In their 2005 book, ‘Freakonomics’, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, highlighted several major unintended consequences when changes in one aspect of life impacted on others.
One example, that has been much debated since, is the correlation of the change in abortion laws and the dramatic fall in crime rates two decades later. I was shocked to read that once restrictions were lifted across the USA (in 1973), the number of abortions each year rose to 1.5million, compared with 4million live births. Then, twenty years later, between 1991-2001, crime rates fell by 30%. An uncomfortable coincidence or evidence that allowing millions of unwanted pregnancies, particularly in the poorest communities, led to this significant change in society?
I’ve been thinking about this theory as we’ve moved into the ‘Covid Managed Period’ as I’ve styled the current times, (normal is still some way off I feel). I wonder how many things will have changed in 10-20 years as a consequence of the pandemic that are not so obvious now? I suggest some might be significant.
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