Freakonomics: The End Does not Justify the Means

Freakonomics: The End Does not Justify the Means

“They reduce everything to money”

Despite all the different kinds of problems in the world, the issues that dominate the national discussion are economical. Some have even shifted moral arguments to this field. Take for example, how abortion is argued in what is called “Freakonomics.”

In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner wrote a book titled Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. As an example of how they reduce everything to money, they argue that abortion is acceptable because of its statistical effects on society. To be more specific, they say that it is a positive thing because it reduces crime and poverty. These “unwanted” children, they claim, are more likely to be born into broken homes and subsequently are more likely to be criminals and perpetuate poverty. One example that they bring up as a sort of lie-in-the-hole is Romania, which saw significant economic benefits when they liberalized their abortion policies.


Ironically, these men who are so concerned with correlation as causality fail to miss the point. Abortion is a moral issue and it’s supposed benefits are the result of a larger human crisis. The reality is that these “unwanted” pregnancies are the result of a hyper- sexualized society that is the result of the normalization of divorce, contraceptives, extra marital relations, and other peculiarities of the sexual revolution. If society had its strong sense of family and self-restraint that it once had, the problems that supposedly necessitate abortion would cease to exist.