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Friday, July 6, 2012

Bureaucratic overkill



It’s against the law for me to take my dog to the farmer’s market in the next town. Were there problems with dogs at the market? Nope. Nobody complained about dogs. In spite of that, they are banned.

Where did this come from? Apparently some creepy guy was taking his pet snakes to the local playground and scaring the kids. At one time the problem would have been dealt with by dealing with the one creepy guy. Instead, the City Council meets and bans all pets from all parks and every public event. Bureaucratic overkill.

That’s what happens at the local level. It doesn’t get any better at the State and Federal level. If anything, the overkill gets worse. It’s all over the place. Down to Florida they had a problem with a few derelict boats sitting at anchor. After the state got hold of the problem there were no anchor zones, mooring fields, and whole departments to manage them.

With government the feedback loops all push toward more complexity. Bureaucrats always want to grow their domains. It makes them feel more important. They can show they have more responsibilities and demand bigger budgets. Governmental rules and regulations grow like cancer.

There’s only a few things that can stop it. Public outrage sometimes work. When enough people get angry something’s got to give. Often it’s a simple matter of financial constraints. The money to enforce dumb rules just runs out. That’s not something to rely on though. The bureaucrat in charge of silly walks, just might have more political clout than the bureaucrat in charge of public safety. That’s how you lose police, firemen and teachers and the recreational director gets new assistants.

In the worse cases of bureaucratic overkill the repose may get so out of hand that the original problem never really gets addressed and is forgotten. Take the whole ban on dogs things for example. Maybe they should have focused on the fact that there’s a creepy guy hanging around playgrounds.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. Root cause analysis will show you that an ignorant and apathetic populace at large is responsible for these ridiculous "rules", and a bunch of greedy ass lawyers are behind them. The same lawyers who will be future politicians.

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  2. You have taken the words out of my mouth so to speak... I'm just writing about it being society's number one killer disease...

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    Replies
    1. Every so often there should be a year where politicians can't make new rules and laws, they can only get rid of old ones.

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    2. A form of Jubilee?

      BriarPatch

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    3. Indeed. Wouldn't that be fun?

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  3. There was a guy at the market yesterday with 2 huge (and lovely) mastiffs. I think folks are starting to just ignore the rules again. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, but then they enforce the rules pretty much at random. Lowers respect for laws and law enforcement -as if it can get any lower.

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  4. How can there be chiefs when there are no indians to rule over? I think you got it right, many laws are written just for someone to have the ability to say NO YOU CAN'T. Silly little game.

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    Replies
    1. Silly game indeed. The only way to win is not to play.

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  5. Fort Boonesborough, central Kentucky established by Daniel Boone circa 1775. Wide sandy beach which was a booming tourist attraction until swimming was banned in the mid-80's. The Kentucky River was deemed "polluted" (perhaps like our drinking water is now polluted with toxic chemicals such as Flourine?).

    Fast forward to last week. I've a Golden Doodle who loves water almost like it is life (which life mostly is). He is swimming in the MIDDLE of the river when a park official yelled from a distance advising the "dog has to be on a leash!". On an empty beach. By a river that has flowed thousands of years.

    So the "govt" took a preferable spot along the river to develop it for public enjoyment because it was a popular place for swimming. Infrastructure was developed. Swimming was banned. More rules further restricting the enjoyment of the spot was instituted until enjoyment of the area is tightly controlled.

    Kinda like the playground bully who declares eminent domain of the most popular spot on the playground.

    I think Ran Prieur is correct in that our collective consciousness now WANTS this whole system to break so we can start another, simpler system.

    BriarPatch

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    1. Typical. I had a park ranger in a total fit. My canoe looked liked one of their rentals and I was in a "do not take rental canoes beyond this point" area. He was really upset that there was nothing he could charge me with.

      Ran might be onto something there.

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    2. Used to be in police/investigative work. My thought is that police and other "agents" are so low on the totem pole they want to impose control to feel IN control, when they aren't in control of the "system" anymore than us non-police/agent folk are. That line of thought beat out my first line of "people are just assholes" and my second thought of "people are inherently bad".

      BriarPatch

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  6. Some people thought they were voting for change last time. I think it way beyond just wanting change, we NEED a change. Back to common sense would work.

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  7. I just found out, gov't beaurocrats are often on a pay scale depending on how many underlings they can hire. So once they're in that position, they just hire people and make-work for them, or let them sit idle. Tax dollars at work.

    I think it's sad that grown-ups didn't feel safe enough to confront snake guy himself. I had the cops deal with what I thought might be a drug deal going down at my park- very suspicious activity, peering into bags in trunks, in the rain- but I certainly didn't feel safe in that situation. A guy with a snake? No problemo.

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