Sunday, June 5, 2011

Unintended Consequences

No, not the book.

A while back, I recommended you watch the National Inflation Association's video, The College Conspiracy, viewable on their page, or on YouTube.  If you haven't spent the hour watching it; perhaps you don't have kids of that age, or you think you know the story anyway, I still recommend watching it.  There's an important idea in there that is a partial explanation for the mess we find ourselves in as a nation.  This thought has been tugging at the back of my head since I watched that in mid-May.

There's a scene in there starting at the 45:24 minute mark, where a young guy named Ethan Jacobs talks about his experiences with going to law school.  This is in the midst of a long section on the fraud perpetrated by law schools (as an example, they tell students that "80% of our students get a job after graduation" but include jobs as night clerks in Walmart, or working as the law school janitor).  He starts out by saying in his opening weeks of law school he found that while he thought the purpose of the law was to help create freedom, liberty and justice, he found the law was a there to create jobs for lawyers.  The devastating effects of all this law and regulation, created simply as make-work for lawyers by lawyers, are destroying our country.

Billy Shakespeare famously said (King Henry VI - Part 2, Act IV, Scene II) "The first thing we do: let's kill all the lawyers".   He meant that the lawyers were the protectors of the people - protecting them from the tyrants.  Historically, it always seems to work out that those who set themselves up that way become the tyrants themselves.  Daniel Webster said,
In every generation, there are those who want to rule well--but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters--but they mean to be masters.
There are worse ideas than Billy's. 

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