They Know Not What They Do (I Hope)

My dear sister in Christ, Nancy Pelosi, made a comment yesterday that no doubt you heard: contraception is good for the economy because less kids means more money to go around.  Today at our staff meeting, I heard another interesting comment: our parish school is “beating the bushes” for enrollment because there just aren’t enough kids around to enroll.  Since the health of the school and the health of the parish are intimately linked, it’s trouble on the horizon for all of us.  Tough times are a’comin’ to my corner of the world, and it is in part due to a marked lack of children.

Now, I’m no economist, but it seems to me that an increased demand for goods and services provides a need for someone to provide those goods and services.  Said provider, if I understand correctly, gets compensated for this and results in what we call a “job”.  How, then, could children not be considered to be good for the economy?  Do we not need to buy things for baby? Do our grandparents, neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc, not also buy things for baby?  Do we not need to educate this child? Feed him? Does not this child, when grown to adulthood, get taxed for something called “Social Security”? Does he not, with his siblings, bear the responsibility for the care of the humans who brought him into existence (so that the state does not have to)?  Even sick babies like mine were responsible in part for keeping a whole host of people from parking lot attendants to pediatric intensive care specialists employed. Babies even come with an 18-year rebate: a tax deduction.  They are like little bundles of stimuli dropped by Mr. Stork.

Now, I really hope that people like Mrs. Pelosi are buying into the materialist lie that in order to properly parent a child, you must indulge him in the total excess recommended by our culture.  In that case, I could almost see her point.  If another child dictated a larger house, a whole new set of clothes and toys, and 10 more sets of lessons, etc, then perhaps another would be too expensive.  Of course, there are also legitimate circumstances in which a family simply cannot support another child and should attempt to postpone pregnancy.  But let’s not pretend that limiting our family sizes is somehow patriotic.  I say that I hope Pelosi believes the materialist lie because if that is not her motivation, I can think of only one other.  What type of organization directly benefits from “limiting family size” through drugs or surgery?  Who is it that would get my tax dollars (assuming I still have a job) in the event of some kind of contraceptive stimulus package? Yikes.

From the Cross Jesus shouted, “forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”.  Let’s hope that this is true for those who are actively promoting Mrs. Pelosi’s agenda.  And even if it is not, let’s pray for hearts like Christ’s, willing to offer ourselves in love for those who hate us.



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5 responses to “They Know Not What They Do (I Hope)

  1. Sandy Eller

    I agree with this so much! I hear people often comment, “Oh let’s take care of the kids that are already here, we don’t need to produce anymore. Adoption, fine.”

    Well, then why are 200 + couples waiting for babies on my uncle’s adoption list, and why are schools struggling for enrollment?

    Where are all these babies they are talking about???

    Your comments bring to light a truth that probably won’t be voiced. Ms. Pelosi’s actions speak volumes of the culture of death.

    And as for all of these “extra” lessons and organized sports that children supposedly need, they really have gotten by quite nicely for thousands of years without structure. I believe we call it “play”.

    God’s blessings!!

  2. First, your economic argument is wrong. The increased demand from higher birthrate just diverts effort and resources that could be used to better care for those already around, taking care of sick people, etc. A dollar spent on a new baby could have been spent to get a job for a homeless person, etc. These pretensions that such and such needs more students, people, etc, are illusions caused by changes in load (more in the past compared to now, but no one has a right to expect the same number of customers forever – should we have subsidized horse-shoe makers when cars took over, instead of letting them find work doing things more important in the new economy?

    Second, Pelosi is right and Boehner is wrong. Contraception [i]is[/i] good for the economy, and saves most taxpayers money on average. Short-term, it reduces the revenue loss from deductions and child tax credits, and releases money (net even after loss of credits) and productive time to parents or would-be parents. Long-term, it reduces demand on basic resources (like oil, copper, etc.) and reduces the cost and pressure for alternatives to the rest of us. BTW there is no legitimate advantage of any kind, social, economic, etc; to population growth once density like ours has been reached.

  3. Kyle

    Neil, first off, noting that one could spend money on something else does not diminish the point that children are, among other things, an economic stimulus. For all the reasons given, that’s just a fact. As an economic investment, there is also a difference in caring for a newborn baby and getting a job for a homeless person. Both are important and even necessary in justice or charity, but one is a longer term investment than the other, in terms of what can on average be expected for a productive life.

    I would also point out that, all things being equal, maintaining or increasing a population gives a distinct economic advantage over a declining population. Consider just the efficiency of not having to close and restructure schools. Consider programs like Social Security and the difference between funding such a program with nine taxpayers per beneficiary vs. funding it with two taxpayers per beneficiary.

    The “demand for resources” argument is a bit of a red herring. There are, for instance, more calories per capita now than there were 20 years ago. The same is true for most of our resources. Technology has steadily increased the amount of known, usable oil reserves. Sure some of these are technically finite resources, but those limitations, far from coming into play, have receded from view, in direct contradiction to the population scare bogeymen. There is ample reason to be skeptical of their predictions now.

    Your argument about contraception and the economy is kind of funny in that it first of all is based only on the most incredibly short-term effects. It also glosses over completely the negative sociological effects of contraception, most spectacularly the breakdown of the family with widespread promiscuity, adultery and divorce, which has catastrophic effects on human life, including disadvantaging children attempting to grow up and become happy, productive members of society.

    To your assertion that “there is no legitimate advantage of any kind” to population growth in a society like ours, one must respond, “quod gratis asseritur quod gratis negatur.” That’s far too sweeping an assertion to be taken seriously. And again, it glosses over the terrible effects of declining population, which is what subsidizing contraception really means in the long-term.

  4. makingthingsvisable

    Not to mention that if we begin to quantify human life in terms of economics and usefulness, we begin down a very slippery slope. What of people on government assistance? Why not force them to sterilize? What of families who desire more than two children? Why not adopt China’s One Child policy? What about when someone has a costly disease? Do we force euthanasia on them?
    Is this argument not what got Hitler and Stalin started?

    Surely the human person, with intellect and free will, a myriad of gifts and talents, is worth more than his or her economic impact.

  5. Kyle

    Yes, that’s the biggest problem with Pelosi (and her defenders). Economies are for people, not people for economies.

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