Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tyrannum Bureaucratis

When Congress has a thorny problem, they inevitably "solve" the problem by creating a layer of bureaucracy between the problem and any effective treatment of it. Witness the following thorny problems and the operational sludge through which Congress insists the thorns be raked:

  • Law Enforcement

    The amount of paperwork a law enforcement official has to do to wipe his nose makes it a wonder they aren't constantly cited themselves for poor hygiene.

  • Immigration

    Immigration law as currently practiced forces Border Patrol and other immigration official to hop over a series of legal hurdles before a single illegal immigrant can be deported. Court precedent has begun to apply laws and decisions intended for American citizens to apply to the citizens of foreign powers. There is little doubt this trend will continue.

    As Hugh Hewitt points out, the current immigration bill relies on the slow workings of government being unable to butter toast in a single day, so that any immigrant who applies for a Z-visa and not red flagged in a day becomes untouchable by law enforcement. The rules of evidence being what they are, thre will be no way for law enforcement officials to interdict criminals who happen to be Mexican citizens without having their cases subsequently thrwon out on technicalities.

  • Education

    While conservatives and liberals alike have wanted for years to disassemble and disband the Federal Department of Education, it keeps on growing, issuing edicts and providing a safe breeding grounds for programs which do no good for students but do keep bureaucrats employed. The DoEd is small enough when compared to other Federal departments that axing it doesn't seem like it would save much money, relatively speaking. But it would help immensely in the education of children across the nation not to have rules set in Washington D.C. made to apply in Springfield, Butte, and Oahu. The rules, goals, procedures and the structure of the system are designed to thwart any change that will attack the real enemy of education, which is bureaucracy.

  • Health Care

    The "crisis" in health care is a crisis of health care paperwork. Doctors need higher fees to pay for insurance; patients need insurance to cover the higher fees; and all of them spend more time doing the paperwork of health care than the actual care. They are fools who want the government to take over the health care business, or even the health care insurance business, or even the business of ensuring that everyone has insurance.

  • War

    From poor supply and logistical lines to convoluted command and control, when it comes to war, bureaucracy kills. Commanders can't make decisions without approval from higher ups, and troops can't engage the enemy without applying a series of tests to determine how it will look on the news.

    The inevitable creep of bureacracy will inexorably pursue and eventually overtake any military organization. That will lead to defeat in some future war, unless that bureaucracy can be actively and consistently reformed with policies focused on getting rid of anything that doesn't help fight.
Bureaucracy can act as a buffer against tyrannical rulers, thwarting their attempts to exercise their will. In doing so, however, it stymies the tyrant's wise moves as well as his unwise; the beneficial along with the harmful. Bureaucrats likewise exercise their functions and carry out their procedures regardless of whether those operations are on balance good or bad.

But the lefties have it wrong: when their revolution comes, the only winner will be the pasty little man in his office on the seventh floor, who will gladly but impatiently explain to them exactly what their revolution allows them to do. If they fill out the correct forms, and have their request signed by proper authority.

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