Friday, September 30, 2005

Bill Bennett Spoke Truth

The brouhaha over Bill Bennett's remarks regarding aborting black feti is ridiculous. What he was saying, was, in effect, true; if we reduced the black population in the US, ceteris paribus, crime would go down, as blacks commit disproportionately more crimes. (I say ceteris paribus because to actually implement any such policy, in addition to the moral concerns of such a policy per se, would most definitely have unintended consequences, and they would certainly be very bad ones).

Moreover, as Steve Sailer pointed out, that was part of the actual argument in Steven Levitt's famous theory that abortion has cut crime, although it appears that Levitt wants to downplay that angle (thanx and a tip o' the hat to Rubnot). Moreover, as the abortion rate for blacks is around 2.5 times that of the population as a whole, and around 4-5 times that of whites, and as blacks on average commit a great deal more violent crimes (e.g., 6-7 times the murder rate of whites), it is hard not to see any argument that abortion cut crime as having a racial angle.

Andreww McCarthy and Matthew Yglesias also defend Bennett.

Another consideration is that in order to drive home the point about how immoral utilitarian arguments about abortion are, Bennett had to make the example he used as offensive as possible; suggesting that we disproportionately abort males would not have had the same "shock value" that was essential to his point. And if he had said that we aborted all of the babies to "poor mothers," wouldn't the same people who are criticizing him for choosing a "racist" example simply say that "poor" was a code-word for "black?"

Of course, the assumption that abortion as it stands has disproportionately eliminated the more crime-prone elements of the black community, or that it hasn't disproportionately eliminated those with better prospects has been called into question by Mr. Sailer as well.

That is all.

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