Tag Archives: Bureaucracy

Get rid of the Department of Transportation

So last week we looked at why we should get rid of the Department of Agriculture, but it became clear that hellhole was going to take a bit more research to see just how bad it is, so that will have to wait until next week.
However that is hardly the only Department that needs to go to the chopping block (when I’m done with this series there will only be 5 departments left).

But this week let’s look at the disaster that is the Department of Transportation (I originally was going to do the Department of the Interior based on it being in the news so much, but I quickly saw that would take A LOT more research, so maybe next week)

Why is the federal government in charge of infrastructure? Yes I can see where a federal plan would have been originally required in making sure all the major cities connected to all the major cities and making sure the overall plan made sense. But we have that now. It’s no longer an issue of the headache of getting 50 states to agree to one plan. The plan is already in place. Why is the federal government still in charge?

I mean look at the most obvious example of government control of infrastructure: railroads. Amtrak consistently loses money, consistently has bad service, has no clear plan (for instance why is there an Amtrak station in Flagstaff but not in Phoenix…shouldn’t a state’s capital and the largest city in the state be an Amtrak stop…sixth largest city in the nation and all). And then of course there is that slight problem about Amtrak safety…granted it’s been a few years since the last major crash but that still has not wiped the old jokes about Amtrak from my mind. “Amtrak, where they don’t post the times of arrival, just the odds.” Or of course there was the time the Onion joked that terrorists demand that the US has a better train system because if they bombed it right now no one would believe it was an act of terrorism.

The Miralce that is Roads

And if they’re so incompetent at running what should be the most cost and time efficient form of travel we expect them to do a better job with the roads and bridges? Are you kidding? These are the people who wanted to build a bridge to nowhere (yeah and you would have to be a bleeding heart of a liberal to be a governor and defend that pathetic excuse for pork).  Just look at every high speed rail project out there right now…over budget and not going anywhere, whereas the private sector would love to build these things…but they can’t because the government keeps getting in the way.

How about this?

One, let’s have the government sell all of its shares in Amtrak. We might actually get a decent rail system. Which is actually what I’d like.

Two, I’ve said this before on numerous occasions, but we need national open shop rules. That will cut the costs of most of these operations by at least 50% if not more.

Three, turn all infrastructure repair over to the states (or more local governments).

Four, end the federal tax on gas, currently at 18.4 cents per gallon, but give at least 6 months before it ends so that states can enact laws so that they can collect that same amount (after all if they’re going to be paying for all the infrastructure, they have a right to collect the taxes that are supposed to pay for it).

What will happen? One, you’ll find money will be spent far more efficiently. Having Senators from Hawaii and House members from Vermont vote on infrastructure appropriations for Alaska makes no sense. They don’t know where the actual needs in the system are, they can’t possibly. The country is just too damn big, and no nationwide bureaucracy can either because every division will be arguing its problems are the most needed. But a state is small enough to know (except maybe California and Texas…but you can’t have everything). So instead of pork projects in places no one drives you’ll have the bridges and roads that need work worked on because the people making decisions probably have driven on them.

So more efficient, less waste, less pork and ideally less cost if you put in point 2 (hell the lack of a useless federal bureaucracy alone will save at least 10% off the top). But there’s another advantage…

What is that you say? Well a lot of the states won’t necessarily want to deal with all that sudden new bureaucracy…so what will they do…they’ll hire private companies to turn all the roads into toll roads and maintain their upkeep. Now some of you may have an aversion to that…but there is no reason to. As has been repeatedly shown when private companies take over the upkeep of freeways and highways by making them toll roads they do it for less, they reduce traffic and accidents, they reduce the time it takes to repair and improve roads at a fraction of the cost and you get higher quality roads. And they make a profit. Yes what a shock the government really doesn’t know how to do anything

USTransport-orgchart.jpg

A complicated chart for a whole lot of waste.

. And if you eventually start turning all freeways, highways and bridges into privately run toll roads…well the interesting thing is the states won’t need their 18.4 cent per gallon tax and they can either reduce tax (eventually) or shore up all those state budgets (which I want in the short run…right now I don’t really want the price of gas to drop as that would be better for the oil rich nations that support terrorism). (Oh and companies would have to make public bids for these roads so it’s simply who is willing to do it if for the cheapest amount…it’s a lot harder to bribe politicians for kickbacks when you’re judged only on a public bid and not protected by mountains of federal bureaucrats).

Then you have some of the smaller parts of the Department, like drug and alcohol compliance…again another thing that should never have been more than a state issue. Dear god kill this entire department.
All in all, the government should just send everything that has to do with infrastructure and transportation to the states and private companies. Remind me again…why do we need the department of Transportation?  Sure we’ll need to keep the FAA around (as the 80’s showed, having that as a private sector business where workers could strike would be a terrible idea, at least at present…get some private high speed rail in there as a viable option things might change), but other than that?  Whatever issues of transportation that the military needs can probably be handled by a small office out of the DOD.  There is no reason to keep this mess of a department around.  Privatize or give it to the states, doesn’t matter just so long as the federal department is killed. The only thing that you needed federal control of was setting up the initial planning (and that’s done) and maybe setting some minimum standards for military needs on main highways—nothing else.

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April Fools Day Post: In praise of the BUREAUCRAT

bureaucracybrazil
This April the First I thought we should give praise to that wonderful civil servant who thanklessly makes our lives better: The Bureaucrat.  The Bureaucrat is the most wonderful being in our government, a gift from God I am sure.  Effective, caring, beneficial and needed.  Never could any sane soul say that these are people who deserve to have their heads bashed in with a crowbar or that they ruin ever aspect our lives.   We need bureaucrats, and we need them in every aspect of our lives.  So I come not today to revile bureaucrats, but to praise them.

What would our lives be without the Bureaucrat?  It would certainly be far more expensive.  I mean it’s not like bureaucrats cost us billions upon billions of dollars in red tape.  No, because of bureaucracy every single aspect of our lives is almost certainly cheaper.  I mean can you imagine how much more expensive it would be if you did not have to seek permission from three different state agencies (at best) just to set up a small business.  How much more expensive would it be if you didn’t have to go back and forth from one government office to another, as you always get clear concise, non-contradictory answers from all the branches.  I can’t imagine how much more expensive things would be—they are so helpful giving concise directions/instruction and guiding you to the next step.

And without the bureaucrat, who would protect us.  I mean there are literally small children out there looking to sell lemonade without a business license, without filing the proper tax paperwork, without letting the health department inspect their kitchen, without filing with the labor board, and without making sure they are working in an area zoned for commerce. Without bureaucrats who would be there to fine these little wannabe anarchists and murderers.  I mean honestly can you think of anything more sociopathic and devoid of all ethics than a small child attempting to sell lemonade. Thank god we have bureaucrats to stop the madness and end the sociopathic behavior almost indicative of Nazism.  I mean think about it, if you were looking for how someone who would have been in the Gestapo during the Nazi regime and transplanted them into modern America, what would they be doing to still get their jollies off, hurting others without reason, gains glee from acting as inhuman as possible…they’d be selling lemonade without a permit.    And don’t get me started on those psychopaths who think that they don’t need a license to braid hair or teach yoga.  If it weren’t for bureaucrats what would we do in the face of such evil?

And let’s be honest, there is not a smarter bunch of people. One might worry that a job known for hiring felons; that you only need a high school diploma for and from which it is a labor of Hercules to fire for gross incompetence might attract the kind of people who would get fired from McDonald’s…but no there is no brighter group than the bureaucrat.  I mean who else could have been bright enough to hire so noble a patriot as Snowden, who had made it clear on several public internet sites that he had the intention of committing treason, to have full access to all of our secrets.  Only the bureaucrat my friends.  Only the kind of intelligence that would leave us mere mortals with a sense of dread and awe to behold it.  Faced next to the bureaucrat our minds pale in comparison.  Just look at their superior logic; that is beyond our feeble brains.  Only a bureaucrat has the prowess to understand that a city ordinance requiring you to cut down a tree and a county ordinance threatening you with a fine if you cut down said tree is perfectly fine.  Your petty mind may recoil at such things, but not the superior mind of the bureaucrat.  And this is why they are entitled to life-long jobs with little supervision, they are just better than us. Remember that the normal subtleties of life are beyond the masses comprehension

And speaking of them being better than us.  Do not forget that they are above suspicion.  And if the feeble minded dare question them then the feeble minded should be shamed and possibly fined.  These are the most honest people which is why so many are not required to pay taxes.

And let us not forget that they protect us in other ways.  For instance there are people with terminal diseases out there who think that just because they’re guaranteed to die long and painful deaths they have nothing to risk by taking experimental drugs that could cure them.  Silly people.  Were it not for bureaucrats these people with fatal diseases could take something that might kill them.

And have you ever seen a more honest group of people.  I mean when the hard-drives at the IRS all crashed at the same time, it was the noble bureaucrats at the IRS who told the American public that they were having technical problems.  They could have tried to hide it for months on end, but did they?  Did they?  I think we all know the answer when dealing with this group of moral pillars.

And there are things out there that could hurt you, like dating services and guns and travel clubs and pornography and buying coins…but thankfully through the brave efforts of bureaucrats in Operation Choke Point bureaucrats have done what they knew to be right and used pressure to tell banks to close bank accounts for people who have these kinds of business so they could not possibly do business.  Did bureaucrats wait for laws to be passed to give them the power to do these things? No.  Did they care that doing so was a major violation of the law?  Not in the least.  Why?  Because they care about you and they know far better than you what is good for you.  They alone know that you aren’t mature enough to handle guns…unlike our fast and furious friends to the South, who bureaucrats know are such wonderful people they need more guns.

Did I mention humble?  Oh what a humble bunch.  For people who know that not only is their word law, but that they are above the law.  But do they lord it over people by declaring that ugly fish are more important than people?  Do they act like they’re superiors by coming up with fake lists of patients seen while people die?  Do they treat Native Americans like children for over a century creating a culture of dependency?  Do they treat your time dismissively by spending hours looking at porn in the office?  Do they make you wait in endless lines, show no sympathy for your plight and reject paper for even the slightest flaw which common sense could clearly correct on the spot…I think we all know that answer of how these humble warriors are always looking out for us.

And let’s be honest we’re never safer than in the hands of the bureaucracy. I mean it’s not like there is actually a word for government employees looking to shoot up innocent people, I mean you’d have to go completely postal to believe that.

No, let us get down on our knees and thank our wonderful bureaucrats (really we have to, they’re cracking the whip right now) and dismiss those who say that more than term limits on politicians there needs to be term limits for bureaucrats, let us reject the foolish call for more oversight and harsher punishment for bureaucrats who break the law (as if such a thing would ever happen), let us perish the thought of hiring freeze and attrition, and certainly diminish the idea of firing them wholesale.  I mean it’s not like their unions paid politicians off to give them pensions so outrageous they will bankrupt every state, county and city in America given enough time.
bureaucracy
Let us remember that without bureaucrats Congress, the president, state legislatures, the attorney general, none of them could get done what they do without bureaucrats carrying out their every order.  Their noble work would never be accomplished without bureaucrats following and doing as they were told without question and with the patriotic zeal that never seeks to stop the free-market, or just human interaction— without them we would be nothing.

I dream of the day when all children desire and strive to be part of that holiest of holy groups – the BUREAUCRAT!

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Limit the Power of Bureaucracy

shackles

Shakespeare was wrong. It’s not lawyers, but bureaucrats that need to go first.

Often I hear the call from conservatives that we should impose term limits on Congress. This sounds nice but when you think about it, such actions have never been shown to lead to better legislation and only have resulted in having a higher percentage of idiots in bodies of parliament. I know it sounds nice but it just doesn’t want to work…now if you want to go back to having the Senate elected by state legislatures we might get better laws, but I don’t think most people are willing to admit that basic truth…so let’s get back to term limits. Term limits on elected officials will do nothing to actually improve anything…but what about term limits on federal and state employees.

Think about it.

Who is more dangerous? The idiot legislator who poorly words a bill about needing a business license? Or the worthless little fascist who thinks it is anywhere in the realm of civilized behavior to cite a child for having a lemonade stand on their lawn? (Hint one might need to be voted out of office, and one needs to be beat to death with a crowbar. Take a guess which is which.)

Who is more to blame? The Congressman who votes for a terrible addition to the tax code because it was tied to a bill that would ensure the military in a combat will get live bullets…or the IRS agent who takes a malicious glee in fining you because you could not deduce what the regulations they wrote above and beyond the law in Navajo code actually meant? (Hint: one can be forgiven for being in an impossible position, the other would be joining the S.S. if they were still hiring.)

Who should you worry about more? The politician who breaks their promise? Or the VA official who lets veterans die so they can get a bonus. (Dante would have to create a new level of hell just to deal with some of the shit we have seen go on the last few years from bureaucrats.)

Who ruins your life? The arrogant Senator who just is so vain he will do anything to get on TV, even going as far as arguing that we should arm ISIS? Or jackbooted thug who thinks it’s okay to call out a SWAT team on people who are selling raw milk? (Tough call, but John McCain is a particularly vile politician, far worse than most politicians ranking below most rodents, whereas I would go as far as to that 99% of all state and federal employees are scum.)

My point is that bureaucrats are far more dangerous than the people who write the laws. Because bureaucrats are the ones who write the regulations that determine how those laws will be enforced (that’s also something that needs to change, but we’ll get to that some other time) and the ones who enforce those laws and those regulations. No system in history has ever been constructed without the assumption that some competence and common sense will go into the enforcement…the problem is there is no way to encourage any of that in the system we currently have. You hire people for passing a basic civil servants entrance exam and they basically have a job for life. They can kill people intentionally or through incompetence (as the VA, ATF, and CDC have shown) and nobody loses a job. They can break law after law, violate basic Constitutional principles, and blackmail and intimidate citizens like this were a cheap Banana Republic and while in a just society there would be scores of bureaucrats swinging form gallows they know they’re all protected because their criminal boss plead the Fifth in front of Congress (oh and let’s not forget the destruction of evidence…)

These are people who have no incentive to justly enforce laws, to use common sense, or to even show the slightest bit of human decency. They have a job for life and pension after that. This has to stop. And the simplest way to do that is put term limits for all state and federal employees*. For all non-management staff the most you can serve in government is 15 years or two nonconsecutive terms of 10 years.   For management you need to receive a promotion at least once every 4 years or clearly you’re not good enough to keep.

big governmentFor the non-management staff this has several benefits. First every bureaucrat knows that there is no such job security…and they will be more concerned with making connections in the private sector than making the private sector’s existence a living nightmare. Second they will not act with impunity…the person you write up today could be conducting your interview tomorrow.   Third, you actually have to do your job well and in a way that will get compliments given to your boss about you that they can put on the letter of recommendation that you’ll need when you’re booted out of government service. Trust me, no little girls are going to be written up for a lemonade stand under this system…because no one would ever hire that sociopathic son of a bitch if they had that albatross hanging around their neck. You’d have just about the same job prospects as a child molester…and I don’t really see anything wrong with that (seriously, how mentally disturbed do you have to be to do that?)

As for management positions in government…the system I have set up that requires constant advancement…well there is no way faster to make sure there is a position open to get promoted into than being the whistle blower to point out that Ms. Lerner is breaking more laws than you thought a human being possibly could and oh, that’s right, I made sure to bring copies of all the email she sent me where she admits to breaking the law. The upper echelons of government will self-police with a ruthless efficiency that Congressional Oversight could never hope to match.

Now I’m sure someone will argue that the high turnover will result in far more open positions and low skill employees…this is true. This will result in Congress shrinking the responsibilities of these offices or just outsourcing their functions to the private sector just to make the pissed off voters go away. Win-win.

Now I will admit that this may cause the welfare rolls to swell slightly (as many government employees aren’t exactly qualified for private sector work) but I think the cost saving of them not getting in the way of my life may justify this.

Stop lifetime employment in government and actually get much better government.

*I am willing to exclude county and local government as these will be harder to fill, and jobs like police, district attorney’s office, and teacher you may not want to have high turnover as these are just functions of local government. Similarly I am willing to concede similar exemptions for the federal government for the Defense, State, and parts of the Justice Department (attorney’s and FBI), and anything in the Intelligence branch—these again are

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