Monday, January 26, 2009

The Privation of the Best is the Worst

In describing the difference between man and beast, Aristotle noted that because of his reason, law, and virtue, man was superior to beasts, for they lacked the requirements for these qualities. In fact, man is the greatest of all animals because he possesses the qualities that are greater than all other qualities. But man acting outside of reason, law and virtue is far worse than the animals. Animals are not guilty of crime because law is not available to them. He applies the same principle in other ways, such as describing the privation of the best form of government (virtuous monarchy) devolves specifically into the worst (vicious tyranny).

A more concrete example might be that the best form of musical instrument, the violin, is the absolute worst when played poorly, as can be attested by anyone who's had to patiently wait through an hour long violin lesson with their 5 year old.

This is the idea behind the title of this post. The privation of the best is the worst.

And that was my first thought when I READ THIS ARTICLE about Nancy Pelosi's adamant defense of using more than $200,000,000 of the new economic stimulus package to subsidize birth control.

Yeah. That's right. Your federal government is about to hand out contraceptives to the poor (and even those that aren't so poor) because the burden on the government to help pay for all the prenatal care, those births and post-natal child well-being visits is not worth the cost. So rather than tighten the fiscal belt and help real American families, Pelosi the "Catholic" is advocating eliminating the problem by oppressing impoverished Americanss ability to reproduce. Here's a woman who's religious claim is to an institution who never has and never will allow contraception, and yet she's one of the staunchest supporters of such policy. The privation of the best (Catholicism) is the worst (amoral justification)

This is insane on so many levels I can't even get my mind around them all. But, just because I really need to vent about this, let's assume for the moment that you and I don't agree on the point that contraception is a moral evil. So in order to discuss this, let's leave faith out of it, and take a cue from our new President: he mentioned in his inaugural address that practicality will trump ideology in his administration. OK, so let's apply that.

To promote birth control as a way to stimulate the economy might have a short term positive effect on spending. Less poor people seeking medicaid for paying for births, the less money spent by the government. But what does this do long term? It removes from society a potential taxpayer. Which, if you were a democrat, you should realize is a bad thing since you tax the hell out of everyone and every lost taxpayer is a lost point of income. The initial $10,000 expenditure to generate the new taxpayer yields a net loss of what will be hundreds of thousands of dollars over his or her lifetime in income tax, property tax, and sales tax revenues, etc., and maybe millions if they become an economic success. Penny wise and pound foolish, Nancy Pelosi. Not very practical at all. The privation of the best is the worst.

What about voter bases? Madam Speaker Pelosi gets elected on a voter demographic that is highly weighted on the poor and undereducated side, especially minorities. These are the people that will be most effected by the influx of free contraceptives (and abortions and abortificants). Thus she is eliminating future voters. Not very practical for the continued success of your party, Madam Speaker.

I am truly mystified by this, but mostly I am angry that a woman who dares call herself a Catholic would slap her bishop, Rome, and Christ in the face with such bold-faced axe-grinding. This is a shame on all of us Catholics because she has become, by virtue of being so visible and audible through office and media, the voice of Catholic faith to many Americans and world citizens who just don't know any better. She is taking something that is so beautiful, so true, so good, and turning it into something so ugly, so false, and so bad.

Interestingly enough, not all politicians or governments agree that reducing births will help a sagging economy. Japan is actually ASKING WORKERS to take time off to go home and conceive future workers.

2 comments:

Ignoramus said...

Thank you. I feel better now. ("Vicarious venting" works better than I had expected.)

arowbee said...

Your last link gives a whole new meaning to the term benefits "package"...