Saturday, February 04, 2012

Subsidies always discriminate 

I agree with Mayor Booker's sentiments here, and I really like his forthright way of discussing it.

Since I'm a contrarian by nature, I'll point out my reservations:

1. He's absolutely right that we've created two classes of citizens. Does everyone realize how we did that? we subsidize a particular type of relationship (one man one woman, more so with kids). Subsidies discriminate inherently. Sometimes we like the discrimination, sometimes we don't. In this case I find it revolting. But we could get rid of them and let people decide what sort of relationships they want.

2. Off the marriage topic, he talks about the state "creating millionaires" with tax revenues. There's only one way a government creates millionaires with any realistic hope of success. Some call it crony capitalism. Let's stop pretending there's another way.


By Blogger MTF, at Sat Feb 04, 11:19:00 AM:

While I generally like Booker, this particular clip is revolting. All he is doing is encouraging rent seeking behavior by citizens and wrapping that behavior in a moral cloak. It's bizarre to watch Booker doing this, because all we are ultimately talking about creating a special class of citizens under the law, and politicians like to do this because those citizens can then be encouraged to organize, donate and seek ever more benefits. Civil rights are not being expanded in this discussion; political donations are. Honestly, I thought he was better than this, and not nearly so cynical.  

By Blogger Andrew H., aka "Mindles H. Dreck", at Sat Feb 04, 12:06:00 PM:

I dunno. He's pointing out that if you love someone of the opposite sex, you can give her/him citizenship. If you love someone of the same sex, you can't. Seems pretty unfair to me. At the moment the "special class" is heterosexuals. Good point, I think.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Sat Feb 04, 02:40:00 PM:

I wonder if he sees the inherent contradiction in his words when he first proclaims that a "millionaire tax" should be put to a vote, with a coat of "Good Intentions" placed on it (only to be used for creating more millionaires, sure, since when has a tax created millionaires?), followed immediately by righteous indignation at the thought that gay marriage might be turned down by these same voters. He's upset that gay married people are subject to estate taxes when one of them dies, fine, we can just eliminate the estate tax. sigh.  

By Blogger MTF, at Sat Feb 04, 02:41:00 PM:

I'm not following you: Are you suggesting homosexuals aren't citizens? My friends and relatives who are homosexual will certainly be surprised to hear that news.

Let me put the question this way: if all parties, homosexual and heterosexual, were permitted by constitutional amendment to buy the same license from the state to the same Civil Union status, and for those who decide to seek the sacramental state of marriage they can go on to find that at a church or temple of their own choice, would you then be satisfied? In other words, isn't the issue really on of too much involvement on the part of the state in the definition of marriage, instead of too little?

This problem bears no relation to a civil rights problem, since true civil rights issues of equality (racial equality and suffrage issues being examples) require more, and not less, state involvement. This problem actually requires less.  

By Blogger FuzzyFace, at Sat Feb 04, 10:07:00 PM:

Why is it necessarily unfair that different behaviors are treated differently? Spousal citizenship is not about love, it's about state-defined marriage. There is no absolute right to marry anyone of your choice. The state has a particular interest in encouraging heterosexual marriage that it does not have in gay marriage or plural marriage.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Feb 05, 12:39:00 AM:

MTF, I used to think of the issue that way, and support abolition of legal subsidies or privileges for married people, and just let people arrange their affairs by contract, leaving "marriage" as a sacrament for the church and therefore essentially private. However, I have come around to the view that it will be much harder to get rid of the subsidies and privileges for married people than just to let people choose spouses of both genders rather than only the opposite gender.  

By Blogger Andrew H., aka "Mindles H. Dreck", at Sun Feb 05, 04:55:00 PM:

I think when one suggests civil unions, one should consider the notion of "Separate but Equal" and how that is used.

I do not accept that the state has an interest in our private relationships and reject the need for a subsidy on our basis. It's that kind of logic that leads to discrimination.

Imagine for a moment, if marriage was only recognized within one race. "everyone is perfectly free to marry someone of the opposite sex and of their race" to gain recognition. This is a bad road for government to go down.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 05, 11:42:00 PM:

Like TH I have changed my views on marriage equality over time. It is not a political issue, it is an issue of humanity and empathy for persecuted minorities who simply want to be treated the same as the majority.
Frankly I have come to the conclusion that those that argue against equality are simply bigots, unwilling to acknowledge their own homophobia. It is the same mindset that leads to "honor" killings among zealots who would enslave all females as subhumans who can't exist without male approval. It is all about oppressing others in the name of religion.  

By Blogger MTF, at Tue Feb 07, 08:25:00 PM:

Wow, now that is some extra-special intolerance right there! Narrow minded bigotry, exemplified.  

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