Thursday, March 21, 2013


Now that conservatives have resigned themselves to just talking to one another, I see a couple of the better-known ones pimping that old marriage-makes-you-rich buncombe -- which makes sense, since only a wingnut would buy it.  Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds' latest, for USA Today, is pro-marriage done particularly pro-forma:
This past summer, Jason DeParle noted in The New York Times that we are now seeing "two classes divided by 'I do.'" And while people are going on and on about Wall Street and income inequality, it turns out that marriage inequality is one of the biggest things making people less equal, accounting for as much as 40% of the difference in incomes: "It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged."
You might just as well say that marriage turns you white. The Perfesser's not even trying to make that correlation look like a causality. He's not putting anything like the elbow grease into it that nuts like Bradford Wilcox and Charles Murray regularly apply. He's not so much running his con as jogging it, as if it doesn't have to convince anybody who isn't already convinced.

But even worse, as always, is Megan McArdle:
College improves your earning prospects. So does marriage. Education makes you more likely to live longer. So does marriage.
It's like she's reading it off flash cards.
Yet while many economist vocally support initiatives to move more people into college, very few of them vocally favor initiatives to get more people married. Why is that, asks Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry?
I would have said "because they're not con artists like you," but Gobry thinks it's "cosmopolitan perspective" and "bias." McArdle adds to this her own special blend of inappropriate personalization and passive-aggressiveness:
We might not want to make people who fail to marry feel bad, since many of them probably feel pretty bad about it already.
...all economists are, definitionally, very good at college. Not all economists are good at marriage. Saying that more people should go to college will make 0% of your colleagues feel bad. Saying that more people should get married and stay married will make a significant fraction of your colleagues feel bad.
In the Age of Obama II, more of these folks may rush to the consolation of "You're just jealous," but in retrospect it was always a dead cinch McArdle would get there first.


  1. Modulo_Myself10:19 PM

    Won't click on any of the links, but surely there must be a nod to the supreme irony of Marxist liberals supporting rampant fucking while at the same time wanting to kill (or tax) rich people in the name of economic justice.

  2. I see this as the next big opportunity in right-think: save social security by forcing people to get divorced. The perfect compromise between marriage hating liberals and people hating conservatives.

  3. As to McArdle, I think I can lay out the flaws in her column in a single line:

    "Bryan Caplan has more thoughts."

  4. Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds' latest, for USA Today

    Not to go off on a tangent, but - when in the name of Odin's frosty balls did Glenn fucking Reynolds start writing for the USA Today?!? They're an actual newspaper, and he's well, you know - a lying dipshit with an absolutely abysmal track-record and an IOU where his conscience should be. Have they perhaps confused him with the more brilliant singer/songwriter Glenn Frey? Or maybe the inventor of Reynolds Wrap, who by pure statistical inference is bound to be more tethered to facts and reality, sympathetic, and minimally human?

    [rubs eyes in disbelief] Yeeaargghh! What kind of bizarro world is this in which a reactionary nitwit who can't even be bothered to write his own goddamned blog content is doing pieces for a national daily?!? Is this the part where I come across the Statue of Liberty half-buried in the sand? Because I can't think of another explanation for this travesty!

  5. Additionally: The Twitter machine has just informed me that McArdle and Caplan are in a pitched 140-character struggle against perennial Manboobz target Heartiste. Yes, the battle over marriage has drawn glibertarians and pick-up artists to the field of combat - and whoever loses, we win.

  6. Chris Anderson11:17 PM

    "... asks Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry"

    I don't care what he asks, his name should put him in the spam filter.

    Anyhow, do people really believe there's a noteworthy leftist beef against marriage? An academic one?... You've gotta be daft as fuck to believe the war-on-trad.-marriage crap, tho. So yeah, we want you to go to college, get brainwashed far left, choose to be gay, and then marry a same-sex partner. That's the only path we condone, literally.

  7. montag211:32 PM

    It's probably another grand news media nod to "balance," since they started publishing a Duncan Black column twice a month.

    That, or they're under the misapprehension that they're losing the nitwit demographic.

  8. That thought did occur to me. And it's kind of chilling, because it means that every time a Neo advances into the spotlight they push an Agent Smith in there too to make sure everybody stays shackled in illusion.

  9. FlipYrWhig11:38 PM

    Megan McArdle thinks she's good at marriage? I think there's a lot of pent-up frustration in that household. I figure eventually we'll all hear that her glibertarian husband was found dismembered after an argument over bechamel sauce. She'd be found sorting crystals of pink himalayan salt and and muttering about how her whole family is intellectually intimidating.

  10. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume11:39 PM

    Marriage does make you more prosperous. Limbaugh's been married four times, and he's so rich he can afford to hire a maid to buy his drugs for him. FACE, liberals!

  11. montag211:53 PM

    I think it's more likely that, a few years from now, Suderman runs off with someone younger and equally mindless, and McArdle will go into high dudgeon mode, publicly pleading her divorce case in every blog post for months on end. And, if anyone mentions her paeans to marriage forever, there will be much gnashing of teeth and protestations of how much her case differs from that of everyone else, because MeMeMeMeMeMeMeMeMeMeMegan.

  12. Jay B.12:23 AM

    And while people are going on and on about Wall Street and income inequality, it turns out that marriage inequality is one of the biggest things making people less equal, accounting for as much as 40% of the difference in incomes: "It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged."

    Remember, he's a law professor. "Marriage inequality"? It's only inequality if people can't get married, not "choose not to at the moment", that must be that fancy kind of law talkin' insights that has made him the go-to philosophizer of the lower Tennessee Valley. Oh, and his writing! Elegant! While people hate rich assholes who have burnt a hole in the economy -- the real culprit is the 23 year old post-grad whore who probably sleeps around ISN'T EVEN MARRIED. I can't believe she probably doesn't make as much money as a married 44 year old. These are impossible-to-believe facts. What a case this guy is making! It's very enlightening.

  13. BigHank5312:25 AM

    Oh, the Kathleen Parker track? I have to admit I was visualizing something more along the lines of Mrs. Rochester. Hopefully Bertha can be a minority ex-cabdriver in addition to a substance abuser.

  14. KatWillow12:41 AM

    Marriage may (doubtfully) lead to higher income, but NOT marriage with children! Children are very expensive. And to a conservative, marriage is all about teh childrens.

  15. erlking12:41 AM

    I'm married, went to grad school and I have white children. Why am I so poor? How did I fuck up Megan?

  16. AGoodQuestion12:50 AM

    "And then after the carriage ride, your father went on bended knee, gently clasped my hand, and asked me to improve his economic prospects and life expectancy. It was so frikkin' romantic!"

  17. AGoodQuestion12:53 AM

    And speaking of marriage inequality in its truest sense, logic would seem to dictate that most people who actually believe in this correlation want the fags to stay poor. Surprise?

  18. AGoodQuestion12:56 AM

    You didn't fuck up Megan. Megan was already fucked up.

  19. Spaghetti Lee1:26 AM

    do people really believe there's a noteworthy leftist beef against marriage? An academic one?

    These are the 'liberal elites' you hear so much about. In the imaginations of people like Reynolds and Gobry, there's some exclusive old library or something where college professors, Hollywood types, and George Soros gather every day to drink cognac and laugh at lower-class conservatives. They don't even have to do anything more than that-their presence is dangerous enough.

  20. Spaghetti Lee1:29 AM

    I think the mechanics behind it are that newspaper-reading demographic is much older and crankier than it used to be, so that's who they have to appeal to. The sort of people who would just laugh at Glenn Reynolds aren't reading USA Today anyway. The fact that conservative activists happen to have an efficient network for disseminating and legitimizing bullshit and cowing the media into taking it seriously is just the cherry on top.

  21. The thing I loved about Charles Murray's book was its calculated bestseller pitch for conservatives: 1) you don't need to give any material aid to anyone struggling, and 2) the truly virtuous thing is to scold them. (Money is transient; high moral dudgeon is forever.)

    Of course McBargle wants in on that action!

    We might not want to make people who fail to marry feel bad, since many of them probably feel pretty bad about it already.

    McArdle has been far more evil in the past, and even more vapid, but this is one of the most obnoxious things she's ever said. The most damning thing is it's painfully obvious that she would never, ever, ever say this if she were single. Even by her stunning standards of smugness, it's one of the more transparently egocentric arguments from the mean girl glibertarian princess. "Fail to marry"?!?

    Oh, that McArdle is so bold and original in her ideas, like a Victorian prude! That Jane Austen – such a failure! And so many single failures throughout history! (Also, what about long-time lovers who choose never to marry?)

    For those keeping score at home, McArdle decries making the rich pay more or making them feel bad about their wealth, opposes proven-effective gun laws in favor of training kindergartners to rush a gunman, but does believe in societal pressure when it comes to shaming singles into marrying.

    I also love how agency/choice and the quality of one's partner never comes up in these discussions. Who cares about what you want to do in your life? Who cares about the richness of a single's social life without marriage? In the scolds' minds, all marriages are good marriages, so just partner everybody off, and their work is done. (Conservatism often boils down to: It's not my problem/I don't have to give a shit.) The ladies get the marriage crap aimed at them far more often, but occasionally I get a dose, so I shall propose a metaphor: Conservatism is a doddering old man at a wedding, alarmed by your unhitched state, lecturing you about the virtues of [marriage, thrift, joyless sex, whatever] with no interest whatsoever in your actual life (let alone your name).

  22. Spaghetti Lee1:33 AM

    ...all economists are, definitionally, very good at college.

    McArdle and others, however, represent economists who aren't very good at economics.

    Saying that more people should get married and stay married will make a significant fraction of your colleagues feel bad.

    And here I thought 'ha ha I have sex and you don't' as a comeback was limited to teenagers, or at least not used by 42-year-old women.

  23. Well, those two planks were why I joined.

  24. I'm with ya all the way on outrage, but, umm, Erick Erickson. (Gone from CNN to Fox News, but still. The media "balances" their coverage by featuring/hiring conservatives – it's affirmative action for assholes and dumbasses.)

  25. The_Kenosha_Kid2:00 AM

    I think "Why is that, asks Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry?" can be the next "I am aware of all internet traditions."

  26. montag22:09 AM

    With all the clucking and fretting by the RNC's Human Anagram over the Repugs' failure to regain the Presidency, maybe this is the wingnutz' way of doubling down, asserting control over the party by the drooler base. After all, can't have family values without first having a family. And the dribbling over marriage makes a wonderful segue to unmarried minority moochers pumping out babies and queers trying to horn in on good Christian white married prosperity, etc., etc., etc.

    My guess is that this is another shot across the RNC's bow, warning them that they better not run a bunch of compromising wimps in 2014, or they'll be sorry, etc., etc., etc. Attention must not just be paid, it must be continuously lavished.

    Having had a few years running the asylum, the inmates have discovered that they like it that way.

  27. Or, the thinking is that if they get people to read Reynolds more than once, they'll be increasing the nitwit population.

  28. Well, she has a very expensive blender too. It's capable of pureeing,,,

  29. beejeez6:23 AM

    Know what else makes the average American richer? Taxing very rich people.

  30. That distinguished journal of elite opinion "The Kernel" informs us that "Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is a writer, entrepreneur and columnist for The Kernel.. He is the founder of Noosphere Inc. and a former analyst for Business Insider." Vraiment, un homme de la Renaissance.

  31. Derelict7:21 AM

    With the reasoning powers on display by the likes of Prof Corncob and My Little Megan, it's a wonder any of these people make it through the day without losing all their money and/or seriously injuring themselves.

    BTW, Megs? There are an awful lot of people who choose to not get married. They're perfectly happy with that, and they will even point it out to you.

  32. Doghouse Riley7:28 AM

    So, to the running question "Don't they know any real people?" we can now answer:

    "They've surveyed some. And they hate 'em all."

  33. You know, it's long been my suspicion that this adage that marriage = prosperity is part of the anti-marriage equality crowd.

    It goes like this: in the wingnut world, men are the providers whilst wimmens are the stay at home raise the kids cook the meals and roll over I've got a boner part of the "team." They don't make money, unless it's that small change "thrifty" money from their tuperware/avon/marykay "business." And in that world, men are all hunters--battling each other for the limited pool of US Dollars and status positions.

    Since we all know that fags are over-educated professionals who are handed $250,000 jobs right out of the elite liberal colleges they all attend, to allow them to team up is an unfair advantage.

    What's a wingnut man to do? He's got a bitch at home to support, plus all his fat kids to keep fat, and he has to do it all by himself is is the customary wingnut way.

    Fags double-teaming with their six-figure salaries and no families to support is just fucking unfair.

    I think this must be part of the wingnut fear of same-sex marriage.

  34. Doghouse Riley7:38 AM

    Wait, if everyone was married, wouldn't the Reynolds' household income actually go down? Dr. Mrs. Professor would lose her full-time gig sluicing gripes about alimony.

  35. redoubt8:02 AM

    Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
    I thought he was guillotined and his laboratory destroyed in the Revolution. Shows what I know.

  36. Halloween_Jack8:04 AM

    What kind of bizarro world is this in which a reactionary nitwit who
    can't even be bothered to write his own goddamned blog content half the
    time is doing pieces for a national daily?!?

    Jonah Goldberg has had a syndicated editorial page column for years.

  37. redoubt8:11 AM

    I'm married, but i'm not rich, and I'm not white (and neither is my wife). But we use regular iodized salt, so that's one possible way.

  38. mortimer8:43 AM

    Just like many glibber economic blowhards that afflict us, Megan is not an economist. She has a degree in English Lit. and an MBA. Wait, you don't look surprised.

  39. mortimer8:46 AM

    We might not want to make people who fail to marry feel bad, since many of them probably feel pretty bad about it already.
    Megan has only been married for 2 1/2 of her 40 years. Her 20's and 30's must have been sheer hell for her.

  40. mortimer8:47 AM

    And while people are going on and on about Wall Street and income inequality, it turns out that marriage inequality is one of the biggest things making people less equal, accounting for as much as 40% of the difference in incomes...

    First off, the so-called marriage premium applies not to "people" but to "men" -- married women actually make up to 10% less than single women.
    Also, this marriage premium is a rather iffy and flexible stat that is all over the place when you go look for it -- I just found articles and papers that put it at 7%, 18%, 20%, and up to a 44% income difference, depending on the ax being ground. Not to mention the "up to" is a weaselly way of saying what I just said.
    Also #2, married men not living with a spouse have a much lower income difference, and there are no data or stats on whether cohabitation makes any similar difference.
    Also #3, any married male income difference has nothing to do with the vast income inequality addressed by Occupy Wall Street et al, or how income is distributed across income percentiles. The incomes of married and unmarried men and women in the bottom 99% are still stagnant, while those of the 1% are in the stratosphere and growing rapidly.

  41. Chris Anderson8:49 AM

    Google no further! I'd like to assume that Noospheres are Euro-branded Neuticles.

  42. Doghouse Riley8:54 AM

    You've confused her emotional and chronological ages. Remember, the latter has nothing whatsoever to do with her work.

  43. I see. A statistical correlation that is reported as cause and effect.

    Maybe rich people just like getting married more? Could having money make you marry multiple times, thereby making the rich's marriage #'s LOOK higher?

    What if getting being rich simply makes people want to book churches?

    This reminds me of when the GOP was citing some "scientific" study that manly men produce more male offspring, proving Romney was more of a man than Obama.

  44. BigHank539:03 AM

    Her 20's and 30's must have been sheer hell for her.

    They were kind of hellish for those of us who had to listen to her. Her output does appear to have dropped off a bit in the past couple years. I suppose we should congratulate Mr. Suderman for falling on this particular grenade. (Not that he, as a libertarian, would appreciate being lauded for an uncompensated sacrifice.)

  45. BigHank539:10 AM

    'ha ha I have sex and you don't'

    Megan McArdle gets to have sex in a manner that has the approval of 76-year-old billionaires.

    Which is what really matters. To Megan. The rest is just boilerplate hippie-punching. Which 76-year-old billionaires also approve of.

  46. BigHank539:17 AM

    Well, it turns out that many of the same factors that contribute to a stable marriage (like having your own parents stay married, a stable childhood well above the poverty line, decent schools, and having economic and educational opportunities) also contribute to one's earning potential! Who'da thunk that?! I mean, besides anyone who stayed awake through a goddamn sociology class and thought about the problem for thirty seconds...

    Trust conservative pundits to mistake the symptom for the disease.

  47. FMguru9:17 AM

    Next you'll be telling me Amity Shlaes isn't actually a historian!

  48. Halloween_Jack9:27 AM

    Hey, crazy thought--wouldn't "a stable childhood well above the poverty line" also contribute to living longer, another one of the alleged benefits of marriage? Holy crap, I'm a genius! Where's my Daily Beast column?

  49. It's really really important for these folks that poverty be a character flaw. That way we don't have to do anything about it.

  50. Halloween_Jack9:34 AM

    I'd never heard of this "Heartiste" fellow, so I had to have a look...

    The worldscape of genes can rebuild with the seed of one man should catastrophe strike

    ...and I am more than done. (Wonder if he's ever read or seen A Boy and His Dog?)

  51. Halloween_Jack9:53 AM

    Not a lot to add to what's already been said about MegMac (although it's worth noting that the Beast seems to have become as click-baity as Daily Caller with things such as "Interracial Sex Still Taboo for Many Porn Stars"), but I thought I'd share this comment, because sharing is caring:

    21 hours ago

    Most economists work at a college or want to. Hence they push college. Never underestimate the power of self-serving

    Don Surber: Too Cool for School.

  52. satch9:53 AM

    Oh, no... like the old joke about how when Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average income of all the patrons skyrockets (it's MATH, so it must be true!), the Teahadists idea of how to increase the wealth of the nation is to make it easier for rich people to become richer.

  53. satch9:56 AM

    Funny... I immediately thought of Maggie Gallagher, but yeah, Kathleen Parker works, too.

  54. Who's been advocating the killing of rich people in the name of justice? Because I'd like to join up.

  55. DocAmazing10:00 AM

    It doesn't matter if your wife is white, as long as your salt is pink and your money's green.

  56. catclub10:03 AM

    "You've gotta be daft as fuck to believe the war-on-trad.-marriage crap, tho."

    These are people who believe in the war on Christmas.
    So, yes.

  57. I am struck with bemused wonder at the perfect appropriateness of the moniker "the daily beast." Why yes, yes she is.

  58. BigHank5310:04 AM

    Not only do you not have to do anything about it, but net worth in dollars can be easily substituted for moral worth. Why fart around feeding the hungry and clothing the naked and comforting the ill when you can just check your portfolio, then sit back with your cognac and a cigar, comfortably secure: you are where you should be.

  59. I'm going to keep a close eye on the health of the Suderman marriage. I have a feeling that if/when Libertarian Pete strays off the reservation, we'll get to see if that high end food processor functions as well for the disposal of human remains as a wood chipper.

  60. catclub10:10 AM

    Remember the postings on how horribly uncertain being poor makes your life. And that uncertainty and stress is a killer? All wrong, you just forgot to get married.

  61. It's probably another grand news media nod to "balance," since they started publishing a Duncan Black column twice a month.

    So they picked up a reactionary nitwit who can't even be bothered to write his own goddamned blog content half the time, in order to counterweight someone who isn't a reactionary nitwit, but who can't even be bothered to write his own goddamned blog content half the time? Yeah, okay, that sounds like the MSM version of balance.

  62. At what used to be a real newspaper before it was gutted by monied thugs.

  63. Where's my Daily Beast column?

    Well, you need to take the next step beyond "stable childhood well above the poverty line," which is to advocate for eliminating Head Start, WIC, etc, and replacing them with smug lectures from people who have never needed to hold down a real job.

  64. Mr. Wonderful10:28 AM

    Not so fast, Hank. Megan's been working on that book, don't ye know, gracefully entitled Permission to Suck. Once it's escaped quarantine, like the ghouls of Poltergeist, she'll be back.

  65. You know what I hate about all the pushing of people to go to college to improve their economic prospects? The way that attending college is presumed to be a lifetime commitment, even though over half of all college attendance in this country ends in graduation. Keeps all the graduation attorneys busy, I suppose.

  66. Mr. Wonderful10:34 AM

    "We might not want to make people who fail to marry feel bad, since many of them probably feel pretty bad about it already."

    Of course, we want to make the others feel as bad as we can. Otherwise, what's the use of being me? It is not enough that I be a smug propagandist for privilege and power. Others must wish they were me. (And if you think I'm insufferable about revealing my universally-known discoveries about cooking and interior design, just wait until I get pregnant.)

  67. Mr. Wonderful10:36 AM

    "Humans...are a disease. OUR time."

  68. Mr. Wonderful10:38 AM

    This. "We're USA Today. We're publishing a newspaper for people who can't read. The least we can do is run op-eds by idiots who can't think, can't tell the truth, or--ideally, yes--both."

  69. DocAmazing10:39 AM

    Using the faux-arithmetic semi-logic employed by the Perfesser and MeMegan, we should see tremendous gains in wealth with legalized polyfidelity. If one man married to one woman generates extra income, then four or five men married to half a dozen women (and each other, in all possible combinations) should create enormous amounts of money.

  70. Teh Ole Perfessor10:49 AM

    Heh indoodily ding dong diddily!

  71. Mr. Wonderful10:52 AM

    "Because what's the use of a revolution, without general copulation?"

  72. redoubt10:55 AM

    As opposed to Surber's own self-serving, in which he is tired of third graders the educated taking apart his arguments.

  73. Jon Hendry10:59 AM

    Caplan: "I'm so awesome, I should be able to clone myself, raise my clone as my child, then marry my clone, and then have an awesome high-earning spouse who looks just like me that I can hate-fuck."

  74. BigHank5311:00 AM

    I've been guessing she's been occupied by cutting 575,000 words out of the first draft, after the publisher informed her they were going to be printing one book, and that she wasn't Edward Gibbon, either.

  75. To conservatives it appears marriage is all about love and devotion -- to economic status, of course, not to the individual you're marrying.

  76. Q: Now, wouldn't that necessitate the abandonment of the so-called
    monogamous sexual relationship?

    A: Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the economy.

  77. ChrisVosburg11:12 AM

    Gonna be interesting when McMegan's marriage crashes and burns.

    And I guarantee it will; there's just no way for two selfish shitheads to endure one another for long.

  78. Jon Hendry11:13 AM

    For your consideration:

    ‏@pegobry: "Proposal: marriage law that mandates an some community service for childless couples."

  79. whetstone11:15 AM

    So privileged people get married, and being married helps them maintain privilege. Clearly, the answer is more economic incentives.

    I'm also told that the thing that helps maintaining privilege the most is growing up privileged, like Reynolds and McArdle. Perhaps we should further incentivize that by getting rid of the inheritance tax. Poor people will be lining up in droves to get rich once they figure out that getting rich is the secret to being rich.

  80. Aren't noospheres biospheres for conservative, married ATM randians?

  81. And if we're talking about statistical inevitabilities, over 60% of marriages end in divorce. For most divorcees, divorce not only repeals any economic benefits that marriage might have bestowed but typically it worsens one's financial health by adding some significant expenditures which one wouldn't necessarily have been shouldering if single (alimony, children, child support for a family one might not have started if one were single, carrying a larger mortgage or rent, et al). And each failed marriage tends to compound these bills, worsening ones finances even further.

    I'm no mathematician but it seems to me that if, like McMegan, we look at the prospective economic benefits of marriage over single life from a very statistically rudimentary point of view, then engaging in a marital contract of which the majority of people end up canceling out of - making them financially worse off - seems, like a risky choice, if not a poor one, for the same reason the roulette table makes most people poorer: the odds aren't in one's favor. Yes, married people are better off financially than single people - until their marriage fails and they're single again. Which happens in most cases.

    It goes without saying that the actual statistical picture around marriage economics involves many more variables and is much more complex than she makes it out to be, but the point is that even approaching it on the narrow basis on which Mrs. Hammacher Schlemmer is trying to sell it, she's still wrong.

    Of course marriage isn't just about economics and even if it were, the right-wing response would of course be that responsible people just don't get divorced. To it, Iowa Republicans have already written the first bill in some time attempting to outlaw divorce except in cases of adultery or abuse, if you can believe it.

    Forced marriage, forced births. Margaret Atwood, get up from your crystal ball and take a bow.

  82. In a polygamous society it's rally, really, worth it to be in the one percent. Ask any Turkish pasha or flds Mormon patriarch. But it does leave less sex and wimmenz for the 99 % also known in the MRA klaverns as "incels" for "involuntary celibates".

  83. glennisw11:43 AM

    My thoughts exactly. Correlation does not equal cause.

    Unless you also accept the fact that choosing to wear bespoke tailored clothing also causes greater economic prosperity.

  84. Last I checked a "noosphere" was a made-up word from a Greg Bear novel. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry may be many things, but I will now mainly think of him as a gigantic dork.

  85. sharculese12:10 PM

    The Heartiste formerly known as Roissy has a contempt for women so deep and profound it's amazing how much effort he puts into trying to sleep with them.

  86. Jon Hendry12:16 PM

    Not having one or both parents unable to get a good job because of a bullshit conviction in their past probably helps quite a bit, too.

    And finding a good marriage prospect likely gets more difficult if you're looking amid a population containing lots of people who grew up in that situation, or themselves have that kind of history.

    (I'm guessing here, but I bet being married doesn't correlate as strongly to more wealth, if a spouse is an ex-con.)

  87. The Dark Avenger12:17 PM

    Actually, noosphere is commonly associated with the work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, even though he didn't come up with the concept himself.

  88. BigHank5312:19 PM

    You're assuming he actually wants to have sex with them, which would cut into his quality time spent cuddling with his resentment and self-pity.

  89. Jon Hendry12:19 PM

    To be fair, this might have been a "modest proposal" type tweet. Not sure of the context.

  90. BigHank5312:24 PM

    That's funny. I'm pretty sure a large portion of the taxes I pay does exactly that. Or did they have some other, more clever method of using volunteers to build, maintain, and staff schools?

  91. sharculese12:26 PM

    College improves your earning prospects.

    In conclusion I oppose all efforts to make college more affordable or available because John Galt.

  92. tigrismus12:35 PM

    But they do want to do something: "initiatives to get more people married." I'm guessing they'll be faith-based and about as effective as abstinence-only sex "education" is. Certainly nothing sordid like helping poor couples monetarily.

  93. KatWillow12:40 PM

    Or at least a bit of tar-and-feathering. Sometimes the Old Ways are best.

  94. The Dark Avenger12:40 PM

    Kathleen Parker got divorced? I can't imagine why.

  95. fraser12:45 PM

    Or there's David Brooks pet idea: Give men welfare so that they'll be richer and therefore a chick magnet.

  96. BigHank5312:51 PM

    I'm actually kind of glad that David Brooks is around, as a lazy shortcut. He's some sort of idiot-savant: once he's expressed approval of any idea, you're freed from the duty of considering it, now that he's revealed it as a wad of stupid.

  97. Bryan Caplan has more thoughts.

    Yes, for more insights on the wonders of marriage, let's go over to the guy who (1) thinks women were freer in the late nineteenth century than now; and (2) thinks a clone of himself would be a more awesome child than the ones his wife gave birth to.

  98. tigrismus1:01 PM

    Not having kids IS my community service.

  99. tigrismus1:04 PM

    And hey, it's getting closer to the Biblical standard.

  100. I see your point, but I think the difference is that at least Erickson has accomplished something by creating a well-known and well-trafficked wingnut gathering place in the form of RedState, at which he has published many lengthy blog entries, odious and fact-free though they may be.

    By contrast, Reynolds has spent his career cutting and pasting the content of others, often out of context, while merely adding a few "heh indeedys" and a weasel word or two of his own to create the suggestion of impropriety or inconsistency on the part of his targets where there is none so that he can advance the propaganda and then walk it back later when he's inevitably proven wrong - and then walk it forward again when the dust clears. He doesn't even have so much as a comments section because if he did, the backlash to his smears and innuendo would have pushed him off the web years ago.

    How this guy even manages to do something as simple as order lunchmeat at the deli is beyond me. What a tribute to the power of wingnut welfare to advance even the most mediocre of minds.

  101. Haystack1:15 PM

    How about a system where, married or not, nobody gets to bend the rules in their favor and nobody gets fucked over?

  102. Helmut Monotreme2:01 PM

    Wow. Erick Erickson wins a contest. And it wasn't even in paint huffing.

  103. The Dark Avenger2:11 PM

    Have pity on them. I once sought to tutor Megan via e-mail and comments about how nutrition works, fats, carbos, protein, etc, in discussing weight loss and why it's hard for a H. sapiens to keep the weight off.

    I got to the part where you learn that once carbohydrates(sugars, starch, etc) are turned by the body into fat, that process is irreversible. Fat can be used for energy, but fat can't be converted into a usable sugar.

    She couldn't wrap her mind around that concept. It was the intellectual equivalent of a deer caught in the headlights, unable to move or function. She was asking 'why', and like a guru on the mountain top, my only response was, "It's not a matter of why, it's just the way things are."

    She's definitely been socially promoted since she was in kindergarten.

    The surprising thing to me is that she doesn't have someone around her to remind her to breath.....unless she thinks that's the real purpose of marriage.

  104. Don't sell him short, when it comes to his predictions on electoral and judicial outcomes he's won the crow-eating contest more than once. And the pie-eating contest at the county fair many years running, apparently.

  105. satch3:38 PM


    All poor people have to do is read Napoleon Hill or listen to Tony Robbins's New Money Masters Series (only $67 a month from Order now and start LIVING THE DREAM!). I swear, some people just too lazy to grab the bootstrap that's right in front of their face...

  106. AGoodQuestion5:43 PM

    Would they settle for increasing the self-blinded population?

  107. AGoodQuestion6:03 PM

    This reminds me of when the GOP was citing some "scientific" study that manly men produce more male offspring, proving Romney was more of a man than Obama.

    Amazingly they didn't come to this stunning conclusion until after Dubya was out of office.

  108. If I can't sportfuck, I don't want to join your revolution.

  109. Disturbing, if true.

  110. So I've failed to marry all these years?

  111. TGuerrant6:30 PM

    So they've revealed the core reason conservatives oppose gay marriage and it's that if gays marry they will be rich but still won't vote GOP?

  112. That, and the more educated you are, the later you marry (on average), which is also associated with more stable marriages. I'm sure that's in part due to lower money stress and in part due to delaying marriage until you're developed enough as a person that you won't have as much risk of growing apart that those who marry young often experience.

  113. Let me guess: he went to college.

  114. XeckyGilchrist7:50 PM

    I avoid reading MRA whineage because it gives me hives - do they really have a shortened word for "involuntary celibate" because it's a term they have to use too often to say or type the whole thing out?

    ...never mind, question answers itself.

  115. And Father Teilhard is shaking his head in disbelief in the Jesuit afterlife that a poseur prétentieux like Pascal-Emmanuel should appropriate his philosophical vocabulary to name a tenth-rate PR outfit.

  116. BigHank538:23 PM

    So, the unspeakable in pursuit of the ineducable.

  117. Lurking Canadian8:27 PM

    So getting married makes you rich. Using exactly the same logical process, getting a gift of a gravy boat makes you married.

    So, I propose that we eliminate poverty by giving poor people gravy boats.

  118. Derelict9:37 PM

    I would ask for this comment to have my babies, but, well, you know . . .

  119. If they're right that marriage does all these wondrous things, why do they want to deny this to gays?... Nevermind, sorry I asked....

  120. Yes. I really could never in a million years have made that up.

  121. Well, that's actually the plot of my fair lady, isn't it? As well as my favorite children's book " moon blossom and the golden penny."

  122. Fair enough. Reynolds' standing is mostly due to being an early
    aggregator and a habitual site for conservatives. You're dead on about
    his gutless weasel moves; he lives for deniability. (It's amazing how
    many rightwing bloggers are lawyers, or even more astounding, law
    professors. And with Reynolds, it's not just wingnut welfare – the guy
    denounces government while sucking its teat as a public employee.)

  123. Jethro Troll11:54 PM

    A rising tide lifts all gravy boats!

  124. I'm a month shy of 38 and I've never been married. This takes some people by surprise, for whatever reason, as does the insistence that I've no desire to ever get married. I don't know, as I think I'm a perfect candidate for weird old coot-hood.

    In any event, there are many reasons I do not wish to marry, none of them too fearsome (I think), but it's comforting to know one thing. Should I ever run out of reasons, I'll remember that two of the dullest doorknobs in conservative twitdom wish that I do so. I'd say the name of the third part of the fenderhead hat trick, but I'm afraid the dopey bastard will show up.

  125. Wow. "Incels"? That's pathetic and hilarious. I'm sure whining about being owed sex improves their prospects.

  126. FlipYrWhig1:09 AM

    It's like that commercial about how women who eat breakfast weigh less. Note that they don't say that women who weigh less eat breakfast.

  127. Tehanu2:06 AM

    Well, contemplating the unfortunate child(ren) MeMeMegan might have makes me feel bad. Poor little things. I foresee many, many years of psychological counseling for them.

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  129. odder2:36 AM

    I'm veering perilously close to upper middle-class status by "virtue" of having married a well-compensated corporate bean counter whose former life as a ballerina inured her to the frequently futile aspirations of artsy types.

    Thank FSM I'm a good cook as well, which is key.

  130. smut clyde7:23 AM

    accounting for as much as 40% of the difference in incomes

    Wait, what? I am under the impression that the variance in American incomes is rather large (correct me if I am wrong). And now someone reckons that "as much as" 40% of that variance can be accounted for by a single binary variable... or to put it another way, if you know whether or not someone is married, you can predict that person's income with 40% accuracy.

    I need to see the MANOVA calculations before I am convinced.

  131. D. Sidhe9:58 AM

    Oh, of *course* she's a newlywed who gives expert marital advice to people. I've had it up to my neck with these people, especially since my state got around to deciding queer marriage wasn't going to mass-divorce the breeders and drive us all into extinction.

    "Oh my God, you're getting married this week? Don't be nervous. I was nervous too, but the last three years have been wonderful! Are you nervous?"

    "Absolutely! I mean, what if the judge says 'Do you' and one of us decides the last twenty seven years we've put into the relationship is plenty and walks out? That would suck."

    I don't think I could spend more than two minutes in conversation with the woman without attempting to brain her with the Keurig.

  132. D. Sidhe10:13 AM

    I dunno. You'd be amazed how many nuggets of self-esteem you can chip out of the dank mines of your crazy and terrible parents. Especially if you had an older sibling dive into a bottle early enough to warn you the family dynamic was loaded with toxic gases. I got a younger sib who's almost well-adjusted.

  133. D. Sidhe10:19 AM

    Yeah, so, my mouse button is complaining, and I just want to buy this whole thread a brand new shiny four slice toaster it didn't register for, along with a glittery card on which I've written more or less the same thing printed inside it.

  134. cleter11:12 AM

    Wait, there's some poor schmoe out there who married Megan?

  135. tigrismus11:31 AM

    There's some poor schmoe who failed not to marry her.

  136. JennOfArk11:54 AM

    Not all economists are good at marriage.

    Ironic, because not all economics bloggers are good at economics.

    Or blogging.

  137. JennOfArk12:01 PM

    It's not for nothing it's known as "McPaper."

    Back in my days travelling cross-country, USA Today was a fixture of the chain hotel (probably still is); you'd open your room door in the morning to find a copy waiting for you. It's always been unreadable for the fact that it is purposely written at a level several grade-levels below other papers (which generally are written at 8th grade level) and was most notable for the fact that you could read a story in it and find most of the details needed for understanding its context entirely omitted. It's like People magazine in terms of giving anyone a full picture of any given story.

    In other words, the perfect vehicle for the Ole Perfesser.

  138. DocAmazing12:17 PM

    That's why I gave up trying to write fiction: stuff I rejected as implausible kept showing up in the news.

  139. Lurking Canadian12:28 PM

    If this is snark, it went right over my head. Hell, if it was trolling, it went over my head. Why is that ironic? What does the rampant fucking have to do with the taxing of the rich? Was Marx opposed to sex? What do either sex or taxes have to do with Megan McArdle wanting poor people to get married so they can own their own Thermomixes?

  140. zencomix5:12 PM

    "He's not so much running his con as jogging it"

    without my glasses on, I thought that said "rubbing his con".

  141. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:15 PM

    Kids grow up with also sorts of ridiculous parents and go alright. As long as the parents aren't actively malicious.

  142. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:22 PM

    Fiction always has to try to be believable. Reality has no such limitations.

  143. Julia Grey6:27 PM

    Yes, you are a miserable FAILURE!!!!

    And you feel BAD about it, don't you? Don't you?

    (You can almost hear the gleeful hope when she talks about how mentioning their FAILURE might make her friends feel bad. Bitch. <--- not a word I use lightly.)

  144. JennOfArk6:52 PM

    As always with McMegan, irony abounds. In this case, the decision on her part to get married reflects pretty much the same thing as her every utterance: a complete and total lack of self-awareness and an overweening self-centeredness.

    Were it otherwise, her conscience would have stopped her from inflicting herself upon another human being in a bond of matrimony.

  145. ...all economists are, definitionally, very good at college. Not all
    economists are good at marriage. Saying that more people should go to
    college will make 0% of your colleagues feel bad.
    Saying that more
    people should get married and stay married will make a significant
    fraction of your colleagues feel bad.

    McArdle must run in wealthy circles. If I said more people should go to college, it would make some of my colleagues feel bad.

  146. Meanwhile, NPR fires Tavis Smiley because he started to seriously discuss poverty. It's not just balance, I think the entire "mainstream" media is moving right.

  147. BigHank5311:16 PM

    Did you think it was a coincidence that her book is titled "Permission to Suck"?

  148. BigHank5311:18 PM

    Trust me, you do not want to see Megan's math.

  149. Howlin Wolfe12:31 AM

    The MSM is still under the delusion that this is a "center-right" nation.

  150. Snarll7:19 AM

    On the contrary, I foresee Tbogg rediscovering his joie de bloggisme. It would be like America's Worth Mother™ times infinity.

  151. Yes, but is it in the Scrabble dictionary? Let's stick to the important things. (Answer: yes!)

  152. How much further right IS there? I've been following American politics and media for half my life and it's been sliding right the entire time. Unrelated I'm sure, but I've also been a raging alcoholic half my life and can feel the organ failure.

  153. Wether rich or poor, she DOES always run in circles.

  154. Heed Bighank53... It's the sort of non-math the migo and other Lovecraftian monsters use.

  155. Freshly Squeezed Cynic2:39 PM

    Ahaha, the Kernel! A faux-contrarian tech industry magazine run by gay homophobe, anti-semitic "libertarian" Milo Yanniopoulos. It also has a bad habit of refusing to pay its staff.

    It's a joke of a magazine run poorly by a confused troll. Truly the most important media organisation of our times.

  156. Aimai3:03 PM

    You are married and you still aren't white? You must be doing it wrong. Try a different spouse.

  157. I proposed 4 months ago, and I guess I must admit it was due to the incredible convincingness of McArdle's argument, whose blinding truth was so powerful that it traveled back in time to take the form of the gorgeous full moon shining above my sweetie's head. And when I thought I was thinking something along the lines of "I can't believe I'm doing this crazy thing, I've never felt so horribly vulnerable, how the hell can I ask this amazing person to take a chance on my flaky ass forever," I must really have been thinking "This'll put me on a sound financial footing and add a few years to my life; if only my fellow Americans would follow my example."

    p.s.: "Yes"

  158. XeckyGilchrist3:30 PM

    just wait until I get pregnant.

    Oy, that will be something to [try really hard to avoid] see[ing]. I understand people's enthusiasm for parenthood - would in fact consider it a bad sign for new parents not to be really stoked about it - but it's not what I consider a spectator sport even when undertaken by people I like. The thousandth diaper story on Facebook will get me to discreetly ignore-button even a good friend for a few years.

    McMegan? "Discovering that the store is out of my favorite brand of diapers because the maid brought home my second-favorite brand is just like being in a refugee camp..."

  159. Are you calling Tbogg Mary Worth?
    Because I don't know wether to snort or applaud.

  160. She's the real life version of For Better Or For Worse? Sounds about right... and depressing, And funny.

  161. Snarll7:46 PM

    Arrgh. Fixed. -.-

  162. aimai9:37 PM

    Sign seen high above New York City skyline tonight:

    Gay Marriage= Gay Registries=Gay Clutter. Storage Units available 29.99 a month!

  163. aimai9:43 PM

    Congratulations and Mazel Tov. Mr. Aimai's proposal to me was a bit closer to the scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Willow has to reassure Oz in advance that if he were to be planning to ask her out, she would say yes. "That does create a comfort zone" Oz says, approvingly. I think it was very nervy of you to ask her/him but I'm sure she/he probably worked hard to create a comfort zone for you. Frankly I don't know how anybody can "cold call" a potential spouse without having had sufficient encouragement, though I know it happens because one of my favorite local restaurants described how they basically get one guy a year who proposes on valentine's day and is turned down, sometimes with the date sneaking off right before he pops the question.

  164. I wasn't really correcting you. Just congratulating you for making a good accidental joke.

  165. someofparts12:17 PM

    Oh do I ever have some lovely marriages my friends are in for Ms. McGargle to check out.