Saturday, May 13, 2006

Why We Don't Need "Comprehensive" Reform

Andrew C. McCarthy on the search for the "Big Answer" and why we shouldn't go there:

The problem with this controversy is the seeming sense that it is essential for us to strike some kind of comprehensive solution. Although the proposed solutions are radically different, the sense of urgency for the Big Answer is common among all disputants, whether they are from the trans-nationalist, post-sovereign Left (for whom “rights” for illegals are a natural fit), the portions of the Right kindly toward illegal immigrants due to political/economic calculations, and those on the Right opposed to rights for illegals owing to cultural/economic/rule of law/national security concerns (in whose number I count myself).

I continue to be mystified by this. Government almost always resists hard choices, and thus when it occasionally tries for the Big Answer, it is virtually always the Wrong Answer. See, e.g., intelligence reform, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc., etc. Jonah will hopefully correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought Hayek explained the reasons for this – which lie in the inability of fallible humans to foresee and rationally regulate all downstream consequences of ambitious schemes – as well as anyone.

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