Monday, January 30, 2012

The Politics of Unintended Consequences

Who could shoot down a great idea based on sound research and motivated by the best of intentions?

If the idea crept out of the incestuous swamp we call Washington, I would summarily execute that idea. No blindfold, no last cigarette, no drum roll, as fast as they could foment new ideas; I would gun them down. 

Wait, I know what you're thinking...

"I just hate all government so it stands to reason I would hate any idea that came from government officials." 

I understand why you might feel that way, but my judgment is not based on knee-jerk emotional reactions or some visceral reflex. In truth, I have a great deal of respect for government so long as the government has a great deal of respect for the Constitution, and not a second longer. You see as long as the government respects the Constitution it is bound by the ideals it embodies. The foremost of which is, the government must respect my person, my faith, my privacy, my property, my liberty, and yours as well. When one takes the time for thoughtful deliberation rather than flying off on some rash tangent because it feels good at the moment it is a sign of wisdom. The virtue of wisdom, like all other virtues, are nearly extinct in Washington.

Unintended consequences are the political equivalent of Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion, which states “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. 

1.      The Treaty of Versailles was not supposed to incite the German people to into provoking another world war, but it did.

2.      The “Great Society” programs were not intended to increase out-of-wedlock births and broken families, but it has.

3.      Extended unemployment benefits were not meant to discourage employment searches or dissuade entrepreneurship, but it has.

4.      Guaranteeing the solvency of the banks was not meant to make them more reckless in their lending and investing practices, but it has.

5.      Social Security and Medicare was not meant to nearly eliminate personal planning for retirement, but it has.

6.      Easy credit loans were not intended to create massive foreclosures, destroying families, and their finances, but it did.

7.      Student Loans were not intended to send tuition costs skyrocketing while trapping graduates in a crushing debt load which threatens to destroy their careers before they begin, but they did.

8.      Farm Subsidies were not intended to artificially raise the price of food and diminish the production so high that low income families required Food Stamps to eat, but they did.

9.      The welfare system was not intended to become a snare for the impoverished entrapping them at a serf like subsistence existence for generations, but it does.

10.   Public schools were not intended to produce the lowest common denominator of education with continuously declining standards, but it has.

If this were the total of the unintended consequences produced by the short-sighted, herd-mentality policy makers we seem to have no shortage of in Washington it wouldn't be so bad, however it isn't the total and it is worse... 

 And yet more unintended consequences...


And more...

I could go on but at this point I'm too disgusted to write...