There are, and have been, many political philosophers who have said that government intervention leads to ever-increasing intervention and eventually to tyranny. Others have pointed to the “pretence of knowledge”, the impossibility of anyone or any group of people, having enough information to be able to make the right decisions about resource allocation, in other words, managing the economy.

Still others have pointed to the “unintended consequences” of much political action. Herbert Spencer was one such: his ironic wit, combined with well supported facts, led the reader inevitably to the conclusion that the unintended consequences of much well-intended legislation were in fact only unforeseen because politicians were such ignorant twits who had failed to study even the recent history of legislation and government intervention.

What is described below sounds wonderful and a perfect example of government benevolence in action: the initial restriction, the reduced demand due to a vigorous energy-saving campaign that targeted Japanese people’s sense of solidarity, and the resulting surplus of power supply.

While this particular series of actions seems to have borne fruit, there remains the matter of the principle of government intervention in private business and the use of force or threats to enforce its intervention.

So that now a headline like the above, where the government permits industry to do this or that, does not cause any raised eyebrows.

The government on Tuesday announced it will move forward the lifting of its mandatory curb on electricity consumption for large-lot electricity users that has been in place since July 1.

The removal of the restriction will be brought forward from Sept. 22 to Friday in areas devastated by the March 11 disaster, and those in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures that were hit with torrential rain in late July.

These areas are covered by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co.

via Govt to allow industry to power up : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).