All Commentary
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

When Do-Gooders Do Bad

Sometimes good intentions lead to bad outcomes, and that's never as true as when governments make sweeping rules and regulations.

Despite its passage some time ago, recent attention has been brought to the impending implementation of a Washington, D.C., regulation that will require all professional childcare workers to have a college degree. This has raised a great hue and cry as it will ban a number of existing childcare workers from their chosen profession as well as having the effect of dramatically increasing the cost of childcare in the District — which is, incidentally, already incredibly high when compared to the rest of the country. Unintended consequences happen all the time in everyday life, but when legislators and regulators act, the consequences are on a much larger scale. Unintended consequences abound in pretty much every aspect of regulated life to various degrees. Join Antony Davies and James Harrigan as they talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Numbers.

Subscribe to the Word and Numbers podcast via iTunes.

Quick Hits

Man cited for sheltering the homeless (David Wilson)

Philip Morris getting out of the cigarette business?

Foolishness of the Week

President Trump, apparently not interested in Steve Bannon’s criticism, seeks to block the release of “Sloppy Steve’s” book.

Topic of the Week: Unintended Consequences

Gun buyback

Seat belt laws

Payday lending

Fishing quotas

CEO pay

Three strikes law

Bounty on cobras

Mexico city air pollution

California fuel economy mandates

Americans with Disabilities Act

Electrician licensing requirements

Red-light cameras

Cash for clunkers



Follow James and Antony on Twitter.

Join the Words and Numbers Backstage FB group, where the conversation continues.

  • Dr. Antony Davies is an Associate professor of Economics at Duquesne University, and co-host of the podcast, Words & Numbers.

  • James R. Harrigan is a Senior Editor at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also co-host of the Words & Numbers podcast.