Justin Katz says: “Just how long does Mr. Derbyshire believe we’ll be able to deny a state-sponsored ‘right to eugenics’ for those who cannot afford a few thousand bucks? (Per child, remember. The picture is compounded by the tendency of such folks to have more children.) Surely even small-government conservatives (if I may indulge in a redundancy) would have reservations about allowing the free market to create a permanent underclass — one with fruits borne within a single short generation.” Speaking as a small-government conservative, I’d like to think that we–we, the people–are able, through our democratic process, to deny the invention of bogus “rights” and new kinds of government transfer payments. I would certainly agree we have not been very successful at such denying in recent years. That, however, is a negative phenomenon that I deplore. To premiss public policy on the worst expectations of our political processes is to abandon all hope. If some technological advance leads to demands for new “rights,” let’s resist those demands, as conservatives should. That’s what we’re here for. That’s one of the fights we fight. If there are genetic-intervention procedures that (a) are wildly popular, and (b) cause no obvious harm to any individuals, good luck to Justin in getting them banned, or in explaining to the American public why they should be banned. If he does succeed in getting them banned, how will he prevent people who can afford it from going to Taiwan (or wherever) for them?–thereby “allowing the free market to create a permanent” overclass?Freedom throws up problems, which free people must deal with. “A few thousand bucks” (which is a wild guess–it might as easily be a few hundred) is less than the price of a car. Pretty much any American who wants a car, has one. As for that “permanent underclass”–well, there are a number of things that occur to me, all of them better left unsaid. I will say, though, that if a permanent underclass is the price of liberty, I’ll pay the price.