Marital Value in the Free Market


Do you have any idea the monetary value of your marriage? I do. Well, actually I recently learned its upper limit as measured over a two hour time frame. After nearly 35 years of matrimony it is reassuring to know the trophy wife considers my company to not be completely worthless; close but not completely. Let me explain.

Druann and I flew to Pensacola, Florida over Easter to visit our daughter Chelsie, son-in-law Marcus and their three mini-Warners. Because these three grandchildren live across the country, our visits are woefully inadequate to develop the proper relationship with Nana and Papa. Marcus is in his home stretch of duty with the Navy’s Blue Angels and we hope they will be coming home to Montana once his obligation is met. Marc is our only family member in the armed services and he will spend these last six months at airshows across America; great for a single guy, but a source of heartache and hardship for a true dad with a family.

Serving one’s country while simultaneously serving one’s family are mutually exclusive conditions. I am humbled by the sacrifice patriots made in 1776 when they abandoned families and farms to engage the most powerful military in world history so as to advance the American Cause; launch our great experiment in freedom. To believe no one man has the right to rule another was a truly revolutionary idea. Minimally supplied and armed mostly with a passion for liberty, those who lived through multiple battlefield defeats faced greater threats of death from starvation or disease once back in camp. Our founders were truly a special breed. I mention this here because I am so angered to see today’s Democrats and establishment Republicans exchange freedom earned from the blood of patriots for votes from the dependency class. I trust there is a special place in hell reserved for those who put such a trivial value on something as celestial as freedom. Sorry, I rambled off my point, so let me start again.

We had booked our flights months ago, but today’s new and improved airline reservation system means the computer randomly selects your seats and then wishes you the best of luck trying to change them so you can sit together. We made a half-hearted attempt to fix this while interacting with the kiosk at the Billings airport. We failed. However, once aboard the aircraft we swapped seats with a nice young man so we shared our flight together. The innate kindness of man will always rule over electronics. During the three hour layover in Denver we attacked another kiosk attempting to change our seats to Houston. Here is where I discovered the free market value of my company; my presence is worth some value less than $45 per hour. Druann found us a couple exit row seats together, but to make the change would require a 45 dollar greasing of United Airlines…per seat. Facing a $90 charge for a two hour flight the trophy wife announced, “Well it’s not worth that,” and she hit the exit icon. I started thinking how impressed she would have been had I quickly swiped my card through the reader and offhandedly announced, “Well, you are worth $45 per hour to me!” On second thought, perhaps the other passengers would misinterpret the nature of our relationship thinking it was the trophy wife charging by the hour for her services rather than United Airlines. Defeated again, we gathered our carry-ons and quietly walked to the gate.

Sitting alone in a window seat on our flight to Houston, I intermittently tapped along on my lap top composing this column when I wasn’t staring at the vast openness of this wonder called America. The captain announced we were 200 miles from Houston and would begin our descent. Looking down, I was amazed by all the small dirt roads recently carved into the sandy soils. At first I thought they were all new, tiny subdivisions, but as we descended it was obvious they were service roads leading to energy development sites and there were hundreds upon hundreds of them. America truly is the land of plenty and we have not even scratched the surface of our God given potential. Americans must abandon the Marxist thought wealth originates in their neighbors wallet and the proper function of government is to redistribute that wealth down the barrel of a gun. It is the free market in a setting of a limited government structure which sets the value of all products and services from the price of crude oil to the value of sitting alongside your wife on a two hour plane ride. The sooner we eliminate restrictive government regulation the quicker America will restore her greatness. Let freedom ring.

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