Is the improving economy really to blame for the rising divorce rate? Some experts will say “yes” and point to the increased divorce rate that occurred after the great depression…yet, statistics had shown that divorce rates fell after the WWII economic boom – while I would hardly call this a boom it seems ironic that experts now use the improving economy as a catalyst for the increased divorce rate.
I am taking a look at this as the Freakonomics guys would. My take is that it is current political policy is to blame. Policies really benefit the single person while penalizing the married couple. Consider that two people that live together as singles rather than get married enjoy more financial benefits:
- “two recipients married to each other receive a benefit that is one-quarter less than if they simply lived together but not as husband and wife.”
- “members of the opposite sex who cohabitate and do not marry (or are not found to be representing themselves as husband and wife) are each guaranteed an income level equal to 100 percent of the federal benefit rate and generally fare better financially than SSI married couples.”
Another consideration is the eligibility for subsidies available from the Affordable Care Act. People are otherwise happily married are considering divorce just because of the financial penalties that hit married couples so hard. It is hard to comprehend that a married couple that earns $62040 would not be eligible for any subsidies, yet that same couple unmarried could together earn up to $91920 and still be eligible for subsidies.
Here is a table that lays it out nicely…perhaps this table should be posted at every city/county/state office that produces marriage licenses.
In addition to not getting married (or getting divorced but continuing to live together as a couple) it may be time to throttle back on ambition and wanting to earn a decent income – Go Galt! Make a minimum economic impact and Enjoy The Decline