Democrats love to promise people things and the blame Republicans for that thing not being available. The latest thing being promised is contraception.
A question contraception-promising liberal Democrats should ask themselves before legislating free contraceptives for all is: If the contraceptive is free and those who produce it, have to produce it for no cost and derive no profit from its manufacture and distribution, is “who’s going to make them?”
No one does anything in the free market without profiting from it so why would anyone make anything the government tells them to without making profiting? The liberals who are on the vanguard of this issue will tell us that the manufacturers will continue to get paid by taxpayers who fund the government for those goods. But, how will this last and how long will it last? Or as liberals love to ask: How will this be sustainable when eventually, those in charge of the government accuse the producers of fleecing the taxpayers? Think it can’t happen?
Look at the petroleum industry. Currently the biggest profiteer from a gallon of gasoline is the federal government but this “windfall” profit the government gets for doing nothing does not prevent politicians from constantly accusing oil companies of reaping “windfall” profits. The fact is that an oil company makes 9 cents of profit per gallon after doing all the extracting, refining and distributing the product. The U.S. Federal government makes 37 cents per gallon of gas for doing nothing but leveling that 37 cent-per-gallon tax on each gallon sold. These facts make one re-evaluate who’s doing the “windfalling.”
When upstart politicians trying to get their names in the news about leveling “windfall” profit taxes on oil companies in order to pad the government’s already existing oil tax base, the oil companies are only incentivized to do only one thing; sell less gas.
Let’s now apply the same incentive principle to contraception. Does one actually believe a politician someday won’t “investigate” how much a drug company or Condom Company is making in profits from the subsidies that are paid them by the government to supply birth control pills or latex condoms to all the people who use them? What happens when the government, in an austerity measure or out of legal action stops paying the money to these companies needed by them to produce and distribute their products? Does one really believe they will continue to do so; of course not. The only eventual outcome will be that these products will disappear from the marketplace. At that point, rest assured, the same politicians who demanded these products are made available to the public “for free” will blame the companies that no longer make them and their political opponents for their absence.
The other alternative is that once the companies that currently produce these products stop doing so, the government itself will step in to do it. This never ends well because when a government does something the private sector can and should do, the first thing that suffers is quality and the second is safety. Fine, have the government make our condoms and birth control pills but who will be held accountable when the condoms prove to be leaky and the birth control pills cause permanent sterility? The answer is no one because politicians who created this mess will have long since retired.
How ironic then that the very people blaming their political opponents for “denying” safe and reliable contraception will be the ones who are actually denying, over the long term, safe and reliable contraception.