We all work under unseen laws. We’ve heard for a long time about the Law of Attraction. This was strongly emphasized in the best-selling book “The Secret”. All kinds of classes and workshops were built around the Law of Attraction. There were outrageous claims and lots of money was made selling prosperity and the Law of Attraction.
I never hear anyone speaking much about another law, the Law of Unintended Consequences. How about some workshops around this law? Probably no money to be made but they could help. Here’s a case in point in California. Several years ago Proposition 2-to eliminate caged chickens- was passed. Sounded great and the voters thought why not. Let’s vote for it and get chickens out of those awful cages and on to the pecking floors of barns and barnyards. Hence, we now have happier chickens–or will have on January 1st when the law goes into affect. Admittedly, the cages were cruel and changes needed to be made. Using industrial farming, such as caged chickens, allowed America to provide inexpensive foods to her citizens. Americans overall, are completely separated from how their foods are produced. Basically, it comes in a package in Trader Joe’s. Granted farmer’s markets help but they are expensive and cannot produce enough for Americans.
Hence, the law of unintended consequences. We now have happier chickens, good show! However, they are estimating egg prices will go through the roof. Many egg farmers are getting out of the business and those who stay, have had to cut their flock in half to accommodate larger spaces for the chickens. Other states that provide eggs to California will have to comply with the same law in order do business in California. This will most likely become a nationwide movement. It is not impossible that we could see ourselves importing our eggs.
I was at Nickels Diner in Los Angles this weekend. This is a tops, don’t miss place to eat. It’s on the list of the Best 100 Drive-Ins and Diners in America. Anyway, the owners (two women) were talking to me about how they expected their egg pricing to almost double soon. Many restaurants, especially breakfast and bakeries establishments, are stressed over how they will handle the added costs and pass them on to their customers. In the next breath they mention that the simple egg was one of the cheapest foods for the poor. It delivers protein and amino acids and has always been something the poor could afford when they couldn’t buy other more expensive proteins. Good question!
They went on to say that so many of these propositions sound so good but are so poorly thought through. Who would think that Proposition 2 for enhancing the life of the chicken would, perhaps, take away from the poor an inexpensive form of protein.
What my takeaway from this is the standard Law of Unintended Consequences. So many of our decisions are made without enough thinking, especially long-term thinking. We made decisions for the short term not the long term. In our own personal lives, when we are making important decisions, think deeply about the potential for unintended consequences. Some of these consequences are painful and long-term. Think and then think again. We do not get to eat just one slice of the bread, we will eat the whole loaf.