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Thoughts Marital and Monetary

Of course matrimonial policy and monetary policy have nothing to do with each other, at least not regarding government policy, but they are both in the news and both begin with the letter “m” so I will write about them together and try to get some of you to think about some things in a different way.

First I want to address marriage, specifically gay marriage.  There is some degree of disagreement whether there is a “right” to be married to someone of the same sex.  Proponents point to the “equal protection” clause of the Constitution.  What I would say is that we have a natural right to not have the government have anything to do with our marriages.

I just don’t understand why anyone, gay or straight, is willing to cede to the government any say at all about who we marry.  Whether to marry and who to marry are for most people the most important decision they’ll ever make.  Why should government have any role at all in it?  It might interest some of you to know that George Washington did not need a license to marry Martha, nor did Abe Lincoln get a license before marrying Mary Todd.  Until the Civil War, only serfs and slaves had to get permission to marry.  In America, we only saw states requiring marriage licenses after the war and it was to prevent mixed race marriages between white people and newly freed slaves.  So many opportunities for happiness were destroyed because the government had such power over people’s personal life choices.  Why do we let that type of control rest in government’s hands to this day?

If any people want to declare for each other and to the world their love and commitment they should have any sort of ritual they want, be it at a church, synagogue, Hindu temple or “celebratory spiritualist” (one of my nieces did that.)  The government should not be in the position of allowing it or disallowing it.  If the parties want the legal protections that are part of present day marriage, that can be done by civil-union contracts, whether you’re gay or straight.  You don’t even need to be romantically involved.  For example, sometimes elderly widowed sisters want to live together and merge their affairs.

This is something we don’t need to fight over.  It’s only because the government has inserted itself into something where it has no business that we have need to have a definition of marriage that is agreeable to everybody.

BTW, my wife and I were married by John Winterstella when he was the mayor of Manasquan.  I’ve been trying to convince her that now that he is not mayor anymore, technically we’re not really still married.  She’s not buying.

The other “m” topic today, monetary policy, is in the news because of the Swiss decision to de-link the Franc from the Euro.  The rapid rise in the value of the now free Franc has caused a lot of hand wringing and even the absurd claim that it will hurt the Swiss economy.  While it might hurt some exporters there, for the overwhelming majority of Swiss people it’s a very good thing.  The whole idea that the government is helping people by devaluing their currency is Orwellian New Speak.  It’s a shame that so many people believe it.

The whole reason to have an economy is to reduce the scarcity of the the things we want, right?  If you can buy more things with the same amount of money, isn’t that a good thing?  This whole idea that we need inflation and that deflation is scary is total nonsense.  Are any of you scared by the price of gas going down?  Anybody out there miss the days of $3.75 gas?

Sometimes, when deciding if something is desirable, it’s instructive to take it to an extreme and see it the result is extremely good or extremely bad.  Suppose a Franc had nearly infinite value.  Let’s say with a single Franc a Swissie could buy three mansions, five Rolls Royces and a Ferrari to use on weekends.  With the change he could buy enough gourmet food to last the rest of his life.  I think he would not complain about the situation.  But if the Franc was then devalued so it would take a hundred trillion of them to buy a hamburger, I don’t think our Swiss friend would welcome that change very much.

Of course neither of these scenarios is likely to occur, so what should the value of a Franc be?  It should reflect the intrinsic value of the labor it took to earn it and the more productive the labor is allowed to be, the higher the value of the currency earned by it.  This is best determined by the market and any interference by government only increases the scarcity of the things we want.


  1. Equality wrote:

    Love is love, whoever it involves. All people deserve the right to marry.

    The Supreme Court will hopefully outlaw marriage discrimination against gays.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    We also have the right not to have to seek permission from the government to marry who we please.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  3. Gay In Belmar wrote:

    After 17 years in a gay marriage, I go with the comic sage: See YouTube: Robert Klein-“The Right to Be Miserable Too.” Truer words were never sung.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  4. shrugged wrote:

    You lost the Doherty half of town at “Of course matrimonial policy and monetary policy… ”

    Very well written.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Tom Dilberger wrote:

    I just don’t understand why anyone, gay or straight, is willing to cede to the government any say at all about who we marry.

    This concept of the supreme court ruling on gay marriage is already settled by the 10th Amendment which says anything not mentioned in the constitution is the sphere of the states and,or the people. It is far outside the realm of federal govt or federal courts.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  6. DR. ZAIUS wrote:

    We don’t have gay marriage on our planet. But there is a push for it.

    Monday, January 19, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

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