Unintended consequences happen so often that economists call them “Cobra Problems,” after one of the most interesting examples. We have the category of “negligence” when we cause negative outcomes we did not intend, such as failing to set the brake on a car that rolls down a hill and damages property. And it blames the tax policies and deregulatory environment of the Reagan and Bush administrations for encouraging reckless risk taking by wealthy individuals and financial institutions. Looking only at the seller’s profits without tracing out the entire chain of beneficial though unintended consequences that his self-interest produces is to take an “unscientific” approach to understanding society. Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published on FEE.org, Steven Horwitz is the Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics at Ball State University, where he also is Director of the Institute for the Study of Political Economy. Since its publication, Mr. Conard has made over 100 television appearances in which he has debated leading economists including Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Alan Kruger, Austan Goolsbee, and Jared Bernstein; journalists including Jon Stewart, Fareed Zakaria, Chris Hayes, and Andrew Ross Sorkin; and politicians such as Barney Frank, Howard Dean, and Eliot Spitzer.
“The number of Americans who say they can’t afford enough food for themselves or their children is growing,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Please try again. The same sort of thing happened in the late 1980s in Mexico City, which was at the time suffering from extreme air pollution caused by cars driven by its 18 million residents. When someone says that he “owns” a particular good, we know that gives him a certain set of rights to it and imposes certain obligations, largely negative ones, on us.
Three-strikes laws, intended to reduce crime, increase police fatalities by giving two-time criminals a greater incentive to evade or even fight the police. COVID-19 and the Unintended Consequences of Economic Shutdown. Often, they are inconsequential, even funny. Seat belt and airbag laws make it less safe to be a pedestrian or cyclist by making it safer for drivers to be less cautious. Why?
By … The deadly unintended consequences of sweeping COVID-19 lockdowns remind us why. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that suicidality increased during lockdown. To see why, one has to explore the unintended consequences. He is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. However, to perform that coordinative function in complex matters and help us overcome uncertainty, institutions need to emerge from people’s voluntary interactions, usually over a period long enough for them to embody the best ways of doing things.
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