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Samizdata quote of the day

Intertwined with government hubris is shameless incompetence. This is demonstrated regularly on CSPAN, though it is often appreciated only by people who know the details of the often plausible sounding pontifications from the floor of the house and senate. But when you think about it, who could possibly know what one really needs to know in order to make sound decisions about the massive pile of things Congress attempts to control.

Nicholas J. Johnson

8 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    Government is not incompetence, it is discovery. With every corpse of a viable patient leaving an NHS hospital, ‘lessons have been learnt’.

  • Andrew

    But the main lesson always seems to be, “we can get away with this”.

  • Eric

    The lesson is you leave the really sick ones in ambulance queues until they expire. That way they didn’t die at the hospital.

  • Paul Marks

    On the NHS the main “lessons learnt” are “do not trust the Conservatives with the NHS” (mass death under the Labour government is now reported – but without the words “under the Labour government”), and the other lesson is “the NHS needs more money” – even though more money keeps being thrown at it.

    So no outbreak of rationality there. The “profit seeking private contractors” are to blame – even though “Mid Staffs” (and so on) were 100% government owned with no profits.

    Note to Americans – when Obamacare fails next year, the “private providers on the exchanges” will be blamed (just as the private providers were blamed for the government backed student loan mess, and the banks and so on were blamed for the government pushed mortgage market). Then there will be a move to get rid of the fig leaf “private providers”.

    As for Congress…..

    Back in the 1950s they actually used to read Bills – which is why (for example) the Interstate Highways Act was 15 pages long. Why are modern Bills hundreds of pages long (and yet still have gaps to allow administrators to write hundreds of pages of more “law”)? It is because the Senators and members of the House do not read the Bills any more (let alone write them). The United States in the 1950s was not perfect place (it was light years from being perfect) but it was, in the word of T. Parsons, a “functional” place – now it is radically dysfunctional (dysfunctional in everything).

    As for the members of Congress – Senators like John McCain talking about how the border will be secured before amnesty (when the Bill he just voted for says nothing of the sort- “free migration Paul”, yes the Britons were wrong the Angles, Saxons and Jutes should have been allowed to freely migrate to Britain- after all they created a wonderful new country, England, it was not so wonderful for the Britons though…) and California Democrats talking about banning X, Y, Z, firearms (when their own speeches show they do not know anything about the firearms they are supporting being banned).

    It all seems hopeless – time to give up this hollow sham of a system?

  • Mr Ed

    Well let us presume innoncence, and suppress ignoble Schadenfreude in respect of this case of a Ouncil Chief Executive arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office after receiving a pay rise.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The presumption of innocence is meant to protect the people from the government, not the government from the people. When we require the prosecutor to prove his case, we are adopting a policy of disbelief towards one government functionary; why not the rest?

    Before government functionaries are indicted, presume their guilt; after they’re indicted, presume their innocence. Anything else just lets them run rings around us.

  • veryretired

    As to the original quote—exactly right.

    They don’t know what they’re doing, and never have.

  • […] this very nice turned phrase from Samizdata’s Quote of the Day: Intertwined with government hubris is shameless incompetence. Very nice. but this is but a portion […]