An article by Meagan McArdle, “Why Do Economists Urge College, But Not Marriage?“, reaches this conclusion after having made the point that marriage is as good for one’s life prospects as a university degree:
All economists are, definitionally, very good at college. Not all economists are good at marriage. Saying that more people should go to college will make 0% of your colleagues feel bad. Saying that more people should get married and stay married will make a significant fraction of your colleagues feel bad. And in general, most people have an aversion to topics which are likely to trigger a personal grudge in a coworker.
There are lots of things worth saying that people don’t say because it will annoy someone else so they never get said at all and disappear from polite conversation. But for someone to get the benefits from marriage, the marriage must stay intact for otherwise it is a very bad bet for any male. The following is from an article titled, “Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents“. The argument, basically stated is this:
The decline of two-parent households may be a significant reason for the divergent fortunes of male workers, whose earnings generally declined in recent decades, and female workers, whose earnings generally increased, a prominent labor economist argues in a new survey of existing research.
If we are looking at what will allow men the highest disposable incomes, avoiding marriage and university may be the best strategy of all as this comment at Instapundit makes clear:
I think most men would deny they’re in decline. Men are having just as much sex but without the legal liabilities marriage impose on them. All I’m hearing from women in these articles is that men need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions, meaning they need to legally sign a paper imposing government sanctions on them if said marriage dissolves. There is no question that men are getting the shaft from the courts financially when divorce occurs. Furthermore women are also more likely to get custody of any children as well as more decision making responsibility.
Men have wised up after hearing horror story upon horror story from their older friends and family when the court system utterly destroyed their lives and have simply decided to go galt from the entire marriage process.
Divorce courts have become the ultimate nanny state intrusion into the lives of men and the average man has decided that it simply is not worth the risk. Exactly how is that irresponsible to the man? This is the ultimate unexpected consequence Virginia slim gets.