Friday, April 19, 2013

The Injustice of the Administrative State

So sad.  The administrative barbed wire entanglement of the Senate's gun control bill, offered by Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Toomey R-PA), has gone down in flames.  It was a bill made up in administrative secret and bounced on the Senate in all its 800 page glory.  Next up is Sen. Schumer's Gang of Eight immigration bill, another administrative monster full of plans and guidelines and timetables.  How many pages does it have?

But don't forget the granddaddy of them all, the Affordable Care Act, with its veritable northern forest of administrative provisions stretching to the far horizon.  The 2800 page Act itself is merely a demonstration forest compared to the vast bureaucratic continent that will be planted to implement it.

Some of the wisest minds have recognized that the legalistic politics that we now practice is problematic.  It's wonderful to use science in our political deliberations, but what about the human factor?  Here we have our ruling class setting out rigid rules to solve all kinds of problems, from gun violence to immigration to health care.  But has anyone seriously thought about whether an administrative system is a suitable approach to these issues?

Karl Marx worried that the naked exploitation of the capitalist economy inevitably alienated mankind from its natural culture.  Max Weber saw the modern age as an age of rationalization, in capitalism and in government.  But haven't we created an "iron cage" with this rationalization?  The Frankfurt School chappies noted that man uses reason to dominate, both nature and other men.

And so we come to my mantra: government is force; politics is division; administration is domination.

You can see this in the way that our liberal friends exempt themselves from administrative oversight.  Michelle Malkin has a piece on how this works in the abortion industry.
The Pennsylvania Department of State was “repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell” — including the clinic’s unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street — “and repeatedly chose to do nothing.”
Or this:
And an inspector for the National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell’s chamber of horrors was “the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected” — but did nothing. 
It's the same as regulation of the finance industry.  How could we get a financial crash like 2008 with all those regulatory agencies?

Or immigration.  How come that liberal cities are allowed to declare themselves "sanctuary cities?"  How come I can't declare myself a "tax sanctuary" and refuse to abide by the tax laws?

The answer is pretty simple.  Everyone is equal, but some people are more equal that others.  Some people are the favorites of the ruling class and they get a pass from the regulatory enforcers.  In the case of abortion providers, they get cover from the pro-choice activist community.  In the case of the finance industry, its distortions and vulnerabilities are baked right in by the government, which likes a loosey-goosie credit system for its own convenience.  In the case of illegal immigration, Democrats are the national political home of recent immigrants, legal or illegal.

The problem is that the administrative state always has and always will play favorites.  As soon as you have administrative boards and committees and a collapse of the market into bureaucratic ukase then you are going to get arbitrary decisions based upon political power.

That's not a bug, it's a feature.

The magic of capitalism is that it dissolves this injustice; it combines reason with sentiment.  It forces its practitioners to think about the other guy, about how its customers might be inconvenienced by its arbitrary decisions, and how it might pay in losses for a foolish decision.

That doesn't apply to bureaucratic administrators.  They only have to think of what might prevent them from collecting their pensions.

The good thing is that the administrative state is grinding to a halt.  It just can't adjudicate the complexities of the modern world.  That is why its bills must be drafted in secret and then sprung upon the legislature with a full court press of lobbying and bullying.

But we believe in a better America.  An America that has climbed past the administrative state to the sunny green uplands of freedom and responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. So why don't gun makers care about the people being shot with their guns. The gun has already been sold. People wanting gun control are the people being affected by the gun makers decisions. It would seem regulation is capitalism in effect. I cannot simply choose not to buy a gun to not be effected by them.Reality and ideology are not so equal. Liberals are consumers just the same. You can not cherry pick out just conservatives problems from capitalism and a free market. For a free market to be free the concerns of all must drive it. That includes clean air to organic food. You can't just say capitalism will solve the problems with out describing how. It seems you are being a naive wishful thinker or that you believe capitalism to be magic.