Books Public Policy

Family values, equality and marriage markets

Conservatives may be surprised to ehar that one of the best ways to strengthen monogamous marriage is more equally distributed income…One standard conservative argument against antipoverty policies is their cost: taxes burden the affluent and, by reducing their incentive to work, lower overall economic output. But if one goal of the policy is to bolster monogamy, then making the affluent less affluent is a welcome side effect. Monogamy is threatened not just by poverty in an absolute sense but also by the relative wealth of the wealthy. That reducing this wealth cuts overall economic output may, of course, still be regrettable; but once we add more stable marriages to the benefits of income redistribution, the regret should lose a bit of its sting.

From Robert Wright’s book The moral animal: Why we are, the way we are: The new science of evolutionary psychology. Interesting throughout.

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