Tuesday, August 20, 2013

If A Clearly Causes B, and You don't like B, Don't pick A

If you say you want to solve the problem of B, you should, at a minimum, not do things that make B much worse.  And if it is known that A makes B worse, why choose A?  Here's the problem, as Freddy Bastiat put it:

"When under the pretext of fraternity, the legal code imposes mutual sacrifices on the citizens, human nature is not thereby abrogated. Everyone will then direct his efforts toward contributing little to, and taking much from, the common fund of sacrifices. Now, is it the most unfortunate who gains from this struggle? Certainly not, but rather the most influential and calculating." (I talk about it here, #13)

ACA is a huge festering pile of opportunities to rip off the poor, the old, and the confused.  It hurts the people it was supposed to help.  Why did we do it?

So smart, rich liberals could feel good about themselves.  It has nothing to do with the actual effects.  All that matters is the intent.  Then, when it doesn't work out (as it clearly won't), they will blame greed, capitalism, phases of the moon, everything except the real cause:  an overly complex, impossibly over-directed, attempt at social planning.


Anonymous said...

You left off one major target of the blame when everything goes bad --> Republicans and everyone else who didn't want to go along with their loftier plans.

Of course, they didn't need any Republican votes to pass ACA. But they'll still argue that Republicans poisoned the water of public opinion by mischaracterizing everything. Death panels, and what not.

Then again, if that's their argument, then you have to wonder how much they really care about democracy and the voice of the people. Let's be honest, Democrats (like Republicans) only care about voter ID laws because of their views about how it changes to the composition of the electorate to their party's (dis)advantage.

Jim D said...

This is an excellent example of what John Hayward (writing as "Dr. Zero" named "The Aristocracy of Intent," described very well here on the occasion of Edward Kennedy's death: