Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Unintended Consequences"

In Tuesday's Providence Journal, ("Soda tax is good for us", June 27, Pg B7), Dr. David Maude says the soda tax "generates needed revenue for a bankrupt state, at the same time discouraging the intake of empty calories".

This presents a paradox.  If in fact, the tax does what is hoped, discourages the consumption of a product of little value and does harm, then it will fail in its other goal, to raise revenue. These two goals are in direct opposition to one another and mutually exclusive. I'm in favor of the tax but let's be honest about it, we'll either reduce consumption or raise revenue, not both.

As happens all too often in politics and life we don't think things through and we miss some of the consequences of our actions. Why didn't our leaders, in government and unions, anticipate the terrible problems created by their actions in past contract negotiations? Surely they didn't intend to destroy our cities, did they?