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April 05, 2005

A good read

This entry was posted in the following categories: Social

I don't agree with the conclusion (she's not against gay marriage (although she's not for it, either), and I am), but Jane Galt's A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other is well worth a read.

She goes into the history of various social (and economic) changes in this country that can be considered (at least by me) to have been mistakes. One of the fundamental points she makes regards the "marginal case":

Now, economists hear this sort of argument all the time. "That's ridiculous! I would never start working fewer hours because my taxes went up!" This ignores the fact that you may not be the marginal case. The marginal case may be some consultant who just can't justify sacrificing valuable leisure for a new project when he's only making 60 cents on the dollar. The result will nonetheless be the same: less economic activity. Similarly, you--highly educated, firmly socialised, upper middle class you--may not be the marginal marriage candidate; it may be some high school dropout in Tuscaloosa. That doesn't mean that the institution of marriage won't be weakened in America just the same.

To bring an example from a different topic, partial birth abortions (where a baby, in the process of being born (breech -- feet first), has it's brains sucked out a tube while the head is still inside the mother (apologies if you were eating lunch; it disgusts me too). The pols who wanted the ban to include the clause "except for the health of the mother" are comfortable in their position that it'll never be used except in the extreme cases. But you start with the marginal cases where the mother would be very sick then it becomes a little more socially acceptable, and then you have the "there's a slight risk of something", and end up with "let's abort the baby because dad lost his job."

But anyway, give it a read. It's worth it.

Michael

Posted by mlv at April 5, 2005 02:05 PM

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