Talk:Essay:The Invisible Hand of Marriage

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Hold on

Certainly at least some of these benefits apply to same-sex couples with adopted children, or who have had children through artificial insemination. --Kahazul 16:56, 8 August 2008 (EDT)

Your comment has no bearing on 6 out of 8 factors, and doesn't work well in the other two either, because they do not apply to the spouse.--Aschlafly 17:20, 8 August 2008 (EDT)


Finally, something with which I cannot argue... at least not yet.
I was talking with someone about a few of the points made in this essay. Didn't think it related to marriage, just dedication to want to succeed. Oh well. ^.^ NateGoogle's spiders need some work 11:45, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

Gay couples

Hold on. so now gay couples do not help each other? They do not futher each other's goals in life, nag each other, complement each other? of this list of 7 all but two are irrespective of gender. and the two that are based on gender could just as easily be based on TWO DIFFERENT HUMAN outlooks. I know my sister and I complement each other because we are so extremely different - she is into science and math, a liberal, married for 7 years, job as an engineer for a downtown Denver building. I am a nurse with the army, and still waiting for "mr. right". You can't make broad and *unproven* statements about how two people of any gender complement each other.--IcedTea 12:41, 6 August 2008 (EDT)

I don't know which two you're referring to, and your personal story seems contrived. All the key elements identified apply only to male-female marriages. The invisible hand of marriage does not exist for same-sex marriages.
Besides, people don't get married to their sisters. I know I wouldn't! -MelanieKoontz 13:36, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Love how trusting you are. You've never heard of two sisters being total opposites? Anyhow, only two of the "hands" directly say that the balance of man and woman is what drives this "hand". My question to you is why two men couldn't be just as productive as a man and a woman, just as focused on bettering their family, just as focused on finding economic goals that set the family in a better position and thereby drive each individual more. Each person in a couple, regardless of gender, helps the other out, encourages them, balances them, gently points out flaws and aids in fixing those flaws, etc. Why is this exclusive to a man and a woman in marriage?--IcedTea 13:55, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Men and women complement each other because they are designed that way by God. Two men or two women could only be a poor imitation of God's design. It would never be as good as the real thing. TJason 18:06, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Indeed. One simply has to look at the history of homosexual relationships to see that. The pro-homosexual crowd likes to hold up the rare homosexual couple that has lasted decades, but they consistently fail to acknowledge that the average homosexual relationship lasts around 18 months. Additionally, very few "committed" homosexual relationships are monogamous. Jinxmchue 18:23, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
"The history of homosexual relationships"? Pray tell, where has this history been recoded for the ages? Is it the source of your uncited claims? Wandering 22:58, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
There's plenty of research that goes back many decades. The leading psychiatric association used to study it and labeled it as something to be treated and changed, until leftist political pressure took over.--Aschlafly 23:32, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Wandering, conservapedia has an excellent article on homosexuality that talks about this. It might be a good place to start if you are actually interesting in an answer to your question. TJason 10:35, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I am somewhat heartened to see that both of you are as reluctant to actually read Conservative's work on the subject as I am. Wandering 20:06, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Jinxmchue: Perhaps, but the average heterosexual marriage these days lasts no longer, so it's not exactly an effective argument. --Kahazul 16:59, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
Malarkey. I bet you're relying on data about Massachusetts same-sex marriages, when it is obviously too early to tell. The lead same-sex couple in the decision in Massachusetts split up long ago, by the way.--Aschlafly 17:14, 8 August 2008 (EDT)


  • I'm just going to note that it's possible this is not a Conservapedian discovery; others may just have a different name for it. -CSGuy 19:05, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
Suggestions welcome. I can't think of any. While we're at it, do you think Adam Smith's invisible hand wasn't original either?--Aschlafly 20:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
I don't even know what that is; I know next to nothing about economics (although I plan to fulfill part of my social sciences requirement with a class in it). I wasn't saying that the idea is definitely not original, just that a lack of search results for your term doesn't prove that it is. -CSGuy 23:03, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
It's interesting you don't know what the "invisible hand" is, and I appreciate your candor. I bet the familiarity with that term and concept is far higher among conservatives than liberals. Indeed, it has been said that a good economics course is more likely to convert liberals to conservatives than any other teaching. That said, it's almost impossible to present or discuss a concept for an invisible hand of marriage without using the term "invisible hand." The lack of Google cites to it was meant to be illustrative rather than a proof of originality.--Aschlafly 23:30, 6 August 2008 (EDT)
To some extent it's an inverse of the well-documented social and economic cost of divorce, and, of course, a good example of the ripple effects of good teamwork.
There are some good points in the essay, but the more I think about it, the less it seems that an "Invisible Hand" is the right metaphor, at least in the economic sense. Smith was talking about the ability of free, competitive markets to find their own optimal equilibrium as if guided by an unseen optimizer. In short, it's about an economic ecosystem finding its proper balance on its own, just as ecosystems in nature do, through competitive forces and natural selection. Teaming up through marriage is a great, but the contribution of millions of these teams worldwide is not as much of an "invisible hand" guiding an economy as they are an "invisible engine" driving it.
Where marriage is concerned, the "Invisible Hand" metaphor is better suited to the positive influence of marriages, committed partnerships & families on the fabric of society. If you dropped a thousand individuals on an island, and couples & families totaling 1000 people on a similar island, it's probably a safe bet that a few years later conditions on the island seeded with couples & families would be better. Since couples and families have a greater self-interest in mutual support and social order than individuals, the nature of those relationships serves as an "invisible hand" that guides the social ecosystem towards order instead of anarchy. The island of individuals may do well too, and even thrive, but without the inherent social connections of partnership and family at the start, it's bound to be more challenging. --DinsdaleP 19:30, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for the interesting insights. However, I don't think you'll fully captured the concept of the invisible hand and how it motivates individuals to work more efficiently, just as the invisible hand of marriage does (in an even more powerful way).
I do see that our own entry on the invisible hand needs work ... which I'll take care of right now. As written, it's a socialistic distortion of the free enterprise concept.--Aschlafly 21:04, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I have a concept of what Smith meant by the Invisible Hand metaphor from studying macro and micro economics in business school, plus some graduate work a few years back. While it's too abstract to be practical (like studying physics without worrying about friction), it explains the motivations for individuals to be successful for their own sake, without concern for others. However, the success that comes from that self interest will in turn create an optimal economic ecosystem as all of these competing self-interests reach a balance.
When you consider that someone with a partner or dependents needs to consider their well-being in addition to his or her own, that motivation is definitely increased. My point was that Smith described the "hand" as the incentive to want to do better, which marriage and family provides, but your essay focuses less on that motivation and more on the aspects of marriage that better equip one to be successful. That's why the metaphor breaks down once you get past the motivation part. -DinsdaleP 21:23, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

Google search on "invisible hand of marriage"

I tried this, and it actually looks as if it is true that it is an original Conservapedia term. I do get one hit now, and oddly it's not for Conservapedia, but for a website that seems to be blocked by the Conservapedia spam filter. That website appears to be offline at the moment, but judging from the summary on google, it looks as if it is mocking Conservapedia (explaining the censorship of the term here). Are there moves afoot to get other blogs and websites to publish comments and articles or to get Conservapedia itself on the search engine results? Davidklein 09:51, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

I assume the Google search engine will pick up our entry in a few days. We're not planning any special effort for it. It will be interesting to see how long that process takes.--Aschlafly 09:54, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
That site seems to link directly to this article anyway, so it doesn't matter very much. Etc 12:34, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
It might be an interesting project to track the propagation of a concept like this, to see how and how fast it spreads. --Benp 10:20, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I would not open a website blocked by a spam filter. Those often are full of viruses and spyware. At least use an up-to-date antivirus program! Has someone tried opening that website? SilvioB 16:13, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
No, stay away from that site. I'm sure it's blocked for good reasons. Virus programs only help so far, you still have to be careful. Etc 16:40, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
I thought so. Strange though that they would link to us. But these modern spammers, they are so cunning, who knows what they have in mind! SilvioB 16:42, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
The reason the site is in the spam filter has nothing to do with viruses, spyware, etc. It's mainly just that the folks in charge here really don't like it. -CSGuy 16:43, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
No, that's misleading. We do not filter sites simply because we "don't like" them, but we do and will filter sites if they engage in utterly inappropriate behavior that is incompatible with our Conservapedia:Commandments.--Aschlafly 17:25, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
Oh nonsense. You don't like the site because they continually mock you. Fair enough. I wouldn't like that either. But at least you could be honest about it. --DenningMR 20:53, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
That's false. Mockery doesn't bother us. But some enemies of this site think that falsehoods and vandalism are acceptable if criticizing an opponent. If you you agree, then you know where to go. No thanks.Aschlafly 21:11, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
You are disingenuous. Filtering the site does not prevent vandalism in any way (in fact it probably encourages it). What you don't like is the mockery and the fact that they often point out a number of the worst abuses that go on here along with some of the sillier edits. The funny thing is that that site probably wouldn't even exist if this site had any respect for free speech and a free exchange of ideas. --DenningMR 23:10, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
You're clueless. But if you like that site so much, then spend your time there. We stick to the truth here and do not spread falsehoods under the guise of "parody".--Aschlafly 23:16, 9 August 2008 (EDT)
Your resort to name-calling says it all. And I do spend time at that site (which cannot be named - does this remind anyone of the former Soviet Union at all? That's irony, that is). I enjoy that mystery site because I know that I can comment freely without fear of being blocked for "talk talk talk" by the site owner or some sycophantic sysop. You say that you stick to the truth. It makes me laugh to read that comment. You stick to your truth and block anyone who disagrees. Not what I would call the conservative ideal. --DenningMR 19:10, 10 August 2008 (EDT)

Respect for authorship

Whether one agrees with this or not, I have to object to people applying direct edits to this piece because it's an essay, not an encyclopedia article. This is the original work of Andrew Schlafly, and is his alone to edit. (For the record, I do not agree with the benefits of a relationship being conditional on the genders involved) --DinsdaleP 14:19, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

No, Dinsdale, that's not correct. I welcome edits. The very essence of a wiki is group editing, and that applies to essays also.--Aschlafly 14:26, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
My apologies, then, and thanks for clarifying. -DinsdaleP 14:31, 7 August 2008 (EDT)

While I generally agree with the premise of the article, I remain uncertain that a couple of the factors are exclusive to marriage. The first two, specifically, could apply equally well to a parent raising children after the untimely death of their husband or wife--a situation which sadly occurs all too often. I would certainly expect that, say, the wife of a slain veteran would still be motivated to provide for her children, and that that factor could well offset the depression and loss of productivity that might otherwise accompany the loss of a spouse. --Benp 22:47, 7 August 2008 (EDT)
In your example you are still relying on the effects of marriage. Same-sex couples cannot produce children, and the average lifespan of one partner is equal to the other, so there is no expected future beyond one's life to work for.--Aschlafly 17:11, 8 August 2008 (EDT)
I wouldn't attempt to argue that the effects aren't tied to marriage at some level. While it's possible, for instance, for a single woman to have a child and act as a responsible parent, it's sadly true that all too often that doesn't happen. The difference between said unmarried woman and a young widow, I would say, is the act of commitment: someone who has gotten married has made a conscious commitment towards that relationship, and towards the children it produces.
I simply think that it would be useful to note that some of --Benp 18:21, 8 August 2008 (EDT)the effects can persist even after the death of one partner or the other.

Clear Evidence

Your claim that the invisible hand of marriage does not work in same-sex marriages needs clear evidence to support it. You should analyze each point and explain why it doesn't apply to same-sex marriage - with logical contradictions, data, surveys, etc. As of now, your point is wholly unconvincing.

Also, your claim that the invisible hand of marriage is more powerful than Smith's hand is entirely unsubstantiated. PhyllisS 12:10, 19 July 2010 (EDT)