A certified Obama-free posting™ !
The Soviet Union only tried to plan every detail of the economy. As far as I know, it never planned people's marriages. That's an idea left to U.S. federal and state governments, if certain "experts" have their way.
According to the Seattle Times:
Divorce and out-of-wedlock childbearing cost U.S. taxpayers more than $112 billion a year, according to a study commissioned by four groups advocating more government action to bolster marriages. Sponsors say the study is the first of its kind and hope it will prompt lawmakers to invest more money in programs aimed at strengthening marriages. …The "movement" is nanny state social engineering if this is any example of what it's about. Do these outfits imagine that government agencies, managed perhaps along the lines of the Motor Vehicles Bureau, the Department of Substance Abuse Prevention, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement can save a marriage that's shipping water?
The study was conducted by Georgia State University economist Ben Scafidi. His work was sponsored by four groups who consider themselves part of a nationwide "marriage movement" — the New York-based Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Families Northwest of Redmond, and the Georgia Family Council, an ally of the conservative ministry Focus on the Family.
"The study documents for the first time that divorce and unwed childbearing — besides being bad for children — are costing taxpayers a ton of money," said David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values. "We keep hearing this from state legislators, 'Explain to me why this is any of my business? Aren't these private matters?' " Blankenhorn said. "Take a look at these numbers and tell us if you still have any doubt."Okay, Mr. Blankenhorn, I'll explain to you why I still have a lot of doubt.
In the first place, not everything can be valued on the basis of money or numbers. There are certain principles, one of which is the limitation on the power of the government over people's private lives, that are more valuable than any supposed tax saving. Yes, I know, we already allow the government to sentence people to psychotherapy and marriage counseling. Both may do some good — but even therapists are generally skeptical about what they can offer to unwilling clients.
Regardless, it is a bad practice. At most, the government should make such interventions available, not require people to participate. Governments are there to protect lives and property and perform public services, not private attitude adjustments.
Second, what this "marriage movement" seems to be advocating — I surmise from that dreaded word programs — goes beyond trying to help individual couples patch things up. They want to throw out a dragnet, pull in segments of the population, and "educate" them. That means more bureaucracies to run the programs, and more state and federal employees to do the educating. Where would this new Marriage Corps be recruited from? Why, I'm sure there are many organizations, like, oh, I don't know, maybe the Institute for American Values or Focus on the Family, who could supply educators.
One other thing. Government programs and costs to the taxpayer go together even better than love and marriage. A hundred and twelve billion a year? Why, a few government programs can burn through that much faster than an African tribal chief can get divorced.