I’ve talked a lot about desired outcomes and the necessity to make them clear. Sometimes that desired outcome hides effects behind it that are not only unexpected but unwanted, as well.
The Spanish exploration and conquest of the New World (Southern Hemisphere) is a case worth study. What was the desired outcome? To discover wealth, gold silver and precious gems and they succeeded beyond the monarchy’s wildest dreams. The amount of gold plundered from the Incas and Aztecs was staggering. It created wealth and new wealth families in Spain.
So Spain succeeded in their desired outcome. The human misery caused in Central and South America is known and documented as well as the destruction of complete cultures. What is not well known is the ultimate damage to the whole European continent.
The European currencies were gold, silver and copper based. The conquistadors brought so much gold, silver and gems from the New World that they caused a rapid currency inflation that took many decades to subside. The damage this inflation caused in Europe was profound and it was totally unexpected.
Imagine being a peasant or low level farmer. Seed cost more, bread cost more and starvation was that much closer; all of this because the desired outcome was massive metal wealth.
Outcomes are easy to state if you take the time. The moral to the above story is: think through your desired outcome and make sure it doesn’t rebound against you.