Friday, August 09, 2013

Something to Think About


Almost every day I listen to Money Wise, a daily radio show that is part of Compass-finances God's way. This radio show, and organization, provides Biblical financial advice. This week they spoke with Ken Frenke, a financial planner of Kenneth Frenke & Co, about the global economy and how it affects jobs, unemployment, interest rates, gas prices, and more.

During the discussion the co-host of the program asked for Mr. Frenke's insight on the affect abortion has had on the global economy. He stated that the U.S. and many European nations are seeing aging populations and a shrinking workforce to replace these individuals to support and strengthen the economy due to decreasing reproduction rates. He stated that the millions of lives ended through abortion, beyond their moral value, have economic value. Millions of individuals have not, and are not, entering the workforce to support the economy.

Stand firm in Christ,

Chase

10 comments:

Andrew Ryan said...

This seems a simplistic way of looking at the situation. Many people may have an abortion when young, and then have a child later that they would not otherwise have had. Not only would the net number of people entering the workforce therefore be unchanged in that scenario, but as the parents may well wait until they are better off before conceiving the second child, that child will benefit from better education and make a more positive contribution to the economy than the first child would have.

In fact, having an abortion at a young age may allow a women to go into higher education, and then earn a better income that allows her to bring up several children. If she had not aborted that first child, she may never have been able to afford another.

Ceausescu banned abortion (and contraception) in Romania in an attempt to boost child births and also increase dependence on the state. The result was a huge (and costly) increase in unwanted births and abandoned children. It wasn't a boost to the economy.

None of this is meant to defend abortion – it's just a counter point to Frenke's assertions.

Andrew Ryan said...

The other point is that the alternative to the problem of 'ageing population and shrinking workforce to support pensioners' is a pyramid scheme where every generation must be larger than the one that precedes it. Like all pyramid schemes, it ultimately must collapse – we can't have an indefinitely growing population. Regardless of how many people you think the earth's resources can support, eventually that number will be reached and then surpassed.

So, like it or not, the problem of supporting our elderly with a non-growing or even gently decreasing workforce must be faced eventually. The answer is not simply to encourage large families indefinitely, as it simply postpones the problem, and in fact eventually exacerbates it.

Chase said...

This seems a simplistic way of looking at the situation.

Millions of human lives have been ended and are being ended through abortion. It is not any more complicated than that Andrew.

In fact, having an abortion at a young age may allow a women to go into higher education, and then earn a better income that allows her to bring up several children. If she had not aborted that first child, she may never have been able to afford another.

Using this way of thinking, I am justified in ending the life of my 2 year old because they are hindering my ability to pursue another Master's degree.

So, like it or not, the problem of supporting our elderly with a non-growing or even gently decreasing workforce must be faced eventually. The answer is not simply to encourage large families indefinitely, as it simply postpones the problem, and in fact eventually exacerbates it.

I suppose then that prematurely ending the lives of the elderly is a possible solution? Explain how under your worldview this is different than abortion.

Respectfully.

Andrew Ryan said...

"Millions of human lives have been ended and are being ended through abortion"

Chase, that's not the point Ken Frenke made and not the one I was addressing. Frenke specifically argued that abortion must be bad for the economy because it removes a person from the workforce. This IS a simplistic argument as it takes no account of the factors that I mentioned.

"Using this way of thinking, I am justified in ending the life of my 2 year old because they are hindering my ability to pursue another Master's degree."

When did I say anything like that? What 'way of thinking?' Frenke was discussing abortion in economic terms – I addressed his argument on its own terms. What does your question have to do with whether Frenke's argument holds water or not?

"I suppose then that prematurely ending the lives of the elderly is a possible solution? "

When did I say anything like that either? That might be your supposition, it isn't mine.

Frenke's argument concerned the affect of abortion on the economy. It was he making an economic argument about abortion, not me. I made clear critiques of the simplistic nature of Frenke's argument. At no point did I suggest any of the critiques support abortion. At no point did I suggest one should use economic concerns to decide the morality of abortion. I purely addressed the argument Frenke made, and you've not disputed any of my points.

Chase said...

Frenke specifically argued that abortion must be bad for the economy because it removes a person from the workforce.

Do you think tens of millions of people not entering the workforce has no negative impact on the economy?

When did I say anything like that?

You stated: In fact, having an abortion at a young age may allow a women to go into higher education, and then earn a better income that allows her to bring up several children. If she had not aborted that first child, she may never have been able to afford another.

What are you stating here if not the justification of the abortion of the first child?

What 'way of thinking?

The statement above was a thought from your mind was it not?

When did I say anything like that either? That might be your supposition, it isn't mine.

I was merely seeking clarification. You made a statement about the economic benefits afforded to the woman who aborts her first child. Would not prematurely ending the lives of the elderly provide economic benefit?

Andrew Ryan said...

"Do you think tens of millions of people not entering the workforce has no negative impact on the economy?"

Chase, I addressed this already. Part of my critique was to point out that it is simplistic to say that a woman aborting a baby, or simply not conceiving it in the first place, at one stage in her life translates directly into a net loss. My wife had a baby in 2008 and 2011. We married in 2005. We could have chosen to conceive a child in, say, 2006. But had we done so, we would have been very unlikely to have had the one in 2011 – we always planned to have two kids.

You cannot simply say that all the women who have had abortions would have gone on to have the exact same number of children they did have, had they NOT had the abortion.

And as I argued, delaying having children may well have allowed many women to go on to earn more and have MORE children than if they'd not had the abortion.

This is making argument about whether they SHOULD have abortions 'so they can complete their masters', it's simply observing that Frenke's valuation is simplistic.

"What are you stating here if not the justification of the abortion of the first child?"

I'm stating what I see as flaws in Frenke's argument. I'm not justifying anything. I'm looking at Frenke's argument that abortion hit the economy by removing millions from the workforce. Saying 'But abortion is still wrong' doesn't make that argument any better, as his argument was purely about the affect on the economy.

"You made a statement about the economic benefits afforded to the woman who aborts her first child."

I questioned Frenke's assumption that having an abortion reduced the net number of children a woman would have in her life. You've not addressed my critique of that assumption.

"Would not prematurely ending the lives of the elderly provide economic benefit?"

Possibly. But I was no more arguing for that than I was arguing that people should have abortions*. Again, I was critiquing Frenke's argument.

*If you're genuinely interested in my opinion on that issue, I argue for greater education among the workforce about the importance of pensions. People need to start building up a pensions pot as early in their working life as possible, in order to support themselves in retirement. And people need to be prepared for working to a greater age than their parents and grandparents.

But Frenke's argument has nothing to do with my own views on pensions. My criticism of his argument is either valid or not, irrespective of my views on that, or indeed on abortion.

If you want to have a discussion on whether economic benefits should be a factor in if we allow abortion, then that's fine. As it happens, I'd argue that it should NOT be a factor. But that IS a separate discussion to WHETHER abortion causes economic harm. I believe Frenke's argument is a bad one. If the economic problems (or indeed possible benefits) of abortion are completely irrelevant, then why offer Frenke's argument in the first place?

Andrew Ryan said...

"The statement above was a thought from your mind was it not?"

Sure, but a thought is not the same as a philosophy.
The sentence from you that I quoted replied: "Using this way of thinking, I am justified in..."

In that context, the phrase 'using that way of thinking", implies you are deriving a philosophy from my 'thought' I mentioned nothing about justification. You are claiming 'oughts' from a claim that purely dealt with what 'is'.

Let's have a look at the actual statement you refer to. It ran as follows: "If she had not aborted that first child, she may never have been able to afford another."

There's no 'way of thinking there', or implication of justification. It's a simple statement, or claim if you like, that you either agree with don't. And the question of whether it is true stands completely apart from whether you believe it justifies anything if it IS true. And again, you say nothing in any of your replies to argue against its veracity.

Chase said...

I questioned Frenke's assumption that having an abortion reduced the net number of children a woman would have in her life. You've not addressed my critique of that assumption.

I question your assumption that having an abortion increased the net number of children a woman has in her life. In light of the fact that reproduction rates are declining in industrialized nations I am inclined to question yours more than Frenke’s.(1) Especially when you factor that all of the 50 million plus people aborted will not produce successive generations.(2)

I think it is a stretch to think that 50 million plus people that are not, and will not be, buying houses, buying cars and other products, raising families, starting businesses, inventing and creating, and making investments has no negative impact on the economy.

In that context, the phrase 'using that way of thinking", implies you are deriving a philosophy from my 'thought'

Correct Andrew. This is a philosophy that can be derived from your thought. Why even entertain thoughts which can lead to dangerous philosophies? This was the point of my initial statement.

As always, I have enjoyed our conversation. If you wish to respond feel free, however I think the conversation has come full circle.

Respectfully.

References:

(1) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

(2) Nearly 50 million from 1973 – 2008 according to the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html). I am sure it is nearing 60 million. And this is just in the United States.

Andrew Ryan said...

"I question your assumption that having an abortion increased the net number of children a woman has in her life"

I made no such assumption. I questioned Frenke's assumption that woman has a set number of kids she was always going to have, having an abortion removes one from that number.

"reproduction rates are declining"
Correlation doesn't equal causation. The causes of lower birth rates are complex, and include factors like lower sperm counts, more women going into higher education and many others.

"Especially when you factor that all of the 50 million plus people aborted..."

This is just going back to the above assumption of Frenke's. It is begging the question - you're trying to demonstrate the truth of his assumption by assuming it. If numbers of kids the woman ultimately produces is not affected by the abortion, then you can't say 50 million have been removed from the workforce.

"Why even entertain thoughts which can lead to dangerous philosophies?"

You appear to be saying we should simply blindly accept Frenke's argument because it's dangerous to do otherwise. That's not a recipe for open discussion.

Andrew Ryan said...

" This is a philosophy that can be derived from your thought."

Then one could equally argue that one could derive from Frenke's thought the philosophy that one should forcibly impregnate women in order to boost the economy. But I never asked you to clarify your position on that.