This discussion is related to the time inconsistency of optimal policy, which occurs when the government cannot implement an optimal tax policy because the stated policy is inconsistent with the government's incentives over time. Consider a proposal made by the government of Colombia in 2002.
The balance of trade in misery is hard to measure. The United States is importing inordinate suffering with the increasing numbers of victims fleeing Central American violence. More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have recently entered the U.S. and sparked the latest immigration crisis.