From a like minded individual I'm curious, are there any government programs or offices or random acronyms that you do think operate in a manner that is acceptable, beneficial, and effective? SS is crap as is the epa and the blm etc. Any worthwhile?
Let’s take a look at some departments and agencies shall we…
• Department of Agriculture - Not needed. This essentially is a body of regulators and cronies that ruin our food prices and deliver food stamps and other nonsense.
• Department of Commerce - This can be disbanded and left only to serve as a group of volunteers to run the Census when needed. The Patent and Trademark Office can remain but should be run on a shoestring budget by a handful of underpaid bureaucrats.
• Department of Defense - This can also remain but needs to be severely trimmed down especially in the countless agencies under each branch of the military…such as the NSA. I’m sure whatever DARPA is doing these days is far inferior to those contractors in the private sector anyway.
• Department of Education - Completely worthless. Needs to be shutdown.
• Department of Energy - Also no longer needed. The private sector is more responsible with our energy needs. Also, why is the DOE working on genomics? What the hell does that have to do with energy?
• Department of Health & Human Services - Our most expensive agency. Of course it has to go, but that would mean we would have to get rid of Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare.
I’ll tell you what, you can leave up the CDC, also run on a shoestring budget by a handful of bureaucrats.
• Department of Homeland Security - We already have a Department of Defense. This is just duplicated bureaucracy. It needs to go. Every inch of it.
• Department of Housing and Urban Development - Hmmm…
• Department of the Interior - This can also be scaled back but I don’t mind many of these services so long as they are kept small and bend over backwards to citizens when using land and resources.
• Department of Justice - I suppose this is rather important but can always use some trimming. Do we really need a DEA? And if we do, do we really need a National Drug Intelligence Center and an Office of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces too? It appears to be more redundancy to me.
• Department of Labor - Another department that can be run by a handful of bureaucrats in a broom closet somewhere.
• Department of State - Limit this to the Secretary of State and the few office staff he/she needs. That is all.
• Department of Transportation - Eliminate 70% of the useless administrations that are part of this department.
• Department of Treasury - Alexander Hamilton pretty much did this entire job himself when this was developed. I’m sure we can scale this back 95%.
• Department of Veteran Affairs - I think we’ve all seen how well this department hasn’t been running. So, we should let the Department of Defense envelope this entirely. Maybe if the DOD has to worry about budgeting for our veterans, they’ll think twice about squandering resources on expensive toys that rot away in a desert somewhere as well as think twice before sending troops off to active combat.
• Other random independent agencies and organizations:
Election Assistance Commission Federal Election Commission Administrative Conference of the United States National Archives and Records Administration Office of the Federal Register Merit Systems Protection Board Office of Government Ethics Office of Personnel Management Federal Executive Institute Combined Federal Campaign Office of Special Counsel Federal Trade Commission Consumer Product Safety Commission Federal Communications Commission Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Board Tennessee Valley Authority U.S. Trade and Development Agency United States International Trade Commission Corporation for Public Broadcasting Helen Keller National Center Institute of Museum and Library Services International Broadcasting Bureau National Constitution Center National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Humanities National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Science Foundation United States Antarctic Program United States Arctic Program Nuclear Regulatory Commission Office of the Federal Coordinator, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects African Development Foundation Export-Import Bank of the United States Inter-American Foundation Overseas Private Investment Corporation United States Agency for International Development Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Environmental Protection Agency Federal Labor Relations Authority Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission National Labor Relations Board National Mediation Board Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Office of Compliance Commodity Futures Trading Commission Farm Credit Administration Federal Reserve System United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation National Credit Union Administration Central Liquidity Facility Securities and Exchange Commission Securities Investor Protection Corporation Small Business Administration Military Postal Service Agency Postal Regulatory Commission United States Postal Service Armed Forces Retirement Home Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Railroad Retirement Board Social Security Administration Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency General Services Administration National Capital Planning Commission Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Federal Maritime Commission National Transportation Safety Board Corporation for National and Community Service Peace Corps Central Intelligence Agency Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive Office of the Director of National Intelligence Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity Selective Service System Commission on Civil Rights Equal Employment Opportunity Commission National Council on Disability Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) AbilityOne Federal Home Loan Banks Farm Credit System
The majority of these can be tossed out and the rest can be enveloped within other departments. Yes, including big ones like the Social Security Administration. It may need to be grandfathered out, but it has to go.
We’ve already seen that very little actually happens during a government shutdown. Do this and I promise our astronomical debt will disappear.
The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber
According to Graeber’s bureaucratic procedures “are invariably ways of managing social situations that are already stupid because they are founded on structural violence.” But what Graeber means by structural violence is a system “that ultimately rests on the threat of force,” whether police officers, drill sergeants, tax auditors, or all the other agents who support a system that spies, cajoles and threatens. This complex of definitions lands Graeber squarely in the anarchist tradition, and though he layers contemporary anthropological theory into his analysis, he serves up a clear and generally jargon-free argument.
11 Ways You Know You Live In A Country Run By Idiots
1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally, you live in a country run by idiots.
2. If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion, you live in a country run by idiots.
3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government, you live in a country run by idiots.
4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy leaders in Egypt, you live in a country run by idiots.
5. If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat, you live in a country run by idiots.
6. If an 80-year-old woman can be stripped searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched, you live in a country run by idiots.
7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more, you live in a country run by idiots.
8. If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of grade school for saying his teacher’s “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable,you live in a country run by idiots.
9. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones, you live in a country run by idiots.
10. If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working, with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work, you live in a country run by idiots.
11. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government, you live in a country run by idiots.
“Whether the mask is labelled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus–the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battlelines… but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves.”
“I meet few executives around the world who are champions of bureaucracy, but neither do I meet many who are actively pursuing an alternative. For too long we’ve been fiddling at the margins. We’ve flattened corporate hierarchies, but haven’t eliminated them. We’ve eulogized empowerment, but haven’t distributed executive authority. We’ve encouraged employees to speak up, but haven’t allowed them to set strategy. We’ve been advocates for innovation, but haven’t systematically dismantled the barriers that keep it marginalized. We’ve talked (endlessly) about the need for change, but haven’t taught employees how to be internal activists. We’ve denounced bureaucracy, but haven’t dethroned it; and now we must.
Why is so much of modern life dominated by endless bureaucracy and frustrating administrative tasks?
ago David Graeber, an American anthropologist, put his elderly mother
into a nursing home, after she’d had a stroke. He was then confronted
not just with the horrors of her sickness but with a sea of bureaucracy.
Whenever he tried to get seemingly simple things done, such as close
his mother’s bank account or apply for Medicare, he encountered endless
administration — followed by even more paperwork, because he kept
filling the forms out wrong.
“Having spent much of my life leading a fairly bohemian student
existence . . . I found myself asking my friends: is this what ordinary
life for most people is like? Running around feeling like an idiot each
day?” he recalls in a new book, The Utopia of Rules. “On a purely personal level, probably the most disturbing thing was how dealing with these forms somehow rendered me stupid.”
Many FT readers might sympathise. Graeber investigated further. Four years ago he penned a brilliant treatise on debt, Debt: The First 5,000 Years.
His new book develops this analysis and asks why so much of modern life
is dominated by endless bureaucracy and frustrating administrative
tasks, whether in relation to finance, healthcare or almost everything
It is a curious question. At first glance, you might suppose that the
mass of modern bureaucratic processes simply reflects the fact that we
live in a complex world. As organisations swell in scale, they need
bureaucracies to manage them. Similarly, as technology becomes more
sophisticated, the job of government becomes more complex. Or so we tend
But the more you reflect on this assumption, the odder it begins to
seem, given that we live in a cyber, free-market age. After all, Silicon
Valley loves to celebrate the idea that the internet can make us more
effective and efficient.
Yet, as Graeber points out, modern technology has not removed the
bureaucratic processes, just shifted them online. “The invention of new
forms of industrial automation in the 18th and 19th centuries had the
paradoxical effect of turning more of the world’s population into
full-time industrial workers,” he observes. “So has all the software
designed to save us from administrative responsibilities in recent
decades ultimately turned us all into part- or full-time
blames the issue of spreading bureaucracy on something else: power. A
century ago Max Weber, the sociologist, pointed out that bureaucracies
always tend to defend their own interests as institutions. Graeber
thinks the issue now is not just about the triumph of bureaucratic
institutions per se but the bureaucratisation of our entire culture.
For the 21st-century world has now developed an extensive web of
subtle rituals and cultural patterns around bureaucracy that make these
processes seem normal — if not inevitable. And the crucial point to
grasp is that this pattern supports the status quo and the position of
the elite. The counterpart of rising income inequality is the spread of
those bureaucratic forms.
And what makes the pattern doubly insidious — and ironic — is that
reforms that are supposed to promote free-market ideals often end up
creating more bureaucratic processes. Take, for example, the post-2008
banking reforms or developments in Britain’s National Health Service.
Americans do not like to think of themselves as a nation of
bureaucrats — quite the opposite actually,” Graeber observes. “[But] the
final victory over the Soviet Union did not really lead to the
domination of the ‘market’ [but] simply cemented the dominance of
fundamentally conservative managerial elites . . . no population in the
history of the world has spent nearly so much time engaged in
Some FT readers might chafe at these anti-elite attacks. When Graeber
is not teaching anthropology, he works as an activist and was a leading
light in the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. And his book argues
that the best response to the perils of bureaucratisation and income
inequality is more Occupy-style protest; he wants radical income
But even if you disagree with his politics, Graeber’s book should
offer a challenge to us all. Should we just accept this bureaucracy as
inevitable? Or is there a way to get rid of all those hours spent
listening to bad call-centre music? Do policemen, academics, teachers
and doctors really need to spend half their time filling in forms? Or
can we imagine another world?
There are no easy answers. But the next time you see a bureaucratic
form — and I have several sitting in my inbox right now — it is worth
asking who really benefits from it? And, more importantly, who would
suffer if we were to all suddenly rip them up? It is, perhaps, one of
the more subtly revolutionary ideas of our age.
“There’s always rules [in life], but usually they’re not spelled out; everyone has a slightly different idea of what they are, there’s all these ambiguities, it’s sort of complicated and then people break them all the time anyway. Life is this endless game of trying to figure out what the rules are and nobody quite understands. Then, [with bureaucracy], you create this imaginary situation, totally bounded in time and space, where everybody knows exactly what the rules are, people actually do follow the rules, and even people who follow the rules can win — which is very unusual in real life.”
David Graeber interviewed by Elias Isquith in Salon. “I found myself turning into an idiot!”: David Graeber explains the life-sapping reality of bureaucratic life The activist-academic and Occupy Wall Street champion tells Salon about his new book on the bureaucratic state
Ikea is becoming increasingly frustrated at complicated German bureaucracy and public protest, which has slowed expansion plans, company head Mikael Ohlsson said on Friday.
The firm was ready to build new stores, but he said applications to build new branches, particularly in residential areas, were often hindered or scrapped all together due to protests from locals and politicians concerned about their area’s small businesses.
“If you take Germany, then we would have liked a further store in Stuttgart, but the discussion has already lasted years and years. And Lübeck took ages,” he said.
Ohlsson said he was disappointed by how slowly the company was expanding in Germany, which is Ikea’s biggest single market, accounting for 15 percent of its global business. There are already nearly 50 branches in the country.
“We want to be nearer to our customers and we’re ready to start building new stores,” Ohlsson said. “The government can stimulate investment in the company by speeding up the bureaucracy process.”
Despite Ohlsson’s complaints, the company announced record profits of €2.97 billion in the last financial year. This is 10.3 percent more than the previous year
This has not discouraged the Swedish furniture giant, however, as Ohlsson announced the company is aiming global, hoping to open up branches in more than its current count of 30 countries. (via The Local)
We’ve all known that the lawyers and plutocrats have been politicians for quite some time, but it seems now that the bureaucracy is slowly spreading into power throughout Washington DC as well. Once in office, the bureaucrats push for more bureaucracy and the cycle continues.
My boss had me rewrite a medical monitoring questionnaire for people who work with animals in the Wellesley College Science Center. It had to be updated to comply with more specific needs, including allergy limitations and vaccination history. I noticed another outdated mistake, long overdue in fixing, and decided to tweak that as well.