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.

Book Review: Animal Farm – by George Orwell

Animal FarmMr. Jones owns the Manor Farm. His animals, including pigs, horses, cows, sheep, a donkey, geese, chickens and some dogs and a cat (and many others) decide they don’t want to be oppressed by humans any longer and they rebel, throwing out Mr. Jones, his wife and all the human farm hands.

The animals are free to live their own lives as they see fit. At first, they delve into their work with vigor and enthusiasm. They create a philosophy called Animalism, along with Seven Commandments that are designed to guide them in their society. All goes well for a while, until some rivalries arise among their leaders.

Animal Farm is a fable that can be read in just a few hours. In this story, animals think, talk and feel. It’s the best fable I have ever read.

Orwell wrote this book in 1943 – 1944, and it created quite a controversy in England because it was seen as a mockery of Stalin and his regime. To me, having recently read a number of books about Hitler and the Nazis, I took it as a fitting criticism of Hitler’s reign. Of course, there are so many parallels between Stalin and Hitler that makes it easy to choose one of the two to think about while reading.

Animal Farm should be required reading on the first day for anyone in any elected office.

How about Kim Jung Un in today’s world? I wonder if he ever read Animal Farm?

He needs to. Oink, oink.

Rating - Four Stars