Saturday, March 26, 2005

Rule #8

Haven't posted a new rule in a few days, so here goes:

There's a reason; there's ALWAYS a reason.

The "Reason Rule" is one of the most baffling rules to anyone outside of Bureaucracy. If you're not in the Bureaucratic superstructure, you can barely fathom why people would act so irrational when it comes to basic decisions. But there is, of course, a reason.

Bureaucracy acts as the memory of government; there's a reason why we don't do things a certain way... and usually the answer is either (1) Someone sued us, (2) Someone got fined, or (3) Someone went to jail. That's why if you read the fine print of these rules, there are all kinds of caveats that bar the bureaucracy from doing what it is you want it to do. That's why Lifelong Bureaucrats can serve a valuable function by acting as a Canary in the project mineshaft. [Remember Rule #2...Avoid being chased by Mike Wallace at all costs.] It's not that us Bureaucrats are irrational, we're just keeping people out of jail.

Thus, one of the interesting dichotomies between Politics and Government: the desire to do "good" vs. the desire to do what is permitted. To paraphrase RFK:

There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? Politicians dream of things that never were, and ask why not? Bureacrats respond because it contravenes Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.A. § §  5301—5320).

1 comment:

Sue London said...