Attack the Demographic Underpinnings of Poverty

birth_controlby James A. Bacon

There is a case to be made for family planning and access to abortion services as a way to improve the lives of poor women. If you lean liberal in your politics, you’ll probably be comfortable with the arguments advanced by Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell (published yesterday morning in the Times-Dispatch). If you lean to the right politically, you’ll probably find her loftier-than-thou attitude — “America has decided: Sex is for rich people” — and her inaccurate swipes at conservatives — “pundits [refer] to advocates of affordable birth control as ‘sluts’ — to be so off-putting that you’re likely to reject the nuggets of sound reasoning buried in her column. But, then, Rampell isn’t writing to conservatives, she’s writing to liberals.

I’m a libertarian/conservative writing to conservatives, so I shall endeavor to make a case for family planning and abortion services that most conservatives will find palatable. (I know I’ll never convert right-to-life conservatives who oppose abortion under nearly all circumstances, so I won’t even try.)

Between government welfare programs and not-for-profit programs, American society devotes trillions of dollars to ameliorate the condition of the poor. Millions of poor Americans manage to surmount the disadvantageous circumstances of their birth, get an education and rise into the middle class. Yet American society has made very little progress in eradicating poverty over the past 50 years. Why is that? I believe that the root cause is demographic.

As I noted two weeks ago in my column, “The Uphill Climb for Virginia Schools,” low-income women bear 10% to 15% more children than women in higher income categories, and they have their children at younger ages with the result that a 36-year-old woman in a lower-income setting can become a grandmother by the time a college-educated, career-oriented woman becomes a mother. Thus, the progeny of poor women, who are financially and culturally less equipped to form stable, two-parent households conducive to academic learning and the inculcation of values required to be successful in the knowledge economy, tend to be over-represented in the next generation of children. Likewise, the social problems endemic to the American brand of poverty — out-of-wedlock birth, substance abuse, domestic violence, dropping out of school, etc. — are transmitted to the next generation at a higher rate.

There are two ways to deal with this problem. One way is to ramp up education and social welfare spending in the hope that politicians and bureaucrats can figure out how to improve upward social mobility. If more poor people rise into the middle class, we might hope to conquer poverty in four or five generations. The track record of this approach has been none too encouraging, however. And given the parlous condition of government finances these days, the “spend mo’ money” approach is unaffordable.

The other approach is to encourage poor young women to delay childbirth until they can complete at least a high school education, attain stable job prospects and, perhaps, even marry. As Rampell notes, more than half of all pregnancies are unintended — 70% for single women in their 20s. (I would conjecture that the percentage of unintended pregnancies is even higher for single women in their teens.) In other words, pregnancy is not something that most young, unwed mothers seek.

Rampell avers that government spending on family planning offers a huge return on investment. “In 2010, every $1 invested in helping women avoid pregnancies they didn’t want saved $5.68 in Medicaid expenditures.” I would add that the ROI probably would be a lot higher if other forms of welfare support and social services were included.

Investing in family planning, to my mind, is a no brainer. Abortion is a more more complex issue. I oppose late-stage abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger but I see early-term abortion as a less undesirable outcome than bringing an unwanted child into the world. I acknowledge that others will disagree. But I look at the scourge of the American brand of poverty — particularly the pathological form it has taken in the United States with widespread family breakdown, child abuse and child neglect — and I see family planning and abortion services as the only way out.

Why not teach abstinence? Teaching abstinence is fine. The longer teenagers wait before they become sexually active, the better. But let’s not kid ourselves — I actually agree with Rampell on this — we’re fighting against human nature. The number one thing on teenagers’ minds is sex. If we count on abstinence alone, we’re going to lose this battle. Society, preferably through the mechanism of non-profit organizations, needs to provide birth control to poor kids. If evangelical Christians find the idea morally reprehensible, I would invite them (a) to ponder the relative ineffectiveness of the abstinence strategy in environments where no one is practicing it, and (b) redouble their efforts to teach abstinence to their own children.

Most conservatives I know are deeply troubled by the cancerous spread of a severely dysfunctional sub-culture of poverty and the misery it engenders among the children born to it. Would they prefer to pay higher taxes to support the children of poor women who became pregnant by accident, or would they prefer to give those women access to birth control and/or early-stage abortion services so they could avoid having those children in the first place? It’s an easy choice for me, and I suspect is is for many conservatives.

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32 responses to “Attack the Demographic Underpinnings of Poverty”

  1. I am agog every time I see more conservative reasoning….

    who knew, for instance, that the folks who got a good education now believe the process of providing it to others is a “liberal” concept?

    and who knew that family planning and birth control were “liberal concepts”?

    the problem with “educated” conservatives, a term I use carefully given their views towards science and other fact-based knowledge these days…. is that they spend too much of their time looking down their noses and denying reality and denying what it takes to resolve tough issues and too much time mouthing off about what is “deserved” by those who didn’t inherit wealth or an educated family to propel them forward.

    worse – they don’t seem to care what the financial costs are to all of us if we don’t address these issues.. they’d rather suffer the downstream fiscal damage from entitlements and incarceration than put a few extra dollars on “extra” education for at-risk kids – innocent kids whose only crime was to be born to an uneducated parent…. but we can’t even let that alone – we’ve got to put a label on it – “culture”.

    As if any of our own ancestors before us were not ignorant as sin and likewise uneducated – and would have likely remained so -had it not been for that mother of all liberal concepts – public education.

    The problem with Jim Bacon – is – he picks a nag for the horse race but refuses to admit it…

    the kind of conservatism espoused on these pages with regard to poverty and education is one of the largest helpings of tripe – ever served.

    1. Larry, On the issue of poverty, you’re an old-fashioned tax-and-spend liberal. Your policy prescriptions are contributing to the bankrupting of the nation. The middle class is tapped out. They’re not going to tolerate more tax increases for vague promises that spending more money will fix poverty. We need to try a different approach — an approach, by the way, endorsed by liberals.

      I try to make a liberal policy prescription respectable for conservatives and you take me to task for it! Jeesh!

      1. actually not tax and spend. For instance, I’d have anyone who receives public assistance contribute time to child care, manning a food bank, being a teaching assistant, etc.

        I’m looking at the reality that we pay entitlements no matter what Conservatives think… we just do…

        but the biggest tax & spend SCAM in the financial world is the property taxes collected to spend on local “education” that is for things that are not required by the state nor core academics. I’d make many of them – user fees.

        I’d make sports entirely user-fee – with all coaches and equipment and stadium infrastructure entirely user-fee. The only thing the schools would do would be intra-mural … for all kids – regardless of their capabilities.

        I’d make our schools more like Europe and Asia where the school teaches primarily core academics and the rest is up to the parents outside of school time. We spend twice as much overall for education and end up 25th – because we’re NOT spending 1/2 the money for core academics but rather extras the parents should be paying for – so we lose twice – as taxpayers – and a cost-ineffective, wasteful education system.

        we want to pay for sports but not education that reduces the need for entitlements.

        Conservatism now days is not about fiscal conservatism. It’s about picking and choosing what you say you don’t want to pay taxes for – while totally ignoring what you do pay taxes for …

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    I’m not going to let you, Larry, define me as a conservative. This educated conservative will be in a public forum Monday arguing for additional tax-funded support for higher education, because I believe it is a vital public good. I consider my view Jeffersonian and if you think Jefferson a liberal, you should see what he had to say about gun ownership in his day!

    Nor am I quite sure I’m going to let Bacon or Rampell push me into increased subsidies for contraception and abortion. The issue is not access to or the availability of contraception (it’s readily available), but of FREE contraception, meaning provided by OPM – other people’s money. If the docs say the time has come, I’m fine with more options being available over the counter. I lose no sleep over the morning after pill or IUD’s. I’m fine with Larry and his friends giving voluntary dollars to Planned Parenthood or free clinics or other non-profits that provide contraception and abortion services to those who cannot pay. I’m also fine with the people who stand outside the clinics with signs to protest, as long as they do it peacefully. I put myself in neither of those camps but respect their right to do either.

    While I get the economic argument, the ROI on a lower birth rate in poor households, the whole argument smells a little like eugenics and social engineering to me. The problem is much more complex than insufficient free services and of course plenty of the people directly involved say, what problem? Birth rates are one issue but marriage rates are another. Yes, if the government subsidizes something, you get more of it — and perhaps the issue is the economic advantages of marriage are insufficient. I’d rather subsidize that than the BCP and abortions.

    1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

      So you’re fine with the government subsidizing marriage using other people’s money, but not birth control because…?

    2. re: free birth control and suffering fates….

      Choose one – but you must choose:

      1. free birth control 2. free food stamps, welfare and MedicAid – incarceration.

      see – I’m making a fiscally conservative argument here which I used to think was a pew in the church of conservatism – and a reason to hang with them on some issues…..

      when you can figure out how to stop forcing number two to be one of the choices, get back to me.

    3. I would agree with Steve that I would far prefer that free/cheap contraceptives be provided by the non-for-profit sector. I am skeptical that government bureaucracies would be very good at administering such programs, and it does raise the issue of taxing religious people to fund programs that they find repugnant (although liberals could rightly counter that they are taxed to pay for, say, military programs that *they* find repugnant).

      As for the eugenics argument, that is superficial and unworthy of you, Steve! Eugenics was forced sterilization. Family planning is (a) voluntary and (b) not reversible. Poor women are perfectly capable of having children when they choose to.

      1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

        ” I am skeptical that government bureaucracies would be very good at administering such programs”

        The government already runs effective public health clinics that provide blood draws for STIs. There is nothing to say they can’t add doing hormone test levels and having a pharmacy on site to fill BC scrips.

    4. re: ” smells a little like eugenics”

      it does – but would you let that convince you to NOT DO what you know is necessary to have a better life for kids that are born and for taxpayers to be able to devote more money to education and less to entitlements ?

      educating people – about many things. reading and writing, financial literacy and family planning is not “eugenics” … it’s education and I just don’t have a problem with helping people known when NOT to get a payday loan or fritter away their GI benefits on a scam online College or having a kid because you could not get convenient birth control…

      we have a hell of a double standard on this between the middle class and low income. The middle class take care of the “problem” in much the same way but it’s out of mind out of sight – but that same option – if it costs taxpayer money is verboten.

      “religion” becomes oh much more important if you are poor and seek tax money, eh?

      what kind of idiocy denies tax money for birth control but provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in entitlements?

      we just seem to have huge trouble with this.. which is.. quite simply – dealing with reality.. we can’t seem to do it.

  3. I think the government should heavily subsidize hangover medicine. That medicine should be available for free to anybody who needs it at any time. Hangovers hurt productivity and that lowers GDP.

    Really … shouldn’t this enjoy mandatory insurance coverage …

    Since nobody is responsible for their personal actions and everybody is entitled to use other people’s money to solve their self-inflicted problems why should hangovers be any different than unwanted pregnancies?

    As for abortion – why stop at birth. An unwanted two year old is a burden just like a third trimester fetus. Let’s let mothers dispose of unwanted children up until … oh, I don’t know … three years old. Hell, if we’re going to guess when life starts why stop at birth? After all, disposing of an unwanted three year old has a positive ROI, doesn’t it?

    1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

      “I think the government should heavily subsidize hangover medicine. That medicine should be available for free to anybody who needs it at any time. Hangovers hurt productivity and that lowers GDP…why should hangovers be any different than unwanted pregnancies?”

      There is, of course, a difference between actual medicine and snake oil…

      “As for abortion – why stop at birth. An unwanted two year old is a burden just like a third trimester fetus.”

      Pretty sure Jim explicitly said he’s not supporting selective third-trimester abortions. Also, we have to define life as beginning at some point, many people define it as the point of birth, others move it a little further back to the point of viability, and still others move it back to conception. A few even move it allllllllllll the way back to male ejaculation (homunculus residing in the sperm). Where do you put it?

      I do find it interesting that you’re terribly concerned with the spending of other people’s money but seem to have no problem with wanting to control what women are allowed to do vis the biological processes of their own bodies (unless that anti-abortion screed was just a non-sequiter).

      1. “Where do you put it?”

        I don’t know where to put it. Only God knows when life begins. Well, God and Jim Bacon apparently. Until He (God, not Jim) decides to let me in on the secret I’ll remain opposed to both abortion and capital punishment. I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes time to explain my actions to the almighty. As for others – they need to make their own decisions. If men and women care to purchase birth control pills / devices / etc so that they can engage in the voluntary act of having sex without the risk of pregnancy – great. I am not sure why others should fund that decision. If people want to engage in the voluntary act of drinking to excess and end up with hangovers – great. I am not sure that others should fund the cost of medicines, treatments, etc to mitigate that condition. If people want to voluntarily undergo liposuction to improve their body image and (presumably) their self-confidence – great. I just don’t think others should be asked to fund that.

        1. well we have a really convoluted mindset when we say”

          we are opposed to abortion

          but we are also opposed to birth control

          there is precious little daylight between the no abortion/no birth control folks and their near allies who say they opposed abortion but are ok with birth control but not “free” birth control and they end up shoulder to shoulder with the anti-abortion/anti-birth control folks at elections.

          seems to me people who say we “need” birth control – take pains to get themselves out of the same room with the no abortion-no-birth control folks.

          not strongly supporting birth control – free or not – is dumb if at the same time you worry about the country going own the tubes paying entitlements.

          Here’s how it really does “work”:

          Colorado teen birthrate drops 40%

          Colorado’s teen birth rate dropped 40% between 2009 and 2013, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced this week, in part due to a program that provides long-acting contraception to low-income women.

          The cost was about $750 per woman because the birth control was IUD.

          that’s alot of money…. but the birth control lasts – for years.

          Now, let’s look at the costs of having a child you cannot pay for…and other taxpayers end up paying for – even the taxpayers who say they won’t pay – they do.

          Let’s start with Mom getting welfare, subsidized housing, food stamps, and the kid getting $10K in education plus free and reduced lunch plus MediCaid and SCHIPS… etc… .. that.. PER YEAR…

          Mom and kid – over the next decade will likely cost taxpayers 500K or more.. all for the want of a $750 IUD.

          Now.. it would be a wonderful world if we had folks who would do this on their own and be responsible for themselves – but that’s not the reality – and if we never paid another penny for them – then many of us could live with our moral choice to not help…

          but what is our excuse when we WILL pick up the tab … for the whole kit and kaboodle?

          fiscal conservatives make odious and ugly choices to get to a fiscally responsible solution… folks who call themselves conservatives but cannot make it to the fiscal conservative world – in my book – are not real conservatives but instead ideologues…

          real people go after real solutions… even if it annoys their politics.

        2. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

          “If men and women care to purchase birth control pills / devices / etc so that they can engage in the voluntary act of having sex without the risk of pregnancy – great. I am not sure why others should fund that decision.”

          Because it’s a public health issue.

          “If people want to engage in the voluntary act of drinking to excess and end up with hangovers – great. I am not sure that others should fund the cost of medicines, treatments, etc to mitigate that condition”

          You already do. The OTC medications used to recover from a hangover are already covered under Medicaid and Medicare.

          “If people want to voluntarily undergo liposuction to improve their body image and (presumably) their self-confidence – great. I just don’t think others should be asked to fund that.”

          So, elective surgery is not covered under Medicaid. But they do currently pay for lap band/gastric bypass surgeries. Because those are health concerns.

          Your argument seems to boil down to “If someone is doing something of their own free will and something bad happens other people shouldn’t be held responsible.” But take that to it’s logical conclusion: if someone is driving to work and they wrap their car around a tree, should other people pay for that? Why? They made the choice to drive when a bus would have been safer. Does the calculus change if they were just out for a joy ride instead of going to work?

          “I’ll remain opposed to both abortion and capital punishment.”

          And yet you voted for Bob McDonnell, who supported expanding the death penalty to include people other than the actual killer involved in a homicide.

          1. re: what Medicare and MedicAid – pay for…

            as well as orphanages and other publicly funded services and entitlements.

            the problem with the Conservatives is they exist in a nether world of what they’d like to do – i.e. not pay for entitlements … and from that pretend-world – they then develop religious and moral reasons to deny access to things like birth control – even though – downstream – we are buying with tax dollars what is broke.

            it’s looney tunes. fiscally conservatism is now at odds with political conservatism… and it shows in the issues that conservatives themselves cannot even agree among themselves on.

    2. Don, Your slippery slope arguments are entirely unconvincing.

      (1) Why stop at subsidizing contraception? Why not subsidize hangover medicine. Answer: Because hangovers are not a social problem that perpetuate the culture of dysfunctional poverty, and all the social ills that it entails, and the cost to the public that it entails. Unwanted pregnancies do perpetuate that culture, social ills and trillions of dollars or public expenditure.

      (2) I defer to FallLine’s explanation, which clearly shows that, even though he frequently disagrees with what I write, he at least takes the trouble to *understand* what I write.

      1. Drinking and sex are both voluntary. When voluntary actions have consequences the people who engage in those voluntary actions should bear the cost of the consequences.

        You also jump to the questionable belief that women get pregnant “by accident” because they can’t afford birth control. How much does a box of condoms cost? How hard is it to buy a box of condoms? Does Medicaid cover birth control?

        I’d submit that education would do more to address dysfunctional poverty than birth control pills. Do you support others paying for free pre-K and Kindergarten in areas of poverty? Do you support the government requiring poor children who are struggling in school to attend school year round (paid for with more of your money)? Do you support others paying for free 1:1 tutoring for poor children who struggle in school? Should the government institute a jobs corps for all poor children when they turn 18? Get the kids some work experience even if there isn’t all that much they can do given their poor educations? Pay them $15 per hour. Get them habituated to the idea of having some money so they will scramble to get a job once the work program ends.

        I understand what you wrote just fine. You’re happy to take other people’s money to pay poor people to stop breeding (or terminate pregnancies if they do breed). That way there will be fewer poor people in the future. The fact that most state Medicaid programs cover prescription birth control doesn’t enter into your argument. You cite statistics that poor women have more children than their wealthier counterparts. They also are more likely to smoke cigarettes than their wealthier counterparts. You jump to the conclusion that the higher birth rates are attributable to a lack of access to birth control. Do you have any evidence to support this? Are birth rates among poor women lower in states where the state Medicaid program pays for prescription birth control? Are birth rates among poor women lower in states that cover the cost of “morning after” emergency birth control pills? What causes poor women to smoke cigarettes at a higher rate than wealthier women? Lack of access to free Nicorette?

        From the New York Times – “Americans with a high school education or less make up 40 percent of the population, but they account for 55 percent of the nation’s 42 million smokers, according to a New York Times analysis of health survey data obtained from the Minnesota Population Center, at the University of Minnesota. Since 1997, the smoking rate for adults has fallen 27 percent, but among the poor it has declined just 15 percent, according to the analysis. And among adults living in deep poverty in the South and Midwest, the smoking rate has not changed at all.”

        So, poor people can afford cigarettes but not condoms.

        Your view of poverty is simplistic. Over the past 50 years the availability of affordable birth control to America’s poor has dramatically increased. Yet the poverty rate has not decreased materially. Your answer is to take other people’s money and try to increase the rate of available birth control even more. Somehow, this time it will alleviate poverty. Most liberals in America are closet socialists. You’re not. You are an accidental socialist.

        1. re: ” voluntary actions should bear the cost of the consequences.”

          I wonder what the abortion rate is for the non-poor compared to the poor…

          what consequences does the middle class “suffer” when a daughter gets pregnant for “lack of a condom or birth control”?

          so the moral of the story is : is you can afford to get an abortion after a screw up – you’re free of religion and immoral behavior but if you are poor all bets are off -you WILL suffer hellfire and damnation for engaging in immoral acts that you cannot afford unless you are middle class.

        2. I’m not wedded to the idea of public subsidies for birth control. Depends on your frame of reference. In an ideal world, there would be no government-subsidized birth control. All such programs would be privately funded. In a world in which government subsidizes and cross-subsidizes everything in sight, subsidies for birth control make more sense than most.

          Also, I agree that more birth control is no magic cure. However, teenage pregnancy rates and fertility rates generally have declined markedly over the past 20 years. I’m not sure what we attribute that too, although I suspect that the availability of free birth control — especially IUDs, which people don’t have to remember to use — play a role.

  4. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

    Uhm, pundits HAVE referred to advocates for cheap/free birth control as sluts. How is that inaccurate?

    1. One pundit, Rush Limbaugh, referred to one free birth control advocate, Sandra Fluke, as a slut — and the issue wasn’t cheap/free birth control but mandating that private businesses include cheap/free birth control in their health care plans regardless of their religious beliefs.

      Very different from most or all conservative pundits referring to most or all of birth control advocates as sluts. Of course, it advanced the liberal/progressive agenda to conflate Limbaugh with all conservatives and to obscure the distinction between providing women access to birth control and mandating that other people provide that access against their religious beliefs.

      1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

        Rush is the only one to use that specific word, but there are others who have been more oblique about it while essentially getting to the same point.

        “and the issue wasn’t cheap/free birth control but mandating that private businesses include cheap/free birth control in their health care plans”

        This is a distinction without a difference.

        “regardless of their religious beliefs”

        Businesses have no religious beliefs, but that’s a conversation for another day.

  5. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

    Overall, a well done post, even if we use different logic to come to the same basic conclusion. However, I think you give your fellow travelers too much credit.

    “Would they prefer to pay higher taxes to support the children of poor women who became pregnant by accident, or would they prefer to give those women access to birth control and/or early-stage abortion services so they could avoid having those children in the first place?”

    You offer a false binary. There is the third option of pay for neither and just let people suffer their fates.

    1. True, there is the third option, and I suspect that a number of people would subscribe to it.

  6. here’s a couple of questions:

    1. – for your own family – how far back can you go in your ancestry tree before you find an ancestor that did not have a public education

    2. – what did that person do for a living

    3. – for at-risk kids – how far back in their ancestry tree can you go before they did not get a REAL public education?

    when it comes to education in this country – isn’t there a certain amount of “by the grace of God, go I” in terms of your family’s “culture” of education?

    bonus question – how many here had parents or grand parents who did not have a K-12 public education and is there a connection between a lack of a good education and a failure to plan for family?

    What role does Public Education play in this?

    1. Grandfather. Came from a long line of Kentucky coal miners. Dropped out of public school in Kentucky in eighth grade. Worked as a coal miner in Kentucky until he was drafted into World War I. Heard about the opportunities in Detroit for a better life (kind of ironic today). Relocated there after the war. Got a job as a lithographer. Earned a good living. Made it clear to my Dad that dropping out of high school was not an option. My Grandfather still couldn’t put my Dad through college. So Dad went ROTC. Combat veteran of Korean War. Served in Vietnam. Buried at Arlington National Cemetery (after living a long life).

      My Grandfather decided to take responsibility for his own outcome. Figure out how to teach that to people if you want to end poverty.

      1. interesting family history -thanks for sharing.

        if there were no public schools – what would your father had done to get an education?

        both sides of my tree were farmers… one side immigrants from Germany, the other immigrants from England.

        Both sent their kids to public schools… at about the same time other parents did not have a public school option for their kids –

        when I went to public school – there were “separate but equal” schools which were, depending on one’s point of view – better than the alternative or just terrible compared to the white version.

        where do modern-day un(der)-educated parents (who have kids) come from? Did they have access to a good education but just failed to work at obtaining it?

  7. Science shows that the DNA of the fetus is that of a human being and that it differs from the DNA of the mother and the DNA of the father. So abortion kills a human being, no matter how small that human being is. How many of you are willing to kill a human being, even if unwanted? Does your reasoning apply to human beings of all sizes and ages? Why not?
    In my teenage years, sex and pregnancy among teens was rare, even in my street gang. Why is it common today? What was being taught then that is not taught today?

    1. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

      A skeleton has human DNA, too, does that make it a human being?

  8. The fetus is a living human being. But if you kill a skeleton, you will be killing a human being.

  9. re: ” the “spend mo’ money” approach is unaffordable.”

    re: ” Would they prefer to pay higher taxes to support the children of poor women who became pregnant by accident, or would they prefer to give those women access to birth control and/or early-stage abortion services so they could avoid having those children in the first place? It’s an easy choice for me, and I suspect is is for many conservatives.”

    actually it’s not.

    it’s Conservatives who are the reason why we cannot offer birth control to these women.

    where are the ‘conservatives’ who advocate taxpayer-funded birth control for teen women?

    if those conservatives exist at all – they are hiding out unwilling to take a public – and principled stand.

    this is what has changed my view towards conservatives whom I used to support when they took principled and pragmatic stands to deal with issues rather than untenable ideological positions that are at odds with reality and with actually solving problems.

    it makes no sense what-so-ever to deny birth control to teens if we are going to pay all costs downstream of having those kids… it’s dumb but it’s the philosophy of the right these days.

  10. Going to college is planning for the future. That’s what most people do to improve your life.

    When you are poor, it’s different. You tend to live in the here and now. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

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