Controversial Social Issues: Do the arguments all come down to money?


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n the end, is it all about money?
    This week, we’ve considered a host of social issues listed on ballots last week: abortion, stem cell research, medical use of marijuana, and same-sex marriage.
    Are these moral issues or do these arguments turn on basic economics, cost/benefit analysis, dollars and cents?
    Eoghan says yes in a Comment he made yesterday: “I look at the Michigan initiatives as revenue producing and tax generating. I would vote yes for anything that generates income for the state and keeps their hands out of my pocket that much longer.
    The Michigan initiatives he’s referring to are the use of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients and stem cell research. Michigan voters approved both ballot measures on November 4th.
    I’m not sure about the economic benefits of medical marijuana (unless we figure out a way to tax uses or sales of the weed). But loosening the reigns on stem cell research will help the Michigan economy.
    The Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan certainly will benefit. The day after Election Day, executive officers and faculty issued statements about these benefits. As U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said, “The passage of Proposal 2 by Michigan voters signals an exciting new era for scientific research and innovation in our state.Click here to read the rest of her statement, and other statements made by University personnel.
    What do you think? At the core of all these issues, is there an economic argument?
    Should we tax abortions?
    Would you approve same-sex marriage if partners had to pay a hefty marriage fee?
    These ideas may sound strange, but I’d like to hear what you think: In the end, are these moral issues—or economic concerns?

   Please, tell us what you think! Click on the Comment link above, or if you prefer to drop us a quick Email,
you can do that as well.

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