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Author Topic: Law of Unintended Consequences  (Read 714 times)

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Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Law of Unintended Consequences
« on: January 05, 2009, 07:36:44 AM »

I was reading this this morning and I will note this is agreat example of a government starting with a respectable idea, crafting a bad base law ripe for abuse and then lawyers mucking the field further through the courts to twist the bad law into worse applications of said law.

In this case the courts banned Duke Power from using a standardized test for everyone, racially neutral as demanded by the law, since it was unfair to disadvantaged groups which the Court added. This was crazy I'm fully in support in ending Jim Crow as a Libertarian and the law could have limited any state from having a law that biases the deck to any one group ending that. But then they decided to extend their law to private discrimination that of businesses and persons which I find offensive but is still in my mind justified under the Constitution. Public and social pressure would have been the tools here I for one don't give to one charity for their discrimination against gays and I won't shop where the employer is racist. I suspect over 90% of Americans feel the same. So why a law so broad.

In this case the employers were put in a position to have to have a standard for a job, testing caused legal landmines so the author rightly argued they now demand a college degree at some level for employment. Even if not even needed for a position just to avoid lawsuits. In many cased years ago if they passed a simple battery of tests they would have gotten a job if they had the aptitudes needed.

The American with Disabilities Act was just as poorly done it went from having better access to buildings and fair treatment in employment decisions to now making almost every minor malady a "disability". The red flag should have bee the over 40 million disbled noted when they were debating that which was 1/6th of the population. One in six citizens had a disability that seemed far fetched. And now I know employers who won't hire a disabled person due to the legal complications that might happen even if they would like to. Again the lawyers and courts mucking up the good idea, into a poorly written law (75 pages cover what is a disability and the various related terms for reference) and a law that is hard to impliment so employers don't try. Now I use a wheelchair, I am grateful for the minor changes to make me getting around easier but I suspect its far over the intention of the law now.

I just think the government should when they decide on laws think these through and maybe get far more input, focusing on a law as minimally impacting as possible for specific problems. In the first case ending government laws from invoking discrimination as in Jim Crow and in the latter case just demanding access to the disabled to places of public access, and businesses perhaps but I suspect if the government led the way public pressure would have opened up most private businesses. The elderly and disabled spend money it would have been good business with tax credits for encouragement.

Well thats my take on this to start any discussion.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Law of Unintended Consequences
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 10:40:52 AM »
 Unfortunately, the Congress is geared to doing 'What Looks Good and Helpful'. So they pass a lot of laws that look good in the first blush, but in actual implicating, turn out to be bad ideas. Yet the same laws are still upheld as being of, 'Good Intent' and not repealed. Because if someone was to try and repeal them, they'd be called discriminatin against whomever the law was intended to help.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Law of Unintended Consequences
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 12:43:00 PM »
I wish they would just start with the Constitution it list what the branches are supposed to do, I don't see foisting laws onto private entities in there.

I will quote on of my favorite Founding Fathers:

The policy of the American government is to leave its citizens free, neither restraining them nor aiding them in their pursuits. - Thomas Jefferson

From his pen to the hearts of our leaders. He shows a simple concept of Government Leadership that is if one passes mandates like the ADA and Civil Rights Laws apply it to the public sphere. Government departments, agencies and rights of way like sidewalks. Maybe provide tax incentives for business to modify to aid the handicapped with modifications but really the focus should be you do this and this other business fails to then you get more business, that is what drives the change profits. Is it not?

I did this locally a dollar store is impossible to navigate in my power chair, I told my friends and family, they nor I will shop there after we told them that. And several of us started picketing the store. They lost business and got the mall owner angry at them and the modified the ailes so I could shop easier. And now we shop there. That is what people have to do not mandate things so lawyers jump on the law.

I fear the new administration and Green Initiatives they are going to mandate, lawyers will start attacking and its going to be a nightmare. Rather I argue why not have the GOVERNMENT go Green and promote it and then show that its good for the bottom line that can work. If the government at all levels maintains a gentle and soft hand on the private interests.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: Law of Unintended Consequences
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 01:59:56 AM »
I hate to state this, but there is a very simple reason for why the government does not take a step back and do what might be best for the country:

It would lessen the amount of money and privilege that those in power currently receive.

All argument for why they do or do not do things eventually circles back to this statement.  No matter what the beginning of the argument is, it ends with this....which is a tragedy in the making, even as we watch.  And you can take this same statement and apply it to big business, and most religions.

This is why i rarely watch news, or read the paper.  I am too empathetic.

Offline Mathim

Re: Law of Unintended Consequences
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 03:23:33 PM »
And the kicker is you can never change it because power inevitably corrupts so all people in positions of power will repeat this pattern even if the currently corrupt ones are replaced.