Mailvox: is marriage worth it?

CW seeks for advice:

I am trying to figure out if marriage is worth it. I am also trying to figure out if dating is worth it. I was dating a man for 1 1/2yr only to have him end it because I could see us getting married and he couldn’t see it ever working for us. I am a divorced single parent and this man is the closest I have ever come to finding someone I thought I could spend my life with. The relationship was wonderful but for reasons that make no sense to me its over. Now I wonder, after having a string of horrible relationships and then having one that was so good not work out, what hope is there that I will ever find someone worth being with that will want to be with me too? I am still friends with him and he still treats me really good. I am at a lose to understand what he is doing. It was always a dream of mine to get married and have a lifelong love. Now I am afraid and my heart is hurting because I am slowly realizing this dream will never happen. Its like telling and explorer they can never go exploring again. Its a crushing blow.

Everything else I want in life I can attain because if I want to all there is to do is make it happen except this one thing. Marriage because it requires two people someone else has to be willing and I am scared I will never find that person.

Is marriage worth it? Well, I should say it increasingly depends on the sex and religion of the individual. In its present state-dictated form, marriage is very much worth it for women, it is a tolerable and necessary risk for religious men, and it is an incredibly stupid gamble for non-religious men. Was this man religious? If not, then you are not only dealing with whatever personal issues may or may not have been present, but also with the reality that you are asking him to stake his entire emotional and financial future on your passing fancies. That is problematic if you happen to be interested in men with IQs over 85.

As to the larger question, I don’t know that it’s entirely relevant. As a single mother, it very much behooves you to find a father for your child. That is more important than any questions of self-fulfillment or romantic stars, and anyhow, if you’ve had a long string of horrible relationships, it should be clear by now that the follow-your-feelings approach to acquiring a husband is probably not the optimal one. The good news, however, is that there isn’t just one perfect man that you somehow have to find and curse the luck if he happens to have been born in Tibet where he’s being raised to be a Buddhist monk sworn to celibacy and silence. More than a few of the three billion men on the planet are excellent potential husbands, the trick is to stop wasting your time on the non-starters. You shouldn’t need 18 months to determine that a man isn’t in the marriage market.

I really wish more men and women understood the concept of opportunity cost. Every day you waste with someone who has demonstrated that he is not a potential husband is one less day you have to meet a man who is. Don’t seek to change them, accept and respect their perspective and move on. The other important thing is to refuse to let the ideal become the enemy of the real. The man you marry today will not be the man you are married to in a decade, just as you will not be the same woman. Remember that marriage and love are as much processes as states.

As for the gentleman who delivered the crushing blow, I think it might be educational to have a frank conversation with him. Ask him not to let you down gently and fall back on generalities as he has done, but to explain precisely why he doesn’t see it working out. Make sure you let him know you’re not trying to change his mind, you simply want to know in order to avoid making future mistakes. Don’t argue, in fact, don’t even talk, just listen to him. The purpose is not to salvage the dead relationship, but rather to help you make more intelligent decisions about your next one. Yes, breakups can hurt, but feelings always fade with time.

I think I can safely say, as someone who never thought about getting married and never wanted to get married, that marriage can definitely be worth it. While I happened to be fortunate rather than intelligent in finding Spacebunny, that doesn’t mean that one can’t approach the process in an intelligent manner. The greatest challenge, assuming you don’t actually physically repel strangers with your looks, is that men are rightfully wary of gambling their future and family on momentary female whims. So, the more you make it clear that you will do everything and sign anything that will help reduce that unreasonable risk, the more likely it is that you will eventually find yourself in possession of a husband.

I see no way this could go wrong

Let’s hope the shark is all he jumps:

News out of Great Britain indicates that Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s most famous living atheist, is setting up a summer camp intended to help children and teenagers adopt atheism. As The Times [London] reports: “Give Richard Dawkins a child for a week’s summer camp and he will try to give you an atheist for life.” The camp, based upon an American precursor, is to be financially subsidized by Dawkins. According to media reports, all 24 places at the camp have been taken.

Let me get this straight. An elderly man who rejects the concept of religious morality and has repeatedly played down the harm of childhood sexual abuse is paying to have 24 children spend the night with him for a week…. Yeah, I’m sure this is going to end REALLY well.

Integrity vs intelligence

Calculated Risk is one of the best, and most statistically useful, economics blogs on the Internet. However, I do have to disagree with one of CR’s recent posts in which he comments on the character of the current Federal Reserve Chairman. Contra CR, I don’t think it is the least bit unreasonable to have serious questions about Ben Bernanke’s integrity:

“It is one thing to have different views from those of the Fed Chair on particular decisions that have been made– I certainly have plenty of areas of disagreement of my own. But it is another matter to question Bernanke’s intellect or personal integrity. As someone who’s known him for 25 years, I would place him above 99.9% of those recently in power in Washington on the integrity dimension, not to mention IQ. His actions over the past two years have been guided by one and only one motive, that being to minimize the harm caused to ordinary people by the financial turmoil. Whether you agree or disagree with all the steps he’s taken, let’s start with an understanding that that’s been his overriding goal.”

I agree with Professor Hamilton.

I assert, to the contrary, that if one is sufficiently familiar with Mr. Bernanke’s books and speeches, one is forced to choose between his intelligence and his integrity. I have no doubts at all about the former and I am reasonably confident about his lack of the latter. By way of example, I quote his 2007 speech to the Bundesbank:

“I will begin by reviewing the origins and development of the global saving glut over the period 1996-2004, as discussed in my earlier speech, and will then turn to more-recent developments…. The question at issue, therefore, is whether the decline in the realized saving rate in the United States reflected a decline in desired saving or was instead a response to other, possibly external, economic developments. Or, in textbook terms, did the fall in the realized saving rate in the United States reflect a shift in the demand for savings at any given interest rate (a shift in the saving schedule) or a decline in savings induced by a change in the interest rate (a movement along the saving schedule)? In fact, there is no obvious reason why the desired saving rate in the United States should have fallen precipitously over the 1996-2004 period.5 Indeed, the federal budget deficit, an oft-cited source of the decline in U.S. saving, was actually in surplus during the 1998-2001 period even as the current account deficit was widening.”

First, as Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley pointed out three months before Bernanke gave his speech, there is no “global savings glut”. The global savings rate as a percent of world GDP fell from 23 percent to 22.8 percent from 1990 to 2006; the reason Bernanke – in 2007 – chose 2004 as a figure is because the global savings rate had briefly risen to 24.9 percent before falling back below the 24-year average of 23 percent.

Second, Bernanke had to know the answer to the question he posed was “a decline in savings induced by a change in the interest rate” since the interest paid on 6-month CDs from 5.7 percent in 1996 fell to 1.0 percent in 2004. This is not only an obvious reason that suffices to explain the decline in U.S. personal savings, but is one that Bernanke, in his role as a Federal Reserve governor, absolutely had to know. The fact that he cites far more obscure interest rates in his 2007 speech, such as the real yields on inflation-indexed government bonds in the UK and Canada, strongly supports this contention.

Why would Bernanke speak in such a deceitful manner? For the same reason he is stonewalling the US Congress and refusing to allow any audits of the Federal Reserve’s activity. He is desperately attempting to keep people from realizing that the Federal Reserve not only created the Great Depression, but that it has most likely played a central role in bringing about its return. The attempts to deceive may be silly and implausible, but it’s all the Bernanke has left if his best efforts prove unsuccessful in averting the contraction in 2010 he has to know is in the works.

It’s worth noting that the “global savings glut” theory is pure Keynesianism, as is the famous helicopter money response to economic contraction. There’s nothing truly monetarist about these practitioners of active and discretionary monetary policy.

UPDATE – Can you spot the savings glut? From Brigitte Desroches and Michael Francis,.

Denying the Climacaust

The true believers in the hoax that is AGW/CC are getting desperate as fewer and fewer people buy into their scheme to bring in global governance by the back door. You can practically hear Paul Krugman foaming at the mouth in his column today:

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet. To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research. The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility.

It’s funny how the planet is changing even faster than the pessimists expected when global temperatures are dropping, in direct contradiction to those very models that Krugman is so concerned about. Of course, he’s still using an outdated economics model from the 1930s, so it should hardly surprise us that he’s not up on the latest climate science either.

WND column

Americans Walk Away

Mortgage lenders are rightly terrified that more and more of the 22 percent of American homeowners whose homes are now worth less than their mortgages are going to exercise their borrower’s right to default on them. At this point, most home defaults are still involuntary, but according to the paper cited above, more than one-quarter of them already consist of what the mortgage industry calls “ruthless defaults.” And yet, why shouldn’t homeowners be ruthless in their disregard for the financial interests of the home lenders when the lenders themselves have been utterly ruthless – and utterly stupid – in squeezing every last drop of potential demand out of the American public?

Global Exclusive: NASA finally makes better fakes

Apparently they believe the state of CGI has reached a sufficient level of quality to have another go at the public:

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years — new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.
The release of the new images next month could be one of the most talked about events of the summer.

Of course, these revised “lunar tapes” will end up being exposed as fraudulent when hardcore gamers recognize the lighting model from the Unreal Engine 3.

Laughing at myself

This is the graphic representation of that Limits of Demand concept that I was considering as a more broadly explanatory substitute for the middle step in Austrian malinvestment theory, which presently relies upon the shift from consumer goods to capital goods. After I drew it, I realized that it looked extremely familiar.

And frankly, you kind of let me down, AGDers. Extra credit in Voxiversity III for the AGDer who can identify the very similar chart. And additional extra credit for anyone who can explain why Rothbard limited his application of the concept as he did when it offers a better explanation for malinvestment than the shifting investment dynamic between consumer and capital goods, which the Limits of Demand also explains.

Submission never works

I have little respect for the poor shrinking violets getting beaten by their women:

New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics figures show that over the past eight years, the number of women charged with domestic abuse has rocketed by 159 per cent. In 2007, 2,336 women fronted court on domestic violence charges, compared to around 800 in 1999.

What is the point of living your life in fear of a bully of either sex? If a woman is going to divorce you because you hit her back, good! Why would you ever want to continue to share your life with that person anyhow? In fact, if you know that you’re married to someone who would divorce you over something they started, you’re probably going to end up divorced because eventually your submission is going to become an unbearable provocation to her. There are exceptions, but in general, that’s how they tend to work.

Your mileage may vary, but I think I would rather emasculate myself and eat my deep-fried testicles rather than meekly accept a serious physical assault from a woman, especially a woman who claimed to love me. (I’m not talking about a Scarlett O’Hara slap here, I mean a genuine assault with harmful intent.) Start nothing, finish everything. Those who attack others with a genuine intent to harm merit whatever beating they end up receiving, no matter their size or sex.

The ironic thing is that these self-emasculated men claim their passivity stems from their chivalry, but that can’t possibly be true because chivalry requires honor. And a lady, for that matter. Speaking of honor, it’s not hard to imagine that female-initiated domestic violence cease to be an issue soon enough now that the concept of honor-killing has reached the USA and Europe.

The pretense of democracy

The Congress isn’t even trying to maintain it anymore:

Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document….

Global Warming is apparently so urgent that we can’t even wait until members of Congress know what they’re voting on.

This sort of thing is why I find the false and sentimental concern for Iranian democracy to be so ludicrous. Worry about your own so-called democracy, people, while you can still harbor the illusion that you possess it. They’re passing fill-in-the-blank legislation.

Liberal Fascism – Chapter Two

The weak and the sick have been weeded out, as always happens once people take the introductory quiz and realize that they actually have to read the book in order to do well on these quizzes. And yet, more than 850 staunch readers remain. Congratulations, if you are one of them. As before, please keep the extraneous and tangential elements to a minimum; I have some thoughts of my own on this chapter that I will expound upon in the comments once others have had a chance to say their piece.

The reading for next week will be Chapter 3 – “Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism”. The quiz for that chapter will be posted on Monday, July 6th. If you happen to be be on vacation, please note that you can always take it later by scrolling down through the blog posts or by clicking on the Voxiversity III link on the left sidebar.