Economics and the rental imperative

Avoiding marriage appears to work:

Spurned Girlfriend Awarded $10 Million: Woman Awarded Huge Judgment After Breakup. After two weeks in court, a jury in April 2004 found Hubner liable for an astounding $10 million, plus the apartment she was living in, and her legal bills. It was one of the largest awards ever in a case like this. But if the jury’s decision is upheld, it could send a signal to other wealthy couples whose relationships — and finances — aren’t defined in legal documents.

“If this case prevails … it gives us some guidance as to what to expect in the future for people who fall into the trap of believing that someone will take care of them without that little piece of paper,” said attorney Lynn Gold-Bikin, an expert on family law.

Naturally, the media took the wrong lesson from this silly award, which will almost surely be reduced significantly on appeal. $10 million is a lot of money, and indeed, seventeen years of service indicates that Miss Horvath’s various services were worth $1,611.60 per day. Since I have it on excellent authority that Heidi Fleiss’ girls went for $1,500 daily, it seems that Mr. Hubner is assumed to have been paying Miss Horvath $40k per year for her home management responsibilities.

But $10 million is not a significant portion of Hubner’s net worth and had Hubner married Horvath, he would likely have been forced to pay out far more, perhaps as much as 25 times more. Instead of being required to maintain an apartment for her, he’d probably have lost at least one house as well.

If this award is upheld, I suspect it will be the high-class escorts who will profit most in the end, because if avoiding marriage does not suffice to economically protect high-income single men from a parasitical family court system, they will increasingly adopt the triple-F rental imperative. No doubt many women and more than a few men will rightly find this offensive for moral and other less valid reasons, but as even the Soviet Union finally learned, not even brutal totalitarian rule will suffice to prevent men from acting in their economic self-interest in the vast majority of circumstances.

I do not find it to be a coincidence that in today’s divorce culture, the status and popularity of porn stars and other women-for-hire has risen substantially. Consider the fact that a few years ago, a poll in a country far more steeped in the dual malaise of spiritual apathy and rampant divorce showed that the number one profession sought by Russian schoolgirls was “hard-currency prostitute”. As always, the Law of Unintended Consequences remains in effect and it appears increasingly likely that the unintended consequence of female-initiated divorce and the economic penalization of men is the sexual commoditization of women.

Now, there’s little doubt that Hubner is more than a bit of an ass. No decent employer will let a secretary or a janitor of 17 years service go without making sure they are compensated reasonably. But his apparent lack of decency does not change the fact that he had made no contractual commitments to his long-standing mistress.

And finally, “that little piece of paper” is called a contract, without which no legal obligation exists. Inventing one out of thin air is not only ridiculous, it holds dangerous implications for the American legal system. Ms Gold-Bikin’s attitude demonstrates the inherent distrust, even disdain, that far too many women have for the most basic element of human rights and capitalism, the right to property.