These are the three things that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is improving "while lowering costs [to the state]."
Wow. Well done, I guess. IBM sold them some software and made some money. But as any economist will ask you: "WHERE IS THE END DEMAND FOR THIS "SERVICE COMING FROM." That is, WHO is paying for these state "services?!?!" The taxpayer? The taxpayer in poor old OKLAHOMA probably can't do it. In a state of 3.8 million people, or less than the city of Boston, MA, Oklahoma, grand total (state and local level) had 21 billion in revenue and 19 billion in debt. Yeah, that's billion with a 'B'. That means their debt, as a percentage of revenue (actual cash that they collect in taxes) is 90%. They could wipe out a whole year's worth of revenue just to pay down their debt to zero. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
The state isn't exactly rich.
So why are they spending millions on IBM software for "Child support, child services and family support?" Maybe its because the state makes good money off those "services." Especially child support. The more it collects in child support, the more money it can receive from the Federal government in child support "reimbursement."
From Reason Magazine:
With the federal government paying 66 percent of collection costs, plus incentives that amount to 6 percent to 10 percent of all the money the state dragoons from absent dads, many states manage to turn child support collection into a cash cow, generating millions that they can use for any other government function they want.
1995 figures show state governments made $431 million in profit off of running their state offices of child support. Taxpayers are still overall losers, though; the feds spent $1.3 billion on the program in the same year.
The Feds (taxpayers) pay the state for collecting money from dads and the state makes money off it, in fact, is given every incentive to COLLECT - from anyone they can slap the label "dad" on. They don't even care if he is the child's father. Hell, Michigan has more than one man supporting the same child. Having just one child by a upper-middle class man in Massachusetts can net a woman $1,800 dollars a month OR MORE in "child support." (what is the child doing, training to pole vault on Neptune?)
So therefore the state, after wiping the drool away from the corner of its bloodthirsty mouth, starts collecting names, addresses, employment information and phone numbers for any man who's unlucky enough to sleep with a woman who was feeling extra-maternal that day, or to be confused for the guy who did. Now the state needs to modernize and streamline their data usage so that they can MAXIMIZE THE STEALING OF MONEY FROM MEN. Its not the state's money. Its not the money of someone's ex-girlfriend or one-night stand. The men made the money from hard work and employment, the state steals it on a the-ends-justify-the-means argument, gives a piece to the man's "accuser" (who may or may not have named the right father of her child) and keeps the rest of the money for itself. Now the state wants to auto-process this scam like a high-end warehouse business and WATCH the FEDERAL TAXPAYER MONEY ROLL ON IN, DADDY-O!
Its not their money. But what the fuck do they care. The woman who felt lonely some random night and went out and had sex of her own free will with a consenting adult man; a man who had NO REASON TO THINK HE WAS STARTING A FAMILY WITH A WOMAN HE WAS NOT MARRIED TO deserves that money, doesn't she? I mean.... SHE wanted children. The fact that he didn't DOESN'T REALLY MATTER.
Further, ask yourself why, 50 years ago, we did not NEED thousands of state workers collecting child support from unsuspecting men and massive state agencies requiring billions of dollars to administer "family services."
MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE WOMEN DIDN'T DARE HAVE KIDS OUT OF WEDLOCK WITH MEN THEY DIDN'T MARRY AND MEN WERE ONLY EXPECTED TO PAY FOR THE FAMILIES THEY CHOSE TO HAVE WITH WOMEN THEY CHOSE TO MARRY.