Posts Tagged ‘tea parties’

“Tea partiers” have it all wrong.  They are after the government for being where it is not (health insurance ) and they are nowhere to be found when the government abuses its prerogatives.  For instance, when New York State strip searches non-custodial fathers for child support payments.

New York State has recently introduced a new rule for the payment of child support: the time when non-custodial parent was sending child support checks to the custodial one, or to the Support Collection Unit, is over.  Now, unless the non-custodial is self-employed, child support is to be deducted from the non-custodial paycheck. What’s the difference? First,  New York State family laws could  care less that you see  your children. Second, what New York States cares about though is that you pay child support. And It does not trust you to do it yourself.

What if, by any chance, too much is garnished from your paycheck? If, like myself, you have a  “credit”  as a result of a change in a  money order that did  not take effect at the right time? Too bad for you, fellah.  Child Support Information Line (1 800 846 0773) or Child Support Collection Unit on 151 West Broadway will tell you that this  “credit” is not really a “credit”. If this amount is less than your monthly child support, you ain’t gonna get your money back. You know, in case; these non-custodial fathers cannot really be trusted. And you are not gonna pay less in child support either the next month either. Free money for the custodial mother parent. Justice, the New York State way.

And it comes without saying that if you are late,  what you owe bears a whooping 9% interest rate on any arrears that you have, on whatever family court has decided you have to pay.

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public Option

Public Option

Two weeks ago, there were tea party protesters in Washington. To me these folks are zombies. Public health services in the US are not at par with those of any developed country, there are monstrous gaps in health insurance coverage because the industry is dominated by a few fat private corporations, and these folks were asking for less government?  David Brooks in his last New York Times op-ed piece claims that these demonstrations have nothing to do with racism, that this is just the expression of the Jeffersonian strain in the American political debate. Maybe. Yet, if anything, people should ask for more government, not less. And given the state of affairs in the American public health system, the public option better be strong.

There is another area where more government is urgently needed: family courts. What you have here is a scrawny public element working with an expanding and prosperous private family industry. If you are part of a sixish- year long (!) child abuse trial in family court, you figure out that the judge and the law guardian are in the business of giving access to the pie to their private cronies in the system. Who are those? Forensic psychologists,social workers and family service agencies; not the best and the brightest. Are they necessary to the process? In my case, the answer is a resounding no. Public A.C.S (Administration of Child Services)had done the forensic job, which judge Sturm chose to sit on. Was it for the best? The private forensic evaluator Berrill produced a job which everybody acknowledged as less than mediocre and again, the judge chose to sit on it. The necessity of supervised visits by family services agency? If you have a law guardian who reads visit reports, does her investigative work with the family and warns the mother that alienation of children will not be tolerated, you can easily divide by five the number of  these visits (I had some forty visits from 2002 to 2005). But the law guardian who was supposed to represent the interests of my girls was a non-entity who conceived of her role as an umpire counting the strikes made by each camp during the course of the trial.

The consequences of a stronger public, family judiciary? An increase in taxes, which in final analysis, will be good for the tax payer’s purse. These public servants will take away most of the load from the private family industry: hence you cut the fat where it is and you get  faster, less painful and less onerous trials. And you might even end up with the birth of a public good: family justice. Priceless.

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.