Unforeseen Consequences or Are They?

Most of us are thankful we have laws and regulations protecting us from infringement upon our rights as humans. We're glad for the systems which enforce due process to protect us from errant arrests, searches, seizures, and other acts against us by those we employ; police, other agents, or other parties.

In theory we create laws and regulations for the public benefit. They are constructed to provide a hindrance against violent acts to persons or property. Many are created to protect those that are either permanently or temporarily vulnerable physically or financially.

The more problematic laws and regulations deal with moral issues. Many of these issues can be traced to religious beliefs, but they can also come from individual selfishness. Others can be attributed to apparent selflessness.

I won't spend too much time on the problems with laws and regulations derived from religious beliefs, as those that strongly hold them are typically not open to debate or compromise with those who may believe differently from the individual.

There are those who find religious beliefs in line with their own self interest and use agreeing “believers” to perpetuate their cause be affecting the “Tyranny of the Majority”. These individuals are ingenuous and might have sociopathic tendencies.

Selfish support for laws and regulations is often obvious. Sometimes they can be viewed as self-preservation. In contemporary society an example would be the contention between Taxi companies and their drivers with Uber. Taxis are heavily regulated as a result of their historical behavior toward customers. Uber type services can offer highly competitive services with a more self-regulated business model. Taxi services and drivers are flexing their muscle through intense lobbying and in some cases violent efforts instead of adapting; adaption takes real work.

Laws and regulations instigated for what seem on the surface to be selfless and often sold to the public by appearing to be for the good of everyone can be the most camouflaged. They also may start with good intention, but veer off course or be against human nature, thereby being impossible to enforce completely.

The most visible example is the “War on Drugs”. “Everybody” knows that illicit drugs aren't good for you. So the easiest solution proposed and executed is to make such things illegal and lock away the offenders. Decades later we are coming to terms with the results of this “war”. Illicit drug use continues while enforcement of laws has helped create crime organizations, bolstered enforcement employment and instigated violence on both sides of the issue. This was not the apparent objective, but now we seem to be caught in both sides wanting to continue escalation. Both enforcement agencies and drug cartels are continuing to militarize in this artificially created environment.

Political bodies often sell their ideas by making us feel selfless in giving. In another example of the “Tyranny of the Majority” we can look at things seemingly for the common good like the high-speed rail under development for California. First it was sold as self-paying by ticket buyers, this has long passed into history. Then it was sold as a job creator, but those jobs are reserved for a select few. It has also been sold as something everyone needs, but most of us rarely, if ever, visit the other end of the state. Yet, each taxpayer is contributing. Money is being taken from the individuals pocket and will be for years to come; subsidizing every ticket.