Monday, October 23, 2006

what's wrong with polygamy?

I don't know. It depends on how common it would be. The more common, the more single male losers out there. This has an impact on their happiness of course, but also social stability; I'd bet that rape would increase for example.

Polygamy is the topic of the week on the Becker-Posner blog. Here's Becker. Here's Posner.

Posner should be a hero of mine and I take what he says seriously, but I can't help it, I just don't like him.


Tracy Leigh said...

As much as I instinctively don't like polygamy I think it's ok provided that people make a free choice to enter such a relationship (and that it goes both ways for men and women).

A lot of women end up single. Perhaps they'd prefer to have a family than be alone. Perhaps people struggling financially may be able to escape their circumstances though marrying a richer polygamous partner.

Owing to the fact that women now have the opportunity to earn their own money, I don't think there are many who would choose this option unless they had specific religious beliefs or were playboy girls.

If polygamy causes social unstability since less women were available for men (assuming that women don't take multiple husbands ;), then why not tax people with multiple spouses more? Taxation seems to be the way to negate all bad things.

stuart said...

Very libertarian of you Tracy!

Of course I agree. Imagine trying to work out the correct level of taxation (or subsidy!?). I can?t actually, though I imagine the debate would be emotional.

Of course women should have as many husbands as they want! Though if there are good reasons why polygyny would be rare, there are also reasons for polyandry to be rarer.

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