The Old Illegitimacy Part II: Facilitating Societal Discrimination

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3 Responses

  1. TJ says:

    Your last paragraph starts with an assumption, and then immediately contradicts it. You start by assuming that “marriage itself benefits children.” You then contradict it by arguing that high conflict marriages do not benefit children. But that is just another way of stating the argument that people who marry are a self-selected group, who are inherently more committed and less prone to conflict and thus better for children and would still have all those advantages (and, implicitly, to the same extent) even if they weren’t married. Which is basically an argument against the assumption that marriage itself benefits children to any degree at all.

  2. Jimbino says:

    This post is unbearably pro-natalist. Of course marriage benefits children, since more than 1000 benefits are conferred by our gummint on married people that are denied their single counterparts, whether gay or not, and those unjust benefits help their children as well.

    Income tax rates, tax-free employer-provided health insurance, immigration preferences, and even Medicaid rules unjustly favor the offspring of the married.

    Some of the injustice has been mitigated by recent rules treating civil unions more like marriage, but these just add to the unfair burden that singles and non-breeders carry in supporting the children of others.

  3. Rhadamanthus says:

    You seem to assume that all children of married parents come into substantial inheritances. That’s unlikely– around 3/4 of whites in America (and 19/20 blacks) inherit almost nothing. (Most of those who do inherit something get little– the large numbers in the source come from averaging a large number of small estates with a few gargantuan Bill-Gatesian estates). Changing intestate-succession rules won’t produce any more wealth and will give vanishingly few “non-marital” children access to inheritances from rich fathers (hardly any “non-marital” children have rich fathers, or mothers).

    You also seem to assume morality invariably follows the law, instead of the other way around. While many people probably acquire their moral notions in that way, it is unlikely that the Mike Huckabees of this world will change their notions of morality just because you abolish the relevant portions of the civil law. Worse, since “non-marital” childbearing is a bad idea (vide infra), if your legal changes were to persuade people “non-marital” childbearing was “morally right,” that would be counter-productive for society!

    As a strict matter of fact, on average unmarried mothers are sexually irresponsible and their children are burdens on the public purse! Also, “non-marital” children (most likely because they inherit so many characteristics from their parents) do “underachieve” academically, economically, and socially! “Stigmatizing” them probably won’t correct that, but if the prospect of caring for “stigmatized” children dissuaded potential parents from producing them, that would be a good thing.

    You seem to have misstated the law in your previous post (please see my second comment there, showing either your source (Witte) on the Common Law was wrong or you perhaps misread him), and your remarks in this post seem ill-informed.

    Once we leave aside your errors or exaggerations (e.g., that giving “non-marital” children rights to inherit by operation of law will supply them with down-payments to buy houses), your concerns seem rather thin. Changing the rules for “college support” will have little effect, and changing the rules for acquisition of citizenship will simply encourage immigration fraud!