It would be wonderful to be able to “wish” something and have it come true. Liberals think
- “it would be nice if poverty could be eliminated” and so they create legislation (Johnson’s “war on poverty”) and then they think the problem is solved.
- Or “it would be nice if everyone was covered” by health insurance. So they create Obamacare and think it is so. And impose a vast set of undesirable consequences leading to the loss of coverage for many, plus the need for waivers from the program, even to its strongest supporters (unions).
- Or that “everyone should have equal access to the Internet”, and create “Net Neutrality” and think it is so.
- And they think “we should have a social safety net to provide unemployment insurance for those unfortunates unable to find a job through no fault of their own.” And they think it is so. But then we create a permanent entitlement of welfare; people unemployed for 3 years are probably no longer qualified to hold any job; in any case studies show that 40% of the people don’t get a job until the benefits run out. (In Denmark they had 5 years of unemployment and people stayed unemployed for 5 years before getting a job. So they reduced the coverage to 4 years, and low and behold, it was then possible to take 4 years to get a job. Then they reduced it to 2 years.)
And on, and on. Cap and Trade. Bailouts of mortgage holders who cannot afford then. Equal rights for all. Yeah, right.
The problem is that (1) the government intervention does not succeed at the stated goal; (2) there is a “poison pill” included with the intervention that is swallowed.
The poison pill is the source of vast unintended consequences. Usually the unintended consequences involved greater size of government and more government control.
Who says these are actually unintended? While the innocent believers in social justice are probably not at fault, there is an inner core which is much more sinister. The “conspiracy theorist” in me says that the intention of the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers true motivation is to achieve the “unintended consequence” of larger, more intrusive government.