Or, what do you mean “we”? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?
Looking at the (long term) consequences of an act is an important part of individual decision making. This is so obvious that we are led to believe that such consequentialism is possible for society as a whole. Political consequentialism can take two forms. In its first incarnation, it is assumed that society is a collective effort toward shared goals. This view regards society, and as a consequence “the economy,” as one organism. A good example of this mindset is displayed by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when he says, “Our whole economy you could think of as the human body and the credit markets as the circulatory system.” Presumably, any measures that are made to restore circulation will benefit us all.
. . .
In its second incarnation, different interests and values among individuals are acknowledged but it is believed that policies can be designed to optimize a “social welfare function.” This position is a non-starter on epistemological grounds, as evidenced in real life by the lack of consensus among its advocates. This should not be surprising because consequentialism is not possible without guesswork and making personal value judgments. As the political philosopher Anthony de Jasay has argued, at some point someone needs to make decisions that will be binding for all, and consequentialism will ultimately collapse into authoritarianism, plain and simple. Nevertheless, this view has obvious appeal to people who advocate government intervention and redistribution of incomes.
That brings to mind Milton Friedman’s opening to Capitalism and Freedom:
President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” . . . Neither half of that statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society.
(HT Cafe Hayek)