Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Easter Bunny

In this famous Dilbert comic strip, the Pointy Haired Boss is telling the employees about this new policy at the company. They will pay the engineers $10 for every bug they find and fix in their software. Now, of course, you can understand the reasoning. They want to encourage and reward the employees for fixing problems. Unfortunately, it is not very well thought out, and as the employees realized, they can just create bugs intentionally, then fix them and earn the bonuses.

This is an example of Unintended Consequences.

A couple of months ago, I posted about UNICEF regarding international adoption and the unintended consequence of dooming children to never being adopted.

Now recently, the Kiev Post brought to our attention a new proposed program of the Ukrainian government that would pay money to families when they have children. I recently posted on the population loss that Ukraine has been experiencing. On the surface, like in that Dilbert cartoon, it seems like bonus money might be a good way to encourage families to have more children, and provide the means to support them. Dig a little deeper, however, and you realize that this is probably not a good idea. Kelly Baehr explains it better than I ever could. This kind of program can actually increase homelessness and the number of social orphans.

Well, a politician can never go wrong with his constituents if he hands out money like the Easter Bunny. But I do hope they can come up with a better solution than encouraging people to "write themselves a minivan".

1 comment:

Jennifer Hambrick said...

Alan, nice to meet you in the blog world =) Yes, my parents have a blog:, or you can click on the "my mom's blog" link in the sidebar of my blog.

My mom is a wealth of knowledge on international adoptions...mainly Ukraine. Not just knowledge either, but passion.

Our prayers go out to you during this adoption process. There is always hope!