The Ethics of Forest Certification: When Unintended Consequences Result

forest photo“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions and not by their results.”  — Dr. Milton Friedman

The free market has long been recognized as one of the best methods for consumers to get a wide variety of choices, while at the same time the competition for the consumer dollar incentivizes producers and sellers to offer the best possible value for the price.

Free market advocates have demonstrated that, all too often, interventions in the market such as tariffs, regulations, taxes, and so forth – imposed with the best of intentions – not only rob the consumer of choice but increase the ultimate cost of goods and services.

As Milton Friedman liked to point out, such interventions frequently resulted in outcomes exactly the opposite of what was intended by those advocating the interventions. In short, the law of unintended consequences operates to frustrate those …

Analysis: Obama Stimulus Plan Invokes Keynes

Keynes photoThe $787 billion economic stimulus package passed and signed into law last month had any number of co-sponsors in Congress, but in a real sense its main author was someone deceased for more than 60 years:  John Maynard Keynes.  The measure, and proposals subsequent to it, represent a tribute to a highly flawed, though highly original thinker.  They also speak of a larger ongoing and recent pendulum shift in theory and policy. 


Much has been written, and deservedly so, about President Obama’s sense of racial grievance; his radicalism; his circle of Chicago friends and fixers; and his intense identification with Abraham Lincoln.  Yet only recently that level of attention has been given to his worldview, all but in name Keynesian, to the current economic crisis.  The president and his neo-Keynesian top economic advisers – Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner and Christina Romer – have