October 28, 2013

"Are Unmarried People Bad for the Economy?"

A Gallup-poll-instigated question.


bandmeeting said...

I spend a shitload in restaurants.


PB Reader said...

Historically, if you wanted to perpetuate society, you needed a solid institution like marriage.

We're going full Bulworth now.

Bob Boyd said...

Aren't there two divorced people each spending $74 dollars per day for a total of $148 per day?
Also, spending less on rent so you can spend the same amount on something else would have the same net effect on the economy wouldn't it?
It seems to me economic growth is about how much value an individual adds thru work, not about how much he spends. Maybe I'm wrong.

MadisonMan said...

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to encourage my 17-yo son to marry just to help the economy.

Call me unpatriotic.

Leon said...

younger people=generally single=less income=less spending...any questions

Titus said...

My Vege Hubby and I had a wonderful weekend.

We struggle at times. He is a major vege and I am not.

Our biggest struggle is going out to dindin.

I am required to go to places I would never go with my friends. I feel this is a sacrifice but I do it because he is a vege....but it is hard. There is only so much somasa and couscous and lentil and pad thai I can handle. Last night, at the end of our weekend, we went to Baraka Cafe in Cambridge. Totallly Algerian Food. Yes, it is fab, and small and unique but fuck, enough fucking couscous!

The good news is that I do lose weight during our long weekends but dam it can cause much pain and conflict.

tits and thanks.

Elliott A said...

I would think marriage would lead to more major economic activity, not more din din. Houses and cars, furniture, gardens and remodels

JoyD said...

Oh yes, two of our sons are newly married, have bought their first houses, and they're in the nest- building stage, spending LOTS of money. Our oldest son, 34, is single and very frugal! Two incomes make life a lot easier! But I think the unattached son values solitude and independence, whenever he wants it, very highly.

Lem said...

Gallup didn't ask "Single", but "Unmarried".

There is a difference there, Gallup is trying to harness to give them what they are going for.

Lem said...

Ann Althouse (Althouse, University of Wisconsin Law School) and Bella DePaulo (Singled Out)

Alexander said...

Is divorce bad for the economy?

Is the wage suppression caused by doubling the corporate workforce by opening it to women while destroying the tax-free productivity of domestic industry bad for the economy?

Is this further exacerbated by opening the borders to tens of millions of unskilled labors and as such, is *that* bad for the economy?

Let's make sure we ask *all* the questions before we move on to the inevitable next step of asking what the government can do to 'fix' it. Not just the ones that conveniently result in demanding further de facto money transfers from white, middle-class males.

elkh1 said...

"The federal government picks up much of the tab through an expansion of Medicaid and subsidies to people earning up to four times the federal poverty level. That's up to $46,000 for an individual or $94,000 for a family of four."

Better to cohabit than to marry if each or either one earns less than $46,000 a year.

cubanbob said...

It's a stupid question predicated on dumb assumptions. Everyone is a world in their own. Bandmeeting spends a shitload on restaurants. Great for that aspect of the economy. Did the same when I was single and dating. Now that I'm older and married we mostly eat at home and thus have more income to invest. Without investment there are no jobs and without jobs there isn't much discretionary income.

Carnifex said...


My wife keeps threatening to go total vege on me. 'Causes total breakdown at suppertime. But I do always win in the end because my finishing move is "Spit that hamburger out, I can't understand a word your saying".

She then hits me and it's all good.



Carl Pham said...

Who gives a flying fuckaroon? "The economy" is our servant, not the other way around. Only The New Republic, in their retro Stalinism, can even ponder with manufactured outrage the question of whether people ought to live their lives in some other way than they wish, for the purpose of building an even greater statue of Ozymandias, as opposed to what all right-thinking people believe, which is that you live your life in order to make the coolest, most relevant, most widely hip Facebook status update.

I am so glad these people believe in late marriage and lots of abortion. It gives me faith that in 200 years their DNA will be extinct, and their voices only heard by historians with strange obsessions with historical folly, like the odd ducks who plumb the theoretical arguments of Nazis and antebellum slavocrats.

John Lynch said...

The economy is driven by old people lending money to young people.

If the young people don't exist, or don't get married to raise families, then there's no one to lend to. No need for new houses, or bigger cars, etc.

So, the old money just sits there... doing nothing... which is exactly what is happening.

Renee said...

Husbands helping out to cover the expenses, give wives more disposable income.

Sexist I know. Really sexist.

lemondog said...

Ah, ha.....I see opportunity......lets tax the unmarried.

They will marry or pay to be unmarried!!!!!!!

Such a simple solution.


Glen Filthie said...

Single mothers are bad for the economy. The social engineers be damned - most of those women are single because they're failures and no bones about it. There SHOULD be a stigma attached to stupid people who let their families fall apart.

Paco Wové said...

Ask not what the Economy can do for you, Citizen – ask rather what you can do for the Economy!

Larry J said...

lemondog said...
Ah, ha.....I see opportunity......lets tax the unmarried.

You're not specific enough, lemondog. Taxing all unmarried people would include single mothers. Oh, no. Must not tax them. Instead, only tax bachelors to incentivise them to marry the single mothers so they can have the "joy" of paying to raise someone else's kids.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

WOW!. Congress should pass, and the President should sign, a Federal law requiring all persons over the Age of Consent to be married.

Anyone not married should be taxed at, say $95.00 or some percent of their MAGI.

Larry J said...

Carl Pham said...
Only The New Republic, in their retro Stalinism, can even ponder with manufactured outrage the question of whether people ought to live their lives in some other way than they wish, for the purpose of building an even greater statue of Ozymandias.

Speaking of Ozymandias, from another website:

I met a traveler from a fallen land
Who said: A trashed and useless interface
Sits on a website. And linked on the page,
ne’er clicked, a tattered image lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its artist well those passions read
Which yet survive, displayed on the useless screen,
The man that mocked us and the heart that bled:
And under the picture these words appear:
“My name is Barack Obama, President:
Look at my prices, ye insured, and despair!”
Nothing aside remains. From the decay
of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The sick and desperate souls stayed far away

whswhs said...

As a person who has been in the same unmarried cohabitative relationship since 1985, I was struck by the statistic that people in such relationships spend only marginally less than married people. The big difference seems to be "in a stable relationship" versus "on your own."

Matthew Sablan said...

Two can live as cheaply as one; I'd think if many single people got roommates/spouses, it would go some small way to alleviating the lack of cheap rents for those of us who don't.

Peter said...

Marrieds tend to be healthier, wealthier and happier than un-marrieds.

BUT that's just a correlation. Those who are healthier, wealthier and happier (or at least have the potential to be wealthier0 are more likely to get married in the fist place. It's a whole lot tougher to figure out how much being married might amplify improvements in one's health, wealth, or happiness (and yes, only a fool fails to realize the damage a bad marriage can do to all three).

I wouldn't be surprised if marrieds tend to spend whatever money they have differently than unmarried. But, "good for the economy"? Perhaps the absurdly over-commercialized wedding itself is an economic stimulus (even if potentially ruinous to whoever has to pay for it).

And then there's single motherhood: whether by choice or otherwise, for most it would not be economically possible without significant economic inputs from government and/or family. It may be personally liberating for some but economically (in the aggregate) it's a disaster, just a huge financial sink.

TMink said...

Married or not, it is unproductive people who are hurting the economy. They have become a protected class and joining that group has become a life goal for some people, the American nightmare where you leech instead of the American Dream where you work.


Jane said...

But did you catch the New Republic's non-sequitor of a response to this poll?: unmarried people are poor, so we must increase the level of subsidized housing in NYC and DC!

Sam L. said...

The question may be stupid, or poorly phrased, or poorly asked, but NR just applied a lot of backspin and leftspin to say what they want to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

Single mothers are bad for the economy.

Well, definitely bad for society, if not the economy. They mostly shouldn't be having kids, because society ends up, to some extent, most often subsidizing them. Maybe not always directly, but also for the significantly higher incarceration rates for the males, and significantly higher rates of illegitimate births for the females, which perpetuates this lifestyle.