Sunday, November 09, 2008

You cannot have it both ways

I think this is going to become a regular series around here. Post pointing out places where people seem to expect to have it both ways, their cake and eat it too, their half of the world and mine...well, you get the idea.

Here we go.


Our first entry is on early abortion. Very specifically abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, including the Morning After pill.

On the one hand, Conservative Christians and Pro-Lifers, including those in the medical field, claim that life begins at the moment of conception. As soon as sperm meets egg life has begun, and must be cherished. It's alive, it feels pain, it's a miracle. Ending that life is murder.

Unless you're having a miscarriage. In which case those in the medical field, including Conservative Christians and Pro-Lifers, will tell you it's a "chemical pregnancy", an errant bunch of cells, a mistake. It's not alive, it feels no pain, and it can just be flushed away. So not even alive it's not even worth mourning.

You cannot have it both ways.

Either it's a life, which deserves to be mourned like the loss of any other life, and you should be shoveling serious amounts of money at research to reduce the 10-35% of pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Or it's not a life, and someone should be able to remove that clump of cells as easily as they remove any other.

Pick one. You cannot have it both ways.


Our second installment today comes to us via the economy.

Anyone else remember the stories over the past few decades, on how American's have a negative savings rate? American's buy everything on credit, spending all their pay and then some. it's disgraceful, it's dangerous, it's simply wrong. American's need to be more frugal, more careful with credit, save for a rainy day. Isn't that what led to the current crisis, people buying houses they couldn't afford, putting all their furnishings on credit cards, then refinancing to pay off the cards, so they could charge more, and so on? Until they couldn't make the payments, then all those mortgages became "toxic waste" and all the banks got nervous and bam, here we are.

Except that not spending money may lead to a deflationary spiral, as shops lower prices to try to get you frugal sorts to please spend something.
In economics, a deflationary spiral is a situation where decreases in price lead to lower production, which in turn leads to lower wages and demand, which leads to further decreases in price. Since reductions in general price level are called deflation, a deflationary spiral is when reductions in price lead to a vicious circle, where a problem exacerbates its own cause. The Great Depression was regarded as a deflationary spiral.
(from Wikipedia)

You cannot have it both ways.

Either we save money, or we spend money. If we're careful with credit, if we're frugal, if we look for bargains and patiently wait for the best price we could put the country into a deflationary spiral. If we max our cards, tap our houses for money, spend more than we can afford, we put the country into a credit crisis.

Pick one. You cannot have it both ways. And while unlike our first option a middle way might be possibly, it's very fine and narrow and I think it's too late to find it anyway.


I have no doubt there will be more of these in the future.

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