An apology for a ill-conceived idea

Two days ago I posted a A Modest Proposal for Social Change which was quite obviously not well thought out. I came up with the idea after talking to a liberal co-worker of mine. We were discussing the reasons for the drop of crime in New York City and he suggested (after reading Freakanomics) that legalizing abortion had a lot to do with it, of course in addition to increasing the police force and changing their tactics.

I did not buy that legalization of abortion had that much of an effect at all, but it brought to mind the point that millions of babies were never born, and what would be a more ideal, non-controversial, and positive way of achieving similar results (of not having poor babies suffering being raised in far from ideal households) without taking those lives.

Unfortunately the easiest way to achieve it is through government intervention and as a conservative I should’ve thought better than proposing such a intrusive, though voluntary, government incentive program that deals with quite sensitive and important reproductive issues. To give any government any control in such an area would be a serious mistake, no matter the initial benevolent intentions. It is a slippery slope and it pretty much amounts to ends justify the means, and the means could be fairly atrocious.

Lots of good civil arguments were made and I agreed with a decent amount of them, though of course being defensive, which prompted some less than sensible exchanges.

I apologize for bringing it up the idea, which while not “liberal/progressive” in nature, with the goal of saving money and reducing suffering, is still a big government utilitatarian program that is ultimately antithetical to my own conservative libertarian ideology.

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