Saturday, January 21, 2017

Drain the swamp

Image result for bureaucracy cartoonWhen we transition from one president to another, year after year, with little or no significant change in the overall processes of government one has to conclude that the issues of that government are so entrenched and substantial that no change will be forthcoming.  As it is with most governments, the ability to effect change is primarily in the hands of those that fight against change and progress, making any moves toward reform virtually impossible without a clear understanding of the bureaucracy that controls the inner workings of government.


“Bureaucracy was borrowed from the French bureaucratie, which itself was formed by combining bureau (“desk”) and -cratie (a suffix denoting a kind of government). The English word can refer to an entire body of unelected government officials or to the problematic system that may result from administration by bureaucrats. From its earliest appearances, bureaucracy has carried a distinctly negative connotation. An 1815 London Times Article, for example, declares: “. . . it is in this bureaucracy, Gentlemen, that you will find the invisible and mischievous power which thwarts the most noble views, and prevents or weakens the effect of all the salutary reforms which France is incessantly calling for.”  Webster's online dictionary.


Our government is embedded and entrenched with personnel committed to nothing but their own employment longevity.  These bureaucrats may have a substantial political agenda but even more important is their inability to act judiciously and for the good of those they serve.  One good example is the growth of supporting the government and the effects that growth has had on the surrounding counties, elevating those counties to some of the most affluent in the country.


As in almost every case and in almost every government the areas of power are more affluent than the rest of the country suggesting that those who are in power take some advantage of that power for self-indulgent behavior and profit, forsaking their fiduciary responsibilities for their own personal gain and influence.  Even with this level of corruption, the real cost to governments is not with those elected nor their profiteering but with the thousands and thousands of employees that manipulate the system for their own benefit.  


Each government employee, however, mindful of their position and responsibility has the potential of creating a long-term debt for those who pay their salaries.  The redundancy of government is astounding and that duplication of effort is perhaps the culprit for the massive debt shouldered by the unsuspecting citizens of that government.


We all know that we need people to do the work required by a government, just like we all know we need to be taxed to some extent to support the basic needs that governments promise to provide.  To the more liberal, a government is the answer to all things and a more centralized system brings them a sense of security.  They, however, fail to see the long-term effects of those decisions and the overall effect of the higher taxes required to sustain their employment.  


Through increased regulation, enhanced oversight, more paperwork bureaucracy is “A system of administration distinguished by its (1) clear hierarchy of authority, (2) rigid division of labor, (3) written and inflexible rules, regulations, and procedures, and (4) impersonal relationships. Once instituted, bureaucracies are difficult to dislodge or change.”  www.businessdictionary.com


The larger a government gets the more bureaucracy is implanted.  Those that are elected have forsaken the value of work in general, moving instead toward the process of hiring others to do what they could easily do, increasing the level of bureaucracy and their dependence on those that work for them.  The problem with not working and having others do what should be done contributes to the level of convolution in regards to those who want to keep their jobs long after any elected leader is long gone.  Bureaucracy is, in essence, the process undertaken to create those policies and rules that only serve those who are not elected, for the express purpose of job security.  


When Trump says to “drain the swamp” he is in part referring to the cesspool that is entrenched and ever present around the halls of our government.  I have to think that he understands the need to limit the bureaucratic influences, including the lobbyist, influence peddlers and other like-minded persuaders bent on swaying others toward their way of thinking, usually motivated by monetary gain.  


Curbing bureaucratic influences and lobbying efforts (as presently constituted and allowed) will take an enormous amount of effort and cooperation with those who have bought into the illicit and damaging process of bureaucracy.  The transition away from a bureaucratic process will be a monumental task that will not only require patients but a resolve bordering on the fanatical in order to overcome the deep entrenchment that is always the case with established and non-elected personnel.  

Trump may want to drain the swamp but when you do the resulting smell and stench will revolt the majority and motivate them toward refilling the area with the same brackish water with no progress, no benefits and no way to resolve the ongoing issues.  If Trump fails or fails to try so goes his presidency and any hope of THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE ...for it SHALL …. PERISH FROM THE EARTH.  Abraham Lincoln