No One Policy Good for Everyone

Did you enjoy our recent winter storm? I did, but I know a lot of people didn’t. Most people are not fans of cold and snow. I don’t like temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if there’s any trace of humidity, while other people love hot weather.

Variety is the spice of life and I’m willing to deal with things I don’t like, without much complaint, so others can enjoy the things they like.

Since no one can control the weather, anyway, it’s a healthy approach.

Natural weather patterns give the Earth variety. Everyone gets what they like, occasionally, within reason. You might not get snow days in the Amazon or picnic weather on the beaches of Antarctica, but you can still get nice surprises.

Sometimes, though, this variety means there are tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, and blizzards. You might believe this justifies a weather control bureaucracy to program the weather, but I don’t think it does.

If there were someone sitting in a government office somewhere controlling the weather, do you think they would serve up weather I like, or weather someone else likes? Maybe we’d all get whatever is dictated by policy. Would some people’s weather preferences be ignored because they aren’t popular?

I’m glad no one can control the weather.

Social control is similar to weather control. It’s going to result in less variety — not as much natural diversity. Even if you could control such things as the weather or society, should you? Whose preferences would be given priority and whose would be banned with reasonable-sounding justifications?

Complex systems with lots of randomness can’t be controlled. Any time someone tries to control a fluid, complex system such as the weather, society, an economy, or healthcare, there will inevitably be unintended consequences that make things worse.

Just as no one type of weather is best for everywhere at all times, there is no government policy — beyond respecting individual liberty — that is best for every individual at every moment.

No matter how unqualified to run your own life you may feel, no one else is more qualified than you. No one knows all the details better than you. If anyone believes they can control your life better than you can, they are not living in reality. What they imagine to be good for you might destroy you. Yet they’ll never suffer any consequences for what they’ve done to you — all the suffering would be yours, alone. I can’t support any such plan.

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