Monday, August 30, 2004


Jonah Goldberg asks:
What do fat people, and the Swift Boat Vets for Truth have in common? They are also the products of "iatrogenic government."

In medicine an iatrogenic condition or ailment is one that is caused by the physician, either deliberately or by accident. Give too much medicine, or the wrong kind, and the negative consequences are iatrogenic.

The late Sen. Pat Moynihan coined the phrase "iatrogenic government" to describe problems that were created by the intent to cure. What he had in mind was the tendency of the drug war to create more problems than it solves. But the same thing goes on all the time.
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