I don’t write much about David Brooks of Bobo-hood fame, mostly because his schtick about how people from the Midwest are the only true Americans is tiring and need not be commented on week in and week out.
However, as he is Atrios’ Wanker of the Day, I clicked through to see why the immoral, effete left was giving him the vapors this week. It turns out that (*HORROR*) more and more married couples have separate bank accounts for husband and wife.
But some of the people quoted in Shellenbarger’s article seem unaware that there may be a distinction between the individualistic ethos of the market and the communal ethos of the home. A Texas woman celebrated her family’s separate accounts, remarking, “It’s so freeing to be your own person, and not feel like someone is looking over your shoulder.” It’s not clear whether she’s talking about a marriage or a real estate partnership.
I went to the local bookstore and was startled to see how many personal finance gurus insist on separate accounts.
As so often is the case, the hair-splitting and meally-mouthedness of the screed is unbelievable. Sometimes they’re ok, if you consider yourselves real estate partners. The sniveling rejoinder is part and parcel of Brooks’ Midwest Minstrel Show. Of course, no Real American (tm, GOP) in Kansas would have separate accounts. Except for all the ones that do. Continuing on:
For one thing, separate accounts can easily turn into secret accounts. A person’s status and resources inside the home shouldn’t be based on how much he or she is making outside it. A union based on love can easily turn into a merger based on self-interest, where the main criterion for continuing becomes: Am I getting a good return on my investment, psychic or otherwise?
See, he’s not saying that couples with separate accounts have worse marriages, except that it’s going to tear down society if it goes any further. Liberal Ethics force me to point out the hyperbole in that last statement, if only because I wouldn’t want Jonah Goldberg accusing me of dissembling while Rome burns.
Truly, a Wanker of the Day.