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Trump’s Hiring Freeze for Bureaucrats: A Good Step, but No Substitute for Program Cuts and Agency Terminations

Having lived in the Washington area for more than three decades, I have many friends who work for the federal government. Most of them will privately admit that they are very lucky since federal salaries and benefits are considerably higher than what they could earn in the private sector. And they’ll also admit that there’s […]

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A Secret Glimpse at Life Inside a Bureaucracy

More than two years ago, I shared a couple of humorous images showing the languorous lifestyle of lazy bureaucrats. While those images were amusing, they didn’t really capture the true nature of bureaucracy. For a more accurate look at life inside Leviathan, here’s a video showing an unfortunate woman trying to get a permit from […]

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The Negative Macroeconomic Impact of Overpaid Bureaucrats

Last year, I shared some remarkable research from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development about the negative relationship between government spending and economic performance. The economists at the Paris-based bureaucracy looked at data from its member nations (primarily Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim), discovered that the countries with bigger government experienced less […]

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The Lavish Life of Overcompensated Bureaucrats

Yesterday I shared some very good news about Brazil adopting a spending cap. Today, I also want to share some good news, though it’s not nearly as momentous. Indeed, it’s not even good news. Instead, it’s just that some bad news isn’t as bad as it used to be. I’m referring to the fact that […]

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A Libertarian Quandary: Should Federal Bureaucracies Be Moved to the Hinterland?

I’m not a fan of federal bureaucracies and I don’t like the undeserved wealth of the Washington, DC metro region. So I’m very open to ideas that would address these problems. Paul Kupiec of the American Enterprise Institute suggests, in a thought-provoking column in the Wall Street Journal, that one possible solution would be to […]

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Deadly, Expensive, and Foolish Policies from the Food and Drug Administration

I routinely grouse about the heavy economic cost of red tape. I’ve also highlighted agencies (such as the EEOC) that seem especially prone to senseless regulations. And I’ve explained why private regulation actually is a very effective way of promoting health and safety. Today, let’s get specific and look at the Food and Drug Administration. […]

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Bureaucracy in Action: Victimize a Child and Still Get Paid by Taxpayers

My main problem with bureaucrats is that there are too many of them (because government is too big) and that they are paid too much (almost twice the level of compensation as workers in the private sector). But even the government was the proper size (America’s Founders had the right idea on that issue) and […]

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What to Do about Bad Bureaucrats?

What are the main problems with government bureaucrats? Is it that they’re paid too much? Given that they get far more compensation than workers in the economy’s productive sector, that certainly true. Is it that there are too many of them? Well, we have lots of bureaucracies that shouldn’t exist, such as HUD, Education, Transportation, […]

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Double-Dipping Bureaucrat Pulls Triple-Dipping Scam on Taxpayers

As a public finance economist, I normally focus on big-picture issues such as the economically debilitating effect of excessive government spending and punitive taxation. But as a human being, what irks me most about big government is the way that insiders use the system to enrich themselves. I don’t like it when politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, […]

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The U.K.’s Government-Run Healthcare System Is Working Wonderfully…for Bureaucrats

Back in 2013, I got very upset when I learned that senior bureaucrats at the IRS awarded themselves big bonuses, notwithstanding the fact that the agency was deeply tarnished by scandal because of its efforts to help Obama’s reelection campaign. That’s when I decided to put forth my “First Theorem of Government,” which simply states […]

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The Growing Crisis of Excessive and Unfunded Retirement Benefits for State and Local Bureaucrats (and a Libertarian Quandary)

I’ve written (some would say excessively) about the fact that America has too many bureaucrats and that they’re paid too much. That’s true in Washington. That’s true at the state level. And it’s true for local governments. But since I’m a big believer in beating a dead horse, let’s revisit this issue. We’ll narrow our […]

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Another Taxpayer-Financed Goodie: The “Paid Leave” Scam for Bureaucrats

My biggest complaint about government employees is that they work for bureaucracies that shouldn’t exist. As far as I’m concerned, they may be the most wonderful, conscientious, and hard-working people in the world, but we shouldn’t have a Department of Housing and Urban Development or a Department of Agriculture, so these folks – by definition […]

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The Italian Version of Everything You Need to Know about Bureaucracy and Government

In 2014, I was outraged that more than 80 percent of senior bureaucrats at the Veterans Administration were awarded bonuses, even though this is the bloated bureaucracy that caused the death of many veterans by putting them on secret waiting lists. This, I argued, was a perfect example (in a bad way) of federal bureaucracy […]

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America’s Latest Epidemic: Bureaucrats with Guns

While I dismiss conspiracy theories that presume there’s a plan in Washington to strip away our rights, I do think there’s a natural “public choice” explanation for ever-growing, ever-more powerful government. And that can lead to ever-expanding examples of abusive mistreatment of citizens. If you don’t believe me, just ask people like Andy Johnson, Anthony […]

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After Brexit, Shoot All the Bureaucrats

“Every successful analysis begins with a unified theory.” Some Americans credit Donald Trump for the success of Brexit, while others are saying Trump owes Brexit for bumping his campaign …

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Failure in Government Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

In America’s sprawling intelligence network, costing tens of billions of dollars, who got fired after the 9-11 terror attacks for failing to connect the dots? Who in the military got fired after the Fort Hood terrorist attack for failing to connect the dots? More recently, who in the FBI or Department of Homeland Security got […]

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The TSA Edition of the Private Sector Does a Better Job

The Transportation Security Administration has become infamous over the years for things that it doesn’t allow on planes. Consider these examples of the Keystone Cops in action. Confiscating a plastic hammer from a mentally retarded man. Detaining a woman for carrying breast milk. Hassling a woman for the unexplained red flag of having sequentially numbered […]

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Another Great Moment in the Annals of Government-Run Healthcare

I wrote last June about an unfortunate British guy who, after his leg was broken by thieves, was told by the government that his injury wasn’t serious enough for an ambulance. The poor chap eventually was driven home by some cops and then had to take an Uber to the hospital. While writing about this […]

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The Bureaucrat Hall of Fame Gets its First Spanish Member (Plus an Update on Porn Stars and the 2016 GOP Contest)

I should get an award for equal opportunity. The Bureaucrat Hall of Fame has plenty of American members, but it also has civil servants from India, France, and Italy, and the United Kingdom, all of whom have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts to rip off taxpayers. And now we […]

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Donald Trump’s Missed Opportunity and other Iowa Observations

What’s the link between government employees and the Iowa Republican Caucus? You’re probably thinking there’s little or no connection. After all, bureaucrats presumably would more likely be interested in the choice on the other side between the two peas in the statist pod, right? That’s true, but bear with me. To understand the link I’m […]

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