We have to face reality. If low-wage men don’t present women with much of a good deal, why not double, or triple, or quadruple them up? Pool resources, boost household income, and promote family values at the same time?
I realize this is a little hard to envision. Polyandry — the practice of a woman taking more than one husband at a time — has traditionally been considered (by majority-male anthropologists) an all-but-impossible aberration. More recent research, however, has found more than 75 societies world-wide in which women take multiple husbands, an article by Alice Dregger revealed in the Atlantic last year. Polyandry, it turns out, can be an efficient way of dealing with tough times, and constrained resources.
The United States would, of course, have to change its laws regarding marriage. But that’s not so impossible; Utah may already be en route to a much-weakened anti-polygamy law. And we’d have to find a way to have our new pro-polyandry law apply only to low-income households, to keep the whole income-inequality thing from taking off once again. Somehow, I don’t think better-off men would raise a fuss about the constitutional issues.