Friday, September 5, 2008

Is it Wise to Ask an Economist for Life Advice?

The undercover economist sometimes answers reader questions. Last week he criticized a man who asked, "is it wise to marry a career woman" since he (the asker) had heard that "such women are more likely to have affairs and/or seek divorce."

The economist dresses down the asker, as is proper. But he doesn't ask - as he probably shouldn't! - exactly how this annoying character defines a "career woman."

I mean, Jenna Jameson is a woman with a career. So is Sarah Palin. So is Karrine "Superhead" Steffans. So is Drew Faust. And, incidentally, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. So are most single moms, and most married ones (sometimes for the same reasons!)

So exactly what kind of careers is this guy discriminating against? All of them?

Usually, when people say "career woman" they don't mean a woman who makes a living working a job outside of home. They mean someone smart and ambitious who works because she enjoys it, and will continue to work throughout her life because she enjoys it.

So what that guy should have asked is, "is it wise to marry a woman who pursues her own satisfaction in life?" because that's what he meant.

And maybe the economist didn't dress that fool down enough.

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