Five Best Tuesday Columns

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers on economics of gay marriage, Jonathan Macey on J.P Morgan, Frank Bruni on Republicans and marriage, Michael Gerson on Romney's Liberty University speech, and Atossa Abrahamian on dual citizenship.

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Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson in Bloomberg View on the economics of gay marriage As support for same sex marriage grows, it matches a shift in the economist's understanding of marriage. "For our grandparents’ generation, marriage was about separate roles, separate spheres and specialization ... Modern marriage offers different benefits. Today, we search for a soul mate rather than a good homemaker or provider." As this definition takes over, it becomes more desirable to same-sex couples and their marriages, in turn, become more palatable to heterosexuals whose economic arrangements fit in. "It is no coincidence that many of the opponents of same-sex marriage are also opponents of the ongoing shift to marriages of equality."

Jonathan Macey in The Wall Street Journal on JP Morgan and regulation Macey, a Yale law professor, argues against those who use JP Morgan's $2 billion loss as proof we need stricter regulations. "The trades that JP Morgan made were extremely complex, and it certainly appears that they did not work the way that they were supposed to. But the reason that markets work better than central planning is because market participants learn from experience, and they learn fast and thoroughly because they suffer significant losses when their investments, whether they be hedges or not, turn out badly." The bad bets JP Morgan made were in fact hedges intended to stabilize their portfolio, and seen in the context of the firm's broader financial position, the losses were not catastrophic, he says. "Outlawing or restricting hedging will make the banking system more, rather than less, risky. That is why the Volcker Rule does not outlaw hedging, at least not yet."

Frank Bruni in The New York Times on the Republican split on gay marriage Bruni has little love for those on the right like Rush Limbaugh and Bristol Palin who criticized Barack Obama's gay marriage endorsement even while their personal lives show something less than a commitment to the ideals of traditional marriage. "More interesting than the tired, press-a-button condemnations from Bristol and Rush was Mitt Romney's comportment. He didn't hasten to turn same-sex marriage into a wedge issue," Bruni writes. "And I think that the extent to which Romney continues to hold back will have enormous consequence for the Republican Party's destiny."

Michael Gerson in The Washington Post on Romney's memorable speech Gerson writes that Mitt Romney's rhetoric isn't often all that great, but his commencement speech at Liberty University deserves to be remembered. It "gave evidence of creative, lively intelligence somewhere near the center of the Romney campaign machine," Gerson says. "Agree or disagree, Romney set out a sophisticated case for cultural conservatism: that liberal public institutions depend on virtues and values shaped in conservative social institutions." Obama has lately used religion more explicitly to bolster his own political arguments, always a dangerous game and one that Romney, in this speech at least, avoided.

Atossa Abrahamian in Reuters on dual citizenship When Michele Bachmann's dual citizenship to Switzerland became public, she only lasted a few days before renouncing it to reinforce her commitment to the Constitution. "That Bachmann reneged upon her decision so quickly also speaks to the troubled relationship Americans have with multiple citizenship," Abrahamian writes. Bachmann's affair, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's recent rejection of U.S. citizenship, and drone strikes on American citizens have all brought into focus the growing gap between our concept of citizenship and our globalized practice of it. "Bachmann’s transatlantic flip-flop exemplifies how old-fashioned we are in our views about citizenship ... Instead of seeing our countries as spouses or lovers, let us think of them as dear friends – friends with a great number of benefits."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.