[Question] How to approach the dilemma between the law of unintended consequences and the consequences of nonaction?

my academic background/​training—undergraduate studying Art History and Philosophy

I have been pondered over the dilemma between the unintended consequences (or second order thinking) and the consequences of nonaction when policy researchers or policy makers usually use such argument to defend their stance on their political unwillingness to act upon certain social issues. These people tend to be in favor of a small government over a big one in the States. My initial response to this argument is a couple years ago was to ask, “What about the subsequent outcome of non-intervention?” It is true that one cannot remove or alter the unintended consequences in the interconnected web of causality to predict and prevent any series of chain effects; however, could we afford the consequences of political inaction in as a society or nation as a whole?

*this inquiry/​thought is by no means polished but a way for me to exercise my critical thinking

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