Another large impediment to making progress when attempting to reason with progressives is that their world lacks the reality of diminishing returns that accrue when any enterprise is taken past its optimum operating point, let alone being taken to an extreme. Most certainly the concept is no longer taught in schools as a short conversation with the public educated teenager of your choice will reveal.
This seminal truth about the liberal mind again displayed itself in recent debates on these pages that concern the looming fiscal cliff and bringing socialized healthcare to America. Preceding these issues has been the already decades long imperative to make our country insanely safe and risk free. Consumer advocacy groups, manned almost wholly by leftists, scream bloody murder when the next kid is injured, sickened, or killed on a playground or from his (usually) unusual use of a plaything.
Simple back of the envelope calculations (an inaccessible feat in this land) will quickly show that the rate or probability of occurrence of almost all such incidents is vanishingly small, but that makes no nevermind to the liberal brain. The clinching argument for overreaction is – ‘But what if s/he were your child?’ When presented as response, that clinching question is sure to draw a bevy of self-satisfied nods from a chorus of the like-minded. To liberal minds it appears that social policies are immune to the law of diminishing returns.