Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Dennis Moore Paradox

I've given some caveats on my political views before to suggest that they not be taken too seriously. For example, I've seen my views change enough in the past to make me suspicious of those I currently hold.

I thought of another caveat, and I can't believe I forgot to mention it before. It is this: the good policies of today can very quickly create an even worse situation than what they were meant to help. Often it can even cause harm to the very people it is meant to help. I'm not referring here to immediate side effects that produce the opposite of what was intended. I mean something that really does help people or promote a just cause which then, years later, ends up preventing the good it had previously promoted, and hurts people the same way as what it was trying to prevent -- sometimes even the same people. Within a decade or a generation, the legislation that was meant to help the poor becomes one of the primary means of oppressing them. The righteous political cause of today paradoxically turns into the very evil it was trying to combat. The point being that when we tie ourselves to a particular political party or cause, we can very easily end up fighting against the things we originally were fighting for, the reasons why we tied ourselves to that party or cause in the first place.

I call this the Dennis Moore Paradox. To understand this reference, watch the following economics video.

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