Saturday, October 01, 2005

social security solution

I made the decision I wasn't going to write anything about the stupidity of what Bill Bennett said about aborting black babies to bring down the crime rate because, well, it was just stupid. But I just read the Post article about the comments (from yesterday -- yes, still having a hard time keeping up with my reading) and feel compelled to point out the economic brilliance of the caller who prompted Bill's comment.

The caller suggested that Social Security would not be in the economic trouble that it is now if so many babies had not been aborted, thereby preventing them from contributing more Social Security tax.

I don't listen to conservative radio very often, if only because I have a tendency to get a little excited and I'm trying not to kill myself with an early heart attack. But I admit to finding it fascinating because of this very kind of argument. I imagine groups of stupid/conservative people sitting around in a bar, maybe around a dinner table after a big meal, tossing around ideas like this and being pretty damn confident that they could solve the world's problems if only they were in charge.

I mean, I know liberals do it (they invite me to their dinner parties if I promise to bring a bottle of wine), and their ideas are often just as stupid (simplistic, generally). But I've been to a great deal of those dinner parties and so the novelty has worn off.

Anyway, in response to that guy and his Social Security argument? There would also have been a larger number of people contributing to Social Security if we had never gone to war, if there were more effective gun laws, if less people ate Big Macs and smoked cigarettes, if the government had been more timely in their responsive to HIV/AIDS, etc.

On top of that, the presumption that those who were aborted would have made a substantial contribution to Social Security presumes that, as initially unwanted children, they would, for example, have been adopted by a loving and nurturing family that raised them to be economically productive. I know that a large number of them would, but a large number would also have been raised in families without the resources to provide for them, thereby not contributing social security taxes and, instead, costing the government more money.

But did I really have to verbalize an argument against such a stupid comment? No. But I did.

By the way, had an "I'm old" moment last night when I talked to a friend about Bill Bennett and he only remembered Bennett as the "drug czar" under Bush 41 and not as the Education Secretary in the Reagan Administration.

Oh well.

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