Did Gay Marriage Cause The Economic Crisis?

by Jonathan Chait | August 18, 2011

Rick Santorum draws the connection:

Letting the family break down and in fact encouraging it and inciting more breakdown through this whole redefinition of marriage debate, and not supporting strong nuclear families and not supporting and standing up for the dignity of human life. Those lead to a society that’s broken. …
If you think that we can be a society that kills our own, and that disregards the family and the important role it plays, and doesn’t teach moral values and the important role of faith in the public square, and then expect people to be good, decent and moral when they behave economically, if you look at the root cause of the economic problems that we’re dealing with on Wall Street and Main Street I might add, from 2008, they were huge moral failings. And you can’t say that we’re gonna take morality out of the public square, morality out of our schools, God out of our schools, and then expect people to behave decently in a country that requires, capitalism requires some strong modicum of moral consciousness if it’s gonna be successful.

Interesting theory. Hey, stimulus didn't work -- maybe we should give stigmatizing the gays a shot.

In all seriousness, there is a long history of moralizing economic catastrophe. Most people don't understand economics, and economics tends anyway to explain economic disaster as a result of relatively prosaic factors that don't satisfy the public's desire for a grand moral narrative that matches the level of disaster people experience. The economics field has advanced to the point where Santorum-esque explanations are less common, but they still exist and probably always will.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/93873/did-gay-marriage-cause-the-economic-crisis