Agenda for the 21st Century
Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century
Parents should have equal status by default
Partners should know about paternity
All children should have been accepted children
Eliminate sex discrimination from child support
There should be no Treasury saving or state compulsion
Child support should be formally awarded to the children
Use a formula to determine the amount
Have closer ties between child support administration and family courts
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Household benefits/credits should not be treated as income
Amounts should relate to spend on children, not wealth
Also - Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century
Also - A method of judging proposals
Also - International Agenda for the 21st Century
Related topic - Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
Related topic - The 21st Century is making the reformed scheme obsolete
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A method of judging proposals

The Agenda for the 21st Century can't be proved right by any process of science or logic. It is an opinion of how a society should work in order to be comfortable with itself. It can be opposed by other opinions - although it is unlikely that it can be undermined by any process of science or logic.

Here are some of the principles that this opinion is based on. Anyone who agrees with these principles may find much to agree with in the Agenda. Anyone who disagrees with these principles will almost certainly fundamentally disagree with the Agenda. That's life of Planet Earth!

The primacy of bio-relationships

There are lots of ways that unrelated people can help & support one-another. But, by default, unless there are serious & explicit reason to the contrary, the bio-relationshipship (both ways) between parent & child should be of primary importance. Examples:

On average, mothers prefer to raise their own (bio-)children rather than another mothers' children.

On average, fathers prefer to raise their own (bio-)children rather than another fathers' children.

Increasingly, children want to know about, and even meet, their own (bio-)parents.

A balanced set of rights & responsibilities among the stakeholders

Here, the stakeholders are mothers, fathers, children, and the rest of society. Or, where child support is concerned, they are parents with care, non-resdent parents, qualifying children, and taxpayers. The basis for this analysis is: Stakeholders in Child Support & Examples of Rights & Responsibilities.

This analysis is still being done.

No prejudice - "overlapping bell curves"

Virtually any generalisation that people make about men & women is really a matter of "overlapping bell curves"! (With the exception of "if pregnant then woman", and I think even that will change this century). "Overlapping bell curves" are everywhere. With the sole exception of "if pregnant then woman", there is no strict relationship between sex and attribute. The Agenda here is simply "no prejudice". (Not "equal opportunities", not "equal outcomes", just "no prejudice"). Not "If man, then A". "If woman, then B". This means I reject or even ignore arguments that put men or women into rigid categories.

If I were concerned with auditioning musicians for an orchestra, I wouldn't get bogged-down in worrying about whether only men had the strength to sustain string-instrument bowing, or in counting whether there were equal numbers of men & women in orchestras. I would simply place the applicants behind a screen and listen to how they play. And, believe me, if I had to choose the pilot who was going to fly me across the Atlantic, I would favour the "no prejudice" method there too!

And precisely the same apples to the different roles in human reproduction. The situation is not symmetrical. The stresses are different. Don't tell a soldier on the eve of battle that his wife has left him and ask him for a plan of how he is going to have to cater for the children alone. And don't tell a woman soon before giving birth that the man involved in the conception has left her and ask her for a plan of how she is going to have to cater for the children alone. And when men can carry foetuses to term, later this century, the same applies to pregnant men, of course.

Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.

Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003