From another blogger…
Note: Holy smokes…I don’t believe for a minute marriage will go away. Churches would lose their largest driving factor. The IRS would have to do work besides harassing hard working people!
Now let’s talk about marriage.
Divorce is one of the most expensive, horrible, and wasteful things a person can experience. It is terrible for the kids, terrible for finances, good for lawyers, bad for employers, etc. Half of marriages end in divorce. And those people typically remarry and either divorce again or, all too often, live unhappily ever after. The entire process is insanely inefficient.
Unfortunately, in 2015, marriage is probably the best system we have for raising kids. But as a thought experiment, imagine that the government removes all laws favoring marriage. You get no tax breaks, no nothing. And instead the government encourages people to set up alternative social systems that solve the problems of divorce.
How do you solve the divorce problem? Ask any economist. It is quite easy. I’ll give you a solution in one word: diversification.
In marriage, if something bad happens to one person, or one person becomes a jerk, the system breaks. Any engineer will tell you that is a poorly designed system. But if, for example, you had a small tribe of people cooperating for mutual interest, a bad day for one of them wouldn’t be a death blow for the tribe. If your love interest hates you today, you have three others on call. If you get sick and need childcare, there are ten people ready to help.
Don’t have time to exercise because of driving kids around? That’s no problem if your tribe has some designated after-school drivers. Is it hard to buy and prepare healthy food? No problem if some members of your tribe are great cooks and like cooking in bulk.
I won’t design a full alternative to marriage here because people are different and one solution does not fit all. The main idea is that marriage is perhaps the biggest economic problem in the country that isn’t food-related. Marriage made sense in old-timey days. But with the help of the Internet it would make more sense for people to organize around what works instead of what we know does not.
You will be tempted to point out in the comments that hippy communes didn’t catch on. I’m not talking about poorly-engineered hippy communes. That’s like comparing a Model-T to a Tesla. I think that with some creative thinking, and maybe some experimenting, society could develop modern alternatives to marriage that remove the divorce problem.
I hear whispers that these sorts of arrangements are already happening, but because non-monogamy is shamed, you don’t hear much about it. Marriage will go away eventually, as all bad systems do. Single people recently became the majority in this country. Can we speed it up?