Bureaucracy and the Right Direction

Some people say that we are now living in a post-bureaucratic era. An example of this is the TED video uploaded in YouTube last February 18, 2010.

Perhaps, those who believe that bureaucracy was already outmoded in the face of vast changes in human civilization were predicting an event that will take place some time in the future. But as far as our experience is concerned, bureaucrats are still part of our daily reality. We see their inefficiency, and we are not pleased the way they serve the public, their bosses, their employers, us. It is, as if, public fund is their only concern. But of course they hide it behind altruistic goals.

In the 5th chapter of Ludwig von Mises’ book, “Bureaucracy”, he identified that growth in government spending is one among the five social and political implications of bureaucratization. Based on Mises’ analysis of bureaucracy in Europe, this reality played a significant role in the collapse of democratic institutions. If such trend will continue, sooner or later, representative democracy will not survive.

Reading “Bureaucracy” leads me to reflect on the existing controversy that our country is facing. We are now aware about the Supreme Court declaration that DAP is unconstitutional. However, the Executive branch of our government refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the decision of the Supreme Court. After several days of reading news articles, I observe that the arguments of the current administration to justify its action concerning DAP boil down into two: they did it “in good faith” and that the people benefited from it.

Paraphrasing Judges 9:16-20, if DAP is really done “in good faith”, let there be joy among those who masterminded and benefited from it. But if not, let there be “fire” among them and let this fire consume all those who benefit from it.

Concerning the economic benefits of DAP, I solicited the ideas of my fellow libertarians. One of them responded that he did not see any. For him, “DAP is a big fat pork barrel except that it is under the ‘discretion’ of the office of the President.” This is a general reply. I am still searching if libertarians are indeed unanimous in their opinion and I am also concern about the details how libertarians came up with their conclusion.

Returning to Mises’ book, besides growth of government spending, the remaining four implications include bureaucratic contempt for human laws, complacency, bureaucratization of the mind, and the supremacy of the tyrant’s will. You can read the entire article here.

It is my hope and prayer that the present crisis we are now facing as a nation will lead to a realization that the expanding size of the government, higher taxes, and higher public spending do not offer us the solution, but the cause of all our economic sufferings. Once we recognize this, I think we will also realize that the path to economic growth can only be achieved if we will decide as a people to reverse our current direction. Personally and economically , I see this as “the right direction”.

Reduce the Size of the Government

After watching a video about invitation for Filipinos to study, work, and migrate to New Zealand, I searched for articles to find the nation’s economic situation. Among seven articles, I found Maurice P. McTigue’s lecture very educational. The lecture was about the reduction of the size of government. I gleaned several lessons from the lecture, and reduced them into seven.

Read the article here.

More on Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty’s book first caught my attention last April 16, but it is only now that I decided to buy it. I made a list of reviews of this book, and the first book review I read was done by John Cassidy on March 31. The most recent review is made by George Reisman just today.  

As for the importance of the book, you will notice that even Austrian economists do not agree in their assessment. There are those who dismissed it as a product of a socialist mindset. At least one Austrian reviewer appreciates it as a model of genuine scholarship. Even at Amazon, there are reviewers who gave the book as high as five star ratings, and others with just one star.  And of course, those who admire Piketty find in the book a strong intellectual defense causing conservatives to panic.

Introducing “Eating an Elephant”

I begin with God’s revelation, not human speculation. I begin with Genesis, not Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) or John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936) or Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action (1949) or Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom (1961). This may bother economists, but so what? I do not expect economists to read an economic commentary on the Book of Genesis. – Gary North

 

Yesterday was the 116th Philippine Independence Day. It was also a day I think I returned home.

eating an elephant

What I mean by returning home is that by the grace of God, I think I already started a journey that I should have started few years back. Anyway, it doesn’t matter now whether I came home early or late; the important thing is I returned.

But this does not mean that I am now shielded either from turning left or right. Life is all a matter of grace.

And so I want to introduce my new blog – eating an elephant – and here are the first three articles I wrote:

Eating an Elephant

Follow What the Bible says, Not the Voices of the Skeptics

The Bible and the Study of Economics 

Returning to Sound Money

Dr. Thorsten Polleit, professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management identified in his talk at the Austrian Scholars Conference in 2009 that false monetary theory is “the most powerful, most destructive, and most vicious and subversive” enemy of capitalism. In order to escape the destructive influence of this theory, he called for the re-anchoring of fiat money to commodity money. As for him, this is the only way to end the financial fiasco, and restore health to world economy.
Read the article and watch the video here