Bureaucracy Part Two

June 1, 2006

It's really difficult to be objective about something one despises so much, but here goes. Why hate a bureaucrat or bureaucracy? Simply because they are so inefficient, self serving, wasteful, costly, and pervasive, if that's reason enough.. Let's examine the problems with one, and see how they are literally destroying the dollar we all measure our wealth by, and turning it into a laughing stock. This morning (Wednesday) on NPR, they were talking about the new Treasury Secretary, and how he, in the face of a declining dollar, might be able to help it. Got it? On national Public Radio, they said the dollar was declining. That's quite an admission, considering that everyone in the federal bureaucracy constantly lies about the microscopic amount of inflation we are supposedly having, which of course is a lie. How can a new Treasury Secretary help? According to NPR, to put it in plain words, he can propagandize it, lie about it, and sugar coat it. What else is there to do?

First of all, in a bureaucracy, there is no profit. A business becomes profitable when it has something people want to buy, can deliver it at a profit with low overhead, minimal advertising, fewest number of employees, good location and name, and the list can be long. A bureaucracy has no profit, and it constantly seeks to enlarge itself to take the place of a profit…if you can believe this. It has no cost controls, and all bureaucrats seek to enlarge their sphere of influence. How? By hiring new bureaucrats so they can self elevate themselves. It's almost like a multi-level marketing plan. If you sell Avon or some type of multi-level system, the more people you sign up, they are under you. With each sale they make, you get a small portion. Each bureaucrat acts like he is on a multi-level scheme. He tries to make him or her self important by hiring underlings, thereby raising their own level. The process never actually stops, and all bureaucracies continually enlarge themselves…at a huge, ever increasing cost of course. Bureaucracies operate not only with no profit, but a negative profit, thanks to continuously enlarging itself. A businessman who is successful, might try to open new branches or enlarge his store…for a profit. A bureaucrat does the same thing, only the more 'successful' he is, the more it costs.

Efficiency in a bureaucracy, is non-existent. The old joke about how many union members does it take to screw in a light bulb, (take a number) applies to bureaucracies as well, or more so. At least unions attempt to screen out incompetents, the unskilled, or inept. A bureaucrat, once hired, is set for life, as far as job security is concerned. People who join the federal government out of high school, will usually rise to the top of their individual heap by retirement, and all along the way, will have had high salaries, generous vacations, health care, plus other benefits, usually far in excess of the private sector. When a bureaucracy grows large enough, it will always split in two. Take the so called homeland defense or security operations, as an example. Now there are 15 separate and distinct huge bureaucracies concerned with 'security' or 'intelligence,' (sic) or shall we say invasion of privacy and utter stupidity, to be more succinct.

The larger the bureaucracy becomes, the more resistant it is to change. In a business, change is prompted by lack of profits, changing neighborhoods, changing taste of the buying public, or something which can affect profits. In a bureaucracy there is no profit, no shareholders, and no demands for profit and efficiency. So there isn't any. Nothing large is really efficient, be it in the corporate or governmental worlds, but at least corporations are attempting to make a profit. There are two main reasons for a corporation to exist, and they are (1) to raise money, and (2) to avoid liability. The supposed reasons for the existence of a bureaucracy are to do productive work for non-productive governments, which is a non-sequitur. There is no such thing as a government which contributes to a society, other than protection, as in a police force, or justice as in a court system. That is the only real reason for a government to exist. Protection and justice. The rest of governmental functions hinder productivity, profit, efficiency, and success. A simple glance at last week's detailed list of the various bureaucracies in the NIH, illustrates how they grow like Topsy.

Remember the Bol Weevil song? Like the Bol Weevils, bureaucracies grow and grow and grow. ("Next time I see the Bol Weevil, he got all of his family there"). Take any of them, such as the Department of Transportation, and tell me what on earth use it is. It transports nothing. It merely sets absurd rules and hinders transportation. Each state can make its own rules about the highways, speeds, access, traffic lights, railroads, airports, etc, without a Department of Transportation. In my small town of 14,000, the federal DOT has control over traffic lights on U.S. highways, and US 50 and US 550 run through my town. It drives the local planners nuts.

The Department of Education educates no one, and sets rules and guidelines which all public schools must follow or lose their grants. Can't individual school boards set rules and practices? Isn't schooling different in every town and income level? That department has tens of thousands of paper shuffling bureaucrats, messing in everyone's business and accomplishing nothing, other than harassing schools and debasing dollars.

Think about Washington D.C. where probably 95% of the population either are bureaucrats, or service them with phones, paper, machinery, computers, and office space. There perhaps has never in history been such an absurd, ridiculous city as Washington D.C. It is full of empty faces with fancy clothes. It is full of over-priced restaurants, homes, and stores. Virtually nothing in Washington D.C. is of any value to the rest of us. Washington D.C. has grown like the Bol Weevil family, and it continues to grow. Little towns like Falls Church and Vienna Virginia, when I was a kid were little crossroads with no one living in them other than a couple of farmers perhaps. Today, Washington D.C. has encompassed all the surrounding towns and it is one big mess of freeways, traffic, smog, and utter corruption. K Street is full of lobbyists who pay and lobby Congress to get their bills passed, all of which are generally unconstitutional. The city is rife with payoffs, graft, and crime. Other cities have industries, and perform admirable services to us all. Washington D.C. does nothing but spend declining dollars for stupid things, and usually so an elected official can get re-elected by 'bringing home the bacon.'

The news media cover Washington D.C incessantly, and not a single frown or smile is missed from a politician. Ask any hospital about how much it adds to a typical bill, to fill out the paperwork required by the D.C. Gang. Ask a railroader how much is costs his company to comply with absurd rules promulgated by the DOT, National Railway Administration, or the Surface Transportation Board. It makes one sick.

Is there any way to stop this recklessness and debasing of our currency? Will the IRS ever make its tax forms simple? Will government ever realize that what you tax declines, and what you subsidize, increases? In other words, will the bureaucracy ever stop sending your dollars to the wrong places, the wrong people, and for the wrong reasons? I don't know, but I do know this. "Freedom to Fascism" was shown as the Cannes Film Festival to wild, screaming applause, cheers, and foot stamping. Maybe this will change America. I can only hope so. Wouldn't it be great, if for the first time in history, a nation and its money, reversed course and stopped its decline? Can you imagine a nation which actually reduced its bureaucracy, stopped stupid spending, disbanded bureaucracies, backed its currency with precious metals, became absolutely neutral, and rose from the ashes like the Phoenix Bird? It has never happened before, but maybe there is a chance. In the mean time, protect yourself.

 

June 1, 2006

Don Stott has been a precious metals dealer since 1977, has written five books, hundreds of columns, and his web site is www.coloradogold.com

USA has the world’s largest holdings of gold: 8,134 - representing 77% of its Total Foreign Reserves.

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