Reason TV Replay: Great Moments in Unintended Consequences, From Ethanol to Obamacare


Over the objections of governors, livestock farmers, and environmental groups, the EPA declined to relax current ethanol standards. Reason TV profiled the unintended consequences of ethanol regulations two years ago.

Here is the original text from the Dec. 8, 2010 video presents Great Moments in Unintended Consequences!

All actions have unanticipated side effects, but government acting through regulation or legislation is particularly adept at creating disastrous unintended consequences.

Great Moments in Unintended Consequences takes a look at three instances of epic government facepalm: Osborne Reef, Corn Ethanol Subsidies, and a particular clause in ObamaCare that is already doing more harm than good.

Approximately 3 minutes.

Produced by Austin Bragg.

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65 responses to “Reason TV Replay: Great Moments in Unintended Consequences, From Ethanol to Obamacare

  1. Don’t say it, RC.

    1. You cant handle the truth?

    2. You fancy yourself a “law and order libertarian.” Well, here’s the basic 5 part test for negligence as explained to us in business law:

      (1) A duty of care
      (2) A breach of that duty
      (3) Actual harm
      (4) Actual cause
      (5) Proximate cause

      Proximate cause has to do with foreseeability. Because courts cannot read the minds of defendants, they use proximate cause/foreseeability as a sort of proxy for intent. Similar tests exist throughout Anglo-American Common Law.

    3. I do loom large, don’t I?

  2. Sort of on topic: Cato study says that Charter schools are bad because they are displacing private ones. That’s very simplified but basically the gist of it. What does HandR think? Are Charter schools sugared poison or is the trade-off worth it?…..aradox.pdf

    1. While I dont know, I think this might be one of those situations in which you SHOULD let the good be the enemy of the best.

      Sometimes good enough isnt good enough.

    2. Isnt logical that some charter school students will come from private schools?

      If you put in a very good public school, some private school students would end up there too.

      It would be silly to think that charter schools would only pull from public. There are some parents who have put their kids in private schools because the publics suck so bad. A charter school that allows for a good education without costing what private schools cost are going to draw some of those back.

    3. WTF is wrong with you?

      saving private schools is no public good.

      why should we care or avoid that outcome?

  3. Oh my god the Browns are ridiculously bad. Losing the ball on the return?

    1. They’re winning are they not?

      1. Thankfully, yes. I crave seeing Romo’s sadface. It’s almost as good as Brady’s sadface, which is the best sadface there is. But the Browns are spectacularly terrible, and they could still lose this.

        1. You think the Browns are bad, you should see the 2009 Cleveland BrownsChiefs.

          1. I wish to thank both Oakland and KC for their incredibly selfless suckiness, without which we San Diegans might be burning down our stadium.

    2. Oh my god the (whatever team is losing this week) are ridiculously bad. Losing the ball on the return? I’d better pull my thumb out of my ass and make a post on Reason about it.

      I don’t know what’s worse the lonewacko convention immigration threads or Episiarch’s weekly lamentations.

      It was so much better around here when Postrel was in charge.

      1. looking for permission to drink, General?

      2. How about Calvin Johnson handing the ball to a Packer defender on the meaningless final play when I’m up against GB’s defense this week?

        1. How about Mason Crobsy missing two FGs that would have obviated that final drive?



  5. That was a fantastic US GP.
    Good job, Austin.

  6. Godamnit, my local CBS station cut from the Dallas-Cleveland game to show the start of San Diego and Denver. Who won the Dallas-Cleveland game?

    1. it’s starting OT

      1. That had to be the best worst game I’ve seen this season. Who wants to lose it more?

        1. It’s still a horserace for who sucks more.

          1. I’m watching RedZone online and it seems to be delayed 2 minutes.
            Still better than watching on TV with ads.

            1. The Browns still have a chance…their ball now. God Tony sucks. Thankfully.

              1. Romo hasn’t completed any passes to the Browns, that’s how bad the Browns are.

                1. Fuck that shit, that was possession and it should have been a Browns strip and recovery. Oh well, they will lose now.

                  1. Holy shit, the Browns suck. It’s a good thing I already hated them at MAXIMUM HATE, because fuck them.

  7. My unintended consequences involving ethanol usually end in a jail cell or with a black eye. (ARE-CEEZ-LAWZ notwithstanding)

    Maybe I should get a Bodyguard.

  8. 3 Overtime games!
    And Manning threw a pick6 to the Chargers

  9. Aw, man…you left off MTBE mandates!…..utyl_ether

  10. The status quo, or a laissez-faire market, has unintended consequences too, and they are not more morally laudable because nobody “did something” or because nobody cares about them.

    1. everything has unintended consequences; where the free market is superior is its tendency to produce fewer foreseeable consequences, which are evident in damn near every central planning effort even before it begins.

      1. A freed market is also superior in that the mistakes tend to be much smaller than centralized fuck ups, and much easier to cure.
        Of course, that’s beyond shithead’s ability to comprehend.

        1. ….aaand…the free market is wildly more successful at reaching it’s stated goal of producing more wealth, health, and happiness for all.

          1. Suthenboy| 11.18.12 @ 6:37PM |#
            “….aaand…the free market is wildly more successful at reaching it’s stated goal of producing more wealth, health, and happiness for all.”

            Moral cripple that s/he is, shithead much prefers the starving “equality” of Mao’s China to the unequal and prosperous Hong Kong.

        2. The various Panics of 18XX that we experienced during the freer market era of this country were pretty huge relative to the size of the financial sector, and the recoveries were far from painless. They were small compared to 1929 or 2007 only because the vast majority of the economy back then was agricultural and less affected by paper pushing.

          One thing that centralization does is make it possible to delay crashes and manipulate the recovery so that the “right people” come out ahead, which can add its own adverse effects. But free markets don’t make everything rosy. If we had just let the banks fail in 2007 there would have been a year or two of intense suffering before recovery.

          1. The bank runs of 18XX had their roots in financial regulation. Banks had to back deposits in US Treasuries, which were exceedingly scarce. They also couldn’t move capital across state borders. Canada didn’t have this nonsense; no bank failures for us in 1930.

          2. Um, those banks failed because of government regulations. So any resulting suffering has nothing to do with the free market.

    2. They absolutely are more morally laudable, because they aren’t created through coercion.

    3. The status quo, or a laissez-faire market,

      Try opening a bank in America and see how laissez-faire the market is. Hell, try opening ANY business in America without having to beg for permission in triplicate from some government bureaucrat.

      1. Compared to the economy T o n y wants, what we have now is a veritable free market paradise.
        His stupid knows no bounds.

  11. Reason is an example of a free market in sockpuppets.

    1. My god, what is with the assault of the trolls today? Tony and turdpolisher showed up, and as a bonus a flurry of nazi’s?

      I suspect mary might be back. The RickSantorum character was posting under half a dozen names.

      1. Rick Santorum is Mary Stack’s newest handle. She let the mask slip a few weeks ago.

        1. It was funny seeing “Rick Santorum” spout feminist drivel this morning.

        2. Not as obsessed with John as I would expect.

  12. The Octomom’s octuplet’s release a Christmas album

    1. take out that second apostrophe.

      1. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!

        Also, that line about Romo earlier was fucking hilarious. I now want to use it on my sister, who is a huge Cowboys fan. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to wait until Thanksgiving…

        1. it was a good line.

  13. Why does anyone assume there are good intentions behind this kind of legislation?

    1. Hanlon’s Razor. A few of them are bad actors; the rest are just useful fools.

  14. You fuckers fed the trolls on the weekend. What did the Chinese pet store owner tell you?

    1. The puppies are better broiled than fried.

    2. Do not feed the tlolls?

  15. You accidentally put an “un” in front of “intended consequences.”

  16. Someone put this in the damn morning links tomorrow please
    This is the best explanation about how bagged milk works for Americans

    1. nb. we don’t have bagged milk here.

    2. It’s ingenious.

    3. I haven’t used or even seen bagged milk in years.

    4. And people wonder why Canada went extinct.

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