Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Married People Earn More Money"

I see those words every morning now, on my way to work. Along Connecticut Avenue, bus shelter after bus shelter features an enormous poster of a happy couple in wedding attire, smiling away. Some of the posters feature a black couple and others feature a Caucasian-ish (possibly Latino) couple, showing pure joy on their faces next to that huge tag line: "Married people earn more money." At the bottom right, the words "Marriage works." At the bottom left, there is a link to this website.

I get that they are encouraging young people to consider marriage. That's great. But to advertise in urban bus shelters that marriage is a way to bring in more cash? Yeesh.

"We're married. We can buy and sell you pathetic single losers!"

I give those posters the big middle finger as I drive past them. Speaking as someone who would love to find a partner and best friend who loved me - and has very little chance of ever doing so - I find this campaign grotesque. GET MARRIED - GRAB MORE CASH!!! WHOOOOOO!

The website has a text box that talks about other benefits of getting married:

Wow. How smug. And check out the item in larger type - how insulting to many single parents who struggle, but persevere and do a fantastic job in raising their kids. I'd rather see someone raise a kid as a strong single parent than remain in a bad marriage, but that's just me, I suppose.

And whatever happened to getting married because you want to spend the rest of your life with your best friend?

Maybe I'm delusional.

Perhaps. And maybe it's because I am unwillingly single that it bothers me so much.

I just find this crass.

When these signs were first posted in New York subways back in 2005, MTA spokesman Tim Kelly said, "That campaign must’ve been invented by someone who’s not married.”



J.M. Tewkesbury said...

This reminds me of a horrible document the Mormons released in the 1990s called "A Proclamation on the Family." A dreadful piece of dreck and propaganda.

I'm with you. I find these kinds of campaigns offensive and demeaning, especially to those who are raising families single-handedly. And you're right: This campaign gives the wrong message.

I'm gonna stop there, because this kind of crap pisses me off!

Anonymous said...

I can personally vouch for the fact that since getting married, I am making less money than I ever have. Of course, I have nothing to spend it on except fried chicken.

Chuck said...

The only place I have seen marriage guarantee you a bigger paycheck was the military. (You get extra money through allowances, also access to base housing, etc.) I heard of some people getting married while in the service primarily to get the extra allowances.

If I was married now it would make no difference as far as what I get paid at all. In my father's day he did seem to get more pay raises after he was married, but I think that era is long gone. Also, if you're married and supporting a family, you have much less money to spend on yourself...but of course the ad does not point that out. I agree, it's very crass.

Anonymous said...

First let me admit I didn't go to the website. I was already spitting nails from your post. Is this part of the get single mothers off the government dole by pushing marriage as The Answer to all their problems? How insulting to single mothers or fathers. How insensitive to all the reasons why people are single. It makes my skin crawl. Give the sign an extra finger from me.

Anonymous said...

This is something I've meant to blog about. A few weeks ago I read an article about how single-parent households cost tax payers so many billions of dollars and the solution offered was to support programs that promoted marriage to the poor. As if being poor, uneducated, without health insurance is ok as long as you're married. What a flaming bag of crap.

Here you go - increase the national average reading level from the 6th grade to 10th grade, improve math aptitude to something over 5th grad, well then I bet single parents won't cost much money.

Right wing religious nuts.

Anonymous said...

thanks for taking this on. I saw this too, and will I'm seeing someone now I was unwillingly single for a while too. I also am divorced and the daughter of a mom who became single when my healthy, law-abiding, good-provider father got cancer and died. It happens even to "good people." So does marriage not work.