When people debate changing the status quo and trying something new, it often seems to me that whatever flaws the current method has, the one they’ve known for a while, are likely to be forgotten or dismissed and flaws of the suggested changed are noted critically, making it sound as if the new method is inferior because the old one is flawless in their mind.
To give some examples - when people discuss whether we should move to more nuclear power to replace coal, the discussion seems to end up with “Well, nuclear power creates nuclear waste, and that’s a logistical problem to deal with, therefore let’s not do it”… the discussion seem to never account for the pollution and waste that coal power generates, even though it’s a vastly bigger problem - because it’s how we’ve always done things and it doesn’t seem to count. So we’re not comparing the harm of dealing with coal waste vs nuclear waste - we’re just saying “nuclear waste introduces a new flaw, and therefore we shouldn’t do it”
Or even another argument within the nuclear debate - whether we should move the nuclear waste from now and in the future to a repository site like Yucca mountain. People seem opposed to having a centralized site like this in part simply because it would mean acknowledging that we were going to actually dealing with the waste and have a plan for it. As if they could somehow wish the waste away by not allowing it to be stored somewhere. But they ignore the current situation where it already exists and is stored in much less safe ways across the country.
Another example would be some aspects of the current healthcare debate. “But there would be rationing if the government took over, therefore we shouldn’t do it” is a popular idea. But the reality is that the status quo already features rationing - there’s only so much medical care to go around, and it’s rationed by price and time availability now, along with the insurance companies attempting to deny any treatment they think they can get away with. The rationing in the status quo is mentally dismissed and only the rationing of the proposed solution is accounted for.
And so if you forgive the status quo for its current flaws, but at the same time give full weight to the flaws of any change, it appears that changing is the inferior option when it may have relatively fewer flaws in reality.
This isn’t the nirvana fallacy, where people think it’s not worth doing something unless the solution is perfect, although it may be related. It’s more of a cognitive bias that automatically favors what the person is used to. Is there a term for it?