Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doogie Howser, PhD

In the Funny or Die video "Proposition 8 - The Musical", Neil Patrick Harris brings together supporters and opponents of the ballot measure by reminding everyone that there's money to be made in gay marriage. According to Ian Ayers over at Freakonomics, NPH isn't the first to have this idea. Jennifer Gerard Brown, Ayers co-author, estimated that:
"...the present value of a change in marriage law for the first-mover state could reach three or four billion dollars. [E]ach tourist dollar spent generates additional private income, tax revenue, and jobs. Forbes magazine recently estimated that if same-sex couples currently living together would marry, they would spend $16.8 billion in the first several years following legalization."
Ayers also points out that "Brad Sears and Lee Badgett have estimated that same-sex marriage would “boost California state and local government revenues by over $63.8 million.'"

Same-sex marriage doesn't need to be justified on the basis of economic benefits. But it's a useful reminder that restrictions on human liberty don't lead to prosperity.

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