Society Has It Wrong: Married People Shouldn’t Get Benefits That Single People Do Not by V. Larson
…Except for one thing: single people still don’t have access to the legal benefits and protections the government grants to those who get married.
….Spouses in the US can pass on Medicare, as well as Social Security, disability, and veterans and military benefits. They can get health insurance through a spouse’s employer; receive discounted rates for homeowners’, auto, and other types of insurance; make medical decisions for each other as well as funeral arrangements; and take family leave to care for an ill spouse, or bereavement leave if a spouse dies.
These privileges are unavailable to the unmarried in the US, yet most single people would benefit if they were.
…The rise of people who identify as single is occurring across the globe, from India to China to Brazil to Scandinavia. In Stockholm, more than 50% of all homes are one-person households—”a shocking statistic” according to Klinenberg, but a statistic he predicts is here to stay, despite the long history of seeing single people as “lesser.”
….Having the government shut them out of certain protections is punishing. This is similar to what the social scientist and singles advocate Bella DePaulo calls “singlism”—the policy of making singles pay more than couples for their basic needs.
…After the Second World War, there were numerous incentives that encouraged people to embrace male breadwinning and female homemaking, and in 1948 the US income tax code was changed to favor that model. Of course, in those days it was expected that everyone would marry—and would want to marry—and that women would remain at home. But that isn’t quite the reality any more, even though (Link): 69% of Millennials (people born between 1982 and 2000) say that they’d like to marry one day.
Today, the male breadwinner and female homemaker model is hardly the norm; (Link): 46% of US families include parents who both work full-time.
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