Category Archives: Bureaucracy

An Exile in Trumplandia Discovers Twitter

I have been fairly adept avoiding social media so far. Over a decade ago I experimented with Facebook for a very short while, soon deciding that Facebook simply took up too much time. When we joined a house church in the early part of this decade I revived my Facebook account in order to read and respond on the house church’s private Facebook page. We no longer attend the house church and now my Facebook page sits dormant. Because of… Continue Reading ››

A Real-Life Story of Bureaucratic Dysfunction

If you want to read a classic insider narrative of the degeneration and dysfunction of a large and powerful (and unlimited) federal bureaucracy, read here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443227/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-tragic-failures.  The article chronicles the work of one highly placed lawyer in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  before it was slapped hard by the Federal courts. I have frequently written about what can and does occur when Constitutional limits are ignored.  This is all too frequent, given the propensity of Congress to simply give up its… Continue Reading ››

Bureaucracy and the New President

I was reading an interesting article in Reason today that directly addressed one of the major issues I have raised before and frequently alluded to (see http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/19/trump-versus-the-we-bes, December 20, 2016).  It has to do with the theme of “Trump versus the bureaucracy.”  One could substitute any president’s name in that slogan since the 1930s at least.  This is the crucial question: How does a president or his cabinet or his political appointees actually control the huge Federal agencies and make… Continue Reading ››

The Pernicious Income Inequality of Federal Employees

In an article from CNS News dated December 16, 2016, we have the new but predictable Census Bureau statistics on median income for households in counties of the United States.  The first four richest counties are, …, you guessed it, all in the Washington, DC area, and range from about $99,000 per year to $122, 000 per year (see http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/highlights/2015.html).  That is more that twice the United States Average of around $55,000.  Nine of the top twenty counties are in… Continue Reading ››

A Really Bad Legacy, and How to Reverse It

President Obama and his executive agencies set a new record for the number of pages of new regulations in one day: 527 pages (in a single day!).  For the year the number of pages so far is also a record, at 81,640 pages.  It is also worth noting that seven of the the top eight spots for number of pages of new regulations are held by the Obama administration:  2010, 20111, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  This data comes from… Continue Reading ››

Earmarks, Pork and the Meat Axe: Time for Action

Today Representative John Culbertson (R-Texas) pulled (that is, withdrew) a bill that would have made changes to the earmark ban the House imposed earlier.  An earmark is basically an addition to a bill that includes some kind of project or spending for the congressman’s home district.   It is a rider.  And normally, it constitutes “pork barreling” designed to get that representative re-elected.   So when I first read the headline that the bill was proposed by Culbertson, I thought, well, here… Continue Reading ››

Conservatives and Cronyism: Time to Take Action

A really important column appeared November 3, 2016 by Yuval Levin in the National Review Online.  The title was “It’s Time for the Right to Get Serious about Tackling Cronyism,” and that title perfectly captures the thrust of the article.  You can read it here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441691/conservatism-cronyism-policy-solutions-right.  (Sorry, Bert Wheeler, I still can’t master just “link”).  But note the article was aimed at conservatives (including Republicans), though liberals have plenty to answer for on this front as well.  The subject was… Continue Reading ››

The Pleasures of Government

I just heard on DC radio here a classic example of just how unresponsive large bureaucracies can be, when there is no good reason for them to behave as they do.  In a rare feat the Washington Nationals professional baseball team has won its division (miracle!) and is now in the baseball playoffs.  Of course some of those games are here in DC and many (very many) residents here rely on the Metro (light rail system) for their transportation.  It… Continue Reading ››

Buried in Red Tape and Administrative Law

I am just getting around to reading a book I have meant to read for over a year, Is Administrative Law Unlawful? By Philip Hamburger (University of Chicago, 2014).  Besides, this is also a good time to raise the whole issue of administrative rulemaking, regulations and judicial hearings, something that in the last 70 years has become more than just common, but pervasive.  Here in DC of course we are pretty close to it physically, but it affects all citizens… Continue Reading ››

Miscellaneous Interesting (and Weird) News

There are all sorts of interesting and disturbing issues and events out there in the news these days, some obscure and others more obvious and with greater implications.  Below I simply want to list a few I have been reading about in recent days, and then later perhaps write some longer blogs on some of them. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known to all fondly as the NCAA, has decided to withdraw seven of its collegiate championship events from North… Continue Reading ››