Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Man Drought? Check Out Cracker Personals!

On the television today there was a news story about a so-called man drought in Australia. Apparently among people aged in their 30s there are more females than males mainly because men are being lured overseas to places like Manhattan where there is a surplus of unmarried males. There is an article on The Age about this called Where Have All The Good Men Gone?

The article states the following: "The fact is there are 20,000 more women than men aged about 30. In economic terms this amounts to a supply shortage. Many of those women who might have contemplated producing a brood of new Australians could have trouble finding a partner."

This idea of a "supply shortage" assumes that everyone is out to get married and that polygamous relationships are not considered. Marriage I understand is a traditional social institution. It's something people do because it's what everyone else does. However, the average Australian has a $3000 credit card debt so just because everyone else is doing something it doesn't mean you should follow. My aunt and other members of the family have asked me whether I would like to get married. They told me that if I wanted them to go shopping for a women for me then they would love that. A lot of people have negative things to say about arranged marriages but I don't see the harm of a little bit of outsourcing especially since modern courtship rituals nowadays are highly complex. In the old days I suppose fathers negotiated with other families to sell their daughters to families with the most wealth. Nowadays the idea that women are owned by their fathers is looked down upon. Women own themselves and are given the freedom to pursue any man they want. The problem is that many women don't, instead expecting men to come to them. Then there are all sorts of complex questions such as whether you have to get consent from a female before you kiss her otherwise you might find yourself in a courtroom being sued for physical harassment. All this reminds me of an EconTalk podcast about Signalling in which Professor Hanson claims that when men and women judge each other they usually look at intelligence, wealth, and health, and that they usually engage in wasteful and inefficient rituals to prove or signal each of these competencies. For example, a man will try to be funny to prove he is intelligent. He will stay up late, party, dance, and play sports to prove he is healthy. He will buy expensive cars to prove he is rich. Hanson claims that this courtships ritual is inefficient and, for the sake of economic efficiency, single men and women should just approach a table and hand each other certified documents of bank accounts and titles of property (to prove wealth), blood test results (to prove health), and academic transcript or IQ tests (to prove intelligence). All this brings up many questions, e.g. how much money is being wasted per year on courtship rituals? To discourage these inefficient behaviors should tariffs be applied?

The whole idea of a man drought I think just doesn't make sense. The last time I checked the Cracker Melbourne Personals, there was a huge surplus of males and there were virtually no women there except for professional escorts who were just far too expensive. Why is it that just about every single woman who advertises here are looking for money in return while men are offering nothing.

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