The State Against Families

Column by Bob Wallace.
Exclusive to STR
It’s impossible to choose any exact point when the State started destroying families. I’d say it’s been more of a slippery slope than anything else, so you can’t choose any point and say, “This is where it started going downhill.”
But one watershed moment was in 1943, when Americans started having taxes withheld from their paychecks. Before then, Americans paid on tax day. But when they started having money withheld from their checks . . . the effect was great for the State and bad for the citizens.
Income tax withholding raised revenues from $686 million in 1943 to $7.8 billion in 1944. This meant the State got richer and all the citizens got poorer. Withholding was supposed to be a temporary wartime measure, but that’s not what happened. When it comes to the State, “temporary” not only means “permanent” but is also means “ratcheted up every year.”
People thought the shortages and deprivations were caused by World War II. Some were. But how many were caused by the government taking over eleven times as much money from citizens in 1944 as 1943?
Another watershed moment was in 1971 when Nixon went off of the gold standard, allowing the Federal Reserve Bank (which is not federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank) to merrily inflate to its heart’s content, thereby allowing the quick destruction of the dollar.
The result of these two devastating things (there were other causes, of course)?  Wages stopped going up in 1973, and have been flat, and in many cases declining, ever since.
If the State at the minimum had not withheld taxes from citizens, and not gone off of the gold standard, allowing to Fed to run the U.S over a cliff, I suspect the average salary today would be about $70,000 a year.
How did these things affect families? When you factor in the immense destructiveness of radical left-wing feminism, oppressive taxation, Affirmative Action, and crushing economic regulations, what has happened now is that is takes both a husband and wife working to have even a middle-class existence. One with a few children.
Had the State stayed out of the economy, it would have been possible for a man and woman to both work part time and have a decent existence. Instead, these days, often both of them have to work more than full-time, which means giving their children to be raised by public schools. Very often this also means putting them in preschool so the parents can work.
Had both been able to work part time, they could spend much more time with their children and properly educate them, instead of having to scrub the dirt out of their brains that had been ground into them by the public schools.
It just astonishes me that some people still think the U.S. is a free country. Parents working more than full-time just to make ends meet, giving their children at several months old to be raised by strangers, then putting them in public schools from five to 17 (what does it take 12 years to learn anyway?) to have them taught things they don’t want them taught, having their lifeblood sucked out by the State and then being lied to by whackjob liberals that they are “undertaxed compared to Europe” (AKA “nations of eternal warfare”) . . . and this is the way things are supposed to be?
People have claimed that married women work to buy all the goodies the couple could do without. That’s not true. These days, most of the time, if the wife quits working and they try to live on the husband’s salary, they end up living in a used mobile home. But a nice middle-class house? Get a time machine.
The U.S. is no longer at replacement rate. “Scholars,” puzzled, scratch their brains. Some do understand the destructive effect of the State on families and the economy, but not enough. How often do you see the truth in the mainstream media? Almost never.
None of these bad things can last. It never has in the past, it won’t now, and it won’t in the future. No one can predict when.  But I’ll say this: It seems to be getting pretty close.

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Bob Wallace's picture
Columns on STR: 89


nost8r's picture

Bob, I enjoy your articles, and it is true that the state is inherently anti family. I think the government's increasing involvement in marriage since the 1800s is also a factor. Marriage licenses were originally concocted by racist statists (apologies for the redundancy) who wanted to prevent whites and non-whites from marrying. Now, after decades of government control, the sacred institution of marriage is nothing more than a worthless slip of paper with less meaning than most business contracts.

Paul's picture

Actually, the date this commenced was in the 1840's, when Horace Mann imported Prussian schooling into America and got it adopted by the Massachusetts legislature:
Beginning about 1840, a group calling itself the Massachusetts School Committee held a series of secret discussions involving many segments of New England political and business leadership.1 Stimulus for these discussions, often led by the politician Horace Mann, was the deterioration of family life that the decline of agriculture was leaving in its wake.2

A peculiar sort of dependency and weakness caused by mass urbanization was acknowledged by all with alarm. The once idyllic American family situation was giving way to widespread industrial serfdom. Novel forms of degradation and vice were appearing.

And yet at the same time, a great opportunity was presented. Plato, Augustine, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Hobbes, Rousseau, and a host of other insightful thinkers, sometimes referred to at the Boston Athenaeum as "The Order of the Quest," all taught that without compulsory universal schooling the idiosyncratic family would never surrender its central hold on society to allow utopia to become reality. Family had to be discouraged from its function as a sentimental haven, pressed into the service of loftier ideals—those of the perfected State....

Mann proclaimed the State must assert itself as primary parent of children.

This view was adopted at the federal level shortly thereafter, and made a requirement for admission of states into the Union. Government schooling is the primary tool for destroying families.