By Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- I am a boring old Methodist and I try to live within the guidance and standards that my Church subscribes to, but in most cases it would be a moral standard not an economic standard.
What if my church came out with a decision that because of the oil shortage and global warming all good Methodists will from now on, only drive sub-compact vehicles that get at least 35 MPG?
In the hearts of our senior Church leadership this would be seen as the morally correct action to take to help our country and planet. But it would in fact be an economic decision that could have major impact on US business.
Population wise and buying wise the United Methodist Church along with its members have large purse strings. If all the Methodists in a small town of say 25,000 people decide to follow Church guidance on car buying, it would have a consequential impact on that town.
First off none of the big three US auto makers, manufacture a small car that gets 35 MPG, so now only the Toyota dealer will be selling cars to Methodists.
What if the other religions in town decide to show their solidarity and support for the frugal Methodists and they too only buy cars that get 35 MPG? Suddenly what seemed like a great moral stand to take for Methodists could in fact ruin any number of auto businesses in that town or the Nation.
After receiving a politically sensitive e-mail from a friend, I called that person to discuss the topic and how it was covered in the book Freakonomics . It is not a new book, in fact it has been out since 2005, but the Colonel gave me a blow by blow detailed description as she read it, so I had to read it as soon as she put it down.
The number one item I took from the book is “if morality represents an ideal world, then economics represents the actual world.” In other words dollars over DNA drive the world.
While reading the book a few years back I happened to watch the O’Reilly Factor Show on Fox. There was a talking head on the show trying to make his point that Planned Parenthood should be funded to provide free birth control medication to its patients. He also wanted insurance companies to provide birth control prescription coverage for its customers.
O’Reilly was saying no way, even when the same insurance companies provide coverage for Viagra. O’Reilly was trying to make the point that Viagra was for a male medical problem, where birth control medication was a matter of choice. I may have even bought his idea a little, if I had not been reading Freakonomics. O’Reilly is wrong and I believe he basis his ideas on morality and not economics.
I assume that his thinking is, if you cut back on prescription birth control you will be able to cut back on out of wedlock sex, but that is just not the case. You still have the sex and now you have the unwanted pregnancy.
Crime has taken a major turn for the better in this country and everyone is standing in line patting themselves on the back with their explanation for why there are fewer bad guys committing crime.
What is happening is there are fewer bad guys to commit the crimes and it all goes back to Roe v. Wade; the legalization of abortion in the US in 1973(this according to Freakonomics, also see Donohue-Levitt Hypothesis) .
In the first year there were 750, 000 abortions and by 1980 there were 1.6 million abortions (note: since the 1990's the rate of abortions has fallen). Most of the women who had abortions were in life situations where they were not ready or prepared to raise a child and would have subjected that child to a poorer standard of living. A diminished standard of life that would compound into the next generation’s poor standard for just existing and this would produce more poverty driven crime. Remove the potential criminal and you diminish crime; hard on the morality issue but great for economics.
Fewer criminals means less of the general public having to suffer both physically and financially because simply, they–the bad guys were never there, to inflict pain on the population.
So back to O’Reilly, provide the free birth control and I would suggest that in 15 to 20 years there will be yet again another unexplained drop in the crime rate. All you have to do as an individual is figure out where you will allow the crossing and co-mingling of your personal morality and economic motivation.
This is not a column about pro or con on Roe v. Wade, and the emotions of that issue on both sides. It is about the cold, hard and maybe heartless facts of economics.
Why do you think war is good for the winner’s economics but not necessarily for the winner’s morality?
Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]