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Contraception Will Save the Economy!

nancy-pelosi-attacks.jpgSo, I’m sure you’re all very aware that President Obama is trying to get a $825 billion stimulus plan enacted by Valentine’s Day, with the hope — ultimately — of creating 3 million new jobs and saving the world. I love the idea of saving the world. However, the Republicans aren’t buying into the stimulus plan, mostly because they are contrarians and want to disagree on principle, even if they know it’s probably best for the nation (I mean: It can’t hurt, right?). But, in arguing against the bill, they have scoured it and isolated a few smaller initiatives that they can use as examples to illustrate the Democrats out-of-control spending. John Boehner, the lead Republican in the house, has pinpointed two provisions, and blown them way out of proportion for effect. Not that I’m disagreeing with him, of course.

One is $200 million put toward fixing the National Mall. I got no problem with this, because a good portion of that $200 million will go toward labor costs, which employ more people, and materials, which employ people who make them. So, you get to hire a few hundred people and make the National Mall look nicer. Win win!

With the other provision, however, I can see where Boehner is coming from: House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi wants to include $200 million for contraception, supplied through the Medicaid program. Really?

Pelosi defends the funding, saying: “Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

So, we give poor people rubbers, there are fewer births, and the economy is saved. Hooray!

Well, some guy at the U.S. News and World Report disagrees, quoting from the book Empty Cradle, by Phil Longman:

Population aging also depresses the growth of government revenues. Population growth is a major source of economic growth: more people create more demand for the products capitalists sell, and more supply of the labor capitalists buy. Economists may be able to construct models of how economies could grow amid a shrinking population, but in the real world, it has never happened. A nation’s GDP is literally the sum of its labor force times average output per worker. Thus a decline in the number of workers implies a decline in an economy’s growth potential. When the size of the work force falls, economic growth can occur only if productivity increases enough to compensate.

So, this guy is basically saying, the more people who are born, the bigger the demand for products, and the bigger the workforce needed to create those products. Sounds logical. Of course, there will also be more people you have to employ, so it sounds like a wash to me.

But, how about this: Who the hell cares? The effectiveness, if any, of supplying contraceptives is going to be long-term anyway you look at it. Why include this in a bill we’re trying to get passed as soon as possible? Why give the G.O.P. any ammunition at all to work with, even if it only represents an small fraction of the overall costs? You could create 4,000 $50,000 a year jobs with that money. Hell, I don’t even like the idea that 40 percent of the bill is being used for tax cuts. If people are paying taxes, that means they have a job, so fuck em. Let’s use that $300 billion and fund 6 million jobs for a year, and create 6 million new taxpayers, so we at least get some of that money back in taxes.

Of course, I don’t know crap about the economy, but even my pea-sized brain understands that condoms aren’t the solution we need right now. When we’re back in the black, then the Democrats and Republicans can have an earnest debate about whether funding contraceptives is a good idea. For now, let’s just create jobs. OK?

| Comments (9)


Comments

whoa!!! Just a second, my condom factory is in Pelosi's district and I'll hire at least two yet to be documented workers at $6.75 an hour. So There!

People with fewer kids have more money/leisure time to use goods and services. Right now we're on track to become a massive population of Angela's Ashes stereotypes

I believe Jonathan Swift had a good solution in this area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

That's your solution to everything: bad economy, eat the kids. War not going your way? Eat the kids. Nothing to eat? Eat the kids. Had a bad day at work...

It's more than just reduced population. Making sure women have control of their reproductive choices allows them to complete higher education and plan families around it.

http://www.feministfinance.com/2009/01/will-affordable-birth-control-be-part.html

Are you joking? People who want to have children will not stop having them because there is free contriception. People who don't want kids will be able to prevent having an abortion or treating incoming STDs will contraception. Which is good for our national health and economy. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

Being able to choose not to get pregnant means women can stay in the workforce and contribute to the economy.

Not to mention it punishes women to have Viagra provided but not birth control.

Also, a large percentage of health insurance plans will not cover the pill, making affordable contraception impossible for many women that want it.

This may be naive, but putting some birth control in the hands of some folks who aren't that good at controlling their relationship with abstinence can't be a bad thing. Perhaps this is simply grouped into the wrong place at the wrong time for some, but I swear there's nothing worse than an unplanned pregnancy when you are in financial trouble. And when life is troubling, sex is at least a free stress reliever - why shouldn't it offer a degree of certainty when you gotta get out there and find a job to feed your own self?

I think your missing the point - the birth control would prevent people who qualify for medicare from having kids they don't want. If you qualify for medicare, that means you probably don't have the money to support those kids in the first place and so the government (i.e. taxpayers) are gonna foot the bill for raising said kids. Which is gonna cost us more in the long run than bc.