I had a thought today as I listened to someone on NPR discussing how tax cuts are the reason there won't be enough money to cover the growing programs Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as baby boomers start to retire. It's not worth mentioning that we've known about this problem for a long time now, and the Bush tax cuts are pretty insignificant in comparison. What occurred to me as I was thinking about this is how different things would be if the very generation that's going to have this problem hadn't killed so many of their children. Abortion-on-demand supporters often give population explosion as a reason to want to minimize our population, with abortion as one such means. I believe China explicitly requires it to the point of giving severe penalties for your family and the families of your neighbors and friends (e.g. no education for your kids). In the U.S. it's not so bad, but there does seem to be the idea that abortion has led to a lot of good in terms of population control. Interestingly, ecologists today say that the population worries of the 70s looked in the wrong direction. It's distribution of resources that we need to be careful about. We have plenty of room for more people in this country.
So I was thinking that the reverse is actually true. It's not just that abortion as a method of population control hasn't protected us from any great evil. I'm wondering if it's even harmed. On one level, it's obvious that it's harmed. It's killed off a large portion of 2-3 generations, depending on how you count generations. That in itself is a huge harm. But I think there are even more subtle connections to some of our more serious problems that don't seem related at all. For instance, what would have happened if we had all those other people contributing to the economy, paying into Social Security, paying taxes, and providing support for their baby boomer parents as they start to retire? Would there be as great a need for Social Security for as many people? Would there be as much need for the kind of taxes we have? Now it's true that some of these people would be on the government payroll and not doing any work, furthering the dependency and lack of contribution that FDR created and irresponsibly continued once the Depression was over. I'm wondering, though, if the greater numbers of people would have required more limits on these entitlements, and if that would have forced a work ethic among those taught to be dependent.
Now I have no idea what would have happened here. It's next to impossible to predict such complex matters. I can't help but wonder if this is just another way the boomers are reaping what they sowed.
Update: Tulipgirl has a link to an article by James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal suggesting that Howard Dean is doing so badly because the age group that gives him the strongest support lost 1/3 of its potential voters as victims of abortion. As Tulipgirl put it, this 1/3 "failed to show up at birth".