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Unintended consequences sunset clauses

  [vote for,

The Law Of Unintended Consequences is well known.

Its basic principle is that an action taken in good faith and with the best of intentions can have unforseen outcomes that may be worse than the original problem.

Mandatory wearing of helmets by motorcyclists has reduced the number of fatal accidents; as a result, more kidney patients die through a lack of organ donors.

Roads with speed bumps have markedly higher particulate pollution, as drivers brake (producing brake dust) and then accelerate again (burning more fuel).

All legislation should have a mandatory fixed term sunset clause, probably five years. At the end of this period, the effectiveness of the legislation must be debated - if it isn't, the law is automatically repealed. If it turns out that there is a significant unintended consequence, then the legislation must be redrafted to address that consequence and re-approved within a fixed timescale - or again, it is repealed automatically.

8th of 7, May 09 2017


       This certainly looks like a good idea that would be beneficial, but...
MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2017

       ... it might have unintended consequences ?
8th of 7, May 09 2017

       Not exactly WKTE, but a common sentiment. I'd think you'd get more support with a twenty year window, but I'd add the caveat that you could do no group approvals - each law must be individually reviewed and approved.   

       Make government as difficult as possible and we might get less of it.
normzone, May 09 2017

       How many people do you want to have working for government again?
RayfordSteele, May 09 2017

       None. We advocate staffing reductions by the alternatives of immediate early retirement or assassination, whichever proves more effective.
8th of 7, May 09 2017

       All of us already work for the government.
normzone, May 09 2017

       No, you just acquiesce to a morally very dubious form of extortion.   

       But you don't have to.   

       Get a gun. Give in to your hate. KILL 'EM ALL ....
8th of 7, May 09 2017

       No. I am a Jedi, like my father before me...
RayfordSteele, May 09 2017

       We've been expecting the Loony Tunes theme, actually ...   

       ... or possibly the Wacky Racists ...
8th of 7, May 10 2017

       The motorcycle riders need those kidneys more than the would-be recipients. A not-gain is not a loss.
Voice, May 10 2017

       //The motorcycle riders need those kidneys more than the would-be recipients.//   

       Motorcycle riders do need kidneys, bowels and a liver or two. The type that does the donating though, isn't a motorcycle rider. Granted, they were often enthusiastic riders up until very very recent times. It seems the rapid rider-non rider change of heart often encourages a... change of heart/lungs/kidneys. That gives me an idea...
bs0u0155, May 10 2017

       That's just a possible real-world example ...   

       The generic idea is:

       1. Bad Thing "X" is happening

       2. A law is enacted to reduce the occurrence of "X".

       3. As a result of the law, "X' is reduced, but "Y" starts to occur much more frequently.

       4.(a) The status quo continues until "Y" has catastrophic consequences.


       4.(b) The law is non-optionally reviewed to consider the relative impact of "X" against "Y".
8th of 7, May 10 2017

       OK, this explains the decline of rationality, although it has supposedly survived since the Hellenistic era, Plato and Aristotle.   

       I have always wondered how it is that the rational people have fewer children, don't defend themselves, and in the end support irrational regimes set out to destroy them, ultimately leading to their own demise. It seemed to make no sense evolutionary-wise.   

       I think I get it now. Rationality brought about wild and destructive radical ideas like Ayn Rand's capitalism and Carl Marx's or Mao Tse Tung's communism and then we get Nazism, Pol Pot, Greenpeace, PITA, UNESCO and VHEMT.   

       It seems that rationality actually SURVIVED through the rule of unintended consequences, being adopted by Islam at one stage, and by the French revolution at a different time.   

       We think science gave us longer and better lives, but let's wait and see what happens with NK, the new human migration and WWIII around the corner.
pashute, May 10 2017

       It makes sense, allowing all kind of reactionary laws to be rapidly passed in reaction to current events.   

       Over time, this results in a body of short-termist, reactionary laws backed by a legislature who believe that each individual law would only be temporary.   

       Oh no, here comes an unintended consequence (you could smell it coming anyway)...   

       Oops, suddenly an individual swoops into power, flings in some wall-expedition clauses allowing the govt to seize land (say) or to temporarily remove travel rights for (say) people who read a particular book. Later, a targeted repeal of *only* the Unintended Consequences Law is enacted and boom, you've suddenly got a host of poorly drafted, short-termist legislation polluting your statute books.
zen_tom, May 12 2017

       No change there, then ...   

       We also wish to make very clear that there ain't no Sanity Clause.
8th of 7, May 12 2017

       People are voting for the joke here? Reassure me, please.
calum, May 13 2017

       [calum], you live in a world where one of the major power blocs has recently handed control of their economy and armed forces to Donald Trump, and a red-headed whey-faced witch is running Scotland.   

       Sorry, no reassurance to be had. The best we can offer is a case of Buckie, half a dozen joints, a random assortment of prescription medication, and a subscription to Netflix. Put the local pizza delivery shop on speeddial, close the curtains, turn the TV on, and hope for oblivion.
8th of 7, May 13 2017

       [8th]...This is SO good. +
My life has been full of *unintended consequences lately...
xandram, May 13 2017

       Oh? How many kids do you have?
RayfordSteele, May 13 2017

       [+] Yet, it's fundamentally wrong, as it's foundational assumption is that laws are enacted for the common good.   

       Laws are, in fact, enacted most commonly for the good of the sponsors of the legislators who are voting for the law that was written by the sponsors, for the benefit of the sponsors, to ensure at least a 100:1 ROI on their lobbying expenditure.   

       So, in the 5 year sunset review, the same legislators would be reviewing it strictly based on "has it returned >100:1 to our sponsors?" And, then, after their sponsors decide, they spend another rounding-error on propaganda to justify/spin the decision to the barely caring, barely noticing populace (if / as needed).   

       Too skeptical? Well, sorry, I live in the USA.
sophocles, May 15 2017

       This is brilliant. Miss ya 8th.
doctorremulac3, Feb 27 2023


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