Thursday, January 07, 2010

Marriage and government

Robert Levy:
For most of Western history, marriage was a matter of private contract between the betrothed parties and perhaps their families. Following that tradition, marriage today should be a private arrangement, requiring minimal or no state intervention. Some religious or secular institutions would recognize gay marriages; others would not; still others would call them domestic partnerships or assign another label. Join whichever group you wish. The rights and responsibilities of partners would be governed by personally tailored contracts — consensual bargains like those that control most other interactions in a free society.

Regrettably, government has interceded, enacting more than 1,000 federal laws dealing mostly with taxes or transfer payments, and an untold number of state laws dealing with such questions as child custody, inheritance and property rights.
And this is why the expansion of government and politics comes at such a detriment to society, exacerbating latent tensions and turning cracks into gaping fissures. While this blog tends to focus on the cost of government to our economic well being, it's useful to also recall the broader problems that are caused.

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