Dec 142009

Once upon a time ecologists tried to explain the complexities of ecosystems in a similar fashion, while pointing to the dangers of trying to replace them with monocultures. Don Boudreaux explains it so well this time that I’m quoting and linking it here for future reference.

Our world is full of complexities that defy human engineering. Can Congress engineer winter snow away from Minnesota or summer hurricanes away from the Gulf Coast? Of course not, and any attempts Congress might make to do so would be seen immediately to be hubris of the highest and most hazardous sort.

Attempts to consciously re-design the health-care industry are equally hubristic and hazardous. That industry is one of billions of unique, often personal, relationships, each of which is part of countless long chains of efforts to transform raw materials and human effort into life-improving and life-saving drugs and treatments. Like weather, these long chains of human relationships weren’t designed by anyone. Like weather, they change and evolve. And like weather, their all-important details are beyond the comprehension of would-be re-designers. These long chains of human relationships cannot be undone and reassembled at will by politicians and ‘experts’ without risking enormous unintended catastrophe.

Want proof? Look no further than your own lament that the very ‘engineers’ – the members of Congress – who are now attempting to redesign the details of the health-care industry cannot as much as read and grasp all of the words on the bill that they’re debating.