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Get the Government Out of Marriage Again
Over the last century, single-parent households have increased dramatically. The US is #1 in the world.
If you’re a Democratic politician you may therefore want more single-parents (just as you may want more illegal immigrants and public school students), but if you actually care about children then your primary question should be, “How can we increase two-parent households again?”
Fundamentally, the answer is to reduce the nanny state because Uncle Sam isn’t a good substitute for a father.
The best way to do this is to get the government out of marriage again.
For most of Western history, marriage was a private contract between two families. None of our founding fathers had a marriage license. Marriage licenses only became popular during the late 19th century because states wanted to “exert more control over who was allowed to marry,” e.g. ban interracial marriage.
Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right. — Rand Paul
Over 40% of marriages end in divorce. As a divorce lawyer said, “Marriage is like a lottery. You’re probably not going to win,” which explains why fewer people are buying marriage licenses. If any other product had this high of a failure rate it would’ve been recalled by now.
It’s hard to build a loving long-lasting relationship when Uncle Sam generally puts a gun to the husband’s head whereupon request he’ll pull the trigger, therefore, giving the wife half + more.
Is it any wonder why the media mocks the subservient “doofus dad” while glorifying the independent “bad boy”?
As a matter of principle, men should seek to put themselves in a fair position because it’s how we create a fair society.
Marriage should be structured like the old days where both parties would sign a private contract, which they could formulate with the help of their church, community, counsel, and/or an open-source website. I believe such a website would pop up in our Digital Age where it’d list contracts and their respective number of downloads, ratings, and divorce rates (signatories would be asked to rate 3, 10, and 20 years later).
I believe the contracts that would rise to the top would include but are not limited to:
Next-of-kin for hospital visits.
Marriage education. A couple may agree to read XYZ marital books, take a marital course, and/or attend marital counseling. Divorces are most common around years 2 and 5 so it may make sense to pre-schedule counseling for then. There’s debate over how effective counseling is because couples tend to only go once they’re having serious marital problems, but with this system, it’d be easier to determine.
Since abolishing marriage licenses would mean abolishing joint taxation and alimony then a fair marriage contract might include a divorce settlement agreement. A settlement might guarantee that each spouse walks away with a minimum percentage or sum because marriages work best when spouses are neither incentivized to leave nor financially incapable of doing so. With that said, what each spouse has wouldn’t be determined so much at the end but throughout the marriage since our government would no longer be enforcing the theological concept of, “one flesh.” For example, spouses could put all their income into a joint account and put everything in both their names, which means in the event of divorce these assets would obviously be split 50/50, but if a spouse wants to keep certain assets in their own name then they’d be free to do so without the fear of the government trying to cut it in half, which is particularly problematic when it’s a business because it’d negatively impact the employees and customers. We’d live in a more grateful society if goodwill rather than guns dictated financial support.
Abolishing marriage licenses should also mean abolishing court-ordered child support because the birth of a child should automatically grant each parent 50/50 joint custody as it's done in Sweden and Belgium. A fair divorce settlement might therefore include child support for around a few hundred dollars a month (avg. monthly cost $314 to raise a child) regardless of how much the father makes because child support is unjust when it’s supposed to serve as an “ideal” rather than a minimum. Imagine if the court looked at how many hours a supermom cared for her child and then upon divorce ordered her to maintain that same level of care, but just from a distance, i.e. in an adjacent room to cook, clean, and supervise via camera and then when contact is necessary to only do so in a hazmat suit. Don’t be mad though! You can borrow your kid on the weekends who as it turns out may not even want to go with you because of the financial incentive for the custodial parent to demonize you. Does this sound just to you? Yet, this is effectively how the court treats fathers by disconnecting their labor (money) from their love. Traditionally, much of a father’s parental leverage is in his ability to provide and so when he loses the right to his wallet then he loses his right to parent, which is of course the goal here because the subtext is that men cannot be trusted to do the right thing unless they have a gun to their head. Guess what happens to a society where men are treated as fundamentally untrustworthy? They become untrustworthy because people become what they’re made to believe they are. With no power comes no responsibility. 45% of pregnancies are “unwanted” so how much would this percentage drop if Uncle Sam stopped being a pimp? It would undeniably drop therefore reducing childhood poverty.
Overall, liberals should support the privatization of marriage because they argue the government should stay out of the bedroom and conservatives should support it because we argue the government should stay out of our wallets.
By decentralizing power we’d live in a more consensual society where individuals are brought up to think more for themselves because they couldn’t rely as much on the almighty state to protect them from their own stupidity. A decentralized society is one of strong individuals, families, and communities.
By abolishing marriage as a legal concept and its associated special privileges individuals would be freer to enter into marriage on their own contractual conditions whereby “I do” wouldn’t be Uncle Sam’s coup.
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