Government Family Planning: Effects and Incentives Jacqueline R. Kasun govern- Austrian economics has long understood that ment subsidies of private activities distort incentives, encouraging recipients to use and/or provide more of the services than would otherwise be the case, and to devote resources to lobbying for the protection and promotion of the services (Hayek 1988; Rothbard 1978, pp. 140-70). An excellent example of these tendencies exists in the government-subsidized family-planning industry. Since the mid- 1960s, the government of the United States has played an increasingly intrusive role in the reproductive decisions of persons both in this country and abroad. The effort started as part of the War on Poverty. In 1967, Congress amended the Social Security Act to provide funds for "family planning" in maternal and child health programs; Title V, Title XIX, and Title XX of the Act became major vehicles for federal funding. In that same year, Title X of the Foreign Assistance Act provided financing for family planning and population control to countries receiving U.S. foreign aid (Kasun 1988). In 1970, Title X of the Public Health Services Act added to the flow. Jacqueline tL Kasun is emeritus professor of economics, and is editorial director of
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 27, 2006
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