Posted on | August 21, 2012 | 10 Comments
How government became a deviant subculture is a story of good intentions gone awry. We tried to avoid government abuse by replacing individual responsibility with detailed rules and objective legal proceedings. Never again would officials play favorites or indulge personal prejudices. Government would be an efficient assembly line.
I assert that there is nothing particularly deviant about civil servants. Indeed, on an individual level, my experience has been that people who are risk-averse enjoy the tenure-like comfort of a public-sector job, swapping some gross pay for benefits. Our descent into Orwellian hell has not been about trading responsibility for rules. Rather, it is that, given time, budget, staff, and word processors, our government has reached critical morass.
Which operating system has more systems deployed: Microsoft’s Win*, or the various Unix flavors (with Apple’s line standing far closer to Unix)? Linux, in particular, is wrecking all non-desktop comers (supercomputers, routers, servers) because Linus Torvalds is ruthlessly anti-bloat. The U.S. Code is far more like Windows, with its tendency to add more layers of noise atop the existing crap, without insufficient trimming of legacy crap.
And why is this? Howard’s article misses the crucial point: $
The collapse of everything into DC has been driven by the fact that DC is where the loot is. There will be no significant reform of any sort until there is (a) a come-to-Beavis meeting on the Federal Reserve, and its role as the chief cancer of the world, and (b) a commitment to de-scoping Leviathan.
We’ll get there, by hook or by crook. Stein’s Law seems thoroughly played out.
Update: What’s up with Bill Quick? In the first place, Ubuntu is a full distribution; kernel, Debian apt package manager, X11 windowing environment, desktop, and sundry apps. Linus Torvalds controls the Linux kernel. To say that Linux is Ubuntu is to say Congress is the United States.
the whole move to DC is not driven by the fact that DC is where the money is. That puts the cart before the horse. The reason that DC is where the money is, is DC’s ability to steal money collect nationwide taxes and regulatory fees, as well as do unlimited borrowing (states and municipalities have to actually balance budgets, sort of) which lets it siphon floods of money from locales and regions to Rome on the Potomac.
I really don’t see the importance of the cart/horse distinction here. I’ll give you coroutines. How ’bout that? However you’re slicing it, it had better end up in major reform and decentralization.