A solid case could be made that the most powerful natural law in the universe is the “law of unintended consequences.” It’s definitely the dominant force when it comes to public policy.
For example, in 2007 Congress created the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was designed to encourage young workers to seek government and nonprofit jobs that pay far less than what they’d get in the private sector. The program forgives the remaining balance on direct loans after a borrower has made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time (30 hours per week) for the government or a non-profit. The payments are capped at 10 percent of discretionary income, defined as a borrower’s adjusted gross income minus 150 percent the federal poverty level. Any balance remaining after the 120 payments is forgiven, tax-free.
The intention was to encourage people to become schoolteachers or social workers. But there’s another group that found a way to take advantage of this subsidy: doctors.