Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reason: Unintended Consequences


A few more examples....
Kudzu was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 and is now common throughout most of the southeastern United States. Kudzu has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually.

The introduction of rabbits in Australia and New Zealand for food was followed by an explosive growth in the rabbit population; rabbits have become a major feral pest in these countries.

Prohibition in the 1920s United States, originally enacted to suppress the alcohol trade, drove many small-time alcohol suppliers out of business and consolidated the hold of large-scale organized crime over the illegal alcohol industry.

Bicycle helmets were made mandatory to prevent head injuries. It worked. A study has proved that ridership is way down nationally, and kids might be becoming obese in response.

Rent control in many major cities is intended to make housing more accessible for lower income tenants. Instead, it creates a housing shortage, making housing less accessible


The case of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Afterward, many coastal states enacted laws placing unlimited liability on tanker operators. As a result, the Royal Dutch/Shell group, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, began hiring independent ships to deliver oil to the United States instead of using its own forty-six-tanker fleet. Oil specialists fretted that other reputable shippers would flee as well rather than face such unquantifiable risk, leaving the field to fly-by-night tanker operators with leaky ships and iffy insurance. Thus, the probability of spills probably increased and the likelihood of collecting damages probably decreased as a consequence of the new laws.

In the early 1970's the United States government agreed to sell Iran the very same intaglio presses used to print American currency so that the Shah of Iran could print his own high quality money for his country.Well we know what happened to the Shah. What most people don't know is that during the early 90s, counterfeit $100 bills began to flood the Mideast, eventually spreading around the world. Known as "superbills" or "superdollars" by the US Treasury due to the astounding quality of the forgeries, these $100 bills became a tremendous headache not only for the US and its economy, but also for people all over the world that depend on the surety of American money. They used the very machines we sold to the Shah.