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”.