Unintended consequences

Unintended consequences !!

Are Politicians and policy makers stupid?

That was the headline of one of the blogs recently on Linkedin. Your guess is as good as mine!!. Set me thinking.

The recent decision of the Govt in Karnataka to offer freebies like free bus rides for women, free electricity up to 200 units, Rs 3000 free for unemployed youth etc. Where did they get the money from ? It came from reduction in budgetary allocations from 13% to 40% in schemes like PM KISAN , Water resources & rural development all impacting farmers, who was their major vote bank.

Some #unintendedconsequences followed-

1.      Private bus services impacted by revenue decline, so increase in fares for the others. Eg- BLR-Mangalore bus fare during the long weekend soared to Rs 3000/- against a normal 500-800.

2.      Power bills for others consuming more than 200m units increased 15 to 20% per month. Some of my NRI friends who have moved back to India after retirement are also claiming this benefit .While Household savings hugely impacted for many, the benefit is being mis-used by a few.

3.      Property guidance value revised to bolster govt revenue, so prices went up. Dreams of many people to own a home moves farther away.

4.      Govt contemplating increasing liquor outlets to prop up revenues. Creating more alcoholics in society, women are protesting in villages.

As we know, in #systemsthinking, “an unintended consequence may become entrenched as part of a solution”.

1.If goals or indicators of satisfaction are defined inaccurately, the system will produce an unintended result.

2.Donella Meadows in her book, “Thinking in Systems” rightly opines “ Don’t confuse effort with the result. Set goals that reflect the welfare of the system”.

3.Half baked solutions without understanding or getting a proper  insight into complex social systems makes the unintended consequences of our actions particularly tangible.

4.Today’s Problems are yesterday’s Solutions !!.

5. An interactive and collaborative approach involving various stake holders would have yielded more positive outcomes than now.

 Did the law makers not know what would follow? Was the only goal to win elections? Could the goal have been different? Could the party in power have looked at not just vote banks but could have made a positive difference to majority of the people AND still won elections.

Now you know who was stupid.

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