How seldom we hold our dear leaders accountable for those results, but Randall Hoven over at American Thinker has compiled a nice synopsis of some results of action in the name of social justice and other silliness.
On the environment:
Electric cars were studied by a German branch of the World Wildlife Foundation . "What surprised us was that the carbon dioxide savings were so small." In the best-case scenario, the savings would be 0.1 percent. In the worst-case scenario, electric cars would be 25% worse than gasoline-powered.
Acid Rain was once the environmental biggie, the Global Warming of the 70s and 80s. So the government spent 10 years and $550 million to look into it. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project (NAPAP) essentially concluded it is not a problem. For example, "The NAPAP study found that among thousands of U.S. lakes, only 4 percent were somewhat acidic. One-quarter of those were acidic due to natural causes, leaving only 3 percent somewhat influenced by human activities." The NAPAP report came out in 1990, suspiciously about the time Global Warming became the new big thing in environmental causes.
Carbon credits (a) are costing a lot of money, (b) may do nothing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and (c) incentivize the destruction of the environment and people's homes. Or so the Associated Press reported. The carbon credit system "is an excessive subsidy that represents a massive waste of developed world resources," said Stanford University's Michael Wara.
On Doing The Right Thing:
"And how do you know when you're doing something right? How do you know that? It feels so. What I know now is that feelings are really your GPS system for life. When you're supposed to do something or not supposed to do something, your emotional guidance system lets you know." Oprah Winfrey
Oprah's feelings were touched by "A Million Little Pieces," by James Frey. She was so touched by this come-back-from-hard-times story that she chose it for her book club, where "more than two million copies were sold, making it the fastest-selling book in the club's 10-year history." Trouble is, the supposedly non-fiction story was entirely made up; it was a hoax.
Oprah was also touched by "Angel at the Fence," a story of love during the Holocaust written by Herman Rosenblat. Lo and behold, it too was a hoax.
On Public Policy:
From 1900 to 1965, life expectancy for men in the US rose from 46 to 67 years. In 1965, health spending in the US was 5.9% of GDP. That was the year LBJ gave us Medicare. Life expectancy continued to go up after that, but more slowly. Today it is about 75 years for men. And by 2007, health spending took 16.2% of GDP. Medicare is now about to go completely broke. It paid out more than it took in for the first time in 2008. The Medicare "fund" is expected to be depleted by 2017.
Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort.
There is a group called Beyond Good Intentions, for example, that recognizes that most international aid is not only ineffective, but also counterproductive. The MIT Poverty Action Lab appears to be using evidence to guide global anti-poverty policy.
I have no idea if these groups are being effective, but it is nice to know there are at least a few liberals willing to go beyond good intentions, their own feelings, and showering problems with other people's money.
Head over and read the whole thing. Read the comments, too, with gems like this: "I have found that liberal behavior can be better explained when liberalism is thought of as a religion.... And like any religion, liberalism becomes the most important aspect of life to the true believer.This is why liberals tend to be more fanatic in their views than conservatives. ... liberalism ... is a devotion to the belief that the state knows better than the people and should be the main focus of power and resources."