Means and ends

I find emotional thinkers very irritating. For one thing, all a politician or bureaucrat has to do to gain the reflexive support of emotional thinkers is claim that their latest regulation is designed to achieve $GOODTHING. Therefore of course this regulation is beyond reproach and anyone who questions the means – not even the end, just the means – is obviously supporting $BADTHING!

Then I have to remember that MPAI and as a Vile Faceless Minion, my mantra is “I don’t care.” Exact application of this is a work in progress.

Allow me to supply a hypothetical example. Let’s take unemployment. Just about everyone agrees that unemployment is bad. Is any means to alleviate unemployment therefore desirable?

Shall we reduce unemployment by killing anyone who’s unemployed? Obviously not. But it would certainly reduce unemployment.

Shall we reduce unemployment by throwing all the unemployed into work camp prisons? Uh, also, no. But it would reduce unemployment!

Variations on this mandatory employment scheme happen quite often in communist and socialist societies. Just toss the kids into state-run daycare, parents – any adult who doesn’t work in a state-approved job doesn’t get a food ration voucher and starves to death. Unemployment solved!

Shall we reduce unemployment by founding a new CCC on a voluntary basis? Hmm. Well. That might be all right. Maybe. Certainly sounds better than force. Giving people jobs can’t be anything but a good thing, right? But where is the money for the CCC going to come from? Taxes. Which taxes? What won’t be funded instead? What effects on the economy will result from increasing taxes to pay for the CCC? Loans? How will the loans be paid for? Who will decide what work the CCC does to earn their stipends, anyway?

But the government is Doing Something! to combat the scourge of unemployment! Add tearjerker stories of how Loving Dad of Six got laid off, became depressed, and committed suicide due to lack of employment, etc. Therefore anyone who questions the means of accomplishing a Good Thing is automatically guilty of being an evil saboteur who doesn’t care about the pain of the poor orphaned children.

Uh-huh. Right. The fact that the public works projects “coincidentally” result in higher property values for politicians who bought cheap land nearby? Let’s just not talk about that in any of the news articles lauding the new program.

Of course, there’s always another way to “reduce” unemployment rates, successfully used by our very own American government! Leave out all the unemployed people who have given up looking for jobs when you publish the numbers. Hey look, the unemployment rate is lower! Yay! /sarc


About pancakeloach :)
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