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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Monday, January 05, 2009

George Will comments on the "Law of Unintended Consequences"

An analysis of the Supreme Courts decision in Griggs v Duke Power regarding supposed discrimination against blacks and the fundamental changes - mostly negative for the blacks it was supposed to help - that it caused show how unintended consequences are indeed a problem.

He closes with the following two paragraphs:

"Griggs and its consequences are timely reminders of the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is increasingly pertinent as America's regulatory state becomes increasingly determined to fine-tune our complex society. That law holds that the consequences of government actions often are different than, and even contrary to, the intended consequences.

Soon the Obama administration will arrive, bristling like a very progressive porcupine with sharp plans -- plans for restoring economic health by "demand management," for altering the distribution of income by using tax changes and supporting more muscular labor unions, for cooling the planet by such measures as burning more food as fuel, and for many additional improvements. At least, those will be the administration's intended consequences. "

An important read when heading into an administration that promises lots of comparable action over the next four years. The column is here.



Blogger Debbie Thomas said...

Great analysis of unintended consequences. Today Owen heard that Obama may approve a tax on dairy cows for "gas" emissions. Save the earth, but increase milk prices. How many unintended consequences will it have? Higher milk prices, dairy farmers going out of business, importing milk from other countries that don't have the same FDA requirements, etc.

8:06 PM  

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