored underground economy producing nothing but crime, illegitimacy, poverty, deficit spending, high taxes, and an overwhelming majority of unhappy voters in all income brackets.
We are all much the same. Everyone, regardless of sex, age, or income wants a reasonable place to live in a relatively safe neighborhood. We all want food, decent schools, and items such as a television, computer, car, and cell phone. We all hate waiting in lines, filling out government forms, and waiting for somebody to help us out. We all want to achieve our dreams. But today, only the most determined and lucky individuals escape the underground welfare economy and make it to the middle class.
Today, 70% of women and 66% of men still strongly believe in marriage (many more are not averse to it). If socioeconomic policy encourages marriage instead of dependency, sustainable communities will rise with rebirth of the “contented” middle class (which exists naturally when marriage is the social norm).
How does supply-side socioeconomics work? Here are four simple highlights of supply-side socioeconomic policies:
• If your spouse has a serious substance abuse problem, a “family intervention” restraining order makes your partner choose between growing up and losing it all. Most individuals do not want a divorce or to end up in a women’s shelter. They want their partner to recover. We merely empower the responsible spouse to pull the relationship out of the quicksand. The cost to the state is negligible and reduces annual social spending by at least $20,000 per marriage created or saved.
• “Responsible Dissolution” divorce reform legislation replaces existing predatory divorce laws (famously misused by both Newt Gingrich and John Edwards to replace their wives). Retooled divorce policy makes mutual consent the norm, except where serious problems exist in the marriage. When divorce must be a unilateral action, the spouse most responsible to the marriage receives at least 70% of marital assets. Mutual consent takes the fight out of ending a marriage while making marriage a safe investment to begin with.
• Marriage Savers support group meetings in every community provide very effective free help to troubled couples. Just walk in the door of your church or civic center and a mentor couple who survived the same problems you have will guide your marriage back on track. Retired Americans are our strongest asset. Let us harness their knowledge and willingness to volunteer.
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• Welfare-to-marriage policy is a multidisciplinary approach rebuilding marriage culture where it does not exist today. It provides educational resources for married couples who have time to attend school and increase earning capacity to move into the middle class. Small economic incentives to marry are offset by decreases in long-term welfare expenditures and increases in taxes from larger numbers married couples.
Marriage is the necessary cornerstone we can no longer afford to waste. Let us apply supply-side socioeconomics to lift America out of the modern dark-age that has become a national nightmare.
© 2014 David Usher - All Rights Reserved
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David R. Usher is President of the Center for Marriage Policy, and a co-founder and past Secretary of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.
Cynthia Davis is the former State Representative for Missouri’s 19th District and Executive Director of the Center for Marriage Policy