Wed, 01 Oct 2008
"We will also back marriage in the tax system. To those who say...why pick out marriage why do you persist in aggravating people who for whatever reason choose not to get married I say I don't want to aggravate anyone, but I believe in commitment and many of us, me included, will always remember that moment when you say, up there in front of others, it's not just me anymore, it's us, together, and that helps to take you through the tough times and that's something we should cherish as a society."
Because nothing says commitment like "it simply made economic sense to get married".
A quick poke at google will tell you that there is evidence that marriage has health and wealth benefits so perhaps should be encouraged; that's not what is being talked about here though. Instead it is the notion that marriage is about commitment, that this is something to value in society and so should be financially rewarded. But it's not the quality that is valued being rewarding but something that is a byproduct of the quality.
And that seems to me where it all goes wrong. Nothing in providing tax breaks for married couples actually encourages the behaviour you are seeking. It may encourage a simulacrum of it within a very narrow context, what it is unlikely to achieve is altering people's character.
posted at: 21:32 #