"In government papers it's considered that everybody should have more self-esteem... It's thought to the the answer to crime, abuse aggression, risk-taking and almost every problem..."' From all the studies, however, there is no good evidence to show that low self-esteem causes anti-social behaviour. Quite the reverse: people who rate themselves highly are the ones most prone to do violence and most likely to take risks, believe themselves invulnerable. John Naish (quoting Nicholas Emler) in Enough: breaking free from the world of more
In society, as in our economy and the environment, things are just too complex for any single organization to understand. As well, causal relationships change dramatically over time, as does our knowledge and expertise. No single policy approach can work. And when government is so big that it forms a policy monoculture, the consequences of getting it wrong can be disastrous. It's far better to target universally-desired outcomes, rather than the means that government at some stage thought was the best way of achieving them.