The law of unintended consequences

I don’t know if it’s a local, state or federal tax, but when I go into a restaurant that provides both eat-in and take-out services, I always order take-out, regardless of whether I plan to sit at one of their tables or hit the road.  Why?  Because the government imposes a tax on food that’s eaten on the premises.  I don’t know why.  But there you have it; that’s what the government does.  It’s common nowadays to sit at a restaurant and see people hunched over their foam containers at one table, while the unwary, paying a significant premium, sit at the next table eating off a plate.

What’s doubly funny about this stupid system is the fact that it ought to enrage the greenies.  You see, it creates vastly greater amounts of trash.  My plate doesn’t get rinsed and reused.  Instead, it goes straight into the garbage, expanding landfill use and requiring the constant creation of new disposable cups and plates.

My weekend, much of which was spent in San Francisco, has me thinking more than ever about government interference in day to day life, and all the costs, both obvious and hidden.  I’ve got a post slowly growing in my mind, but I don’t know how much I’ll be able to do with it.  I know I’m going to borrow heavily from the comments many of you left in my earlier post about the insanity that is San Francisco.

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  • Earl

    Come to Oregon, where there is NO sales tax.
    After  most of my life in California, and then five years in Tennessee where the sales tax in Chattanooga was almost 10%, this is heavenly.  Of course, TN had no income tax, so that was good…unlike CA.
    Buying my new Subaru (, if you care) here in Oregon saved me more than $2,000.00 that I would have paid in either CA or TN.  Nice.

  • David Foster

    Re unintended consequences, see <a href=”″>management advice from George Eliot</a>. A lot of political leaders and their academic advisors indeed appear to “regard (their) passionate pieces with contempt” and this is a major reason why they are always being surprised by actual consequences.

  • David Foster
  • suek

    Went to your link, and from there to the Hillbuzz site for their “President Bush we miss you” article made right after the Fort Hood attack.  I’d seen bits of the article before, so it wasn’t much of a surprise – but what _did_ surprise me was the comments.  I’d never been to that site before, but clearly it’s a very liberal site – yet of the 20 or so comments I read, almost every one of them was anti-Obama, noting his evident dislike of the USA, and even expressing fearfulness of where he was trying to take us.  _That_ surprised me.  (there were some 1700 or so comments!!! according to their comment counter – I only read the first 20 – 25.  1700 comments! holy moley!!  )

  • David Foster

    suek…also, a more recent post on Hillbuzz blows the whistle on leftist threats of violence against Palin & her family:

  • Danny Lemieux

    Thanks for the Hillbuzz link, Suek. I think that what comes across loud and clear from these Liberal pro-Hillary gay guys from Chicago’s “Boys Town” is their fundamental human decency and my metaphorical hat is off to them.
    What you describe as the unintended consequences of government in San Francisco also applies to Chicago and other cities, Book. Perhaps we could all chip in with our own examples:
    For example, Chicago’s government…ever hungry for more money to support its political patronage system, sold off its parking meter business to a private group which jacked up the cost of parking to where you virtually need to carry bags of quarters to feed the metes. In addition, the sales tax is now close to 10.5%, the hotel tax 14% and parking taxes of as-high-as 35%. They have placed cameras at every stoplight intersection and reduced the yellow-light span by half in order to entrap more drivers. So…any guesses as to what this is doing to the city’s convention, shopping environment and revenue stream?

  • Ymarsakar

    The problem is, people are going to blame Obama, rather than themselves. Given a choice between going down with Obama and saying it was his fault for misleading them, they’ll do what they did with Bush: say he lied or mislead them. Since they innately invested more emotional money into Obama, obviously they won’t be quite as fast to switch boats, but they will, if that is the choice provided.
    The reasoning is simple. They won’t let themselves take the fall for their own actions and beliefs. It is far easier to say somebody else is responsible, that way you can not only exploit them and loot the treasury to pay your friends to extort more money from the ‘responsible’ party, but you can also feel good doing it.
    The core problem isn’t Obama. It’s the thinking of everyone who voted for him. Theoretically Obama is not going to be in power forever, and factually the people who voted for Obama will keep on voting for years and decades.
    You can’t convince people to accept liberty when they wish for slavery. The Left tried to scold us for forcing liberty on Iraqis, as if Iraqis were Leftists, who when confronted between liberty + security on the one hand and tyranny/looting on the other hand, would choose as the Left does: the latter.
    The Left is looting the treasury, exploiting anyone with not enough political ‘juice’ to get in on the game, forcing others to play the game of corruption just to survive. That is the difference between tyranny and justice, between selfish greed and mercy. They think everybody is like them, that when given a choice between having more money by stealing it from others or having more money by working to ensure everybody gets a benefit, people will choose as the Left does: the selfish and tyrannical preference.

    Everybody is not like them. Though they justify their atrocities with that excuse all the time.
    They’ll see the people made impoverished, into serfs bound to the land, with cities running with sewage and crime, just so long as they live in rich and luxurious surroundings. They don’t give a damn what happens to those that can’t be exploited or can’t be kissed up to net more power and influence.

    And the ironic thing is, they use the writ of the Constitution in order to do so, to be protected while they are doing so, and will accuse their opponents of a more subtle and less substantive charge than unpatriotic sentiments: destruction of civil liberties. As if destroying the Left’s power would destroy civil liberties. As if preventing the Big Business called Planned Parenthood from looting the money of government and private sources is going to destroy ‘choice’.

    All those that voted for Obama or gave him license of any kind, contributes to the renewal of the ancient tyranny humanity has known for generations of poor broken down slaves and serfs. It’s not because Obama is in power. It’s because their philosophy and thoughts will continue to bring on the Obamas and other lackeys that are just as destructive. Even if Obama were removed today, would that renew California and Chicago, improve the education system, and prevent people from being preyed upon by Big Businesses contributing to Leftist causes, foreign oil, and special interest lawyers and unions out to suck the blood out of actual workers and employers? No, it won’t. As with Saddam, removing the man, does not remove the problems he and his caused. In fact, it often makes it worse.

    This is where the blood of patriots and tyrants come in. You don’t make a better world by sitting at a table and talking. Growth takes resources and sacrifice. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It isn’t made manifest by what’s coming out of people’s mouths. It is created, it is work, it is energy made manifest and harnessed.

    Once you cut the tree of liberty down, it’s going to take a long time to grow another one. But even if the tree is living, it’ll need a lot of nutrients to get back to full strength once again. And the more branches that are cut, the more sacrifices that will be required. The more rust on the blade, the more that must be grinded out.

    Members of the Left and all those sympathetic to such an ideology care nothing except that they get their piece of firewood, which they will burn and then try to find other places where they can steal more.