Democrats & Liberals Archives

Abortion vs Humanity

The item, Broken Nation had two strings for a reason. Economics and Family Values are inextricably linked in the real world. Decisions about which child in this world will live and which child will die before reaching adulthood are often the product of economic choices made far from where that child lives. Not everything in life comes down to economics, but a great number of human lives here and elsewhere in the world end or continue due to economic choices made within our nation.

Many choices in life should probably not be left up to the harsh science of accounting, but due to limited resources they often are. We cannot provide AIDS drugs for the whole African continent; although we can help alleviate the suffering if we fund and spend the 15 billion dollars that our President promised to make available. That a President who extends the right to life to sperm cells by dropping condom programs supported by tax dollars canít find the funds for aid to AIDS victims is ironic, but not surprising. In spite of those who assert that we can continue to create debt equivalent to the total growth in our economy including inflation our resources are limited.

Trading debt in our society and the world today consists of buying one piece of paper with another. The buyers of our government bonds in Europe two years ago have lost value by holding those bonds because they are denominated in dollars. The EURO is worth around a dollar and a quarter today. If they had bought Euro denominated bonds two years ago instead they would have avoided the decline in their assets due to the relative decline of the value of the dollar versus the EURO. Our currency buys less food and clothes in Europe by around forty percent than it did two years ago.

Fortunately our economy has bonded with those of China and Japan and not the European Economy. We depend on the debt purchasing power of the Japanese and Chinese to keep our trade imbalances possible. Somehow in our brave new world the Godless Chinese Communists have become our friends and our Democratic European allies have become our critics. China is exporting a great deal of their production in order to obtain dollars then it is recycling those dollars back to us by buying our government bonds and our intellectual property. It is also using those dollars to buy oil and other resources to feed its growing economy.

Right now China needs our markets and those of Europe to feed its growth engine. The Chinese people are discovering consumerism and they like having goods and services available to them. They will become the greatest consumer society on earth in the next hundred years if the course they are on continues for that long. Communism will probably fail sometime during that period and be replaced by some other form of government. It already has been replaced in the minds and hearts of the Chinese people by consumerism, Chairman Mao would be astonished at what he has wrought.

It is folly to assume that we can consume more than we produce on an ever inclining scale. It is even more foolish to assume that we can fund that consumption with paper dollars not backed with production of something of value to the takers of those dollars. Right now we are exporting technology and intellectual capital to China at a stupendous rate. Within fifty years they will have the capacity to generate their own new technology at a more rapid pace than we will, if they continue to grow as rapidly as they are today. Then what will we have to sell them? Paper money is only useful when it buys something of value. We are buying much of our clothing and many of our other consumer items from China today. What will happen when we no longer have anything to sell them that they need in order to support their markets? Those answers are missing from the world view of those who pose the theory of infinitely increasing debt as a practical economic fact.

Simply because you ignore uncomfortable questions they do not disappear in the real world. The interest on our national debt could easily reach one trillion dollars by the year 2012. If long term interest rates climb above ten percent again it will reach that level. Donít bet against that happening, your money will be needed to fund that interest payment. If we are still consuming fifty billion dollars more than we are producing each month, a number that is still rising, that will leave us in very tight pants with a really thin wallet to buy new ones. What level of debt is sustainable for our economy is a real question, not some bitter fantasy concocted to embarrass those who think that tomorrow always takes care of itself and can prove it to their own satisfaction.

As for the issue of abortion, if for the sake of argument I allow you to install a soul into each fetus at the second of conception the debate then comes down to how much our society values that soul over the rights of the woman involved. Dehumanizing that woman or ignoring her presence in the process is not going to work in the long term. Nor will dehumanizing the fetus work. We have to decide how much we are willing to suppress the rights of women in order to support the rights of fetuses, that is our inescapable dilemma. Thus far the answer to that since Roe V Wade has been that we are not as a society willing to impose those draconian suppressions proposed by some on women generally.

In point of fact we are moving toward restrictions on our civil liberties that I would not have believed we would accept twenty years ago. Perhaps we will soon have a society ready to suppress the rights of women to control their own bodies once again. Then the issue will be how much force we will bring to bear on that suppression. No matter what happens I suspect it will be as ineffectual as it had become before Roe V Wade. Laws that violate the private intimacy of the mother fetus relationship have a way of being honored in the breach. That is true even when they wind up being enforced on some unlucky women with great fanfare and much publicity. God bless and keep you safe from the harsh economic realities of the world; economics is not Godís tool, it is mans. ©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Interactive

Posted by Henri Reynard at November 18, 2004 10:04 AM