I better close out that savings account before it destroys my marriage
David Brooks, protecting the sanctity of marriage, one bank account at a time.
About half of all couples today have multiple bank accounts. Brooks sees this as an apocalyptic trend. Apparently separate bank accounts are a harbinger of secrecy, infidelity and divorce. Seriously, I think this might be one of the dumbest efforts ever put out by a “mainstream” columnist. [That’s ruling out the complete wingnuts, you know, like bony ass, bed-worn b*tch of the Reich™, Ann Coulter.] Read and weep:
I’m not saying that people with separate accounts have marriages that are less healthy than anybody else’s. I’m saying we should pause before this becomes the social norm. Private property is the basis for our market democracy. But private property in the home is an altogether trickier proposition.
For one thing, separate accounts can easily turn into secret accounts. A person’s status and resources inside the home shouldn’t be based on how much he or she is making outside it. A union based on love can easily turn into a merger based on self-interest, where the main criterion for continuing becomes: Am I getting a good return on my investment, psychic or otherwise?
Makes you wonder about his relationships, doesn’t it? He goes on to say that our institutions should be based on “self-sacrifice, loyalty and love” — and that the growth of multiple-account households represent a sense of individualism that will destroy the relationship. No, you f*cktard, it’s the lack of ability to make a relationship work, the trust, honesty, and communication that makes a lasting marriage or partnership. You have to ask, what exactly is he advocating for — joint accounts only, with one person keeping the books? Tell that to the women in those “traditional” relationships that were left high and dry and unaware of how to manage money when their husbands ran off. Some statistics for Mr. Brooks to consider:
* Drop in standard of living of females after divorce as of 2000: 45%
* Married women earning at least $5,000 a year more than their husbands: 8.408 million (14.9% of all married women)
* Unmarried women earning at least $5,000 a year more than their partners: 821,000 (21.5% of unmarried couples)
* Married men earning at least $5,000 a year more than their wives: 33.228 million (58.8% of all married men)
* Unmarried men earning at least $5,000 a year more than their partners: 2.099 million (54.9% of unmarried couples)
* Married couples in which only the husband is employed: 12.642 million (22.4%)
* Married couples in which only the wife is employed: 3.855 million (6.8%)
* Married couples in which both partners are employed: 30.212 million (53.5%)
And some key ones:
* Percentage of divorces due to economic problems in 1997: 4.2%
* Percentage of divorces due to irreconcilable differences in 1997: 80%
* Total single mothers maintaining their own household: 7.571 million
* Total single fathers maintaining their own household: 1.786 million