This is a pattern which we’ve observed time and time again and it is from these empirical observations that we derived the rule of thumb that says, “the state always achieves the opposite of its intended goal.” And that’s important.

This rule of thumb was derived from empiricism.

I won’t argue the definition of empiricism here, but this looks like the availability heuristic to me. You may have seen many news stories of failed government projects. If those are the only government projects you’re aware of, you might conclude a 100% failure rate.

My challenge to you would be this: pick a year, sufficiently long enough ago for policies to have a fair chance at succeeding. Pick a state or county, one without a giant media circus and bitter partisanship, which itself handicaps government. Let’s say Nebraska 2005 (no idea if that matches the above criteria). Now pick 100 bills at random. Research what happened to them, on a scale of -5 to +5 did they achieve the opposite or did they succeed?

My hypothesis is that the average is > 0, yours seems to be that it’s < -4.

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