Janet Yellen: Overturning Roe would be bad for the economy

Democrats should translate Yellen’s pitch here into statistical form. I want to see Chuck Schumer carrying around a big graph showing “GDP” on one axis and “dead children” on the other.

Rick Scott posed a simple question to Dems today in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal: When do you think life begins? That question bedevils both sides, of course. For instance, if Ron DeSantis believes that life begins at the moment of conception, he’ll have to explain why he just signed a bill in Florida that allows abortion through the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. But Democrats’ “no limits” approach to abortion is vastly more radical than his is, yet despite endless polling on this topic they either don’t see it or don’t care. Tim Miller wonders what the hell Chuck Schumer is thinking by bringing his party’s insane abortion bill to the Senate floor for a vote tomorrow:

Everything that the Senate Democrats are doing that is not on that list is just kayfaybe—which Schumer is also not very good at, by the by. Take the Senate’s plans for tomorrow. To the delight of Republican senators, Schumer plans to make Democratic senators vote on abortion legislation that is both unpopular—it would legalize abortions through all nine months of pregancy, a position most Americans disapprove of—and hopeless, since it does not have the votes to pass.

Here’s a tip: If you are going to force everyone to take a meaningless messaging vote for public-relations purposes, consider choosing a bill that hurts the other party’s popularity, not your own!

The vote “risks dividing their party, depressing their base, and looks all but certain to be defeated,” NBC notes of tomorrow’s spectacle. Does Schumer not see that? Or is he so tightly in the grip of pro-choice fanaticism that he doesn’t care?

Yellen was responding to a question about abortion’s impact on the economy in her testimony this morning, not volunteering her thoughts that the moral dispute over abortion should be framed in icy economic terms. But this answer is of a piece with the consensus view among Beltway Democrats that there’s no meaningful moral dispute here to speak of. A woman gets to do what she wants with the child she’s carrying whenever she wants to do it for whatever reason. Period.

I’m sure there were Confederate economists who made the case for slavery on grounds that cutting off the supply of free labor would be an economic calamity for the south. How many kids would Yellen sacrifice to keep unemployment below five percent?

More from Scott:

We know that unborn babies can feel pain very early. We know that after six weeks a baby’s heartbeat can be heard in the womb. Modern sonograms show unborn babies smiling, yawning and sucking their thumbs.

Put simply, science has revealed that an unborn baby is a human being, and voters agree. According to recent polling conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, 73% of voters agree that an unborn baby is a human being.

So that raises the question: When do Democrats believe life begins? At conception? At viability? At birth? After birth? They won’t say. Even more disconcerting, reporters won’t ask them. It’s a dereliction of duty by the mainstream media not to push the question, and it’s an abdication of their responsibility to inform the American people and spur legitimate debate.

I’m not an economist but there are obvious counterpoints to Yellen’s argument. The welfare state built and cherished by the American left is unsustainable long-term in a country whose birth rate is well below 2.1. Democrats want to fill that gap with unlimited immigration but there’ll be major political and cultural repercussions to that. Already this year, the prospect of a gigantic influx of immigrants once Title 42 lapses has centrist Dems nervous about the electoral ramifications. If you want Medicare and Social Security to remain feasible, you need a growing domestic base of workers. Endorsing abortion until the moment of birth is a weird way to facilitate that.

One would also hope that an economist might think in terms of both supply and demand. The demand for adoption in this country greatly exceeds the supply of children available for adoption. If Yellen is worried about Americans’ well-being, as she suggests in one part of her answer, the fact that many childless families would be elated to take an unwanted child off of its mother’s hands should be a component in her calculus. How much happier and more productive might adults who are incapable of having children be if their fondest wish could more easily be fulfilled?

Finally, if we’re going to consider the economic burden created by children in setting policy on whether they can be killed lawfully or not, using birth as a dividing line seems arbitrary. No doubt there are moms and dads out there who feel overwhelmed by having to care for their infant — or kindergartener — and whose careers have suffered as they’ve devoted more time to child-rearing. How much more productive might those parents be if they were legally entitled to off their kids before the age of, say, six? Consider it a modest proposal for the next wave of Democratic pro-choicers who deem the current vanguard too squishy.

I’ll leave you with this sad sack, who feels obliged to satisfy the fundamentalists in his base by taking an absolutist position even though he’s running for governor of … Texas.

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