Monday, September 05, 2005

Bureaucracies Fail

The Democrats have finally acknowledged that a massive Federal Bureaucracy (FEMA) can fail.

So why can’t they see that the Education bureaucracy has failed, or that the Welfare bureaucracy has never worked, or the Social Security bureaucracy was doomed from the start?

Is it just because this one failed so quickly and obviously, for all to see on the nightly news?

Democrats live in the here and now. They can’t see the logical progression of things. The bureaucracies mentioned above (and others) failed slowly over the course of many years, or never really worked at all. It wasn't a sudden kick in the teeth, so they never had to acknowledge it. With FEMA and New Orleans, they have no choice. It's too obvious. They can't pretend that it's not happening.

If the Social Security system suddenly collapsed and 10,000 people starved, then they’d take notice. They still wouldn’t actually do anything about it, but it would give them an excuse to blame one more thing on George Bush, Republicans, Conservatives, neocons, religious extremists (excluding all faiths other than Christians), Karl Rove, Israel, the Trilateral Commission and Pat Robertson.

Bureaucracies, by their very nature, are huge, lumbering things that take forever to get up to speed, and are almost impossible to turn from their "by the book" mentality. They have procedures for implementing their procedures, starting at the top and working down to the bottom. Every step must be taken in the proper order, just as in a religious ritual. All of that takes time.

Also in the nature of the bureaucracy is the mindless will to grow, grow, grow. Shortly after they are developed, that growth always becomes their #1 mission. They are like tumors. The purpose for which they were set up is relegated to the back burner in their desire to grow and consume more and more resources.

Bureaucracies have no conscience. While the individual cells may actually care about the suffering of the people they are paid to protect, the overall mass can't care. The wiring between the cells is intentionally complicated and confusing, because inefficiency allows it to take up even more resources, with the promise that it could fix itself if only there were more resources available to it.

But at least Fema did, finally, get going. Quite frankly, I'm surprised it got going as quickly as it did. Has it ever moved faster during any other major disaster? I seem to remember a lot of the same bitching about FEMA being slow to react after Hurricane Hugo and the flooding on the Mississippi about 10 or 15 years ago.

Did anyone ever think to do a study to see how long it usually took FEMA to respond to a disaster, and then tell state and local governments that they're probably going to be on their own for that long, so they'd better prepare for it? My guess is that most localities figured this out for themselves and are, for the most part, as prepared as they can be.

The Bureaucracies in New Orleans and Louisiana were even more useless than the ones at the Federal level. They didn't even put their disaster plans on the back burner. They just never made any! Can you believe that this city, which is built below sea level, on the ocean, and between a huge lake and the largest, most flood-prone river in the country, had no plans in place in case of a major levee break and/or flood???

Everyone on earth knew that this was going to happen eventually. The incompetence of not dealing with the issue is beyond incredible!

And then they have the gall to try to blame it all on FEMA (and, not very well hidden in the subtext, President Bush)! What a buch of useless baggage those people are. Anyone who has held elected office in New Orleans and/or Louisiana should never be allowed to hold another public position. Ever.

They planned for a few hours of wind and rain, but totally mismanaged the aftermath. It is tempting to analogise this with the Left's (whom that city is controlled by) whining that Bush "won the war, but mismanaged the aftermath" in Iraq.

But Bush, so far, has lost "only" 1800 soldiers whose job it was to die for this country, if necessary. The incompetence of the bureacracies of Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular is going to cost at least 10,000 American civilian lives, and probably more.

The Left needs to understand that every bureaucracy has design flaws that will cause it to fail. Some quickly, but most over time. The nature of bureaucracies is self-centeredness and lust for power.

No wonder the Left thinks there's nothing wrong with bureaucracies.

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