When the political cure makes things worse

May 16, 2018
Featured image for “When the political cure makes things worse”

Remember when Congress saved us with a Do Not Call Registry? Retweet

I’m up to a half-dozen calls per day, during business hours. They’re computer dialed, with no human on the line until after you pick-up the phone. The Caller ID shows a clone of the first six digits of my phone number in a process called “neighborhood spoofing.” The calls are for things like car warranties and credit card specials.

And if I take the time to be placed on their Do Not Call list — there is a law after all — they simply switch to a new “cloned number” and call again. I can block that number. But neither method stops the calls because they aren’t really calling from that number in the first place.

The failure of the Do Not Call Registry is an example of the Boomerang Effect, explained in our latest Mental Lever…

Do more laws make things better or worse?

Devise a statist solution and, somehow, the problem gets worse. Bans usually create bad innovations — think of bump stocks or, in this case, neighborhood spoofing robocalls. And those innovations often make the original problem worse. So…

You’d think no politician would bother suggesting they can fix the “Do Not Call” fiasco with a “Super-Duper, Extra Powerful Do Not Call Registry.”

But politicians are shameless. They love to pretend they are our saviors, even if the result is a boomerang. In the case of telemarketing calls, they are indeed promising to solve the problem they seemingly created with their Do Not Call gimmick. But…

What if we could help the American people recognize the next boomerang scheme before it was passed into law? What if your neighbors were so well inoculated that…

  • Not only would politicians see zero benefit in proposing their scheme
  • They’d actually lose support for offering such a laughable, boomerang scheme

Today’s Mental Lever, a 218-word mini-article, gives you a helpful “inoculation tool.”

There are now 86 Mental Levers. These mini-articles replace lending books that are neither read nor returned. They’re far easier to share and short enough to actually be read.

  • You can use them online discussions, such as in Facebook comments (we do)
  • You can use them as hyperlinks in your editorials (we do that too).

Please consider starting a monthly pledge to support the ongoing work of the Zero Aggression Project (an initiative of the Downsize DC Foundation).

We also need generous donations, right now, to keep the work going. Your contribution can be tax-deductible, if you itemize.

All new donors receive a bumper sticker, as shown on our secure contribution form.

Jim Babka
Zero Aggression Project


Comments (0)