"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Free Market Mechanism–Abortion Is Now A Traded Commodity

Liberals are exercised over the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade, turning the divisive issue back to the electorate.  The decision does not outlaw abortion, but simply allows states through the democratic process to decide whether or not and to what degree abortion services should be permitted.  Rule by judicial fiat is no longer acceptable.

The decision was not surprisingly criticized by the Left on civil rights grounds.  The pro-choice argument was based on imputed social values.  A woman’s body is inviolate and hers alone; and the interests of men are irrelevant.  Issues of morality were dismissed as prejudicial to women’s social and political integrity.  The debate on the nature and origins of life was clotured, abortion became ‘settled’, and those who objected were marginalized, ignored, or dunned.

Image result for images the nativity renaissance art

However Constitutional originalists like Justice Alioto and former Justice Scalia, political conservatives, and religious adherents all applauded the decision.  Roe had been wrongly decided and based on subjective, politically-influenced interpretations of the Constitution; and thus an unpopular ruling was imposed on the people by fiat.  Morality was at the heart of the abortion debate, not a minor issue.  Injunctions against abortion were universal and found in all major religions.  The principle of the sanctity of life was central to Hinduism and fundamental to Christian theology.  Roe was political interference in the democratic process par excellence.

Now that Roe has been overturned and the disposition of abortion services returned to the states, liberal states like California and New York will do a land office business, becoming the country’s new abortion mills.  Private industry, eager to keep sledding behind the progressive sleigh, is already offering to pay for employees’ out-of-state abortions.  Fund-raisers, volunteer organizations, and non-profit agencies are already gearing up to provide rides, per diems, and costs to defray the cost of abortion procedures for those who cannot afford them. Manufacturers and retailers of Plan B abortifacient pills are gearing up for bigtime sales.  

Liberal states can crow victory and welcome women who have been deprived of their civil rights.  Legislators can count on solid electoral support for their progressive stance, and encouraged by such voter patronage, can vote taxpayer-generated funds for nominal or free abortions. 

The free market is not just an economic mechanism, but operates in all sectors of civil society.  At its heart is the idea of trading, valuation, and contractual conditions.  Every institution from marriage to government is subject to supply and demand.  Parity, equality, and justice are based principally on economic balance.  The best marriages are those that have worked out the intricacies of sexual balance, economic value, and the conditions of stability. Governments depend upon the social or public market for survival.  Too few taxes, too little investment, too little investment in public services, and unhappy electorate.  Too many taxes, too much inefficiency, too little return on investment, and the same result.

Image result for Images Adam Smith Free markets. Size: 206 x 206. Source: www.pinterest.com

So, returning abortion to the states and the free market was a very American decision.  The Court did not rule on the rightness or wrongness of abortion, just that like every other social issue, it should be debated in the public arena, and supply and demand sorted out just as it continues to be in every other sphere of civic life.

There is no rights or wrongs about immigration.  After all, America was built upon it; but there are limits to it, and the current debate over the abused rights of Central American refugees versus the wholescale opportunism of those simply want the bounty of El Norte is essential.  Issues of labor cost, taxpayer expenditures, and the very nature of an increasingly heterogeneous society losing its foundational principles cannot be ignored.  In a restricted way, the free market worked admirably before the Biden open door policy.  When the economy of Mexico dramatically improved while that of the US stagnated, there was a reverse migration.  When the US economy picked up and labor shortages occurred, more migrants sought work here.

Given the natural ebb and flow of economics, politics, and society, it is always surprising how much energy is spent on true belief, absolute causes, and unrealistic expectations of permanence when market forces, be they purely economic or neutral arbiters of power, influence and share, are so reliable.  Social interventionism is as faulty as a command economy.  The laws of supply and demand, governing as they do all enterprise without comment or personal preference are the best ways of avoiding dissension, division, and conflict. 

Yet the howls of outrage against this policy or that are heard incessantly.  Things must change, social reformers cry, nothing can be left to chance, there is no such thing as value neutrality, and the free market is nothing but a capitalist tool for oppression and monopoly.

It is only within recent memory that there have been so many initiatives to recalibrate behavior, to reject what have been millennia of unchanged and unchallenged social givens, and attempt to create a new, more ‘inclusive’, representative version of moral, sexual, and social behavior.  Identity politics according to which one’s race, gender, and ethnicity are the only descriptors of any merit in assessing value will soon go by the board in the inevitable flow of variable, relative values.  There is nothing to indicate that transgender reconfiguration of natural sexual identity will ever last more than any other politically-driven idea; or that gay marriage – an oxymoron given its lack of procreation and the centrality of male-female dynamics within the family – will persist as a civil and moral right. 

Society will act and react accordingly.  The current reconfiguration of traditional, natural law sexual identity will be accepted by some, rejected by others, disputed and debated, arguments made for and against its costs and benefits until the issue is settled – only temporarily of course, but at least a pause in the drumbeat.

One would have thought that the recent Supreme Court decision would be welcomed by Americans used to and enjoying the fruits of the free market.  Abortion is still available, accessible, and affordable.  Private abortion clinics, liberal politicians, and dyed-in-the-wool progressives will all benefit as abortion simply becomes a traded commodity subject to supply and demand with some who prosper and others who do not; but all according to a fair, unmediated, value-neutral mechanisms.

The market depends on countervailing forces and competition just as predictably as Darwinian evolution; so it is good that those presenting opposing arguments do so forcefully.  It is another thing altogether to become passionate, driven, and emotionally disturbed by opposing arguments.  Since even a cursory look at history shows that as Buddhists have always known, ‘there is no change but change’.  The only absolutely proven and conclusive fact about human evolution is that it is constantly and permanently changing.

BUDDHA PURNIMA - May 5, 2023 - National Today

By extension, the only consistent, universal behavioral pattern since the first settlements is the free market, the only neutral, fair, and egalitarian arbiter of value.  Evolution has rewarded not fanatics, but moderates; not true believers, but rationalists; not the purposeful, but the opportunistic.

And so it should be with abortion.  It’s still there as it has always been, just in a new configuration, one of many to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.