Comments on: The hidden agenda of “marriage promotion?” http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:41:03 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Historically historic hope and change!!!! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-577845 Sun, 21 Mar 2010 03:31:09 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-577845 [...] My recent vacation to a civilized nation that makes health care a right of citizenship and doesn’t make it contingent on one’s relationship to a “head of household” sure puts this into perspective.  (That’s the difference, friends, between building your [...]

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By: Time for a National Women’s Party, again. : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-474733 Wed, 04 Nov 2009 16:36:38 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-474733 [...] care delivery system that would allow these women to make their own health care decisions.  Our current regime is embedded in patriarchal, heteronormative expectations that everyone is embedde…, and it distributes the health care goodies on the basis of our connections to wage-earners.  [...]

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By: Emma http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327846 Fri, 05 Jun 2009 00:38:32 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327846 Historiann,

I think you and I are in agreement re: public education for kids. I still think that raising kids is a private enterprise. But I think there are public goods and public services that should be provided by the government. That’s how I think of public education etc.: Not help with raising children, but a public good the government provides its citizens.

So, no tax breaks to parents, but public goods and services to all.

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By: squadratomagico http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327495 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:06:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327495 I, like liz2, am another person who married because of health insurance. I suspect SweetCliffie and I would have gotten married at some point anyway, but we did it at the precise time we did because he had cancer and I had insurance.

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By: Liz http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327493 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:04:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327493 Unlike Liz2, I didn’t get married for health care…I got married so my partner could get a visa. Crazy immigration policy is another way that the government incentivizes marriage. And I know at least three other couples in my grad-school department who’ve done this. Now that we’re married, I hope it sticks, but to be perfectly honest we would rather have kept on living in sin.

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By: anon http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327468 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 15:55:16 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327468 Historiann,

I totally agree with you, especially on the point that children should not be a private enterprise. So the problem isn’t really the tax per se, but how that tax reflects our institutional and social understand and treatment of children (and by extension parents). . . have you read bitch phd’s commentary on “why having a child isn’t a lifestyle choice”? You might enjoy it if you haven’t – it addresses several of the points you’re making here. Basically it’s a refutation of the libertarian argument that children are a private enterprise, when in fact children are integral to society & its proper functioning.

I’m on board with a complete restructuring. (My husband is Canadian and we’re trying like hell to move there!)

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327444 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:58:31 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327444 Emma–I agree for the most part with your policy prescriptions, but I disagree that “raising children. . . should be a private expense.” The problem is that the way things work now, people think about the possibility of free day care or free preschool or a free public education as a service for the parents, instead of for the children themselves. Whereas I think all of society benefits if all children have the option of quality public day care, preschool, K-12, etc. How many little sociopaths in the making might be saved if they went someplace for at least part of each day that was clean, calm, reliable, and enriching? Not all parents–sadly–can provide that kind of a home environment for their children.

We need to see children as citizens on their own, not just as dependents or appendages to their parents.

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By: Emma http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327442 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 14:41:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327442 I think that, for the most part, raising children is, and should be, a private expense. And I don’t think there should be any specific government provided benefits for raising kids.

I do think that our social safety net and equality principles should be expanded and interpreted to make sure that neither children nor parents are penalized for being or having children.

For example, all people should be covered by single-payer healthcare. Government/employers should provide child care to so that parents are not precluded from participating equally in the work force. All children should have access to free and equally good schools through and undergraduate education. FMLA leave should be expanded another couple of months and should be paid leave. Paid sick leave should be mandatory. The social safety net should include and pay for assisted living, better nursing home care, and in-home care, for adults and children who need it.

I think sticking to those principles would be better than programs/credits specifically targeted at marriage and/or childbearing. I think it’s fairer and has a better philosophical basis. But, of course, it’s always much easier to bleat “but the chilllllldren” about 50,000,000 times. And it’s multi-purpose: demonize gays AND promote women staying at home barefoot and pregnant! That’s the real price of the child tax credit, social inequality.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327432 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:51:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327432 Anon–I’m in support of government-provided child care and free preschool for all. What I don’t like about the child tax credit is that 1) as your description suggests, it’s merely a pisshole in the snow, and 2), it further reinforces the notion that raising children is a private expense, and treats them like a deduction for a small business or some other private endeavor linked explicitly to a parent’s income.

But, never fear: it’s not like anyone with any influence over tax policy reads this blog or gives a crap about what I say.

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By: anon http://www.historiann.com/2009/06/03/the-hidden-agenda-of-marriage-promotion/comment-page-1/#comment-327430 Thu, 04 Jun 2009 13:37:47 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=5597#comment-327430 re: child tax credit system.

Historiann, while I agree that providing universal health care for people’s children is one major way of ending the necessity of that tax credit, it isn’t the only use the tax credit has. Children are expensive, and not only their health care – food clothing equipment, etc, is very expensive and can put a financial burden on a household. A 5 person household is just a lot more expensive than a 2 person (especially if both those two are full-wage earners). I think families deserve deductions to help offset the additional costs that people without children don’t have. I don’t think there’s anything inherently unfair or heteronormative about this. Especially because tax credits for children cover one additional and very important expense that brings many families to their knees: child care. Full time day care for one baby can run $1000 a month or more in many places. (babies are more expensive than older children because the provider-child ratio is smaller) This expense takes an enormous toll on families and is particularly punitive in two-couple households where the mother works (because day care often takes all of one person’s salary). Now, if there was universal health care AND heavily-gov’t subsidized child care, we might be onto something.

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