warning inflation

Inflation is the term generally used when there are increases in the money supply and prices go up. Inflation, then, is the devaluation of goods when units of value become too plentiful. This principle applies to other areas of life: rules can be inflated, classifications of diseases or disabilities can be inflated, relationships can be inflated and warnings can be inflated. David Henderson points out that the government puts out so many warnings, the warnings have become worse than useless. They have become dangerous:

In Carmel, California, a few miles from where I live, is Monastery Beach, sometimes referred to by the locals as “Mortuary Beach.” At that beach, the undertow is particularly severe. Many people have drowned there. I remember one time reading in the local paper that all the members of a visiting family had drowned.

Notice the word “visiting.” Almost all the people who drown there are tourists. Why is that relevant?

The locals tend to know about the undertow. Outsiders do not. On the beach, for well over 15 years, has been a big sign warning of the undertow. I think many tourists simply think the sign is typical government overstatement. They think the government is crying wolf. Then, even when the risk is real, they discount it heavily. And that causes some people to die.

If health activists cry that every food is unhealthy, people will start ignoring them and eating the worst food along with moderately unhealthy food. If disability advocates start labeling everything as a disability, people with real hardships will be marginalized and ignored. If the government makes too many rules, people will lose respect for the law and violate real crimes. When the government cries wolf, people die.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Economics, Goverment, Human Nature, Inflation. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to warning inflation

  1. Greg Perry says:

    Your statements in the last paragraph are extremely insightful.
    This is why there are no more 3-foot ladders for sale. Not enough room for all the warning labels…! :)
    Have you ever tried to read the label or instructions for a OTC med the past few years? The ONLY thing you ever really need is: Dosage, Just tell me how much to take so I don’t overdo it. But the instructions are now multi-paged, multi-lingual BOOKS of information with all kinds of warnings, notes, suggestions, in tiny, tiny print. The most important information for ANYbody – the dosage – is burried in all the noise. So what happens? Especially for elderly where it REALLY matters? They give up trying to find the dosage and just guess. This is just yet another example of the unintended consequences of government and legal intrusion. You were correct (as usual) – people DO die of an intrusive government.

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