Friday, May 29, 2015

Do we have enough competent people to staff our bureaucracies? (part ii)

The answer based upon experience is no.  Whether you are dealing with health insurance, Social Security, environmental regulations, taxation, airport security, veterans' benefits, banks, or utilities, you find that nine of ten bureaucrats are paid to say no, most are reluctant to tell you who is paid to say yes, and many have no business serving the public.

Could we find an adequate workforce to staff all our bureaucracies?  No.  The regulatory state on all levels has made it virtually impossible for more than a few people to understand the technicalities of many regulated activities, and there will always be a shortage of public servants and customer-service personnel capable of explaining technicalities to the demos.  The American people will never pay to train and maintain such a force, and political correctness and cronyism will continue to poison bureaucracies public and private for the foreseeable future.

The incompetence of bureaucracy to govern in place of understandable and accessible laws is not merely a "conservative" issue, but it goes to the heart of the progressive promise of good government as Philip K. Howard discusses in:

Fixing Broken Government: Put Humans in Charge and
The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government.

Philip Hamburger takes the challenge further: Is Administrative Law Unlawful?  The book is reviewed here in the WSJ.