May 21, 2012 at 3:27 pm #14459
For a great reasoned overview of why coercive governments & bureaucracies will never be accountable or efficient, I recommend Ludwig von Mises’ 1944 work “Bureacracy”.
This book is available for free to read & download in PDF, HTML, and ePub formats here: http://mises.org/document/875
Here is a brief description of this great work on the subject of bureaucracy:
Mises said it right here. In these pages we find the crushing critique of nearly all modern reform movements, summed up in his sweeping conclusion:
“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!”
Mises explains that the core choice we face is between rational economic organization by market prices or the arbitrary dictates of government bureaucrats. There is no third way. And here he explains how it is that bureaucracies can’t manage anything well or with an eye for economics at all. It is a devastating and fundamental criticism he makes, an extension of his critique of socialism. It has never been answered.
Written long before Public Choice economists began to take up the subject, Mises describes bureaucracies as both self-interested and economically irrational (thereby improving on the modern Public Choice critique). There is no reinventing government: if we are to have government do things for us, bureaucracies, which cannot behave efficiently, will have to do the work. This small book has grown in stature as Western economies have become more and more bureaucratized.June 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm #14830
I’ll be sure to check this out, I’ve yet to read Mises!June 19, 2012 at 10:53 am #14994
To be honest, the quote you present reads like a conservative rant straight from Fox “News”. I think I’d like to know more about the author before I’d read this book, let alone recommend it.June 19, 2012 at 10:57 am #14995
To be honest the quote you selected looks like a conservative rant straight from Fox “News”. I think I’d need to know a lot more about the author before I’d read this book let alone recommend it.June 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm #15079
rational economic organization by market prices. Sorry, markets are not rational or self organising. They are vulnerable to scams at every level.
I will not waste time reading this book on the same basis as Mark701, btw, i don’t think mammalian minds are binary.August 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm #15716
I don’t understand why this place is so second-rate. Silly g’ma.
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