Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Choice in Marriage

Colin P.A. Jones wrote a terrific piece on the privatization of marriage for the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year; it is linked here through The Independent Institute. If you like what you read, the extended version is here, linked from The Independent Review.

In short, government has forced marriage into a one-size-fits-all agreement, over which it has monopoly control. Why not privatize it and let people choose a marriage agreement that fits them best?

I'm not sure that the divorce rate would change a whole lot-- marriage corporations could emerge that exhibit relatively low-cost dissolution services as compared to the current situation, which could cause more divorces as well as cause more people to get married that wouldn't have gotten married in the first place. There would be, however, a host of public choice issues with regards to which marriage corporations got which federal benefits.


Tim Swanson said...

Very interesting. Seperation of Marriage and State. I have some friends that are "bible thumping" Fundamentalists that would hate to hear about privatizing "marriage" and "divorce" (i.e. only demographics they approve of can get married; no one can be divorced).

Nice find.

Daniel Skarbek said...

Though, Tim, as one who at least understands such fundamentalists, they should understand that privitazation is exactly the solution they should be looking for. Their ultra-conservative denomination can write their own marriage contract that only allows a white-protestant man and woman to get married (or whatever they're restraints are, maybe only members of their congregation) and not grant divorce at all, or only under certain extreme circumstances. Then these people can have a marriage agreement that they like and can simply scorn other marriage agreements as "not real, Biblical marriage." Ah, nothing like the free choice of privitization to allow a diverse society to live together! :-)

Nog said...

Privatizing (or rather spiritualizing) marriage is a beautiful idea. It is a sad person who needs the state to legitimize their marriage. If God tells me that my dog, my brother, and I are in some marriage, why do I care if the state tells me that my marriage "isn't valid".

It would seem to me that the whole "defense of marriage" movement shows how nonreligious the religious right is. They need the state to ban something (because apparently God can't refuse his blessing) that Jesus never mentioned (gay marriage & gays in general) but are fine with things that Jesus banned (i.e. divorce; see Matthew 5:31-32, 19:4-9, Mark 10:1-12).

www.las-palmas-3d.com said...

To my mind everyone may read it.