Sunday, July 18, 2004

In response to Andrew's comment

As a side note, I was trying to think like a liberal, and recognize the inherent discrimination that occurs in mutual partnerships.  Instead of seeking to enjoy the same benefits of marriage, the left should seek to remove those benefits from the population at large.  In order that everyone can be equal.
Think about all the divorces, injustice can occur at every step of the divorce.  A poor African-American woman might sign something she can't read and get the bad end of the deal.  Mostly white-male-highly-educated-judges will discriminate against minorities and women at every turn.
Instead the left is trying to fight for equality under an injustice system, .....soo that means that they must be doing it for the money.

I actually support your logic to the extent to taxing the hell out of divorce (exemptions should be allowed if you are beaten, your spouse goes crazy, or your spouse gets tricked out on drugs). 

If the government is going to participate in social engineering (creating a tax haven for married individuals), they should engage in social engineering to discourage divorce.  The government is missing out on a huge cash cow here.  All those broken civil unions could fund efforts to reapply social responsibilities to the individual [tracking down of dead beat dads for example]. 
As a side note [not here to make a point just an interesting story], a cousin of mine was brought in by the state human services department.  He was interviewed and questioned about his past with a woman.  He also had DNA swabs done.  He later found out that he was the father of her child.  The mother also found that out about the same time, apparently her sexual history was not really clear enough to determine the father of the child.  The child is now in the state's custody and they might try to get money from my cousin, who is also a drug addict and has not had a steady job since I can remember.
Those are my wild arguments for and against.
"...This lesser transience confers greater simplicity on the legal and tax code books, therefore leading to less confusion and less administration costs.
In short: committed romantic relationships are exceedingly common and enable a special sort of income/expense partnership. The combination of these two factors encourages their general representation in tax law."
Hmm..Less administration cost. 
Maybe but wouldn't the administrative cost of divorce cancel out many of those benefits, and use up valuable resources [judges] re-allocating those shared assets and responsibilities.
It is kinda like this, why put forth the effot of endorsing somthing when you are going to have to spend more time undoing what you have done.


Andrew said...

Whether divorces end up costing the state more than marriages benefit is a practical matter, and I don't know that anyone has the research at hand to determine that. What I can say is that the cost of divorces can be reduced by doing things like requiring pre-nuptuals, generally making the divorce process more efficient (private arbitrators, not judges), and re-stigmatizing the practice. These all change the equation.

And all in all, your argument is ridiculously academic. Dissolving all legal recognition of marriage is absurd. That it may be more consistent with the tenets of your imagined liberalism, doesn't hold any weight against the alternative equalization: reasonably expanding the institution. If it's pragmatically impossible for a "liberal" to preserve equality by dissolving marriage, it's only natural that the "liberal" turn to the next best option.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Cube wants to "dissolve all recognition of marriage." He simply wants to add a new word to the mix. Which is what will be done with the legalization of homosexual marriage. Cube is proposing to keep marriage the way it currently is (feel free to look up the word means), but create a new tax term (if you will) called Civil Unions. This way anyone can be "united" with anyone and receive tax equality and "united" status. Or, instead of adding benefts to the new civil unions, the government can take away existing benefits of married couples. Either one brings equality. Which, from what I understand, is what the desired outcome of legalized homosexual marriage is supposed to be.

As for the romance factor: the way the word is used today I'm not so sure it is a "less transient" commitment than a platonic one. A conscious decision to go into "business" with someone should be more thought out and practical than a physical attraction based on hormones.

I'm not saying that two romantically linked individuals can't do things like share a one bedroom apartment, or support one another while raising a family or pursuing a more aggresive career. But why must they be "married" to do it? Are we talking about equality and fair dealings, or a justification for more immoral acts? "If we're married, then it's ok." It's like putting icing on a cardboard cake. It looks good on the outside, but it's not the real thing.

But maybe that's my Judeo-Christian upbringing.