Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Big Government Is So Smart, It's Stupid

Watching the senate on CSPAN today, I was struck (again) by the scope of government in America. It’s too damn big. It’s so big that I don’t think the average citizen really knows how it works. Really. I think I’m a relatively bright guy, at least curious enough to seek out answers to my questions, and I have a tough time understanding how the bureaucracy works. There must be more people out there that have the same confusion.

It seems as if the bureaucracy has become so intricate, with so many rules, that only those who are already a part of the bureaucracy, or who have the ability to focus entirely on learning the bureaucracy, are able to become part of that club. It seems too incestuous to me, and too filtered to be fair and open.

Most of us would agree that government would work better if it was smaller and had fewer responsibilities. Limiting career politicians would also help. So how do we do this? My ideal America is one where folks serve their state or their country as one would serve a prison sentence. One does one’s time, and then one gets out. One doesn’t stick around. Politicians have too many incentives to stick around. We need to give them incentives to leave. What might those be? Any ideas?

Is anyone else worried about this? It feels like a giant monster is growing in the sewers. We are distantly aware that it’s there, but few venture down to take a look at it. It’s growing… it’s becoming more powerful… it’s surrounded us, it’s underneath us, it’s spreading like kudzu, and it feels as if it would be illegal to cut it down.

2 Comments:

Blogger See Jay run said...

My paranoia grows day by day as does the monster. But there is nothing that can be done short of war, I'm afraid, because there aren't enough voices or action for the scaling back and limiting of government. All alternatives, upon inspection, turn out to be no alternative at all. Lefties like it, except when they aren't in absolute control - which turns out to be an ongoing problem because one can never have enough control - and righties have big bad government of their own. And with everyone screaming about the abuses of power, while everyone is also too confused to identify its source, or still too comfortable to notice, or too apathetic to care, slowly we are being eaten from the inside by the rot of an empty philosophy, now bearing its bitter fruit.

Of course, that's just my view. For a more upbeat one refer back to the lectures given by Horwitz and Davies. :-)

http://it.stlawu.edu/shor/Good/myths.htm

But for more bad news, which is good news for people who love bad news, see this

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5136

4:43 PM  
Blogger Jessica Spaulding said...

I agree to a point about limiting terms, but I'd want to know how long you think they should be. 4 years? 8? 20?

Part of the problem with getting rid of career politicians is the fact that the government is so big and complicated right now that it takes a bit of time to learn how things work and how to get things done. When was the last time junior politicians in national politics got much done?

Once we managed to get government simplified/more local then I think we could start significantly limiting career politicians.


On the other hand do we really want all the additional regulations involved in limiting politicians? Isn't that why we vote? (Those of us who do.) Maybe what we should be working on is giving the public more/better choices on election day.

8:24 PM  

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