Bureaucracies: Worldwide Garrottes?
The garrote was a favourite way to get rid of your enemies in the 15th and 16th centuries. You choke them to death. Bureaucracies have become worldwide garrotes for those with ideas and creativity. In fact, these days, for many people worlwide.
Europe is slowly sliding down the razor blade of multilevel regulations that slice anyone with economic creativity into little disposable pieces. Layers of inefficiency and corruption in many countries in Asia and Africa choke life of so many people condemned to poverty and poor health. Stories after stories in newspapers and newscasts tell of the impact of this bureaucratic choke worldwide. Bureaucracy has become suspect. Trust is absent.
Maybe, we have not learned our lesson from history. Great empires don't die because of invasion or plague or floods. They slowly choke to death on the rules and regulations developed by the little minds of bureaucrats trying to protect us all from ourselves and everybody else.
How does this bureaucratic choke affect you? Do you know someone affected by this bureaucratic choke? Have you taken any action? Or, has the garrote choked your will to voice out and take action?
Who got choked when this happened? Not those on the top of the money bureaucracy. It's the simple folks who lost their money and their jobs.
Many of our institutions claim that what they are doing is protecting the majority. In most cases, they are protecting themselves. They have forgotten that they are there to serve.
People in many parts of the world have expressed themselves. In fact, the Arab Spring when it happened was an explosive expression of how much anger people have and it continues. It could no longer be contained. People have reached a point when they could no longer take it. The violence is exploding and bureaucracy is controlling.
Often, society has forgotten that we are in this together and that there is such a thing as shared responsibility. The desire for freedom forever, the support for my own right as an individual even if it encroaches on the rights of many others, the entitlements have choked many of us as well.
Miscreancy seems to be normal in our times. It looks like no institution is exempt from the church to the banks to the academic portals. So what does bureaucracy do? Put in more regulations and choke the ones who play by the rules.
Meanwhile, those who don't play by the rules have already found loopholes around the regulations. They retain lawyers to do that. Yes, lawyers seem to be the only ones to benefit . More regulations, more work for them. I know there are still lawyers you can trust but as I said earlier, trust on people who used to be the leaders in our society seems to have eroded fast lately.
Here's one you'll love. Any toothpaste tube marked with a size greater than 100 ml is treated as an atomic weapon by airport security. Imagine my experience of having a toothpaste tube with a 125 ml marked on the outside ripped from my luggage and machine gunned in a waste disposal unit eventhough 80% of the toothpaste was gone. I pointed out that it was virtually empty. The wing nut enforcing the regulation was unable to distinguish the letters marking the size and the evident marking content.
Okay, this is not an earth shattering event but it shows the gradual choking of a society being so caught up in the cult of nannyism that we will choke on our own life jackets.
When packing for our return here, a friend was looking at the Ziploc bag I was holding. She told me that it was too big as she had exactly the same bag for her toiletries when she last checked in and the airport security said it was too big and added she could buy a smaller one right there. Airport security often provides great stories to regal your friends.
What if the effect of the bureaucratic choke to you is positive? Suppose you are wealthy but you qualify for an old age supplement from government, what would you do?
Keep it and send your government representative a picture of yourself gambling in Vegas, give it to charity, lease a bigger car, retire your flip flops in January. Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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