When the IMO 2020 Hits the Fan

I was a dead man. We were going 130 miles per hour. My date was passed out, head lolling above a cloud-like mauve dress as we launched south on Interstate 87 in the backseat of a Buick Grand National. Empty wine coolers rolled on the floor.

It was prom night, and we had left Saratoga in a jovial mood, but things had taken a dark turn as Scot in his dad’s Fiero kept edging us faster from the next lane. The engines screamed and the white lines looked like dots.

I’m decidedly middle-aged now, the statute of limitations is over, and besides, I wasn’t driving. I only bring up this tale of youthful indiscretion to point out the gross unintended consequences of government regulations.

Broken Windows and Bartels and James

In 1850, French economist Frédéric Bastiat published an essay titled, “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.” Bastiat illustrated, through a story of the broken window fallacy, the destructive effects of unintended consequences that result from government intervention in the economy. 

The examples of government malfeasance are myriad, including, but certainly not limited to, minimum wage laws, rent control, Pell grants, Social Security, and the war on drugs. 

The U.S. government has a program that pays famers to take the fat out of milk, thus creating skim milk — for your supposed good health. It has another subsidy for “real cheese” that enables those same dairy farmers to sell the fat it was just paid to take out.

But I’m not here to talk about past government ....

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