Unpredictable Complexities

Below are two examples to illustrate how otherwise apparently simple choices may not work out as we as we’d expect.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Externalities

In 2002 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was made federal US law. SOX was a reaction to major corporate and accounting scandals and it goals was tighten responsibilities of corporate board of directors. That may sound wonderful, but SOX has been criticized as having unexpected side-effects (“externalities”, in economic jargon). See the criticism section of this wiki article for examples.

This recent article in Quillette, claims that one such externality is breaking down corporate ties and thus the past tendency of these highly connected old-boys’ clubs to actually make middle-of-the-road policies decisions with healthy compromise and moderation. Instead, now, ironically,(the article contends), with these highly connected elite clubs gutted, we now have allowed for more rogue leaders and policies.

Odd how the best of intentions can have such negative consequences.

Clinton vs Trump — Choosing the Worst

No matter what you think of each president — their personality, their corruption, their deceitfulness, they crassness or their policies — there are scenarios where voting for the worse candidate may be the best plan.

If Trump wins and has an unsuccessful presidency, he will be voted out four years later and we may actually then get a good Democratic candidate to run to replace Trump for the  next 8 years after Trump’s short four years. But if Clinton wins and she has an unsuccessful presidency, she will be voted out four years later and we may end up with a Republican to the far right.

I hear people say they don’t like either candidate so they will vote for the least of the two evils. But what if that will result in an even worse future years later — something they never planned on? We may take comfort thinking we are doing the right thing at the moment, but sometimes, the right thing can be the worse thing simply because the world is complex.


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