Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Big, Big Love

I just posted something on TPM Cafe about Big Love and the economic case for polygamy.

Tags:culture, economics, polygamy, Big Love


  • At 12:49 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I guess only the haters come out.

    Only thing I thought took the long way around was the idea that 13-year-old girls married to some broke old man might conceivably be making a rational choice. It seems like we, as a society, have pretty much recognized that under a whole range of circumstances (including youth), people are not capable of making rational decisions. Neoclassical economics may have trouble dealing with irrational choices, but outside of economics departments, we've never had that much trouble recognizing coercion.

    Also, it would surprise me if concern for the women of Utah didn't in large part cover a sentiment that might be summarized as "Oh....Icky."

  • At 2:19 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Yeah, I was trying to limit myself to what was wrong with the neoclassical analysis of polygamy, to stop the "but polygamy is economically good for women" meme before it got too much momentum.

    I think I am not as inherently repulsed by polygamy as some people. I mean, what's the difference in theory between polygamy and having some girls (or guys) on the side? We're not totally repulsed by playas. The ick factor only comes (strongly) into play when I see some old man marrying teenagers or other blatantly brainwashed women. As somebody else articulated their revulsion, "Tom Green wants to have sex with teenagers and have the taxpayers of the state pay for the upbringing of his children – while covering the whole operation with a smokescreen laid from the traditions of the pioneers."

  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    My friend Frank just emailed the following response:

    don't forget, mormons were the sex radicals of the 1800's. they were outlaws because of their commitment to a political (ergo economic) conviction. certainly, the LDS church's sanctioned practice of polygamy was patriarchal and explicitly sexist to the max. but the practice was also a communitarian and, one could argue, a "progressive" (loosely defined) social institution in that day and age.

    that was, of course, all prior to 1890. it was thereafter repudiated in order for the territory of utah to join the union. the mormon leadership ultimately wanted into the burgeoning transcontinental market economy -- a decidedly regressive turn toward fiscal conservatism.

    so, as history teaches us, progress is a relative, and thus non-normative phenomenon. so is polygamy.


    a.k.a. sister polly andry dandy, of the new york order of the sisters of perpetual indulgence [snap]


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