The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Regulations Not The Problem: Complexity

Posted on | August 21, 2012 | 10 Comments

by Smitty

I disagree here:

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.

via Instapundit


10 Responses to “Regulations Not The Problem: Complexity”

  1. CPAguy
    August 21st, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    It is not the Federal Reserve that is the problem…it is helping to avoid economic catastrophe. It is not even a government agency.

    The problem is Congress.

  2. scarymatt
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    I would further specify that the problem with Congress is that it has delegated its authority so much.

    There’s simply a limit to what 50% plus one of several hundred people can agree to. Or even conceive of. But allow the work to be done across tens of thousands of people and it’s a whole new ballgame.

    How can anyone even know if he’s breaking a law anymore?

  3. JeffS
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    More accurately, the problem is that Congress delegated law making authority to bureaucrats, what’s called administrative law.

    Things devolved such that the Congresscritters pass a general law, and let the professional bureaucrats write the details.

    However, along the way, the bureaucrats found that they could build very comfortable empires to live in using those tools. That’s where some (but not all) of our bloat comes from.

    Congress needs to pull back that authority, and severely limit, if not outright prohibit, administrative law.

  4. smitty
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Hey, we can play the blame game all day.

  5. Tennwriter
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    In order to be ruthlessly anti bloat in gov’t you have to reverse the flow from individual responsibility to rules.

    There is a variety of goals, and one is ‘Crat Empire building,and another is Congresscritters striving to get their goals met while avoiding angering their constituents (pawning off the anger unto supposedly immune ‘crats). But one of these goals is the end of individual responsibility and the replacement with a Big Book of Rules for Every Situation.

  6. Finrod Felagund
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    The amusing thing is that FreeBSD makes Linux look bloated, and OpenBSD makes FreeBSD look bloated. All of them make Windoze look more bloated than Moby Dick, though.

  7. In Which (I Know, Huge Surprise!) I Disagree With Smitty | Daily Pundit
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    […] Know, Huge Surprise!) I Disagree With Smitty Posted on August 21, 2012 7:47 am by Bill Quick Regulations Not The Problem: Complexity : The Other McCain Which operating system has more systems deployed: Microsoft’s Win*, or the various Unix […]

  8. richard mcenroe
    August 21st, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    “I assert that there is nothing particularly deviant about civil servants.”

    There’s nothing particularly deviant about bulldozer drivers, either, until you put them to work at Bergen-Belsen.

  9. How is the Federal Bureaucracy Like Windows? | hogewash
    August 21st, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    […] is the Federal Bureaucracy Like Windows? Posted on 21 August, 2012 by wjjhoge Smitty takes a look at that question when he considers how the government grew to reach critical morass. […]

  10. horn
    August 22nd, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    It’s fine to not like the Fed, BB, AG or whomever, but the way you described it is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read on a conservative website. And we say a lot of dumb things not just Mr Idiot Akin.