Big government, any government, is non-productive! That is not an attack. It is a presumption of fact.
Production is rather simple to explain. “Somebody-1” makes something consumable for “somebody-2” that wants it. If there are enough “somebody-2s” consuming the “something” made by “somebody-1” the production is a successful, useful, and usually of beneficial value.
Government does not create consumables. It consumes products…presumably for the beneficial value of society.
Let’s analyze “somebody-1” for a minute. If their production does not increase, ultimately, beneficial value stagnates, or declines, and prices go up. It’s a very simple law of supply and demand. It is no more complicated than that…except for theoreticians (liberal professors and politicians).
When government, at any level, enters the transaction non-consumable costs increase. Stay with me here. When non-consumable costs rise as a result of government intrusion beneficial value may not rise at the same rate. The greater the gap between non-consumable costs and production mean a reduction in beneficial value.
The key then is how to make sure that government intrusion improves beneficial value and not diminish it. The BEST WAY to ensure that result is to not have any governmental intrusion at all. Yet, some governmental involvement is in fact beneficial. That involvement usually comes in the form providing safety for both “somebody-1” and “somebody-2”. Safety is provided, for all intents and purposes in three forms; military, law enforcement, and product safety.
This brings us momentarily to the concept of a “speedy trial”. When society is threatened it is generally governments role to ensure safety through military or police action. When threatened by national external forces the United States government has an intrinsic duty to quickly end that threat. When threatened by internal criminal forces states and local governments have an obligation to expeditiously eliminate those threats. Expeditiously means “get er done” right now; a speedy exercise of corrective judgment.
Delays add costs by widening the gap between production and beneficial value.
We started this discussion by suggesting politicians are to blame. They are. It is the nature and disposition of just about every elected official to add non-consumable costs to production. By way of example elected officials believe there is a law for every problems. Worse yet, they believe that a law will actually solve the problem without creating another (adding costs).
Big Government was included in the list of blames for social weakness. It is. Bigger government follows new laws as surely as daylight follows the nighttime. Virtually every new laws requires an added job for someone to do. These are non-production jobs which increase non-consumable costs. They widen the gap. Production jobs are great because they add more value than they detract. These other jobs are not useful nor valuable.
Lastly, bureaucracy was chastised in this blame game. Bureaucracy is an extension of big government. Woodrow Wilson can be classified as the father of American bureaucracy. It was his idea that a new administrator needed to be appointed as often as a new role of “TP” was installed in the Senate washroom. The answer to every question could be found in hiring another bureaucrat. Now, combine this (now common) tendency with with the proclivity of politicians to create a burgeoning government. It is a disaster for a production oriented society.
What we see is an ever expanding realm of government oversight. With it comes a widening gap between production and beneficial value.
When it is seen and pointed out politicians defend it as essential. Everything from a foreign invasion to little johnny’s bloody nose must be solved by a new law. On a quiet night you can hear politicians whispering to the moon “If I don’t pass a new law, nobody will think I’m relevant”.
Correspondingly, entrenched bureaucrats will first say their work is necessary. Why? Because it’s a law (ring around the roses we go). Then they shift to a different song. It called “It’s to heavy, it ain’t my job”. Oops. There we go again. Back to that good ole non-consumable cost to production. Then come the ultimate. Bureaucrats can’t get the work done, because the law is complicated and they might get sued. They have to take forever to complete their review and analysis. AND, AND, AND, nobody can dispute them without retribution.
Unnecessary laws get written by self-absorbed politicians. Then they are enforced by non-productive bureaucrats. All this is at the expense of society. Remember the concept of a speedy trial. It should be applicable to all government actions. The voluminous laws, non-performing and foot dragging bureaucrats add substantial non-consumable costs to production.
What is the prescription? Simple.
- Elect politicians that commit to address a limited number of laws each election cycle.
- Seriously (not just talk) streamline the size of government, by eliminating any department that is non-essential to everyone under its jurisdiction (Think about that. It is not as obvious as it seems).
- Set performance standards for administration of any remaining programs.
- Shift administration to the lowest level of government possible.
Here are some specifics–if we are not afraid of them.
- Insist, through federal and state constitutional amendments that we return to a part-time legislature. Fifty percent of a congressional member’s time must be spent within district.
- Numerous federal and state agencies are duplicate, with minor differences in authority. These minor differences create massive costs and time-wasting. Consolidate them. Examples: National Parks and BLM.
- Federal and state legislation overlap and/or conflict. Examples:
- Taxes are at some levels (far far less than now) necessary. With modern technology turn all tax collection functions over to the states; millions of dollars saved in the federal budget.
- Environmental protection laws are duplicated between the feds and the states. Shut down the federal programs entirely; millions of dollars saved.
- Environmental laws require burdensome costs to be heaped upon businesses for no productive reason. Agencies may almost take as long as they want to conduct their review. Require these agencies to complete their review within 120 days or less (less meaning they cannot take more time than the applicant used to produce the studies).
It is time for us to get serious about correcting the real production inhibitors to our society.
That’s the WAY I see it.