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Should the Government Actively Promote Marriage?

February 28, 2012, 9:54 AM
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Today I thought I would throw out a question for you to consider: Since people who are married appear to be happier and healthier than people who are single, do governments have a responsibility to actively promote marriage just as they might promote other healthy lifestyle choices? And if they do, how should they go about doing that?

This issue was a raised at an economics conference last year, attended by a friend of mine, and not only was there consensus among researchers that the government had a responsibility to increase marriage rates, but among the suggestions made as to how they should go about doing that was this little gem: If people who attend church more regularly are more likely to be married then the government should work to increase church attendance as well.

Given how much governments already spend, particularly in the form of tax credits, to promote marriage and/or childbearing, I thought this would be worthy of public debate. So, what do you think: Do we want our governments to be in the business of marriage promotion?

 

 

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