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March 25, 2013



"Having a wife frees a man from housework"

In my dreams.


Statistics suggest you're an exception:


Chris, I'd be interested to know if you have any thoughts about Gove's McCarthyism: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2298146/I-refuse-surrender-Marxist-teachers-hell-bent-destroying-schools-Education-Secretary-berates-new-enemies-promise-opposing-plans.html


Caplan *says*. He does not *argue*. He puts forward a lot of Bayes-as-football-club guff, and also says this:

After controlling for observables, do married and unmarried men really seem radically different? What unmeasured pre-existing traits of married men could conceivably lead them to earn 40% more than unmarried men?*

This is a case of Hemingway's corollary ("The very rich are different to you and I." "Yes, they have more money.") The "trait" is that they earn more, and earning more makes you more marriageable. I mean, the English language has the phrase "eligible bachelor" as a polite way of saying "rich". Jane Austen created an enduring life's work entirely based on this theme.

Caplan is a libertarian and therefore a bullshitter. Also, as an Austrianist he doesn't believe in evidence. The answer is not logic-chopping, it's horselaughing, that and (to be brutally frank) ideological policing.


There ain't nothing going on but the rent...


I think there is probably a large causal effect from marriage to earnings. People really do seem to take marriage as a signal of being a serious person. (Why I don’t know.) I’ve been married 18 months and the difference in the way I’m treated is huge. Perhaps it’s because I’m fairly young and unprepossessing, but the ring has given me an instant gravitas bonus without me acting any differently.

If you’re standing somewhere you shouldn’t and a security guard tells you to bugger off, tell him ‘I’m waiting for my wife’. Next time say ‘I’m waiting for my girlfriend’. In the first case they’ll let you be; in the second you’ll be out on your ear.

Perhaps someone could do an experiment: how do interviewers rate an interviewee? There could be three groups of interviewees: (1) unmarried men, (2) married men and (3) unmarried men wearing a fake wedding ring. I’m sure both (2) and (3) would do better than (1). (Whether (2) would do better than (3) I’ve no idea.)

But it’s probably yet another economic relationship that falls apart as soon as you try to use it as a lever ("get married!"). If everyone starts wearing rings then it’ll not be able to signal anything.


Isn't Bryan Caplan the chap who cheerleads for mass immigration, because it makes the abolition of the welfare state more likely?


"Diversity undermines solidarity. People don't mind paying high taxes to support people "like them." But free money for "the other" leads to resentment and political pushback. If you're a social democrat, this implies a tragic trade-off between social justice for natives and social justice for potential immigrants. But if you're a libertarian, the opposite is true. The welfare state doesn't make open borders impossible. It's open borders that makes the eventual abolition of the welfare state imaginable."

Oh, and the privatisation of everything ?


"The claim isn't that open borders will "destroy" solidarity or the welfare state, but merely that open borders will undermine both. And while free-marketers may well agree that some degree of solidarity is good, it's also hard for free-marketers to deny that current levels of solidarity are excessive. Solidarity stands in the way of free-market reforms in pensions, education, health care, taxation, agricultural policy, and much more."

check it

wow nice post


I'm fascinated and considering what you're currently talking about here.

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