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Jan 18 2014

Wingnut: Restricting Abortion Creates Jobs!

Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia is apparently tired of seeing Michele Bachmann, Steve King and Louis Gohmert hog the spotlight in the House Wingnut Caucus and he’s staking his claim to more attention. During a hearing on yet another anti-choice bill he said that women having more babies will create jobs:

Explaining his support for the measure, Goodlatte made both a moral and an economic case for anti-choice laws. “I would suggest that it is very much the case that those of us in the majority support this legislation because it is the morally right thing to do but it is also very very true that having a growing population and having new children brought into the world is not harmful to job creation,” he said. “It very much promotes job creation for all the care and services and so on that need to be provided by a lot of people to raise children.”

ThinkProgress points out the actual data that proves him wrong:

In reality, denying women autonomy over their reproductive lives is not a wise economic policy. Without access to affordable family planning services, women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence. The low-income women who end up carrying unwanted pregnancies to term end up slipping deeper into poverty and struggling with long-term mental health issues. That ends up impacting the social safety net, putting a greater strain on the Medicaid program. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that every $1 invested into family planning programs yields more than $5 in savings for the U.S. government.

But those are facts, which have nothing to do with anything Goodlatte says.

14 comments

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  1. 1
    cry4turtles

    Idiocracy

  2. 2
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Gooflatte doesn’t have two synapses to rub together.

  3. 3
    gworroll

    I can buy the idea that more kids means more jobs in fields related to child care. That seems fairly obvious. Businesses tend to hire more staff when demand for their goods and services increases, and if all abortions ended up going to term, this would increase demand for child care goods and services.

    But Think Progress has good points regarding the impact. Even if there are more total jobs out there, this might not have a net financial(or other quality of life measure) benefit to anyone other than the day care center that’s hiding a dozen fire code violations.

    And on top of that… More jobs, but also more people to compete for these jobs. Where is the data to show that this will be a net increase in jobs? If you get 10 more babysitters employed to watch 30 more children, you’re not really getting ahead of the game here. What about people not interested in or competent for a career in child care? Even if this could be any sort of justification for restricting abortion(it’s not), you kind of have to demonstrate that it would actually work by some actual relevant metric. And I don’t see any reason to think this would be a net increase. Total increase in jobs seems likely, but net? I’d need to see the data, I’m rather skeptical of that.

  4. 4
    John Pieret

    In reality, denying women autonomy over their reproductive lives is not a wise economic policy. Without access to affordable family planning services, women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence.

    No, no! That creates girlie jobs for the hormonally challenged instead of manly jobs for the true, God-apponted, workers! Keeping women barefoot and pregnant will insure that there will be jobs for male mouth breathers everywhere!

  5. 5
    ArtK

    … women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence.

    That’s a feature of this kind of legislation, not a bug.

  6. 6
    sigurd jorsalfar

    gworrall: I can buy the idea that more kids means more jobs in fields related to child care. That seems fairly obvious. Businesses tend to hire more staff when demand for their goods and services increases, and if all abortions ended up going to term, this would increase demand for child care goods and services.

    Demand in economics really means ‘effective demand’, i.e. demand that is backed up by money with which to pay for it. Rep. Goodlatte fails to explain where this effective demand is supposed to come from. More children will indeed produce more work … for the parents and families of these children, but without money to purchase this labor, there will be no increase in paid jobs.

    I also find it strange that a tea party type is advocating for an increase in paid child care. I thought these people were all about the ‘traditional’ family in which child care is provided by the family, particularly mothers, gratis, like in the olden days.

  7. 7
    John Hinkle

    What he’s saying is common sense. More people, more demand for goods and services.

    But he only has one third of the economic picture. Preventing abortions needs to be coupled with huge tax cuts for the makers so they’ll create more jobs, and huge cuts in entitlement spending, so the takers will get off their asses and get those jobs.

    There’d be so many jobs we’d be recruiting the new borns. And there’d be so much prosperity, we’d have to celebrate by bombing some brown people. And the republicans would become the permanent majority, amen.

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Come on, people! Who’s with me? Let’s all pitch in and help America achieve Maximum Baby!

  9. 9
    chriswalker

    …”Bob Goodlatte” sounds like what McDonalds would name the spokescharacter for their Lattes.

  10. 10
    raven

    he said that women having more babies will create jobs:

    Forced child bearing as an economic plan. Somehow this doesn’t seem to have much to do with democracy or freedom.

    It’s also wrong.

    Teenage pregnancy is highly correlated with life long poverty. And children growing up in poverty are unlikely to escape it. Plus a lot of those forced births are going to end up on welfare and food stamps, increasing taxes.

    If you look around the world, the countries with low birth rates like Japan, the US, Europe, Oceania are the rich ones. The ones with high birth rates like most of Africa, Egypt, the Phillipines, etc. are the poor ones. Goodlatte’s plan would turn the USA into a third world country.

  11. 11
    ehmm

    The more they open their mouths, the better it gets.

  12. 12
    Mobius

    And of course having more babies will mean more people NEEDING jobs as well.

    Do these people even try to think these things through?

  13. 13
    stripeycat

    No. More unwanted children -> worse poverty -> reduced spending -> economic stagnation -> job losses. Pretty simple. As Sigurd @6 noted, even if there was a greater wish for childcare and other goods and services, there’s still less money to spend on them, so less economic demand.

  14. 14
    tommykey

    I did a post on this a couple of years ago in response to a letter writer in The NY Times making a similar argument. What people who make such an argument don’t acknowledge is that women who have an abortion early in life will likely go on to have children later in life, whereas, older women who have an abortion have likely already had children. They also assume that denying a young woman the right to terminate a pregnancy means that she will have the number of children she would have had plus the one she couldn’t abort, when it is also quite possible that she will have one fewer child afterwards. In other words, denying abortion to women will not necessarily mean that the number of children born will be much greater.

    Besides, from an economic standpoint, conservatives should prefer immigration to forced births. Conservatives hate paying taxes for education. Immigrants who come here as adults have already had their education paid for in their native countries, whereas forcing more children to be born to American women means having to spend more tax dollars on building schools, hiring teachers, janitors, etc.

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