The Problem of Bureaucracy

By Mason Mohon| WASHINGTON

Donald Trump’s recent 2018 budget proposal is riddled with decreases in funding for multiple government agencies, and while it’s reportedly unlikely that this proposal will become a reality, along with the fact that the drastic increase in military spending is somewhat needless, the decrease in agency spending is, in fact, a good thing. Bureaucracy simply doesn’t solve problems, because of the way it’s set up.

The vast majority of people appreciate and pursue money, for it gives one the ability to to both survive and pursue things that may bring them happiness. The simple fact is, you cannot survive without money in the twenty-first century. You need it for shelter, safety, and sustenance, so getting more money means having a larger buffer between your current state and a state without basic human needs. For these reasons, people find it necessary to pursue making money.

In order to make money in a private economy, you are required to offer people something they want. Attempting to sell a good or service there is no demand for will not yield any profit, so one must seek out customers in order to create a living for themselves and avoid a state without basic human needs. Of course, a private economy is not only entrepreneurs, but when it boils down to the bottom of things, the private economy is completely dependent on the search for satisfying a person’s or group of people’s demands in exchange for money. If you aren’t searching for demand to fulfill, your business will fail and you will find yourself without any money. In the real world, it works like this on a large scale, but there is an exception, and that exception is bureaucracy.

Bureaucrats working within government agencies don’t have customers. They are not required to fulfill demand to keep their job. It seems to be quite the opposite, actually. The way bureaucrats amass money is by enlarging their agencies. Their incentive, in this case, is to cause expansion within an agency every way they can, which means expanding their authority, hiring more workers, and finding more ways to spend the money of the American taxpayer. Discover another problem that can be seen as falling under the jurisdiction of your new agency, and congress will make sure to wrap you up in their next budget. Consequently bureaucrats will go looking for problems to prolong, rather than solving every problem they find. This is how they make money, and this is why the system is skewed.

Bureaucracy punishes the problem solver; this is why Trump’s proposal of cutting money to so many agencies can be seen as beneficial. Despite the fact that the passage of this proposed budget is unlikely, hopefully future U.S. budgetary systems will no longer punish problem solving and reward sluggishness.