Dating in bad economy
All sorts of social scientists are now working that intersection where wealth and romance meet — and they’re uncovering an assortment of troubling trends.Researchers are finding, for instance, that Cupid’s arrows fall less randomly than they did back in the middle of the 20th century.Finding true love, philosophers have always understood, can get complicated in deeply unequal places.Grand fortunes tend to give Cupid a hard time, on Valentine’s Day and every other.“If you gain fame, power, or wealth, you won’t have any trouble finding lovers,” as Philip Slater noted years ago in "The Pursuit of Loneliness," “but they will be people who love fame, power, or wealth.”But philosophers no longer have a corner on the love-and-inequality connection.
In that more equal America, most Americans lived within income hailing distance of most other Americans.
They interacted socially with a fairly large cross-section of the nation's overall population.
Americans today have become distinctly less likely to marry someone outside their income bracket.
Social scientists have a label for this phenomenon.
And that brings us to another mating consequence of growing inequality: the ongoing slide in the share of American adults married. Three-fifths of 18- to 29-year-olds had spouses in 1960, only one-fifth today. One major factor: the economic squeeze on working Americans.
In 1960, 72 percent of Americans over 18 lived the married life. A half-century ago, a single wage earner could support a family. Two earners have become a necessity for maintaining anything close to a comfortable middle class status.