As many students of politics know, there are two kinds of truth: political truth and all other varieties. Political truth, unlike scientific truth, need not be connected verifiably with objective reality. Political truth sometimes dresses up in the robes of science, but bad science also leaves objective reality behind at the altar.
Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Cassandra of Obamabots, was one of the architects of Obamacare who, unlike many proponents of President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act,” went off script and, in venues he may have thought were off record, simply laid out the truth about Obamacare in such unvarnished terms that even those over-friendly to President Obama in the media could not easily misunderstand Mr. Gruber’s essential message – which was: Obamacare, right from the get-go, was intentionally misleading. More importantly, he noted, it was of necessity misleading. The sales pitch of the used car salesman who wants you to buy the lemon on his lot, likewise and for much the same reasons, is misleading.
The press spotlight having been focused on Mr. Gruber and the Obamacare warts, media sleuths have now discovered that Mr. Gruber has also told the inconvenient truth about abortion. In a paper co-written during the Clinton administration and printed in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), “Abortion, Legalization and Child Living Circumstances,” Mr. Gruber, along with two other co-authors, wrote:
“Legalization of abortion in five states around 1970, followed by legalization nationwide due to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, generates natural variation which can be used to estimate the effect of abortion access. We find that cohorts born after abortion was legalized experienced a significant reduction in a number of adverse outcomes. Our estimates imply that the marginal child who was not born due to legalization would have been 70% more likely to live in a single parent family, 40% more likely to live in poverty, 50% more likely to receive welfare, and 35% more likely to die as an infant. These selection effects imply that the legalization of abortion saved the government over $14 billion in welfare expenditures through 1994.”
Mr. Gruber also touted a positive link between abortion and a precipitous drop in crime rates among “cohorts,” by which term Mr. Gruber means to indicate single parents, the poor and welfare recipients – or, to put the matter bluntly, the underclass, mostly African American and Latino city dwellers, all of whom are fortunate enough to live in close proximity to abortion mills.
A more recent report published in the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2000, “NBER Working Paper No. 8004”, probes the connection between legalized abortion and recent crime reductions:
“We offer evidence that legalized abortion has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions. Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization. The 5 states that allowed abortion in 1970 experienced declines earlier than the rest of the nation, which legalized in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. States with high abortion rates in the 1970s and 1980s experienced greater crime reductions in the 1990s. In high abortion states, only arrests of those born after abortion legalization fall relative to low abortion states. Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Abortion Surveillance report has found that between 2007 and 2010, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the U.S. were performed on black children, even though blacks make up only 12.8 percent of the population. Another 21 percent of abortions were performed on Hispanics, and an additional 7 percent on other minority races. More than half of all babies killed by abortion between 2007 and 2010 were minorities.
Note that both Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and his prison czar, Mike Lawlor, the architect of a bill that awards early-release credits to violent prisoners, have claimed responsibility for a reduction of crime in Connecticut that parallels a national reduction in crime attributed by Mr. Gruber and other economists to abortion. This is the kind of pseudo-science that leaves objective reality waiting impatiently at the altar for a marriage that never occurs. Neither Mr. Lawlor nor Mr. Malloy has yet been so brash to claim credit for the drop in crime rate that has occurred nationwide.