Monday, September 29, 2014

Bureaucracy at Its Best (Worst?)

A door was left unlocked at the White House last week, and a peaceful intruder made his way into the premises. As the intruder was peaceful, no harm was done. But there is now an agenda underway among the Secret Service to better protect the President.

So naturally, they are going through and just making sure everyone crosses their I's and dots their T's, right? (They're a bureaucracy; they'd be a bit backwards.) They could have prevented this intruder by simply keeping all the doors unlocked after all.

That would make a lot of sense as a plan of action; however, the Secret Service is a bureaucracy (I think you may be understanding that now), so they of course want to make wide sweeping changes that have absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand.

Indeed, the Secret Service (as a bureaucracy) wants to block off more areas around the White House, essentially moving the safe zone perimeter further from the White House, and naturally check the bags of people who happen to be near that new perimeter.

Because all of that would totally be necessary just to keep an intruder from entering through an unlocked door. 

This illustrates the tendency of bureaucracy to overreact to every small event in ways that have nothing to do with the situation, and quite frankly won't even really help the problem of having crossed i's and dotted t's.

You expand the perimeter and still have irresponsible Secret Service, intruders will still be able to find the unlocked door.

As Dr. Marc Clauson writes,
"So it was probably fear of more bad publicity that drove this latest proposal.  But we have seen this mindset before , like every time the Transportation Safety Agency and Homeland Security come up with a  new scheme for supposedly protecting us from terrorists.  All too many of those schemes actually do little or nothing for better security, but they certainly manage to make flying (maybe soon taking the train) more inconvenient.  But again, this is part and parcel of the perverse incentives created within large and/or unaccountable bureaucracies."

Anyway (as I write this Thursday morning), I now need to go listen to Clauson give a lecture on church councils. Peace out!

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