Monday, July 23, 2007

Bad people making bad arguments

Who voted against anti-dogfighting legislation this spring, and why? NPR reports:
Most of the bill's opponents say they aren't fans of dogfighting but are conservative, pro-life Republicans. Iowa Rep. Steve King from Iowa says it's wrong for the federal government to criminalize pit bull trafficking while allowing legal abortion.
"My vote says that human life needs to be elevated and stay above animal life. And I think it devalues all human life, when you set the life of an animal up above that of a human," King says.
It's one thing to say that human lives are more valuable than animal lives. It's another thing to think an early-term fetus is morally like an adult human. And it's a totally different and completely insane thing to think that you can alleviate the badness of injuries to humans by permitting wanton cruelty to animals.
For our second bad argument, we turn to Tom DeLay:
"I contend [abortion] affects you in immigration," DeLay told the Washington-area gathering. "If we had those 40 million children that were killed over the last 30 years, we wouldn't need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today. Think about it."
DeLay criticizes abortion because it decreases the labor supply, creating economic opportunity for foreigners. To those of us who have any acquaintance with poverty in developing countries, and who aren't deeply racist, this seems like a wonderful thing. But if you're Tom DeLay or his College Republican audience, that's a bug, not a feature. You'd like to ban abortion so that you can create an America where labor oversupply forces native-born workers into bad jobs for terrible pay, and where Mexicans are starving to death across the border.


Anonymous said...

Hey, and as long as we're discussing the policy consequences of abortion, there's always Levitt's contribution that abortion reduces crime. I think it was in the
Journal of Quarterly Eugenics.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Hah! that's good