The Problem with Bill Gates

With almost $40 billion in assets, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation possesses incredible influence, and is unafraid to use it. As one staffer put it, the foundation’s greatest strength is “setting agendas, framing debates, advocating the foundation’s point of view and taking action … an unchecked way of getting things done,” although some might find this worrying given the propensity of free peoples to hold checks and balances rather dearly.

Of late, the foundation has devoted enormous resources to school reform, even though some teachers and parents remain skeptical of Gates’ experimental schools and of the Common Core, to which many retain a visceral antipathy.

Even with billions invested in that campaign, the foundation shows no signs of donor fatigue, and is, in its own words, “always looking for new ways to foster and accelerate innovative ideas that can improve, and even save, people’s lives.” In this context, funding the “next generation” of condoms which make sex feel better. As Chris Wilson, the foundation’s director of global health discovery, wrote in a news release on condom funding in June, they’re “continually impressed by the talented people … with exciting ideas that can help address issues of great importance to women and children.”

Birth control is in the news, with the Hobby Lobby decision prompting feverish reactions, including some downright wild claims on how the five white male members of the Supreme Court had made Christianity the official religion of the United States, trampled the constitutional right to free contraception, and all but precluded women from the social and economic aspects of our common life. With all this chatter, the foundation’s interest in prophylactics made of leftover beef tendons (!) seems insignificant, but far more noteworthy is their investment in remote control birth control.

Inserted into the abdomen, the “tiny implant … acts as a contraceptive for 16 years—and can be turned on or off using a remote control.” This is really remarkable. Contraception has fairly low failure rates when used as intended, but humans, being what they are, forget to take their pills or utilize the various barrier methods correctly and “mistakes” happen. Already various implants reduce the need for care, but 16-year remote control birth control allows for complete and utter mindlessness.

The possibilities are astounding. Consider the reality of injecting, at around the age of 10, a young woman with the implant. If she’s already hit puberty we hit the “Play” button and presto, a better, braver new world. If she hasn’t reached sexual maturity we’re still ready to activate in a moment. If her parents are of the right sort, they can be entrusted with the remote, but if not public health authorities could step in to assume that responsibility. No one need think about it again for a decade and a half!

Now she’s 26 or 28 years old, at which point she will either be on her parent’s health insurance or eligible for free contraception through her employer. She can elect another 16 year dose or choose more conventional means to delay having her 1.86 children until her mid-thirties. This might be pretty bad public policy, but it would allow for almost unlimited freedom, of a sort, or as many understand it.

I’ll admit I find the idea of remote control birth control somewhat worrisome given the panacea-like mythos associated with contraception in the popular mind. For instance, just now there are many protesting illegal immigration outside of detention centers throughout the southwest, including a facility in Murrieta, California. This protestor suggests sending all the illegals back to wherever they came from with birth control. Her logic is fairly obvious, and sinister: If the tens of thousands of youngsters went home without the ability to reproduce—and recall that fertility rates in central America tends to around 3 children per woman—she imagines saving American taxpayers from hundreds of thousands of potential illegals. Part of me wonders what this woman would suggest if she knew about the remote control option—could we just activate it from afar and be done? I exaggerate—I hope—but the mindset which so easily and angrily thinks a human problem like immigration and poverty could be easily ameliorated with birth control is similar to those investing in “better” condoms and birth control activated with a “clicker.” These are minds which first turn to technique and method as ways to bend the world to our will rather than consider what virtue requires.

With respect to immigration, Gates recently joined Warren Buffett and Sheldon Adelson in calling on Congress to enact sensible and humane policies. In this, like so many other things, he seems a person of decency, moderation, and basic common sense. Here is a man who has devoted enormous sums of his own money to create “opportunities for catalytic change which can transform people’s lives,” in Africa, including “the foundation’s key program areas such as agriculture, family planning, financial services for the poor, HIV, malaria, polio, and vaccines delivery.”

But if you look behind the curtain, you see that Gates thinks we need to reduce human population by 10-15 percent of its projected growth. One of his stated motivations for vaccination is to limit human population, not only to save lives but to reduce lives—a strange and convoluted decision calculus. The very same “decency,” reduced to a kind of technocratic and secularized utilitarianism, is really extraordinarily callous, even abhorrent, although couched in the most benign form of cheeriness, optimism, and expertise.

In a recent article on educational reform, Andrew Ferguson notes Gates’ commitment to the cult of expertise:

Evidently Bill Gates doesn’t have a political bone in his body. His intellectual loyalty lies instead with the ideology of expertise. His faith is technocratic and materialist: In the end he believes the ability of highly credentialed observers to identify and solve problems through the social sciences is theoretically limitless. “Studies” and “research” unlock the human secret. This is the animating faith of most educationists, too. All human interactions can be dispassionately observed and their separate parts identified, isolated, analyzed, and quantified according to some version of the scientific method. The resulting data will yield reliable information about how and why we behave as we do, and from this process can be derived formulas that will be universally applicable and repeatable.

This very same technocratic mindset explains, in part, the odd contortions our cultural gatekeepers undergo with respect to the Church. For instance, just as the administration and Senate are doing their best to subjugate Catholic Charities on birth control, the immigration crisis prompts the administration to reach out to the Church to provide housing and other forms of assistance for these immigrant children, although pastoral work and care is not encouraged. When the Church is “useful” it can be tolerated, even utilized, but insofar as it maintains other claims about morality, human purpose, and God, it really is not welcome to speak and live as if it had a truth to say.

In the mind of a technocrat, objectivity assumes that we throw reality over and away from ourselves. Jacio—to throw; ob—against. That is, objectivity, or at least objectivity of a technical sort, requires our detachment or dis-involvement, and since religion tends to include, even demand, the personal, they cannot, it is thought, be objective. As subjective, they may be held close, but silently, no matter how sincere (or how true). We have, then, a technocratic mindset which claims to own the ground of objectivity, public policy, the human good (understood technocratically), and in that space Common Core, remote control birth control, sterilization, and population reduction make eminent sense. They just are what counts as sense, in fact, and religious claims about the real meaning of dignity, a civilization of love, and solidarity are humored as subjective emotions so long as, and only so long as, they do not interfere with the real business of the technocrats.

Catholics, of course, are firmly committed to securing and providing basic human goods and working toward integral human development, in all its forms. At the same time, however, we know that “human beings always need something more than technically proper care.” We know that no one can live without love, and we know that love, before anything else, “signifies much the same as approval … loving someone or something means finding him or it probus, the Latin word for “good.” It is a way of turning to him or it and saying, ‘It’s good that you exist; it’s good that you are in this world.’”

It is impossible for us, or should be, to look at a child, an immigrant, a student and wish them away. We are called to love them, to affirm that their existence is a deep and profound good. Love doesn’t magically solve immigration policy, of course, and right prudence is a form of love, but we cannot, must not, give ourselves over to a technocratic mind which is largely immune to love, let alone a love approving of the mystery of the Image of God carried by every person.

We are, and let’s hope faithful enough to remain, signs of contradiction, and particularly to the mindset which reduces human worth, even when doing so in the name of development. Our way is hard, for at times “easy solutions” are right before us, and we risk looking benighted and obscurantist as we, yet again, dissent, claiming that there is a better way, a more human way, a way of divine love, even when that way fits uneasily with a bold and triumphalist technocratic world.

But our way is best, and the “decency” of technocracy is increasingly ugly.

(Photo credit: Photo of Bill Gates by REUTERS / Antony Bolante)

R. J. Snell

By

R. J. Snell directs the Center on the University and Intellectual Life at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and is a senior fellow at the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good. He is the author (with Steve Cone) of Authentic Cosmopolitanism: Love, Sin, and Grace in the Christian University. His latest books are Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire and The Perspective of Love.

  • ForChristAlone

    The best counterpoint to Bill Gates and all his billions funding abortion and contraception is for Catholics to reproduce as God’s plan has always dictated. And if those Catholic children are home schooled, they will constitute an army for God’s truth. But Catholics ought to get going on this because before too long, Gates’ money will be going toward outlawing Catholics from reproducing at all. Impossible you say? How does China get away with a ‘one-baby policy’? Can’t happen here. They elected the dolt twice didn’t they?

  • publiusnj

    Which is it, Bill? Is more population a good or a bad thing? On the one hand, Bill is in favor of more immigration (as are most Democrats). On the other hand, he is strongly in favor of population reduction (as are most Democrats).

    • fredx2

      What makes him think he is the one who should determine what the population of the world “should be”:?

      • publiusnj

        My point is the disconnect between Gates’s anti-population growth animus when it comes to birth control and his pro-population growth attitude when it comes to immigration.

        Certainly, a nation has the right to determine how many immigrants it should take in. It shouldn’t be up to the people who choose to invade a country despite the laws of the country. If entry is up to the uninvited, then the Czechs and Poles in 1938-39 and the French, Belgians, Dutch, Danes and Norwegians in the Spring of 1940 were wrong to oppose the entry of Germans into their national bounds.

        If the “childrens’ crusade/invasion” occurring on the Southern Border right now should be accommodated because of the deplorable conditions in their homelands, what about all the other deplorable conditions throughout the World. How many tens of millions of children throughout South America, Africa and Asia have an equal claim on the tug strings of our hearts? And once we admit all those children what about their parents? We shouldn’t be destroying family unity, so how many tens of millions of adults (and their other children) should also be admitted under this theory of unlimited accommodation?

        Nancy Pelosi recently stated in justification for the admission of the invading children that we are all Americans whether North or South of the Border. If all the peoples of the two Americas (North and South) are equally entitled to entry into the US, then there are another 620 Million “Americans in Waiting” beyond the 313 Million of us already here. Should they all be allowed in (if that is what they want, of course)? That would be a tripling of our current population before even considering all the worthy immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, which is, of course, so much more populated.

        • DE-173

          That oft-maligned Pope from seven decades ago provided shelter to the besieged Jews; surely this Pope can provide an example of the sort of “welcome” he envisions for “the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence.”

          • Micha Elyi

            The Pope should scold the bishops of Mexico first and loudest.

            • DE-173

              And the Mexican government, which as we know from the case of one poorly navigating marine, doesn’t treat intrusions of its borders very well and that doesn’t even begin to address what they do to those who cross THEIR Southern border.

              Of course, the Mexican government is well known for showing respect for priests.

              • slainte

                DE writes….”the Mexican government….doesn’t treat intrusions of its borders very well and that doesn’t even begin to address what they do to those who cross THEIR Southern border….”
                .
                Well the Mexican border authorities stood down and allowed a whole lot of Central American children cross their sourthern border into the sovereign state of Mexico and then permitted the kids to make their way across Mexican territory to the U.S border…all just a coincidence or maybe a little bit of political coordination?

                • DE-173

                  Or just plain incompetence. We know how the Mexican government treats the “undocumented immigrants” it apprehends; we don’t know their batting average.

                  • slainte

                    DE, I believe the children originated from several Central American countries which means some crossed the borders of several different sovereign nations without being refused entry.
                    .
                    How do so many children accomplish this. In my opinion, this is not incompetence; it involves planning and payoffs on an international scale.

                    • DE-173

                      Who knows? Mexico is a basket case; corruption is way of life. I’ve talked to enough expatriates to know why so many want to leave.

                    • ForChristAlone

                      It’s interesting that I was just in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on a missionary effort. This is the area that our trusted news media was heralding as too unsafe for people to live and hence justifying their coming to the USA illegally. I guess what’s safe enough for a gringo is too unsafe for an Honduran.

                    • slainte

                      Things are not as they appear to be. 🙂

                • ForChristAlone

                  Perhaps the children are just another commodity who come under the NAFTA agreement. I place no trust in either government – theirs or ours.

      • M

        Could the shoe be on the other foot? It is not Gates that will determine how many children each couple should have. It is the couple themselves who will have the opportunity to make that choice.

        • musicacre

          People like Gates probably believe that kind of freedom is dangerous..dangerous to whom? It’s failing populations that spell economic disaster. His fortune is riding the coattails of the baby boom; which allowed him to benefit from so many millions of sales. So you could say he is rich BECAUSE of large population.

      • musicacre

        He’s definitely “playing God” and their policy descriptions even admit how aggressive they are. As soon as you invent an internal device as described in the article it’s not long before it will become mandatory, as per the policy in China with diaphragms.

    • ForChristAlone

      Off topic but noting your point about immigration, has anyone heard the Holy Father refer to those tunnels between Gaza and Israel as migration routes? What difference does it make whether you come into another country illegally by fording a river or tunneling under a country’s boundary? Does the Holy Father think the Israelis are “zenophobic” by trying to keep the Hamas Palestinians out of their country? Maybe Hamas ought to just use children to infiltrate Israel; then all would be well.

      • Micha Elyi

        There are tunnels that illegals use to cross from Mexico into California.

        • ForChristAlone

          I wasn’t ruling out other means of entry other than fording rivers. I was referring to two groups of people who illegally enter another country.

    • M

      The two views are not necessarily incompatible. Immigration doesn’t increase global population; it just allows people to move from distressed areas to those with more opportunities (why did any of us or our ancestors come to the US?). By “population reduction”, I assume you mean access to contraception? I don’t think you or I can make the decision for other couples regarding how many children they should have.

      • DE-173

        Population reduction generally means ZPG or NPG.
        You shouldn’t assume why people immigrated here; I know my great-grandfather had no intentions of staying, his original intent was to crawl in to dank dark hole for 60+ plus hours a week until he died or had enough money to buy forty acres and a mule in the old country.

      • publiusnj

        The two issues though are very much interrelated. Bill Gates is in favor of population reduction in the US through birth control and abortion; yet favors increased US population through immigration. So, he doesn’t like those of us who are already here and wants to replace us with new people. Sounds highly discriminatory however much it gets dressed up.

  • fredx2

    I think the great philanthropists of the past – Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford etc, are sitting up there scratching their heads, wondering why Bill Gates is focusing on “funding the “next generation” of condoms which make sex feel better.”

    The level of gravitas in our society has fallen.

    • lifeknight

      sitting UP there?

      • Micha Elyi

        Don’t presume to judge what isn’t yours to decide, honey.

        • ForChristAlone

          My guess is that lifeknight was simply raising the prospect that none of us knows for certain what anyone’s ultimate eternal fate is. Didn’t sound to me like he was casting any particular judgment.

        • lifeknight

          OK sweetness.

  • Faithkuz

    Americans swoon over technology, and this will be sold as guaranteeing greater personal freedom through greater control, yet government control is more likely. Some potential scenarios: http://catholicstand.com/remote-control-contraception-fertility-damned/

    • tamsin

      “A government big enough to give you remote control of your fertility,
      is a government big enough to remotely control your fertility.”

  • afterepiphany

    Gates could be delivering the kind of infrastructure throughout the developing nations that could make a radical dent in world poverty, in the availability of food, medicine and water to people in remote and impoverished places. Gates could be funding initiatives to get homeless people off the streets in inner-city places. Gates could even be funding more efficient ways to travel long distances, such as safer Concorde technology, or ways of connecting the continents in a more affordable way. He could make the world better in so many different ways…. but he chooses sex as his focus? I mean…. REALLY?

    • Guest

      That is a great point.

      • Micha Elyi

        I blame Bill Gates II and his wife, both “good” Episcopalians, as much as their son Bill Gates III.

        • Their obsession is very sick, but no surprise coming from single child families, especially the wives who are so afraid of child birth. They think they will live forever and be young forever if they don’t have children. But then they are obsessed with sex, but unlikely that either II or III are having sex with their wives.

    • DE-173

      “but he chooses sex as his focus? I mean…. REALLY?”
      Freudian slip?

    • M

      In terms of the availability of medicine, Bill Gates and his foundation do in fact contribute vast amounts of money toward tackling parasitic and bacterial diseases in Africa (e.g., Guinea worm, river blindness, and sleeping sickness.) In terms of food availability, the foundation has donated over $2 billion toward agricultural development in poor areas, mostly in Africa and Asia. This initiative not only feeds people but teaches them to feed themselves. In terms of providing water, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation runs a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program that, again, uses innovative techniques to help people in the developing world. You may not agree with Gates about the importance of available contraception, but it’s not true to suggest that he’s not making enormous contributions in ” throughout the developing nations that could make a radical dent in world poverty, in the availability of food, medicine and water to people in remote and impoverished places. ” That’s exactly what he’s doing.

      • DE-173

        Then every dollar and every hour spent peddling the pill is an alienation of money better spent elsewhere.

    • musicacre

      The devil hates people (God’s Creation) so it’s no coincidence that unGodly people with lots of money end up falling into his clutches. Helping people in all the ways mentioned up above indicates compassion for people but pushing an aggressive contra-ception program is pushing for elimination of people. Which satisfies the devil.

  • BillinJax

    This is a fabulous and intriguing summary of the mind and
    agenda of Bill Gates. It is a must read for anyone who cherishes his Catholic
    faith and hopes to be able to filter the absolute truth from the bought and
    paid for false or fictitious but scientifically accepted and approved
    technology these social analysts come up with in their effort to lead us to
    Utopia.

  • DE-173

    “Evidently Bill Gates doesn’t have a political bone in his body. His intellectual loyalty lies instead with the ideology of expertise. His faith is technocratic and materialist: In the end he believes the ability of highly credentialed observers to identify and solve problems through the social sciences is theoretically limitless. “Studies” and “research” unlock the human secret. This is the animating faith of most educationists, too.”
    Actually, he’s plenty political. His politics is an old and weary poltics, 19th century progressivism, which was best exemplified by the founding members of the Americam Economic Association, although the idea that there is a pressing need for a central authority to intervene in human affairs, dates to at least Malthus’ time.
    Interesting, the AEA was as much Protestant social gospel as economics. Richard T Ely, it’s founder, was forced to resign his position as the AEA’s first secretary in 1892
    after his decision to hold the annual meetings at a Methodist summer camp
    was forced to resign his position as the AEA’s first secretary in 1892
    after his decision to hold the annual meetings at a Methodist summer camp. Henry Carter Adams, a tireless critic of “Laissez Faire” and America’s first bureaucrat (chief statistician of the Interstate Commerce Commission) was the son of a minister, and astounding numbe of AEA members were of similar orientation. It was mo accident that these people who imagined that there ideas

  • JP

    “…and recall that fertility rates in central America tends to around 3 children per woman—..”

    The 2005-2010 Total Fertility Rates:
    Central America 2.56
    The 2000-2005 Total Fertility Rates:
    Central America 2.76
    The 1995-2000 Total Fertility Rates
    Central America 3.1

    Source, UN Meta Data

    By 2025, Fertility Rates in Central America overall will be below replacement levels; if we use the low variant, it will come as soon as 2020.

  • BillinJax

    The beauty and wonder of the Conception of a child in the
    womb of its mother was chosen as a target at the very beginning of socialism
    and its liberal agenda to accomplish the “fundamental transformation of America”
    way before the current regime and their announced messiah appeared on the
    national scene. The cry from the desert of dome was that the world God had made
    for us was in grave danger of Over Population. We had to save the earth from
    being over run with new life? The pictures accompanying every deceitful article
    echoing that cry were not of cute toddlers in their mother’s arms or on happy
    playgrounds or in pleasant classrooms learning of the beauty of God’s good
    earth. No, we were shown starving skin and bone figures in poor countries of Africa
    and Asia where Christian missionaries were trying to
    bring the truth of the gospels to the people. Ironically this deceitful
    campaign gained support at a time when tens of millions of innocent humans all
    over the world had just been ritually slaughtered by godless dictators and
    imperial rulers before, during and after World War II.
    Contraception in all its forms, as part of the selfish
    passion for freedom from individual responsibility, was hailed as a redeeming
    blessing for not only married couples who wished not to have the obligation of
    raising a family but also to any and all who desired to be romantically
    involved prior to or in lieu of marriage. The personal benefits and blessing of
    conjugal love which God had reserved for married couples to have families and
    procreate were transformed and disguised as simply human rights suddenly
    ordained and made available by the secular progressives to everyone without
    having to pledge eternal companionship or bare the obligations of parenthood.
    Giving those with a taste for such freedom, the media offered public cover by
    naming their cause a Sexual Revolution. Driven by the desire to avoid personal
    responsibility at any price¸ rejecting any mention of chastity, this was the harbinger of societal
    perversion as well as the precursor and foundation for what eventually became
    our own national plague, Abortion.

    One might easily define the demise of American family life by its two most
    revealing concepts, contraception and abortion. One opposed the creative nature
    God granted to the union of a man and a woman joined in Holy Matrimony and the
    other sought to challenge the very involvement of God in the equation. Both
    have at the center of its premise the denial that man is the product of the
    goodness and abundance of God’s love and that man was not made in His image and
    likeness. Therefore, there is no such thing as procreation and God had no
    purposeful design for the ability of mankind to reproduce.
    Liberalism, like Humanism, stops short of denying the existence of God least they lose the
    basis for the goodness of man which provides them some footing to espouse
    their false philosophy of life. This is the same as the satanic Temptation of
    Christ when he was asked to forsake his divine nature and simply be human
    and follow the commands of one who would provide him with all he would
    ever need. The lord of lies has hope; hope that we do not recognize him among
    those who have unknowingly followed him and wish to control us.

    The world witnessed recently the liberal dominated democratic
    national convention purposely attempting to remove all mention of God from
    their platform to proudly but foolishly proclaim what could be called a
    doctrine of the cultural of death. However, they reasoned prior to the election
    was not good timing for exposing the under belly of their agenda and leaders
    hastily overruled the mobs there present shouting for its approval.

  • jacobum

    BG believes he is a demigod. Just ask him. Food, clothing, shelter, education you say? Naw, not really….too mundane. Gods play with life don’t you know. What else does one do when they have more money than god and no soul? Play god of course.

  • emiliani

    I’m confident that the Church has every means by which to conquer the Gates of Hell.

  • John O’Neill

    Why do billionaires like Bill Gates and his rich American friends get away with paying taxes. The rest of the American populace does not have the army of lawyers and tax accountants who know how to keep the taxman away from their assets. This system whereby the very rich are exempt from taxes so that the can establish fabulous wealthy foundations which they totally control is a disgrace. If Americans had any brains they would demand that the present tax system be totally changed to one where everyone pays the same percentage and if some of them feel like they want to “save the world’ let them do it with their own taxed money.

    • DE-173

      “Why do billionaires like Bill Gates and his rich American friends get away with paying taxes. The rest of the American populace does not have the army of lawyers and tax accountants who know how to keep the taxman away from their assets.”

      Having no affection for gates, or the federal income tax, this is statement is patent nonsense.

      The Top 50 Percent of All Taxpayers Paid 97 Percent of All Income Taxes; the Top 5 Percent Paid 57 Percent of All Income Taxes; and the Top 1 Percent Paid 35 Percent of All Income Taxes in 2011.

      http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-individual-income-tax-data-0

      Now of course, there is no Marxist tax on assets, and for the life of me I can’t figure how somebody that figures the government is full of “neocons” and “warmongers” would want to give them more money.

  • NE-Conservative

    MR. Gates fixation sex on is only one manifestation of what’s wrong with the current STEM curriculums and technology ‘boot camps’ (that are) cropping up all over to galvanize job hungry, under-educated, over-degreed mental/emotional adolescents by remaking them into techie zombies – without the ability to conceive let alone consider the consequences of an unreflective application of technology.

    In the ‘Abolition of Man’, C.S. Lewis discusses them as ‘men without chests’; James V. Schall speaks of how to avoid becoming one of them in ‘The Life of the Mind’. especially in the chapter ‘On taking care of one’s own wisdom’. Both of these authors are rarely even known, let alone read by those that need them most.

  • DE-173

    I just noticed Bill Gates is a white male.

    • slainte

      But how big is his carbon footprint?

      • DE-173

        476 ZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Micha Elyi

    Church or Chumps?

    “For instance, just as the administration and Senate are doing their best to subjugate Catholic Charities on birth control, the immigration crisis prompts the administration to reach out to the Church to provide housing and other forms of assistance for these immigrant children, although pastoral work and care is not encouraged.”

    Read and decide.

    • DE-173

      I’m with Belloc on the general competence of Church management. The exceptions are all too rare and unappreciated.

  • joeclark77

    Wait until someone figures out how to hack the “remote control birth control” and posts the code online. That’s a problem with the “internet of things”… when the controller is implanted into a device, or a human body, you can’t just stick a USB cable into it to upload a bug-fix or security update. A woman could carry it around for years never knowing that some college kid turned it off with his iPhone the day after she got it.

    • DE-173

      I’m sure it will work just as well and be as secure as Windows ME, until Bill releases “cloud pill” 2.0 and eliminates the start button.

  • M

    “Now she’s 26 or 28 years old, at which point she will either be on her parent’s health insurance or eligible for free contraception through her employer.”
    Contraception is not, in fact, free. The tax payer is not paying for anybody else’s “free sex,” just as none of us is provided with “free” roads or is provided with “free” body work by our insurance companies if our cars get into a wreck. We purchase health insurance for ourselves and, in some cases, our families. My large family is much more expensive to our health insurance company and uses a disproportionate share of resources. A couple that plans only to have two children and decides to use the pill to space those two children actually pays the same as we do yet costs our insurance company much less, even though their contraception is covered. You could just as well say that I and my children get “free” prenatal, postnatal, obstetric, and multiple child care. It is, in fact, the smaller family or childless couples that subsidize large families like mine.

    • DE-173

      “My large family is much more expensive to our health insurance company and uses a disproportionate share of resources.”

      No, the actual marginal risk to an insurer from adding an additional child to a family policy is extremely low. Children are generally healthy, and when they become ill, they recover quickly. They haven’t lived long enough to create exposures to expensive perils like heart disease, Type II diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, dementia. It’s not an accident an insurer will cover any number of children at a single price, most of the costs of coverage are administrative.

      Also,so called coverage for contraception is not insurance, it’s a subsidy, because contraception exposures are NOT Insurable events.

      Insurable events are losses that have the following attributes:

      1.) Significant in Magnitude (Contraception: No)

      2.) Occurs outside the control of the insured (Contraception, No)

      3.) Presents no existential risk to the insurer.

      4.) Loss is definitely determinable as to place, time & magnitude.

      5.) Occurs by chance. (Contraception, No)

      Economist John Cochrane gave a good explanation of the problems with this, from a purely economic perspective in the Wall Street Journal in February 2012, available here:

      http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.cochrane/research/papers/wsj_health.pdf

      • ForChristAlone

        Why must you always inject common sense and facts into the discussion?

        • DE-173

          It annoys trolls.

      • M

        There is no question that it is cheaper for a health insurer if a woman does NOT have a child. This is simply not in doubt. It costs at least $5K for a hospital birth alone, which already exceeds the cost of years of birth control. This $5K does not even take into account prenatal visits and then medical care for several years for even the healthiest of children. This is why health insurers are happy to throw birth control into their coverage plans — it is ultimately far cheaper to them for a woman not to have a child than to have one.

        • DE-173

          Except that’s not what you wrote.

          “My large family is much more expensive to our health insurance company and uses a disproportionate share of resources.”

          Please note the response.

          “No, the actual marginal risk to an insurer from adding an additional child to a family policy AFTER NATALITY is extremely low.”

          “then medical care for several years for even the healthiest of children.”

          I refer you to my previous statement.

          If you only think you know what you are talking about; and merely in a rush to pay homage to the bright shiney bauble of contraception, then bone up before you speak up.

          • M

            Except I wrote: “There is no question that it is cheaper for a health insurer if a woman does NOT have a child.” That was my original point, and there is absolutely no question of this. It is not in dispute. The cost of delivery alone eats up more than a lifetime supply of contraception. If you want to talk about postnatal care, providing medical care for multiple children is VERY expensive. Remember that health insurance covers dental visits, orthodontics, optometry, regular checkups, vaccinations, etc., etc., up to the age (in certain cases) of 26. Our insurance company must have already paid at least $15K for my children’s braces and over $10K for their glasses (and they will have paid a lot more for both by the time we’re through.) Then there’s been a broken arm that required surgery (well over $5K), a $20K+ week-long hospitalization with surgery, several ER visits at about $800 a pop (you don’t have a large family without a number of ER visits!), medications, and on and on. Just the annual cost of flumist vaccines for my children exceeds the cost, to the insurance company, of annual contraception for their mother. I am well aware that two-child families subsidize my large family in terms of medical coverage because they pay exactly the same for health insurance as we do. There is simply no good *economic* reason to deny the inclusion of contraception as part of healthcare. Any good actuary would agree. Why else would health insurance companies be happy to provide contraception without contribution from the employer? It’s because it’s cheaper for them to do so than not to do so.

            • DE-173

              “Any good actuary would agree. Why else would health insurance companies be happy to provide contraception without contribution from the employer?”

              A good actuary would not be happy with your inferences from anecdotal and personal observations. It’s fairly clear you have no acquaintance with the law of large numbers which underlie the work of an actuary.

              “There is simply no good *economic* reason to deny the inclusion of contraception as part of healthcare.”

              An actual Phd economist disagrees with you. See the link above.

              .

              • M

                Sorry, but the insurance companies know what they’re doing when they offer to include contraception at no extra cost. It saves them money or they wouldn’t do it. This is exactly what their actuaries are telling them to do. You are trying to argue by throwing insults rather than by addressing reality.

                What you really want is to get all aggrieved, hot, and bothered thinking about women getting “bright shiny baubles” on “somebody else’s dime”, even when the woman in question is paying for her own insurance as part of her pay package AND it makes sense for the insurance to include contraception because a working woman — who IS “buying her pill on her dime” when it’s covered by her insurance — with zero, one, or two children is a LOT cheaper to cover than a SAHM who has another baby every other year and must rely on her husband’s insurance (as is the case in my family.) If you were getting tied up in knots envisioning my family members getting braces and glasses and flumist vaccines “on somebody else’s dime,” you might have a point because then your argument might have some substance. You are blindly attacking anybody who points out the obvious.

                • DE-173

                  Everything is obvious to an ideologue guided by their feelings, but this was my business, I know what I’m talking about, how thinks work and how they don’t work.

                  I’ve been able to buttress my position with technical expertise and supporting expertis, you have nothing but emotion.

                  • Andrew Dowling

                    You are not the one citing Cato insitute WSJ editorials with zero numbers or any stats backing up your assertions. To claim children and childbirth don’t cost more to an insurer than routine contraception is laughable in its absurdity.

                    • DE-173

                      They aren’t mutually exclusive. What part of this don’t you trolls get?

                      What the he** is the Cato insitute? Or do you mean Cato Institute?

                  • M

                    Sorry, I agree with Andrew Dowling: “To claim children and childbirth don’t cost more to an insurer than routine contraception is laughable in its absurdity.”

                    • DE-173

                      Two trolls laughing still isn’t sound economics.
                      I

                    • M

                      Petty and irrational response. You never answered my question asking why health insurance companies prefer providing the pill to covering prenatal care, childbirth, and care for a child from birth to age 26, so I assume you have no answer.

                    • DE-173

                      You haven’t asked a question, you’ve made an assertion.

                      “This is why health insurers are happy to throw birth control into their coverage plans”

                      You’ll notice the absence of a “?” as punctuation.
                      Its really hard to take you seriously.

  • slainte

    In 2003, Bill Moyers interviewed Bill Gates:

    “…GATES: When I was growing up, my parents were almost involved in
    various volunteer things. My dad was head of Planned Parenthood. And it was very
    controversial to be involved with that. And so it’s fascinating. At the dinner
    table my parents are very good at sharing the things that they were doing. And
    almost treating us like adults, talking about that.
    .
    My mom was on the United Way group that decides how to allocate the money and
    looks at all the different charities and makes the very hard decisions about
    where that pool of funds is going to go. So I always knew there was something
    about really educating people and giving them choices in terms of family size…”
    .
    Source: http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_gates.html

    • DE-173

      The United Way was among the biggest corporate shakedown operation in history.
      Employees would be threatened (uh, your annual performance appraisal is coming up; we’d like to consider you for a manager’s slot, but we noticed you aren’t giving your “fair share”) this was common at a certain “rocky” insurance company, in the days when they were an appendage of New Jersey politics-then the executives from the company that squeezed the rank and file the most were treated like great philanthropists.

      Mrs. Gates wasn’t atypical; United Way boards tended to be populated with the wives of high income earners, (the elder Gates was an attorney at a “white shoe” firm).

      As an aside, the elder Gates is not only a true believer in Unplanned Noparenthood, he’s a BIG fan of the estate.

      Some of the people on this board that think that confiscatory wealth taxes are Catholic Social thinking, should think about that, the next time they wrap their envy in the noble robes of charity.

      • slainte

        The acorn didn’t fall far from the tree.

        • DE-173

          Too bad Gates didn’t practice what he preached. I note another big population reduction advocate; the dork Prince of England made sure he had an heir and a spare.

          Well, must jet off to lecture people on carbon emissions.

  • John Smith

    The Peoples of China were forced to undergo the cruelties of the One Child Policy because of the subordination of the social and biological sciences to technicians of the hard sciences, Aeronautical Engineers – Rocket Scientsts.

    Treating human beings with souls as if they were machines

    “For more than a century, the Chinese have used the word ‘science’ to refer not just to the study of the natural world but also to a way of thinking that is supposed to be rational, objective, and modern. In a nation disillusioned by Mao’s utopian fantasies, [Deng Xiaoping’s] emphasis on science as the party’s new touchstone was a political masterstroke. But as anthropologist Susan Greenhalgh has shown, the leadership’s blind faith in science led it to adopt an extreme solution to a [perceived] problem that … could have been managed in other ways. At the center of the process was a group of eminent rocket scientists, men who had been sheltered from Mao’s campaigns, who had access to computers and international journals, and who were supremely confident in their own abilities. Chief among them was the cyberneticist Song Jian , who later served as minister of science and technology. These men viewed the population as a machine to be fine-tuned by engineers like themselves, not a society of humans with rights, values, and preferences. In 1979, they made the mistake of accepting as mainstream science the most alarmist theories of overpopulation and ecological crisis then circulating in the West. They used weak data, plugged them into formulas adapted from their missile optimization work, and created population models and forecasts that gave the illusion of fact. Then, over the objections of other scholars, they used these ‘scientific’ results to persuade the leadership that China faced a grave crisis and that immediate implementation of a one-child program was the ‘only way’ to avoid environmental disaster and meet Deng’s economic goals.” – Philip P. Pan, Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China, pp. 302-303.

  • ThomasPaineRN

    “Constitutional right to FREE contraceptives?” I must have missed that amendment. You lose all credibility when you make ridiculous statements. There is NO “constitutional right to free” anything. Whose constitution are you reading?
    Perhaps less agenda and more actual reporting would be good? Histrionics are never helpful to a conversation.
    Constitutional right to free contraceptives? This, combined with the claim that Gates “doesn’t have a political bone in his body,” completely decimate any attempt to take you seriously.

  • Tony

    Bill Gates is a philistine, an atheist, a materialist, a technocrat, a man of boundless ambition and very narrow education, a man without any sense of the beauty and the mystery of this world and of man in it. He has a lot of money, and that’s dangerous in such hands.

    • Jude

      I wish I could post this on every street corner in America.

  • Name

    A farmer I know tells me The Gates Foundation is funding chemically
    dependent, industrial farming in Africa, supplying GM seeds that the
    farmer cannot save but must buy every year from companies in which Gates
    is heavily invested. The kind of “innovation” that has farmers in India
    committing suicide

  • Cap America

    . . . it’s pretty clear that you can have too much money.

  • Which is the problem with the heirarchy in the United States, they accept their status as tools for the State and the Demoncrat Party. One cannot work with a Satanic political party then claim some exemption from the rules they impose. The heirarchy is complicit in abortion and homosexual marriage by its close association with individual Satanists who support abortion and homosexual marriage and the Satanist political party, the Demoncrats.

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