Friday, December 18, 2015

Does it Feel Good? Continued...

Continuing on the "Does It Feel Good?" vs. "Does It Do Good?" theme from the other day....

Gun Control: Calls for gun control after a public shooting even though none of the proposals would have prevented the shooting.  More gun control feels good.

The minimum wage: The overall net value is nothing.  It makes those getting the raise temporarily more happy (until prices adjust) and some people a lot less happy when they lose their job.  At best liberal economists will argue that it does no harm overall, admitting that it probably does no good.  But it feels good.

The Keystone Pipeline: Everyone acknowledges that it would've actually reduced carbon emissions and would have also reduced the risk of oil spills.  But environmentalists hated it and Obama killed it.   Why?  Oil pipelines don't feel good.  Killing the pipeline was environmentally "symbolic."

Paris Climate Talks: The talks were full of talk and not much else.  There are no legally binding agreements, and no means of enforcement.  But getting that many countries together to talk about "Climate Change" feels good. (Ask NPR).

Affirmative Action: It stigmatizes minorities and mismatches their current abilities with requirements.  But even if it did neither ill nor good, it definitely feels good.

That's all for now.  I bet if we thought about it we could come up with a pretty long list.


  1. An interesting variant is happening with the UK Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn. He doesn't seem to value policies and actions because they appeal to voters, but rather because they demonstrate ideological purity. The Labour Party as it stands will never get elected, but supporters will feel good because they are uncompromisingly holy and better than those they despise.

  2. Yeah, I don't think U.S. progressives have the market cornered on the "logic" of feel-good.