It does not require a Machiavellian perspicacity to realize that many interventions are chiefly a means of placating certain parties whose support is considered necessary or whose attacks require neutralization. But it does require a certain sociological perspective to realize that the partners to such agreements are often well intentioned and deceive themselves as much as they do others. Indeed, the placation effect is probably an inherent feature of every intervention that is launched with the express purpose of alleviating a problem. For even in the absence of guarantees that the intervention will be successful, the plain fact of taking deliberate action tends to reassure the public, the agents, and the objects of the intervention (if any) that help is on the way. The facts of the case, however, might be quite the contrary.
KeywordsSocial Service Agency Deferred Compensation Poor Relief Unfair Trade Practice Defensive Expenditure
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