Saturday, November 18, 2006

Marriage Amendment Side Effects May Include...

Republicans thought of the marriage amendment as a miracle drug that would pull their electoral asses out of the fire. Unfortunately (for them) the side effect of increased swing voter turnout often proved deadly in this strongly Democratic year.

But there's another interesting side effect that I haven't seen discussed anywhere. The marriage amendment is going to increase state taxes.


By passing the amendment Wisconsin effectively reduced the potential labor pool for state jobs. Gays, lesbians, and unmarried couples will tend to go elsewhere, either into the private sector, which can still offer domestic partner benefits, or out of state.

When you cut supply, prices go up. That's basic economics, and it's just as true for labor as it is for material goods. The effect will be gradual and hard to measure, but it will happen. And the money the state potentially saves by not offering domestic partner benefits will not make up for the higher salaries necessary to attract and retain workers.

So the next time you run into someone who supported the amendment, be sure to thank them for voting to raise their own taxes.

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