Why Are We The Ones That Always Have to Prove It?


March 31, 2016 3:13PM

I was arguing about fracking with a left-leaning friend of mine this past weekend, and he said something that really stuck with me. He stated, “We should not allow any fracking until we can prove it to be 100% safe.” I thought about this for awhile and realized how often people on the Left use that argument, that we must somehow prove a policy works 100% of the time before we can even consider enacting it. While in some ways I understand the thought behind this, it is completely disingenuous and hypocritical of anyone who stands behind many of our current policies to say such a thing.

For this example, let’s say I am a failing bar owner who is losing thousands of dollars each month and delivering a poor quality product. Because my business is failing, John Taffer from the hit show Bar Rescue comes in and tells me that the only way to fix the problem is by changing the menu and firing some of my less productive employees. What would you expect me to say? Anyone with half of a brain would think I was out of my mind if I said, “I know my business is failing, but unless you can prove to me with 100% certainty that this will make me money, I am not interested in changing anything.” Yet this is the exact mindset that many on the Left (and some on the Right) have. It is easy to prove that their programs are not working by looking at any number of statistics or spreadsheets, yet they are not open to new ideas that could improve these programs without complete and total certainty of their success. The kicker to this being that it is impossible to prove with total certainty that any policy idea will work by the standards they expect.

Let’s tackle a real world example. We hear all the time from the anti-school choice crowd that we can’t enact any type of school choice because it hasn’t been proven to work. Forget the fact that many Tennessee schools are failing our children. Forget the fact that 11 out of 12 studies show better academic results for students who use school choice programs. The fact is that on policy after policy, people who believe in the government are so blinded by their belief that they think failing programs will somehow become efficient and effective if we just spend more money, so much so that they are not open to any alternative ideas.

The slogan for the status quo crowd should be, “If it is broke, don’t fix it.” Why don’t these people have to prove that big business handouts are actually good for the economy, or that Obamacare is an effective form of healthcare, or that the Post Office and DMV are efficient and customer-friendly? Ultimately, they would not be able to prove any of these things. From now on, I think the Left should have to prove why we should keep a government program the way it is, not the other way around.