Two year marriages in Mexico

Mexico City is proposing some pretty awesome ideas about marriage contracts:

Mexico City lawmakers want to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of divorce by giving them an easy exit strategy: temporary marriage licenses.

Leftists in the city’s assembly — who have already riled conservatives by legalizing gay marriage — proposed a reform to the civil code this week that would allow couples to decide on the length of their commitment, opting out of a lifetime.

The minimum marriage contract would be for two years and could be renewed if the couple stays happy. The contracts would include provisions on how children and property would be handled if the couple splits.

“The proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,” said Leonel Luna, the Mexico City assemblyman who co-authored the bill.

“You wouldn’t have to go through the tortuous process of divorce,” said Luna, from the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which has the most seats in the 66-member chamber.

(I presume there are also other contract lengths available.)

This is a good idea. The primary purpose of marriage is for couples to fulfill whatever meaning they attach to the idea. If they view it as a temporary agreement, then fine. Or, as I think will likely be the case, they view it in pragmatic terms – it’s something they want, but they can’t know if it will work out – then this is the perfect plan.

I’m sure conservatives are going to come up with every Armageddon scenario under the soon-to-be-falling sky, but this just makes sense. Even if it encourages marriages to end more quickly than they would otherwise, the fact that people can move onto a potentially better match without the fear of possibly going through another divorce proceeding, then they won’t need to hesitate because of dreaded, petty legal entanglements. This will lead to more net happiness and that’s a good thing.

22 Responses

  1. Contract is a contract. It just seems like a fancy prenuptial though.

    I would just caution that this is an easy way to scam people, not the government, but people negotiating favorable terms for themselves and trotting off after 2 years and taking the farm with them.

    Not saying that could be a widespread problem, just a thought about gullible people.

  2. The reason for marriage to be recognized by the government at all is for tax purposes, recognition of benefits (related to taxing) and for survivor ownership.

    If the tax laws were changed so that there is, for example, a simple flat tax, then a lot of the reason would disappear. All the rest of it can be done between people via standard contract law.

    One example of not needing government sanction is that dependents (children) are just declared in tax forms. There does not have to be a government recognition of the relationship. On the contrary, if someone is mostly dependent upon you, then you get to declare that person as a dependent, whether related or not (foster child).

  3. :-o

    Bob just advocated the position I’ve maintained for years…

    No government recognized marriage, flat tax.

    And you people say there is no such thing as miracles.

  4. That has been my stance all along. Right now, the wealthy pay less percentage than the middle or lower classes. See Buffet.

  5. No they don’t.

    Anyone with capital gains pays capital gains tax, which is a flat 15%.

    Income tax and capital gains can’t just be mixed together like they are the same thing.

    Obama jut got himself into a pickle on this after saying a teacher making 50,000 a year pays less than him. That’s not true, he payed about 25% and if teach doesn’t have any dependents she’d be around 11%. This dog just ain’t gonna hunt Bob.

  6. Income tax and capital gains can’t just be mixed together like they are the same thing.

    Yes they can.

  7. Well, they can be, but as of right now they are separate things. Buffet tries to paint it like his income tax rate is lower, which is rubbish. His secretary pays just 15% if she has investments just like everyone else.

    Raising the capital gains tax would be a disaster. The whole idea is to get people to invest.

    And Buffet should pay the 1 billion in back taxes Berkshire owes before he whines about not paying enough taxes.

  8. 9 – 9 – 9

  9. As people’s lifespans get longer, we will have to come out with more changes like this one to our institutions.

    Bob, you’re making a mistake extrapolating what Warren Buffett said to conclude that the rich pay less in income taxes than the middle class. When it comes to federal income taxes (not all federal taxes, mind you) the top 1% pays nearly 40% of them, a higher percentage then the amount of wealth they possess. You should be more careful.

  10. And yet, not nearly enough… because they still control over half the nation’s wealth!

    Check out the top 0.1% sometime to see the REAL beneficiaries of the latest recession, and indeed of the last three decades of foolish economic policies.

  11. Yes, of course, Copyleft. The right wing does not own up to the fact that taxes for the wealthy have been cut and cut and cut and no jobs and no stimulus has resulted from it. Supply side, voodoo economics is proven to never work. Michael (not Hawkins) – you are the one who needs to be careful, sinCe you don’t understand what Buffet was talking BOUT.

  12. Bob, Buffett declared X, and you said he declared Y. He said some wealthy people, not all, and he failed to prove that. You do realize Warren Buffet’s secretary is a rich person don’t you?

    There are some loopholes that need to go away, as the president is correctly saying, but they are not enough to get this large group you call “the wealthy” to pay a lower percentage. You want to look at the CBO’s “Total Effective Federal Tax Rate” to see what people pay after loopholes.

    Click to access 08-13-EffectiveFedTaxRates.pdf

    2011.Here are the quintiles, bottom to top: 7.8, 14.2, 17.6, 21.8, and 28.5 That top quintile breaks down into 30.1 for the top 10%, 31.5 for the top 5% and 33.8 for the top 1%

    Bob, if you can come up with some evidence that the rich pay a lower tax rate, I’d love to see it. Until then, the facts destroy your cherished personal beliefs.

  13. The wealthy should pay a higher rate and it should be higher than now, back to what it was for decades previous to Republicans’ voodoo economics tax cuts. The payed a higher rate and the economy did well most of the time. Once cuts were made, the economy went into the tank and Federal deficits soared.

  14. That’s a different subject, Bob. Has the data caused you to recant your earlier position when you said:

    “That has been my stance all along. Right now, the wealthy pay less percentage than the middle or lower classes. See Buffet.”

  15. Lets have an example of what higher taxes on the wealthy gained the US: the interstate highway system and other infrastructures. What did that do? Supplied many jobs for construction and maintenance; induced citizens to buy automobiles and take trips; provided a tremendous system for businesses to expand their markets by moving goods all around the country more easily, providing cheaper goods for all.

    That is taxes at work – providing jobs and boosting the economy, something today’s Republicans are too stupid to remember.

    Instead, the Republicans and especially the bigoted morons of the tea party want to push their religious dogma upon others and refuse to allow medical care to be expanded to more women and children.

  16. Bob, that’s two attempts in a row to change the subject. You repeatedly said that the wealthy pay less of a percentage in taxes, I showed you CBO data that showed you were wrong, and instead of addressing it, you have changed the subject twice.

    You made a factual claim, why are you abandoning it without a word?

  17. Same subject. Go out and play, Michael. I don’t answer to you. You are wrong, as usual.

  18. I am making the factual claim that we have a progressive federal tax system in both theory and practise; that wealthier people on average pay a higher percentage of their income in federal taxes.

    I have supported this with CBO data. You have declared me wrong, I see, but on what grounds? Where is your evidence?

    I’m with you on evolution and global warming and all that easy stuff. You can’t just coast through this one.

  19. This provision, or the Buffett Rule, as the president has taken to calling it, could apply to as many as five of the Republican candidates who in 2010 collected millions in investment income, which carries a much lower tax rate than salary, and is the primary reason some millionaires pay a lower tax rate than middle-income Americans.

    According to his 2010 tax return, Obama’s effective federal income tax rate was about 24 percent. With a reported income of about $1.7 million, the president paid the same rate as a married couple who earned $101,000 after deductions. Under the Buffett Rule, the president would undoubtedly have to pay higher taxes to push his taxable income into the highest 35 percent tax bracket.

  20. Thank you for this info Bob. You have showed that because of investment income, some members of the top-fifth quintile pay a lower tax rate rate than other members of the top-fifth quintile.

    Earning $101,000, and after deductions no less, puts someone squarely into the rich quintile, not the middle.

    You have proved my point for me, as well as retreated from your earlier position that the wealthy pay a lower percentage in taxes that the middle class. The facts are against you, even the ones you dragged up. You might as well use the Bible as your source of information at this point.

  21. You are delusional, Michael if you think an income of $101k is wealthy. The increase in taxes proposed, is of course, based on a much higher base, so I guess you get your information from your own behind.

    I am now unsubscribing from this thread because you make little sense and I will no longer tolerate your nonsense.

  22. Being in the top fifth is not being in the middle, how hard is that?

    That is not $101k of income, that is the amount after subtracting deductions – it’s actually higher. Maybe math isn’t your thing.

    As for where you draw the line to be qualified as rich, that’s a value judgement – it’s not science. Income doesn’t account for cost of living differences in the area, and its always by comparison. If you look at you will see that $101k in income is in the top 0.65% of the world. But as for the national american average, it is pretty far from being in the middle.

    Bob, you are running away because you lost. The data is clearly against your cherished position.

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