The Force of Habit

Occasionally, we hear politicians telling us that they will make the government more efficient, more responsive – even smaller.

Sorry folks, none of that is in the cards. The reason is simple, and has been known to the civilized world since Aristotle: it’s called “habits.”

We all have them, and those of the federal bureaucracy are unique.

And they’re all bad.

Once upon a time, federal government “workers” might well have fancied themselves to be well-intentioned public servants.

Well, those days are over.

Today’s bureaucrats have been habituated by the Congress, by presidents, by the courts, and by government unions to consider themselves both significantly superior and uniquely empowered.

As one of them put it over 30 years ago, “these guys think that, when you get a government job, your IQ goes up by 20 points.”

Bureaucrats tell us that they are only doing what they’re told, carrying out federal government policy.

Really? OK, let’s take them at their word: after all, government policy today has at its core only contempt for the taxpayer and hatred of the free citizen.

But wait – are the bureaucrats willing accomplices? Perhaps they’re “just following orders.”

And maybe  our bureaucrats consider themselves “the best and the brightest” – let’s grant them that. But never forget that in 1933, Germany was the best-educated country in the world

What’s So Special About a Bureaucrat?

There are several habits unique to government bureaucrats.

The bureaucrat enjoys hounding others, but he watches his own back with care.

Which means, first and foremost, that the bureaucrat never makes a decision. If it is the right decision, someone else takes the credit. If it is the wrong decision, he must bear the blame.

The solution? Write a memo. Then, hector the citizen.

After all, it’s more fun thank kicking your dog.

He might bite.

How many trees have died, how many hard disks have been wiped, because of this bureaucratic rule of non-responsibility?

Then there is the mutual job preservation society, which guarantees that virtually all workers in the bureaucracy get superlative performance reviews.

Accountability disappears, but pathological behaviors thrive in the federal hive as it inflicts its version of Mao’s “death by 1000 cuts” on the average citizen.


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