Great Moments in Unintended Consequences

[May 6, 2024]  A roll-on-the-floor funny group of videos by ReasonTV looks at what happens when people or organizations/governments look to solve a problem, but the results are not what they wanted.  I’ve written about this before, so any mature person must avoid counterproductive unintended consequences that might sneak up on you and cause havoc.

A few years ago, I wrote about the British exit from the European Union (BRIXET).  One of the unintended consequences was a surge in illegal immigrants to Britain to take advantage of their better welfare benefits.  Another was cash hoarding by the British government (makes sense, right?), which caused their government bond yields to fall into negative territory (oops).  And, lastly, there was a spike in ‘hate crimes’ across Britain.  And today, Britain still suffers from a slew of unintended consequences of their “exit.”

Volume 8 of the ReasonTV series was about Arizona’s alternative fuel.  The year 2000.  The problem?  Not enough alternative fuel is being used in Arizona (to cut down on gasoline consumption).  The Solution?  Generous tax credits for new vehicles to incentivize buyers to add an alternative fuel tank.  Sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions.  What could possibly go wrong?  The subsidy allowed tens of thousands to buy fully loaded luxury SUVs at nearly a 50% discount, as long as they were converted to add a secondary one-gallon alternative fuel tank that would likely never be filled up.  The plan wound up costing the state hundreds of millions and actually increased gasoline consumption.

In Volume 4 of the series, they take on the government’s attempt to reduce ugly billboards on highways.  The year 1968.  The problem?  Billboard cluttering the scenic vistas of Vermont.  The solution?  Ban billboards.  Sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions.  What could possibly go wrong?  As the billboards came down, something new popped up.  A 12-foot gorilla holding up a Volkswagen, a giant squirrel in a striped bathing suit, a 19-foot genie holding a carpet, a veritable zoo of gargantuan concrete sculptures, all in the name of public art.  It might seem cute until a development dispute with a local bureaucracy results in a 700-pound middle finger on a 16-foot pole.  Enjoy the view, Vermont.

Another in Volume 4 is about fairness.  The year 2019.  The problem?  The gender pay gap.  The solution?  The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a bevy of new regulations on employers, including a requirement that all forms of compensation be disclosed as part of every job listing and a ban on asking job candidates about their salary history.  Sounds like a great idea with the best of intentions.  What could possibly go wrong?  Not only does the law open up companies to new legal liabilities and administrative burdens, it also hinders employer flexibility when it comes to hiring.  As a result, some companies like Samsung, Century 21, Cigna, IBM, Nike, even PETA have simply excluded Colorado from their remote job listings.  Can’t have a pay gap if you don’t have a paycheck.  Mission accomplished, Colorado.

Good intentions, bad results.

And, some great accompanying music, too.  Enjoy!


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

13 thoughts on “Great Moments in Unintended Consequences

  1. Good Dog

    Gen. Satterfield, this is a funny but educational series. I hope more people pay attention.

  2. mainer

    Great Moments in Unintended Consequences. Just a note to say I appreciate you alerting us to this channel in YouTube. While there are millions of channels, only a few are well done and this one is very well done. The narration is spot on, the content is accurate, and the analysis hits a home run every time. And, they are short. Perfect for the working man.

    1. Rowen Tabernackle

      This is why I keep coming back to Gen. Satterfield’s leadership website. Where else can you find such an eclectic set of articles? Nowhere!
      Oh, these letters to his granddaughter have become my favorite. Yesterday’s about riding on the Missouri Pacific Railroad passenger train brought back memories of my dad who was a conductor. Keep up the great works you are doing.

  3. Martin Shiell

    Gen. Satterfield, a little off topic, but I do like your DAILY FAVORITES. The one from today, “Sanity Clause: When Freak Flags Fly: Assessing the Current Campus Protests” is a real kicker.
    Never overlook the daily favorites. Lots of info there.

  4. Kevin Cratz

    Love the gender pay gap one …. he he he he he …. oh, you mean there are real consequences that you might not want. he he he he

  5. Navy Vet

    Well done. I’m no fan of YouTube at all but because you have recommended it, I will go there and see a few of their videos. And, Yes, they is some humor in them, but let’s not forget that the issue is really serious. There are unintended consequences in everything we do. We just have to watch out for those that are NEGATIVE unintended consequences, but there can be POSITIVE ones too. In the US military, we specific try to figure out what those consequences might be. We call them second and third order effects. Look it up. It is an attempt to mitigate those negative unintended consequences.

    1. Pastor John 🙏

      Navy Vet, I didn’t know. Well reasoned. Thanks. ✔✔✔✔✔ Nothing like learning something new. Found this article that might be of use.
      Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform
      “Failing to consider second- and third-order consequences is the cause of a lot of painfully bad decisions, and it is especially deadly when the first inferior option confirms your own biases. Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.” – Ray Dalio

  6. Len Jakosky

    Gen. Satterfield, thanks for highlighting this Reason TV. Looks great. I love this guys voice who narrates it. ❤

  7. Silly Man

    Makes you wonder why politicians are so stupid.

    1. Lynn Pitts

      Because they think that anything they do is the greatest and newest idea ever to be on earth, priviliged to have that politician around and everyone should bow down to him. Now, men make bad politicians, and I say that after many years of observation but women make horrible politicians. So, pick you poison.

  8. Ursala J. Simpson

    I’ve known about this YouTUbe channel now for maybe 5 years and love it.


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