I never figured out how the government subsidizes SSM. Can you run that one by me again?
Tax incentives for marriage. Gbaji does not mind paying for tax incentives to create stable families that will (likely) have children.
I'd say "that may create
children" though. The objective is to try to maximize the degree to which children are born to a stable family where both biological parents are legally bound to their continued support.
This is generally a flawed argument because same *** couples do adopt children and thus he is also paying for a stable marriage that may also have children.
You're kinda playing with the word "have", which could mean "have, as in 'to possess'", or "have, as in 'to create'". I'm talking about creation of children, which *** couples
cannot do. Thus, there is zero reason to subsidize that couple to form, since they don't cause the problem we're trying to avoid. The problem we're trying to prevent/reduce is children born out of wedlock. Adoption is an entirely different issue, and is problematic since it kinda relies on others already having produced a child, presumably in that problematic case we're trying to avoid.
The rate for opposite *** families with children is around 40% and the rate for same-*** couples with children is around 20%. Same-*** couples face more barriers to having children; most must go through a lengthy application process in order to adopt, whereas opposite *** couple can quite literally acquire children accidentally. I believe a better route to subsidizing married families is either to attach the tax incentives to having children, or alternately, decrease the barrier to entry for same-*** couples acquiring children via adoption (although there are intrinsically more liability concerns with this method). In any event, if the child-rearing rates were similar or quite close for opposite *** and same *** married couples, there would no longer be an economic argument against same *** marriage.
Again though, these are two different sides of the issue. Adoption is a fix after the fact. Marriage incentives are an attempt to prevent the need for that fix in the first place. We can have both, of course, but trying to mix them up like that seems odd to me.
I'm going to ask whether your use of the phrase "having children" in the context of subsidies refers to possessing or creating children? We already have a ton of tax breaks and programs that assist those who possess children, whether married or not. And that's actually part of the problem IMO. Now, if you're suggesting that we restrict those programs and tax breaks to only those who posses children and are married, I might actually agree. But I still see that as fixing the problem after the fact. The stats overwhelmingly show that if the children are created in an already existing marriage between the two biological parents of the child, their odds of needing any kind of assistance programs (ie: taxpayer cost) is much lower than otherwise. So the subsidies for marriage can be a great deal cost wise, if we'd actually stick to using them for that purpose rather than politicizing them as some kind of "right" to be handed out to everyone, regardless of applicability.
It would also help terrifically if we *didn't* provide so much assistance to single moms, effectively creating a disincentive for them to get married to the man they're shacking up with at the moment. Safety nets help people who find themselves in difficult situations, but they also increase the rate at which people find themselves in those spots. This again goes to the difference in approach between treating the symptoms of a problem after the fact versus preventing the problem in the first place. We'd be much better off focusing more of our efforts on the latter approach IMO, and marriage status is a key component to that.
Um... I actually also agree with you on the barriers to adoption angle. What I would propose (and I believe I have proposed in the past) is to separate the legal contract of marriage from the legal status of marriage. Allow any two people to enter into a legal marriage if they want, complete with power of attorney, joint finances and property, etc. Basically, all the civil arrangements needed for a marriage to be a marriage. Then, you can tie things like adoption, custody, etc, to that status, and it's about the choices of the people and the agencies they're interacting with. If married couple X qualify for adoption based on the agencies criteria, they quality. No barrier based on being *** or straight. Doesn't matter. Well, except to faith based adoption agencies, but again, as a private process, they should be free to set whatever criteria they want. I'm sure plenty of different agencies will exist to fill the need. You keep the government granted benefits and whatnot as an incentive for potential breeders who qualify for them, with "being in a legally binding marriage" being one of the requirements (but we could add more).
What this would do is get the social/civil concept of "marriage" out of a situation where it's tied to a whole bunch of things that don't necessarily make sense for newer concepts of what a marriage may be or can include. Heck. Since these are just private contracts between people, you could have group marriages under this system. Anything you want. Why not? The big stumbling block for a lot of this stuff is government involvement. We have systems (like say social security) that grant benefits to married couples based on assumptions about that married couple (that they'll likely consist of a breeding pair, and one of them will likely give up some career opportunities to produce and raise children, meaning that person should get their spouses SS benefits if they outlive him/her). The entire thing is based on that concept so people balk at the idea of something like say group marriages, for example, since you could then theoretically keep adding members and maintain the marriage for eternity, collecting on all the deceased spouses social security the whole time.
Same deal (to a degree) with SSM. Adopting is a choice, not a necessary component to keeping the species alive. That's great, but then it's really on you to have the resources to raise that child. Expecting the rest of the population to provide you benefits for doing so seems strange. Expecting them to do so on the off chance you *might* choose to adopt is doubly so. Providing a surviving spouse with the social security benefits of the deceased spouse, because that couple chose to adopt, and one of them chose to be a stay at home mom/dad, seems strange to me. Those were all choices you made, that are not necessary choices at all. The cost should be born by you. You should presumably be financially capable of handling those choices on your own without government subsidy, or you should not make that choice.
The same can't be said of traditional male/female couples. They *must* procreate (at some rate as a group, of course, not each individual couple). We want them to procreate in the best environment for the children. So we should create an incentive for them to do so. Which is what the marriage status, and all the attendant benefits and effects are about. *** couples (again, as a group) don't need to adopt. We don't need for them to adopt. It's nice if they do. But it's nice if I help clear my neighbors yard too. I don't expect the government to reward me for that. Edited, Oct 7th 2015 6:51pm by gbaji