Friday, September 30, 2005

Why the attacks on Bill Bennett?
Bill Bennett a radio host and former secretary of education recieved a call in which argued for abortions due to Levitt's thesis. This thesis is that the reason for the crime decline in the nintys was that poor blacks were not having as many children which lowered the numbers of those most likely to commit crimes. Bill Bennett responded that if you aborted all blacks the crime rate would go down but that would still be a monstrous evil. The Democrats heard the trifecta of a conservative who said blacks were more likely to commit crimes and could be taken out of context to say kill all blacks. This was an opportunity which could not be missed. Of course the White House called the comments inappropriate because it's the path of least resistance. Couldn't the White House show some backbone just once.


At 2:50 PM, Blogger Mike said...

The actual context was a caller saying was
CALLER: I noticed the national media, you know, they talk a lot about the loss of revenue, or the inability of the government to fund Social Security, and I was curious, and I've read articles in recent months here, that the abortions that have happened since Roe v. Wade, the lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30-something years, could fund Social Security as we know it today. And the media just doesn't -- never touches this at all.

BENNETT: Assuming they're all productive citizens?

CALLER: Assuming that they are. Even if only a portion of them were, it would be an enormous amount of revenue.

BENNETT: Maybe, maybe, but we don't know what the costs would be, too. I think as -- abortion disproportionately occur among single women? No.

CALLER: I don't know the exact statistics, but quite a bit are, yeah.

BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don't know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don't know. I mean, it cuts both -- you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well --

CALLER: Well, I don't think that statistic is accurate.

BENNETT: Well, I don't think it is either, I don't think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don't know. But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.
Thanks to the Freakonomics blog


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