As people relax in their backyards watching the squirrels frolic about and rabbits eating the garden lettuce, the serenity of the moment is broken by the incessant beep, beep, beep of “back up” alarms, some near and some far. For those who live near, or not so near, construction sites, or golf courses, or other locations where commercial vehicles frequent, there is no sense of tranquility, of relaxation. This is but one of the prices we pay when government edicts have unintended consequences.
Sometimes one wonders when environmentalists fight so called “global warming” (now called “climate change” due to the fact that no warming has taken place in the last 15 years) by demanding that governments subsidize the wind and solar power industries, they ignore the unintended slaughter of hundreds of thousands of our avian friends, including the Bald Eagle, our national bird. As someone recently said at a Congressional hearing on another subject, “what difference does it make”? What difference does it make that many of our endangered national birds are chopped to pieces by wind turbines or roasted until extra crispy by the sun concentrations of solar panel fields. Why do environmentalists continue to support the ultra expensive wind and solar industries that make up less than 3% of the energy sources in the United States and which will never be a major source of power in the world?
We are a compassionate society, but a divided society, divided in our ideas for problem solving. Some believe that government is the cure-all, the quickest step to a utopian world. Others believe that that utopia rests in the innate abilities of the individual and the freedom to grow and become self sufficient and not having to depend on Uncle Sugar to be their lifelong caretaker.
So many of our people are well intentioned and elect government representatives that are equally well intentioned. What many are lacking is common sense. Invariably these representatives, whether they are liberal, moderate or conservative, end up passing laws that are fraught with unintended consequences and require financial resources that end up exacerbating one of our most pressing problems, the national debt.
Beginning in the Clinton years, “compassionate” Democrats and some Republicans pushed to provide home ownership to those who could ill afford it. By providing an outlet, Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, for the banking fat cats to unload their highly risky loans, a boom in the housing industry was created. Millions of Americans signed up for the highly attractive sub-prime, adjustable rate mortgages, and all was good; until it was not. The collapse came, people were unable to pay their mortgages, financial institutions failed, the housing market nosedived, the stock market fell and the World’s economy was in shambles. Again, government interference in the free market economy created dire unintended consequences.
Sometimes it doesn't take an intrusive government to initiate a debacle. At times, the people of this great nation do it to themselves. Hammering home the slogan of “Hope and Change”, a man, devoid of any significant experience or accomplishments, whose political views were far left of the American people’s, was elected President of the United States. Nearly seven trillion dollars of debt later, a stagnant economy, a government health care system in shambles, a shrinking workforce, a hurting middle class, and government dependency at an all time high, we must now know that this is not the “change we can believe in”.
Maybe Libertarians have it right, government, with its penchant for laws and regulations and their inherent unintended consequences, is the problem.