G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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In a train of thought which is seemingly not shared by a couple of close bloggers – the other day, I wrote:
A post which seems to insinuate that lower incomes cause lower marriage rates. I’m not sure if that rings true as poorer people would have a financial interest in shacking up with a stable partner with whom they could split rent, bills, car payments, and insurance payments. So if it is true that lower income did cause declining marriage rates (instead of cultural changes) then that would be one more strike against the intelligence of those lower classes.
Bryan Caplan writes:
I’m baffled by people who blame declining marriage rates on poverty. Why? Because being single is more expensive than being married. Picture two singles living separately. If they marry, they sharply cut their total housing costs. They cut the total cost of furniture, appliances, fuel, and health insurance. Even groceries get cheaper: think CostCo.
So why do poorer people avoid marriage even if, as Caplan points out, marriage is most beneficial to the poorest among us? Caplan is refreshingly candid about this:
Namely: Some people are extremely impulsive and short-sighted. If you’re one of them, you tend to mess up your life in every way. You don’t invest in your career, and you don’t invest in your relationships. You take advantage of your boss and co-workers, and you take advantage of your romantic partners. You refuse to swallow your pride – to admit that the best job and the best spouse you can get, though far from ideal, are much better than nothing. Your behavior feels good at the time. But in the long-run people see you for what you are, and you end up poor and alone.
This contrasts Ferdinand who wrote that neither marriage nor cohabitation are more beneficial to men than singledom, and it contrasts Heartiste who wrote that cohabitation is no worse than marriage in terms of benefits to men.
This gets at a fallacy which I want to take up in future posts. I’ve called it parallax view, though I think that term has been applied to sociology and philosophy in another way. What I mean by the term is that what one group with certain dispositions can handle, another cannot. I’m not comparing either of those guys to feminists – don’t get me wrong. But there is a tendency to buy into the idea that what is good for one class of people is good for another. Feminists do this by assuming that teenagers can handle free love and unconstrained sexual attitudes as well as 30 year-old academicians and activists. Well-adjusted people are better able to handle booze, sex, gambling, and marijuana smoke. Bums cannot. And what separates well-adjusted people from bums is future-time orientation i.e. IQ.
To the men in the Manosphere – guys like me, Ferdinand, and Heartiste – singledom is not a nail in our coffin. We – or at least they – are self-motivated and basically self-referential. They are less prone to outside influence and can basically maintain. Many men do need guidance. The men who enter the Manosphere bubble are probably not those men; they enjoy advice, but the fact that they’ve self-selected how to understand sociosexual dynamics implies that they also aren’t stupid about the subject. This is a select few of men.
Other men? A lot of them would benefit – in terms of their productivity and their sociability – by having social forces weighing on them which compel them to cohabit rather than remain single and to get married rather than cohabit.