Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Honor Among Surrogate Moms

So far, they’re staying on the job, even when they’re not being paid. This is another installment in the the Saletan series on the creepy side of IVF and the commodification of motherhood.

Discussions - 8 Comments

Commodification is an old marxist term. Isn't it a little late in the game for conservatives to be trying to reign in free market capitalism?

Saletan is right. Still I don't think the surrogate mothers are in it for money exactly. Newsweek had a story on this a while back that mentioned its prevelance in military communities. Apparently some of the women enjoyed the sense of intimacy associated with pregnancy, and it acted as a comfort, and was especially taken on when the men were deployed. On an econ front some would say that millitary healthcare subsidizes this sort of behavior...because military surrogate mothers don't have to pay the medical bills...they are also far less likely to foreclose.

Surrogate mothers will go completely broke before aborting, of this I am sure...Of course I don't think most women wealthy enough(or friends enough)to hire a surrogate mother would purposely try to screw them over or work on efficiency in terms of trimming costs...nothing would be dumber(and more expensive on every level) than trying to commodify the surrogate mother...

I really think surrogate mothers are likely to charge you more if they don't like you...and if they really don't like you...if they hate you...then they might abort, but even here I doubt it.

In my opinion what a surrogate mother really hates if she hates you isn't your wealth but your recourse to legal claims, so the main reason a surrogate would abort would probably involve her comming to see you as the "jew" in the Merchant of Venice who demmands his pound of flesh...of course this is I think sensationalized...but I strongly doubt that the surrogate would ever foreclose in the dramatic sense Saletean mentions. Surrogate mothers don't want to unionize and get into contract disputes...they want money because they have bills and money is good and usefull for everything.

Treating a surrogate mother like a commodity is not good business. On some level a surrogate mother wants to make the most money on the deal, and on some level the mother and husband wants to minimize cost...but I solemnly swear there is a level at which non-economic/relational considerations trump everything.

There are those who argue more sociologically than economically(both) that Henry Ford's wages hit this sweet spot...that none of the marxist predictions ever held because americans had the good sense to not set off a master/slave dialectic between worker and capitalist. While some argue that Henry Ford was anti-semitic because of his formulation of "the jewish question", essentially my read(given poor memory) is that this was the jewish question...a question of what sort of american labor would be praised and which blamed and which would hold the greatest financial reward in society.

Unions never took off in america because wise businessmen have never treated workers in a brutal fashion as simply means to an end.

Even in this auto-bailout mess no one is pro-union, and no one is really anti-capitalist...the growth of law and the growth of unions only comes about when folks can't come to agreements that only need handshakes to ensure that folks are treated fairly. Ironically it is the bond-holders and the auto workers who are engaged in this master slave dialectic, both are going to employ a lot of lawyers, kill a lot of trees with paper work, fill a lot of air time on MSNBC, and probably give us new bankrupcy law. Both sides might leave bitter...and God only knows what the cultural/economic effect of a collapsed auto industry is or will be...thus argue the democrats that we need socialized medicine...removeing the competitive disadvantage that the auto industry faces vis a vis the europeans....

Marx is dead and not dead, but really americans(both liberals and conservatives) have been modifying capitalism and will continue to do so going foward.

In many ways I am dogmatically certain when it comes to the stability of capitalism/liberal democracy. Not only is there no marxist revolution, there is not even a second great depression.

Unions never took off in america because wise businessmen have never treated workers in a brutal fashion as simply means to an end.

The past tense is the correct one here. The modern American businesman appears to have an irrational animus against the American worker. Outsourcing and insourcing are just two manifestations of this.

Outsourcing and insourcing is done because of unions, not in spite of them. If I were trying to make money, why wouldn't I hire people who only make $3/hr instead of $20/hr plus benefits? I don't understand why you guys act like employers who outsource are vengeful; it's simple math.

I suppose "simple math" is amoral?

What obligation do I have to a stranger who I do not have a contract with (ie high paid union member)? Why, if such an obligation exists, does that same obligation apply to my countryman but not an Indian?

Matt, isn't it?

I suppose that by questioning whether or not simple math is "amoral" (and it is), you were really questioning whether or not trying to make money is immoral? Let's say it is immoral. Why not attack the union for the its endless quest for more benefits and higher pay?

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