Friday, September 14, 2007

HOLY MATRIMONY! At the New York Sun, Steven Malanga says New York City's economy is doing great, which is why the City should start nagging unwed mothers:
It has taken New York City more than a generation to find the political will to reform welfare, ending its legacy as a program that encourages a lifetime of dependence. Now the city and the nation face new challenges, as the decline of the traditional family threatens those least able to cope with economic hardship.

The next wave of reform must try to get men to support the children they father, as Mayor Bloomberg argued in a Washington, D.C. speech the other week: discourage out-of-wedlock births, and — dare any government official undertake this one? — promote marriage.
Put me in charge of that program. I have a list of proposals all ready:
  • To help erase the stigma associated with matrimony, get the Manhattan Institute to print up a bunch of "I had a wedding" t-shirts.
  • City-distributed condoms will have holes punched in them, and come with DNA collection kits and legal aid vouchers.
  • Ads featuring former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: "Marriage works! I've had three and I ain't hurtin'!"
  • Use tax credits to encourage local celebrities to appear in films with their husbands. We can start with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.
  • Taking a cue from deterrent "naming and shaming" programs for customers of prostitutes, the City will regularly publish Whore and Bastard Lists.
  • The City Clerk will establish booths at street fairs to give out free weddings; couples also receive complementary funnel cake.
  • To show how effectively marriage can improve the economic status of women, the City will distribute a biography of The Bronx's Ellen Barkin to public schools.
I eagerly await my government grant.

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