Saturday, October 5, 2013

Frant's Law of Bureaucracy At the Government Shutdown

To understand how government works, you need to know Frant's Law of Bureaucracy, which states:

Problems with bureaucracy are almost never caused by bureaucrats. They're caused by politicians.

Public-sector bureaucracies, as we know, can be inflexible, and sometimes do things that seem irrational and counterproductive. For the most part, this is not because bureaucrats are inflexible or dumb. Nor is it because they lack the bracing effect of a profit motive or competition. No, for the most part bureaucrats do the things they do because that's what legislators have told them to do. They're following the law.

Of course, when following the law has bad results, politicians rarely see much advantage to taking the blame. Much better to be outraged by bureaucratic bungling and leap to the voters' defense. The hypocrisy of this strikes the untutored eye only rarely.

Here,  for example:

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