Quote of the week


We are rapidly coming to a point where a complete change of elected officials, including Congress and the White House, can mean little change in policy. You are governed more and more by people for whom you have never voted, for whom you never will vote, whom you have never seen, and whom you cannot recall by your vote. They are entrenched in the boards, bureaus and commissions, even at the policy level. For example, you may think that the Secretary of Labor sets the policy of his Department, but I know that much of the policy of that Department is set by Civil Service employees who have been with the Department for twenty years, and they have no intention, now or ever, of recommending to the Secretary of Labor any policy which does not fit their personal philosophy of government, and you cannot remove them or replace them by your ballot. That same situation exists in the State Department, and in fact in every bureau, board and commission. This is a form of invisible government and can lead to the most oppressive type of tyranny.

That was written in 1960!


2 Responses to Quote of the week

  1. Handle says:

    It may have been Utt (a href=”http://www.keynesatharvard.org/book/KeynesatHarvard-ch06.html#note9″>”Washington Report, issued by Congressman Bruce Aler, April 16, 1960.”) who said it first, but it looks like it was written by his fellow Californian Ronald Reagan, who wrote the article “losing our freedom by installments” and gave it in a bunch of speeches in late 1961 including in his General Electric Theater years (before he was fired for the whole TVA thing), and which, in the Goldwater period led up to A Time For Choosing.

    I heard that Reagan fellow achieved some prominence and success temporary decelerations later in life.

  2. rightsaidfred says:

    Astonishingly true from my experience. I’ve been on the other side of low to mid level fed bureaucrats for many years, and not once have I heard them refer to the cabinet secretary. Ever.

    The only thing that will slightly move the needle is to cut off their funding. Ha ha ha. Standard increase. Every. Single. Year.

    The motto around here is, “We have done so little with so much for so long, that we are now qualified to do nothing with everything.”

    Reinforces my belief that if you want good government, elect a good people. Scandinavian countries are kind of nice and well run because they are full of Scandinavians (well, until lately). I can’t think of any prominent, well regarded Scandinavian politician. It doesn’t matter too much who they elect; the people run the place.

    Obversely, some lefty friends of mine had massive, extended, full body orgasms when Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela, and they were sure beyond any doubt that a new proletarian utopia would be ushered in faster than the NYT finds a White racist. I suspected the place would still suck because, well, it is full of Venezuelans. I was wrong to the extent that the place sucks even worse than before.

    The recently installed immigrants in my area are evidence that we are deep and thoroughly screwed. The side bar quotes on this blog are trenchant.

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