Financially Incentivizing Couplehood and Marriage Needs to Be Re-examined
The single tax is alive and well, and it’s only getting worse
I live in an area of the country that has seen an overwhelming swell in housing prices since the beginning of the pandemic. Rent followed suit. It’s flat-out weird but completely understandable.
We are inundated with people fleeing Southern California in search of lower-cost housing in a still desirable location. On top of that, big investors are buying over 20% of the houses and reselling them at a higher profit.
As a result, we have far more buyers than we can handle and we can’t build homes and apartments fast enough. Couple that with low-interest rates and a pandemic that created a robust remote workforce, and we have hit housing crisis mode.
I’m a single mom on the verge of being an empty nester. I have always thought that when my daughter went off to college, I would shift my career, take a step back, downsize the house, and move to a little apartment someplace funky near downtown.
I’ve run the numbers on my dream. As a single earner, it’s a dismal situation. The reality of what it costs for me to live in the same manner as my coupled friends is ridiculous.
Being single is now a circumstance gifted only to the privileged. The American Dream is long dead and more so for single people. Worse yet, if you are single and a minority, this is incredibly horrific as gentrification is now the norm in every metropolitan area of the country. Single Black women are the lowest-earning people in the job market.
If we want to normalize singlehood, which, by the way, is totally normal, then we have to start with fixing wage gaps.
How wage gaps affect single people
To see what I mean, let’s just take Phoenix as an example. I chose a couple of decent areas of town that are safe but not fancy. Easily accessible to freeways but suburban and surrounded mostly by chain restaurants.