Government is Slow and Cumbersome

I have spent most of my career working for governments of various types and sizes. It will not surprise you when I say that government is slow and cumbersome. Nothing ever seems to get done. The separation of powers is designed to slow things down. We have an electoral college in the United States because in the 1700s, it was not possible for every farmer and laborer to come to a polling station on a given day and vote. Even more importantly, people were largely illiterate. How could they inform themselves about the candidates? So we have delegates.

Delegates are one of the factors that slows things down. Of course, there are hundreds of others. The system is designed to make it impossible to effect rapid changes, because they are often dangerous and cause unexpected results.

The Brexit vote results are such an example. Give the people direct power over very impactful changes, and it’s not certain that they produce the desired outcome. By definition, “the people” only have average IQs. They are not experts in government, or finance, or international relations. The people have average education, average intelligence, and mundane, self-centered needs and desires. Having the people govern themselves directly and immediately is dangerous.

That’s why government is slow and cumbersome, by design. It’s a good thing. It’s supposed to be that way. It fosters a certain degree of stability.

One thought on “Government is Slow and Cumbersome

  1. I have heard seen postings today from several people saying that they wish they had voted differently in the Brexit referendum and that it was only a protest vote they intended. They didn’t understand that in the case of a direct referendum every single vote is counted equally, not regionally. Thus we get a country which now has 4 divisions: Scotland, Northern Ireland and London want to stay but the rest of England wants out, so out we go… Donald Trump is watching and salivating at this result.

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