Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The two shall become one checkbook

David Brooks of the New York Times makes an interesting observation about husbands, wives, and separate checkbooks.
For one thing, separate accounts can easily turn into secret accounts. A person's status and resources inside the home shouldn't be based on how much he or she is making outside it. A union based on love can easily turn into a merger based on self-interest, where the main criterion for continuing becomes: Am I getting a good return on my investment, psychic or otherwise?
True confession time, I never in my life have kept a checkbook. I did all the figuring in my head and was very willing to give up the responsibility once I was married. But the thought of separate accounts was never even considered. We share all things in common and that includes the checkbook. David Brooks concludes,
The larger, far more important point is that in a society as individualistic as ours, it's especially important to protect and nurture the countervailing institutions. It's so easy for the powerful force of individualism to wash over and transform institutions - like family, religion and the military - that are supposed to be based on self-sacrifice, loyalty and love.
I agree.

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