Essay:What do you think about Rothbard's view that fathers should not be required to pay any child support?

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Rothbard said that parents owe their children nothing, not even the essentials of life (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), so if they want to let the child die, it's their right to do so. So then, if a man impregnates a woman and then kicks her to the curb, she and the kid are on their own. Likewise, if he wants her to stay and raise the kid with him, but she leaves him and takes the kid, he has no obligation to pay for their support.

I'm thinking, one effect of this is that a man who has a lot of romantic options would be less reluctant to dump the mother of his child, because there would be no consequence for doing so; he could just get some other woman (e.g. maybe "trade up" for a younger woman). On the other hand, a woman who has a lot of romantic options would be more reluctant to leave the father of her kid, because she wouldn't be able to make that man pay for their kid's support after they've moved on to some other man.

So it would encourage some different mate choices, e.g. it would encourage women to seek men with few romantic options (aka betas) and encourage men to seek women who aren't all that attractive compared to them and would be less likely to leave them. So both sexes would want to "date down" for reasons of wanting to have relationship security. Yet they can't both simultaneously be dating down.

Under our current, non-Rothbardian child support system, the men with a lot of romantic options are restrained from just abandoning their families, but on the other hand, women with a lot of romantic options are not restrained from abandoning the fathers of their kids to go be with other men, while making the fathers pay for the support of kids they never get to see.

Now, some would say, "That's a feature, not a bug. Men should be required to pay support for kids they never get to see; that's just the risk you take when you're a man who fathers a kid. The natural order is that, unless the mother prefers a different arrangement, the mother take care of their kids while the father pays for the kids' support, regardless of whether the two parents are still together. Obviously, if a man had been a good partner to the mother of his kid, she would not have wanted to leave him, so it's his fault anyway that he ended up in that situation of having to pay child support."

They will say, "It's better for the kids if the couple breaks up, with the father being required to pay child support, than for the kid to have to listen to his parents fighting all the time." Of course, a third option is for the father to simply not fight; he can submit to the mother of his child and retreat from conflict back to his man-cave, to maintain peace for the good of the family. And I think there are many fathers who do exactly that. They set up a fence, essentially, so they can be good neighbors and "equal partners" in the same home by minimizing their interaction with each other; they sleep in separate bedrooms, and maybe she cheats on him with other men when he's not looking; but he continues to pay the bills for the household, so that their kid will not have to grow up without his dad.

Some might say, "Child support isn't a system that's inherently biased against men, because some women pay child support too" but that's like saying, "There's no gender pay gap, because some women get paid more than men" or "The drug laws aren't racist, because some whites get busted for dealing crack too."