Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Impossible Thing #12

Impossible Thing To Believe Before Breakfast #12:
An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more. 

I tend to separate these situations into "wife and mother" and "feminist" categories.

In the event that the former stewardess became a 24/7 wife to the ballplayer and mother to his children, then I think she needs to be provided for in the event of a divorce in a manner comparable to child support as I envision it: that is, child support should be a fixed amount of money that it costs to rear a child in a specific geographic jurisdiction and alimony for 24/7 wives and mothers should be a fixed amount in a specific geographic jurisdiction (i.e. more in New York City than in Smalltown, Iowa). Otherwise you put The State in the untenable situation of establishing the $ value of children.  The baseball player's children are worth $30,000 a month and the garbageman's children are worth $1,000 a month.  We DO that, as a society, but I think it's wrong.

If the stewardess kept working -- that is, she was a feminist -- then I think the roommate rule makes sense.  She can enjoy being in a more affluent context as long as it lasts and then go back to the life she had when it comes to an end. You don't pay alimony to a roommate when they move out.

I also think you need to have a "nanny rule":  if you hired people to take care of your children then you weren't a 24/7 wife and mother. You were a roommate.

To reiterate the underpinnings of all this:  I think women, generally, by nature and inclination are predisposed to be wives and mothers and I think society benefits from "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"and should encourage that by creating a safety net for them not enjoyed by non-wives and non-mothers and "nanny enablers".  The further we get from that, the worse society gets, I think. And we're hurtling away from that in the opposite direction.    

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