Economics,  Hoffer

The Wall Street Journal echoes me

While reading the diary of Eric Hoffer I came across his account of talking an old Russian emigre who claimed that the long-term effects of Communism in Russia was biological. To wit all of the people who were naturally talented farmers, managers and such were sent to die in Siberian labor camps.

The authors of Freakonomics make a similar point when discussing abortion and the dramatic drop in crime since the early 90’s. Their argument: unwanted pregnancies become unwanted children who are far more likely to commit crimes. Seems pretty believable.

I hadn’t thought of the crime angle but I had thought that the long term effect, or the Roe Effect would be, to quote the Jargon Database

An up and coming term; is the tendency of the “pro-life” people to have more children than “pro-choice” people. Since pro-lifers tend to be politically more conservative and they pass this political outlook on to their children. There are fewer corresponding pro-choice children to acquire pro-choice (an other) values.

Rather, legalized abortion will produce people who don’t support it. It is not an Evolutionary Stable Strategy.

James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal reaches my same conclusion before I write about it. Oh well.

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