ThomH97
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For a long time, marriage was a religious union of a man and a woman, and they (particularly the woman) were encouraged to have lots of kids. The government gave special recognition to these people, and even though now marriages have wider scope, the government still grants them special status (kids, laws, money, etc).

My question is, should it? If two (or more, I was prompted to start this because I didn't want to waylay this thread) people want to spend their lives together, open joint bank accounts and have kids, then that's fine, but why should the government care one way or another? There is no religious requirement, it need not be productive in terms of having kids, the tradition of it being a man and a woman holds no weight anymore, and the availability of divorce and the legality of adultery mean it's not even firmly a commitment.

I don't think the government should get involved at all. There's no benefit to society since these people are going to love each other and spend their lies with each other anyway regardless of incentive, and to make distinctions is to make a moral judgement of love.
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George32
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(Original post by ThomH97)
For a long time, marriage was a religious union of a man and a woman, and they (particularly the woman) were encouraged to have lots of kids. The government gave special recognition to these people, and even though now marriages have wider scope, the government still grants them special status (kids, laws, money, etc).

My question is, should it? If two (or more, I was prompted to start this because I didn't want to waylay this thread) people want to spend their lives together, open joint bank accounts and have kids, then that's fine, but why should the government care one way or another? There is no religious requirement, it need not be productive in terms of having kids, the tradition of it being a man and a woman holds no weight anymore, and the availability of divorce and the legality of adultery mean it's not even firmly a commitment.

I don't think the government should get involved at all. There's no benefit to society since these people are going to love each other and spend their lies with each other anyway regardless of incentive, and to make distinctions is to make a moral judgement of love.
The Tory mindset generally reflects the view that marriage prevents broken societies.

Supporting the family structure - i.e. nuclear - through marriage with income, tax, property incentives etc. lowers opportunity for greater family dependence on the welfare state. Especially as couples/parents share their wealth, right, assets etc. with each other and support each other without any interferences from the state.

Incentive to work is also assumed to rise because of this; especially if children are involved, though unfortunately this isn't always the case. Responsibility to teach value, knowledge, citizenship etc. is pretty much put more to parents than to schools tbh, for example, by ideals of personal responsibility, individualism etc. IMO -- family ownership should be encouraged through marriage than state control... like here: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/833...-welfare-state

Nevertheless, generally, the economic benefits of strong family structures are greater than the costs of a strained supply-side, reduced household incomes; and impacts of separated homes on children -- which is especially important.

So tbh the involvement of government would actually be more without marriage. Of course two people can raise a family and maintain a strong union etc. without being married though: I guess while formally religious marriage is binding by law and so sets a greater sense of security and consideration for all parties involved.

I don't think marriage should just be because of the general benefits though. I think it should start with two people wanting to commit, share and spend their lives together -- regardless of their gender, race, class etc. The incentives I stated above are just bonuses imo.
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username1799249
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(Original post by ThomH97)
There's no benefit to society since these people are going to love each other and spend their lies with each other anyway regardless of incentive, and to make distinctions is to make a moral judgement of love.
That is a lovely sentiment, but why not incentivise marraige? The financial advantages are very small though. There is a small tax allowance and you can transfer unlimited funds between married couples but that is about it.

Never underestimate government policy. I think there was a country that unwhittingly reduced the death rate by introducing an expensive death tax.
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ThomH97
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(Original post by George32)
The Tory mindset generally reflects the view that marriage prevents broken societies.

Supporting the family structure - i.e. nuclear - through marriage with income, tax, property incentives etc. lowers opportunity for greater family dependence on the welfare state. Especially as couples/parents share their wealth, right, assets etc. with each other and support each other without any interferences from the state.

Incentive to work is also assumed to rise because of this; especially if children are involved, though unfortunately this isn't always the case. Responsibility to teach value, knowledge, citizenship etc. is pretty much put more to parents than to schools tbh, for example, by ideals of personal responsibility, individualism etc. IMO -- family ownership should be encouraged through marriage than state control... like here: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/833...-welfare-state

Nevertheless, generally, the economic benefits of strong family structures are greater than the costs of a strained supply-side, reduced household incomes; and impacts of separated homes on children -- which is especially important.

So tbh the involvement of government would actually be more without marriage. Of course two people can raise a family and maintain a strong union etc. without being married though: I guess while formally religious marriage is binding by law and so sets a greater sense of security and consideration for all parties involved.

I don't think marriage should just be because of the general benefits though. I think it should start with two people wanting to commit, share and spend their lives together -- regardless of their gender, race, class etc. The incentives I stated above are just bonuses imo.
But we have childless marriages, and having moved to also recognise gay marriage the proportion of childless marriages will increase (they can adopt, but it's not going to be anywhere near as effective as the threat of hell if people don't have at least 4 kids). As for security, there's no crime for adultery (even though generally people vow in front of witnesses to only love one another), and you can get divorced and remarried as many times as you like. It's also not necessary (I think) because everything you can do in a marriage is legal and now even culturally acceptable outside of marriage and people are doing those things anyway (sleep together, live together, have kids together, joint bank account etc).

(Original post by ByEeek)
That is a lovely sentiment, but why not incentivise marraige? The financial advantages are very small though. There is a small tax allowance and you can transfer unlimited funds between married couples but that is about it.

Never underestimate government policy. I think there was a country that unwhittingly reduced the death rate by introducing an expensive death tax.
The default position would be to not incentivise something unless it is worthwhile. It costs money, time and legislation, while creating divisions because you're discriminating between the group of people you incentivise and those you aren't. And for marriage, I don't see the need to incentivise it - you might as well find everyone whose favourite colour is blue and give them a certificate for it, it doesn't actually help anything.
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username1799249
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(Original post by ThomH97)
The default position would be to not incentivise something unless it is worthwhile. It costs money, time and legislation, while creating divisions because you're discriminating between the group of people you incentivise and those you aren't. And for marriage, I don't see the need to incentivise it - you might as well find everyone whose favourite colour is blue and give them a certificate for it, it doesn't actually help anything.
But marraige is good for society. It is a significant commitment and not something people take likely. And thankfully it is no longer discriminatory. Anyone can get married to anyone and enjoy the benefits. I take your point but I don't see how society would be improved by removing something that is actually quite lovely.
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Treeroy
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I agree completely, peoples relationships are none of the government's business.
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George32
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(Original post by ThomH97)
But we have childless marriages, and having moved to also recognise gay marriage the proportion of childless marriages will increase (they can adopt, but it's not going to be anywhere near as effective as the threat of hell if people don't have at least 4 kids). As for security, there's no crime for adultery (even though generally people vow in front of witnesses to only love one another), and you can get divorced and remarried as many times as you like. It's also not necessary (I think) because everything you can do in a marriage is legal and now even culturally acceptable outside of marriage and people are doing those things anyway (sleep together, live together, have kids together, joint bank account etc).



The default position would be to not incentivise something unless it is worthwhile. It costs money, time and legislation, while creating divisions because you're discriminating between the group of people you incentivise and those you aren't. And for marriage, I don't see the need to incentivise it - you might as well find everyone whose favourite colour is blue and give them a certificate for it, it doesn't actually help anything.
Just as more people sharing homes benefits the supply-side of the economy than doubled housing ownership - i.e. post-divorce (I understand that a married couple may still own more than one home, and a divorced couple could still live together; it's just a likely govt. assumption) - the prospect of children is another reason why the government may seek to incentivise marriage to the OP's original point.

Lowering income tax paid on savings, investments, property etc. assigning assets by law and reducing inheritance tax, for example, are just ways of supporting this.

I agree with you: of course the proportion of childless marriages will increase from gay marriage and we do have childless marriages so they should be considered. I could have used another example other than children: I can just personally speak to the effects and it's a more poignant issue to me.

However, whether or not a couple has children, additional pension benefits exist - for example - because incentive to work is assumed to rise if someone financially supports someone else and vice-versa. So the security I'm referring to is financial in marriage and after marriage by divorce costs, for example. I know non-married couples share their assets and bank accounts though; I guess to the government, it's not greater security since such arrangements technically aren't legally binding.
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ThomH97
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(Original post by ByEeek)
But marraige is good for society. It is a significant commitment and not something people take likely. And thankfully it is no longer discriminatory. Anyone can get married to anyone and enjoy the benefits. I take your point but I don't see how society would be improved by removing something that is actually quite lovely.
Why is the government's recognition and endorsement of marriage good for society though? And if we are to argue that the government should incentivise things that are good for society, I would put a whole host of other things that need to be protected (various public services) ahead of two people who want to and will (hopefully!) happily spend the rest of their lives together anyway. At no point am I suggesting the government ban marriage (i.e. ban people from cohabiting, having sex, having kids etc), just that it stay out of it and let people do what they want.

(Original post by George32)
Just as more people sharing homes benefits the supply-side of the economy than doubled housing ownership - i.e. post-divorce (I understand that a married couple may still own more than one home, and a divorced couple could still live together; it's just a likely govt. assumption) - the prospect of children is another reason why the government may seek to incentivise marriage to the OP's original point.

Lowering income tax paid on savings, investments, property etc. assigning assets by law and reducing inheritance tax, for example, are just ways of supporting this.

I agree with you: of course the proportion of childless marriages will increase from gay marriage and we do have childless marriages so they should be considered. I could have used another example other than children: I can just personally speak to the effects and it's a more poignant issue to me.

However, whether or not a couple has children, additional pension benefits exist - for example - because incentive to work is assumed to rise if someone financially supports someone else and vice-versa. So the security I'm referring to is financial in marriage and after marriage by divorce costs, for example. I know non-married couples share their assets and bank accounts though; I guess to the government, it's not greater security since such arrangements technically aren't legally binding.
It all seems very messy to me. It's a half-assed attempt at incentivising something which doesn't really exist. You can't force the two spouses to be good parents with the threat of voiding their marriage, and even if you did, they can raise a kid (and do everything else that used to be only permitted within marriage) without marriage anyway.

For the financial security, I can see why the government would prefer to have one person earning some money at a higher tax threshold than 2 earning money but all at a lower threshold. But then there is still no need to incentivise it because people will do it anyway even if they don't realise they're saving money by buying in bulk, renting or mortgaging one larger property than two smaller ones etc.
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George32
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(Original post by ThomH97)
Why is the government's recognition and endorsement of marriage good for society though? And if we are to argue that the government should incentivise things that are good for society, I would put a whole host of other things that need to be protected (various public services) ahead of two people who want to and will (hopefully!) happily spend the rest of their lives together anyway. At no point am I suggesting the government ban marriage (i.e. ban people from cohabiting, having sex, having kids etc), just that it stay out of it and let people do what they want.



It all seems very messy to me. It's a half-assed attempt at incentivising something which doesn't really exist. You can't force the two spouses to be good parents with the threat of voiding their marriage, and even if you did, they can raise a kid (and do everything else that used to be only permitted within marriage) without marriage anyway.

For the financial security, I can see why the government would prefer to have one person earning some money at a higher tax threshold than 2 earning money but all at a lower threshold. But then there is still no need to incentivise it because people will do it anyway even if they don't realise they're saving money by buying in bulk, renting or mortgaging one larger property than two smaller ones etc.
It's not that messy tbh -- as you said: people could do everything else that used to be permitted within marriage without marriage anyway.
The motive isn't inherently to punish or incentivise imo; govt. basically rewards independence from the state.

While I'd argue that tax revenue is more certain than that assumed trend, yeah I'd agree with your point on financial security.

Personally, while I am for marriage, I don't think the government incentivising it is arbitrary. Marriage is inherently religious and traditionalistic in a direct sense so I get why you might disagree with it. I guess the debate's more about whether we're for or against marriage personally, than why govt. may favour it from an economic and social sense.
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