Children Are Not a Burden on the Economy
I find Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments shocking. I probably shouldn’t. Denny Burk summarizes her comments well:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is defending the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars of the forthcoming stimulus package are to be spent on “family planning.” Her argument is very simple. The economy is bad. Having babies costs money. Would-be parents need to save their money by not having babies.
You can see her comments here:
Three things. First, the values embodied in this perspective are completely backwards. Quite simply, it fails to recognize that people — human life — is the most valuable reality in creation. God is most valuable. After that, it’s people. Seeking to cut down on the number of children born in order to “cut costs” and help the economic stimulus makes things more important than people. The economy exists for people. You do not sacrifice people for things.
Second, the economic perspective in her comments is also wrong. Obviously children do cost money. However, funding measures to help reduce the number of children born is a short-sighted way of addressing the economic side of things. For children grow up. They become adults who solve problems, produce things, cure diseases, become president, or just plain work hard and serve their communities and families. These people — the children that are born today — are the solution to the problems of tomorrow. People are not problems, they are solutions. To advocate fewer births now is a very short-sighted approach to a temporary economic issue. It is sacrificing the long-term for the sake of perceived short-term gain.
Third, the children that are born today are not simply the solutions to the problem of tomorrow. They make society better today. A society devoid of children is a lonely, boring society. I’m not saying that she is taking things that far. Neither am I saying that we should all have 10 kids. But what we need is more of the energy and vitality that children bring, not less of it.
We should not look at the short-term expense of children as a financial burden to the states or the economy. We should look at it as a commitment to what is most worthwhile.
(HT: Vitamin Z)