Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mandatory Abortion for those 25 and Younger

Ted Rall had some interesting quotes in a recent article.

"Even pro-choice liberals are afraid to speak the truth: teen marriage and parenthood are disasters for everyone concerned. I have serious problems with well-off married couples who decide to terminate their pregnancies for frivolous reasons. Conversely, abortion ought to be mandatory for people under 18. Twenty-five would be better. Teen marriage should be banned."

In case we didn't get the point, he closes the piece with this.

"Congress should act to protect these kids from themselves--ban teen marriage, mandate teen abortion."

Question: Since when did a individual's/couple's "right" to control their reproduction become someone else's "right" to mandate when they should marry and reproduce?
Answer: Quite a while ago.
* A side note about Dr. Connelly's book, linked to above. While I take umbrage at his misrepresentation of Catholic theology and practice, you kind of have to do that if you are writing a book which criticizes the population control ideologues as severely as his book does. As a prof. at Columbia University, it was the only way to save face and gain acceptance of his work in academic circles.

Honestly, I wonder how prevalent this idea or its variants is among the elite in US society? My aunt's a big proponent of forced abortion/sterilization for the "stupid"/underclass, but I haven't personally met too many others who hold (or at least widely admit to holding) such radical opinions. Yet, it seems from my reading that such a philosophy must hold sway with at least a large minority of ruling classes around the world, or it wouldn't have been so prevalent in policy over the last century. Given the tremendous advances in biotechnology in the last decade, with more certainly to come, I find that thought more than a little disconcerting.


Commie Americans - Capitalist Europeans

I know the post title is a major oversimplification of the situation, but I do find the subject of this article linked to below more than a bit ironic. It also raise some good questions. Does more front-end regulation lead to more stable financial systems overall? Were European investors simply less greedy than their American counterparts (excluding the UK and Spain)? Is our political system so infused with greed, that the politicians will use taxpayer dollars to bail out almost any group that has enough money? Is the assumed greater stability of Europe more conducive to long term growth of financial markets than the riskier/greedier US market?

EU Shuns U.S.-Style `Active Role' on Growth, Banks (Update2)

I don't know the answers to all those questions conclusively, but I do know that widespread corruption and greed can be a bigger drag on an economy that pretty much anything else and eventually, perhaps inevitably, leads to economic collapse (e.g., the former soviet union).


Friday, September 05, 2008

Community Service

Jim Lindgren at The Volokh Conspiracy has some interesting posts which consider what Obama meant when he stated in his July 2, 2008 speech that:

We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

Lindgren suggests that the "civilian national security force" comes from Obama's "unprecedented plans for universal community service for young people and for hugely increased funding for a myriad of voluntary service programs for the rest of us." The highlights seem to be:

- 50 hours per year of mandatory community service for middle and high school children.

- a $4,000 yearly tax credit toward college tuition in exchange for 100 hours per year of community service for 4 years.

- converting work-study jobs into serve-study jobs.

- forming additional service corps, doubling Peace Corps, tripling AmeriCorps.

The issues which popped up at VC (which tends libertarian) include concern over the government's inefficiency, logistics, reinforcing the cycle government dependency, defining what is and what is not "community service", ensuring effective service, and generally mandating or coercing good behavior.

I found that last one to be particularly interesting. The argument for the children's program seems to be that since the fed already mandates educational curriculum, and since community service is generally regarded as good (some private schools or organizations already require it), why would federally mandating community service be any different?

But if it is acceptable, what other good behavior should be mandated? How about giving blood? Is there a limit? And if it is good for children, why not mandate it for adults as well? What are the criteria for such mandates?

What do you folks think? Is this a good or a bad idea? Is it something worth trying?