The Other McCain

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

Homo Bureaucratus Is The Problem

Posted on | June 27, 2014 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.–Lord Acton

Over time, even petty amounts of power bring out the Nixon in all of us. Via Instapundit, Mark Fiztgibbons writes:

In America’s first 100 years, federal officials could be sued in state courts for acting beyond their authority. In his book Creating the Administrative Constitution, Yale law professor Jerry Mashaw chronicles how this helped temper bad behavior.

Law professor Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit is among those who believe that government officials need more civil and criminal liability for their bad acts. There are some private remedies on the books, but they are too weak to be effective.

Liability is not nothing, but I think it’s peripheral to the issue of concentrating power. Power makes cocaine look like talcum. Witness Cochran’s cheerful apparent flouting of the rules in the Mississippi GOP senatorial runoff. Likely not a surfeit of altruism in his case.

There still is no work-around for the need to have offices, and for officials to occupy them. However, in our Information Age, there isn’t any excuse for the rules being other than simple, understandable, and open to all. Furthermore, the kind of ball-hogging we see with career bureaucrats is clearly a 20th century holdover. Thus, other than the military, I submit that about a 10 year cap on all civil service positions would make sense. Keep the job simple, let people do the job, and let them get out of the way for someone else.

Let’s term-limit the corruption in our government down to an absolute minimum, say I. Homo bureaucratus is not the solution.


20 Responses to “Homo Bureaucratus Is The Problem”

  1. texlovera
    June 27th, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

    Drew M. put up a similar post today over at Ace’s:

    It is LONG, LONG past time to reign in these leeches….

  2. ThePaganTemple
    June 27th, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

    Mandatory ten year retirement would be a great idea, but the only way it would ever come about would require a very generous retirement package. It would be worth it.

  3. smitty
    June 27th, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    As far as the existing bureaucracy goes? There would have to be a plan to taper it off.

  4. MNHawk
    June 27th, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    Outlaw government unions.

    Social security with the rest of us. Possibly adding a retirement plan like the private sector, 4% matching, something along those lines. No more Rule of 90.

  5. smitty
    June 27th, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
  6. Rorschach256
    June 27th, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

    If you ask me the solution is to eliminate the sovereign immunity of bureaucrats from personal civil liability. allow them to be personally liable for their actions and bar the federal government from paying to defend them. If their actions lead to say a Vet dying of colon cancer while waiting 4 years for a colonoscopy, then they should be liable for the wrongful death.

  7. Rorschach256
    June 27th, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

    I just read DrewM’s post (for some reason the link didn’t work for me and I had to go searching for it.) and I am in 100% agreement with him.

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  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    June 27th, 2014 @ 1:40 pm This is a rumor that is worth spreading…in Spanish!

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  11. texlovera
    June 27th, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    DO’H!! Thanks for fixing my blunderlink…

  12. texlovera
    June 27th, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

    Evi L. Bloggerlady has lived up to her handle… 🙂

  13. WarEagle82
    June 27th, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

    Term limits on politicians could well leave the permanent bureaucracy in charge in Washington, DC and that would not be an improvement.

    Who says you have a life-time right to a job with the federal government?

    Make them liable for their mistakes and nobody would be willing to man the ramparts of progressive collectivism.

  14. cmdr358
    June 27th, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

    She eats them after Dingy Harry Reid allegedly…well, you know.

  15. John Boner is lame
    June 28th, 2014 @ 12:14 am

    “I submit that about a 10 year cap on all civil service positions would make sense”

    Wouldn’t solve the problem because the people in year 8 would still dictate the culture and it would self perpetuate. The problem isn’t life time employment it is public sector unions that create the incentives for criminal behavior because it isn’t/can’t be punished. But I like the idea of someone suing a bureaucrat personally for obviously abusing their position and them being subject to the results. The taxpayer should pay for bad actors, bad actors should. I think that if a bureaucrat’s personal property was available for seizure for their acts, there would be almost no abuse in less than 3 years after the first public sector union crony was bankrupted by a lawsuit and was unemployable after that. Prove me wrong

  16. Kirby McCain
    June 28th, 2014 @ 12:41 am

    And just as soon as there was a change in the White House that plan would be toast.

  17. Bob Belvedere
    June 28th, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    The ten year cap would also be a detriment in some cases.

    One person I work with has been in our Office for thirty-five years, another and myself have been there nearly thirty. And it is our Institutional Memory that has been able to prevent the newbies [especially the relatively new Boss] from implementing many a ‘progressive’ change.

    The key is to not allow the Bureaucratic Virus to infect you. We three have pretty much avoided it.

  18. Bob Belvedere
    June 28th, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

    Smitty wrote: Homo bureaucratus is not the solution.

    Why do you hate Homo’s?

  19. K-Bob
    June 28th, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

    …to say nothing of the lowly bureau.

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