Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Big Government Is a Job Killer

Arthur Brooks at the Washington Examiner has a column on the ten ways big government stifles job creation.

"In general," Brooks says, "the worst thing for job creation is a poor entrepreneurial climate. Such a climate is brought on by the large fiscal debt, unpredictable health care costs, and a generally anti-business and pro-regulation approach by government."

He goes on to list and discuss ten ways government policies create this poor climate. Policies such as are favored by contemporary Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular, almost always do the following:
  • Increase business uncertainty
  • Increase consumer uncertainty
  • Impose high corporate taxes
  • Raise health insurance costs
  • Strengthen unions
  • Make it harder to hire and fire
  • Impose trade restrictions
  • Tighten credit
  • Increase unemployment insurance
  • Encourage frivolous lawsuits
Brooks goes on to give a brief explanation how each of these stifles job creation. It's a good lesson in economics and also affords a good insight into why, under the current administration, it has been very hard to climb out of the current recession. Those readers who expect to be testing the job market soon might pay special heed to Brooks' essay.

Gay Marriage and Polyamory

One of the very first posts we did at Viewpoint, way back in May of 2004, addressed the consequences for traditional marriage of legalizing gay unions. We argued then, and have argued since, that legalizing gay marriage would all but extinguish traditional marriage.

The reason is that traditional marriage has been for millenia, at least in the Judeo-Christian world, considered to be a union of one man and one woman. Once we accept gay marriage we're acknowledging that the gender of the people in a marriage is no longer legally relevant, but as soon as we make the gender of the participants irrelevant we no longer have any logical grounds for insisting that the number of participants in the union should be legally relevant.

Thus, gay marriage will almost certainly lead to the legalization of polyamory (i.e. group marriage) and that would bring about, in my opinion, the end of both the traditional family and traditional marriage (except, perhaps, in some religious enclaves). Marriage would be pretty much whatever anyone wanted it to be, and when marriage is no longer anything special it will not survive the demands it places upon its participants for very long.

The argument has been rebuffed by some readers who dismiss it on the grounds that they can't imagine people wanting to form group marriages. This is a bit naive, in my opinion, since there will always be those who will do whatever they can do, as this report attests:
A group calling itself the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association (CPAA) has asked Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the British Columbia Supreme Court to declare whether polyamorists might be prosecuted as a result of the hearing, scheduled to begin Nov. 22, on the constitutionality of the ban on polygamy.
The lawyer for the CPAA, John Ince, told Chief Justice Bauman that polygamy is a patriarchal system of male dominance where one man has many wives, whereas polyamorous (group love) relationships are "postmodern" consensual relationships that can involve groups of males and females that can be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgendered who may or may not live together, and thus should not be considered subject to the same laws as polygamy.
"We're not patriarchal. We're not intergenerationally normalized. We're postmodern,” Ince told the media after meeting with Chief Justice Bauman. "We clearly fall outside the definition of the offense (of polygamy). We oppose laws that oppose loving, consensual relationships,” he said.
Pro-family advocates have long warned that the institution of homosexual “marriage” and civil unions in Canada, as well as in other western countries, would lead to the legalization of polygamy and any other form of relationship which participants want to legitimize.
Winston Blackmore's lawyer Blair Suffredine, a former member of Premier Gordon Campbell's Liberal government, remarked at last year's hearing that "If (homosexuals) can marry, what is the reason that public policy says one person can't marry more than one person?"
Opponents of same-sex “marriage” have warned that once homosexuals are permitted to “marry,” there is nothing stopping polygamous marriages, or any type of relationship, from being legally recognized as marriage as well.
“It’s like this,” explained Stanley Kurtz in a 2006 National Review article. “The way to abolish marriage, without seeming to abolish it, is to redefine the institution out of existence. If everything can be marriage, pretty soon nothing will be marriage. Legalize gay marriage, followed by multi-partner marriage, and pretty soon the whole idea of marriage will be meaningless.”
Just so. Resistance to gay marriage is often portrayed by its advocates as a symptom of homophobia, but this is simplistic. For many, their opposition to the legalization of gay unions is borne of a desire not to oppress gays but to preserve traditional marriage. Traditional marriage is essential to the health of a society - many of the dysfunctions we see among the poor in our inner cities are the consequence of the breakdown of traditional families - and gay marriage will almost certainly undermine it.

The next time someone challenges you to explain how it harms you if two gays or lesbians who love each other are allowed to marry you might explain to them that it's not that it harms you, it's that it harms everyone.