First came the movie “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Now comes the sort-of sequel: “Silver Linings Divorce.”
Just check out this headline from Wednesday’s L.A. Times website: “Divorces Increase as Improving Economy Makes Split-ups Affordable.” (And you thought there weren’t any good-news stories anymore.)
Apparently, what’s at work here is a corollary of the old “staying together for the sake of the children.” Call this one “staying together for the sake of the nice house and the BMW and the box at the Hollywood Bowl.”
Let my colleague Stuart Pfeifer explain:
It's not that money necessarily leads to unhappiness. Instead, the recession caused many couples to stay together because their homes were underwater or one or both parties were out of work, said Debra Schoenberg, a San Francisco divorce attorney.
“Prior to the recession, a couple’s home was one of their largest assets to divide,” said Schoenberg, author of the newly released book, “Divorce in California: The Legal Process, Your Rights and What to Expect.”
“When the recession hit and home values plummeted, the couple had fewer assets. Divorcing resulted in greater financial losses. Now, however, the housing market has rebounded and interest rates are [close to] historical lows. Couples now have more wealth as they consider divorce, which lessens the financial impact.”
There you go. Now you can stop being married, broke and unhappy, and be single, still mostly broke and eating alone most nights.
But this isn't just divorce, American-style. Look across the Pond. According to Pfeifer’s story:
Divorce rates plummeted to historic lows in Britain in 2008 as that country's economy was devastated by the financial crisis, Marquette University professor Abdur Chowdhury said in a research paper.
(And some people say that university types never come up with useful information.)
Now, Pfeifer doesn’t go into it, but the political angle of this story is self-evident: President Obama and the Democrats are to blame for the splitting up of America’s families.
After all, the economy has undoubtedly improved since the disaster that was George W. Bush; an improving economy has led to more divorces; and the improving economy happened under Obama and the Democrats: Voila! It’s their fault.
I can see Chris Christie’s 2016 campaign sign now: “Vote for Christie: He’ll wreck the economy but save your marriage.”
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