Get to the Board Members first and provides only one side of the story – it is far
more difficult to get someone to change an opinion formed from information that they
have been consistently provided over an extended period without opposition.
Deliberately giving personnel opposing proposed actions counter to what the staff
is proposing incorrect meeting information making sure that they will not be at important
meetings. One classic was a tour for the governor of a proposed light rail line,
with huge press presence – the “anti-s” were given a time an hour later for “their”
tour – with the governor, press, or anyone but a low-level tour guide who appeared
to be able to do nothing but read the handouts.
Making sure that staff-pushed actions are carefully packaged with what governing
board members want, thereby ensuring that the votes will go the way that staff wants
by making what staff wants and what the board members want are packaged to be indivisible.
Staff using law enforcement personnel to physically remove non-desired personnel
from events, including arresting and holding them until the event is over, then releasing
them without filing any charges.
Agree with the elected official’s requests, then ignore them.
WHEN IT IS WRITTEN IN POLICY, there is a better chance of it being done. Sometimes.
Also staff routinely presents policy options to the elected officials, all of which
are options the staff likes (like tax hikes), never opposing options (reducing government
bureaucrat becomes adept at “managing” their elected bosses.
An experienced bureaucrat becomes adept at “managing” their elected bosses. Since
the elected official is so dependent on their institutional knowledge, staffers can
insinuate themselves into subtle but powerful roles in the decision making process.
A staffer can promote a personal political agenda by simply biasing decision making
data towards their favored decision. Their recommendations can emphasize or neglect
critical information that the elected official lacks the experience to understand.
The unscrupulous staffer can “pocket veto” requests, bids or proposals by simply
slow-rolling them, using legitimate but unnecessary tactics to delay processes and
prevent undesired items from appearing before the elected official in a timely fashion.
This behavior by bureaucrats is pervasive at all levels of government. It’s cultural,
so most would not even recognize a problem.
Summers asks him point blank: do you want to be on the inside or the outside? “Outsiders
prioritise their freedom to speak their version of the truth. The price is that they
are ignored by the insiders, who make the important decisions,” Summers warns.
Elected politicians have little power; Wall Street and a network of hedge funds,
billionaires and media owners have the real power, and the art of being in politics
is to recognise this as a fact of life and achieve what you can without disrupting
In a series of meetings, postpone the important decision to a later meeting with
less or no public attendance.
Adjurn a meeting to another/time location. So that 2nd meeting will ONLY be known
to attendees of the first - if they happened to catch the announcement which was
buried in a long speech.
Laurence Peter, creator of the Peter Principle:
Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.
A real life example from US Congress oversight:
By law, the intelligence agencies have to keep the committee (and other key leadership-holdi`1ng
members of Congress) informed of their activities, but they would instead drip feed
information and hope nobody asked too many follow-up questions. Things were so bad,
said a former staffer close to Wyden who did not want to be named for the story,
that the senator could have asked the simplest of questions, like "if anybody had
the time," to which an intelligence agent would respond with, simply, "yes."
That puts the public interest way down the list, behind their money and their power.
Time after time we see decisions based on their political power and income with the
public interest last.
How Legeslatures Work
The Speaker gives out committee assignments (and other favors) based on how much
the legislators give to the party’s re-election fund.
If you vote on a bill against the wishes of the speaker, you may find your self removed
from the committee or without money from the re-election fund. Of course taking money
from the re-election fund further obligates you to tow the line.
(Leaders besides the speaker may have similar powers.)
Claim about Oregon: “six people control the entire legislative process. And those
six people are carrying out an agenda of deep-pocketed special interests who only
care about scoring their next taxpayer-funded project.”
one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t
even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They can’t tell science
from scientism — in fact in their image-oriented minds scientism looks more scientific
than real science.
Our analysis at American Transparency (OpenTheBooks.com) found 207 state contractors
gave $805,876 in campaign cash to Governor Kate Brown ($518,203) and Attorney General
Ellen Rosenblum ($287,673) since 2012. These businesses hold lifetime state contracts
worth at least $2.6 billion. State contractor donations to the governor and attorney
general represent 57 percent of current cash on hand in their campaign committees.
“Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives
or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in
the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ
101.” (Bold added)
The purpose of big projects is for elected politicians to spend money on groups who
will, in turn, support them and give them campaign money to help them get reelected
to cushy government jobs. If they accomplish the stated goal, that is a side effect.
Who Are Supporters of Government projects?
People and groups who will make money from the project. These include the construction
companies, engineering companies, consultants, construction unions, operating unions,
material suppliers, LRT/BRT vehicle manufacturers, banks that sell the bonds.
People who indirectly make money from the project. These include land owners, property
speculators (“investors”), companies that construct high density housing along rail/BRT
Profiteers of Government
The regulated utilities (cable, electric, phone, garbage collectors) that rely on
the city to grant them rate increases and right-of-way usage and other concessions,
so they have to cow-tow to the city’s crackpot projects.
The Goodwill Crowd
Businesses/groups that are keeping a “good relationship” so that they will get city
The Government Dependants
Groups who depend on the local government handouts tend to support every nutty idea
the government comes up with. Because they get grants to do their work and they can’t
piss off those who give the grants.
Newspapers get revenue from publishing official government notices. They need friends
in government to get information for stories. Many resort to publishing slightly
rewritten government handouts to save money. Many are downtown landowners who profit
from government policies.
The Baptists & the Bootleggers
This refers to the Baptists being morally against liquor and the bootleggers profiting
form liquor being illegal sharing a common interest if keep liquor illegal.
More generally, special interest groups who believe in a cause support various policies.
Those who profit from the result of these policies also support these policies, sometimes
forming alliances. Profiteers often donate money to (or control) these special interest
groups. Prime examples are 1) environmental groups supporting alternative energy
and the suppliers of alternative energy; 2) housing advocates and builders who build
low cost housing.
The Iron Triangle (Politicians-Bureaucrats-special interests)
Politicians who get donations from special interests; bureaucrats who form alliances
with special interests to increase their power. Left out of this is the public who
the government is supposed to serve!
“The Golden Triangle “is bureaucrats, elected officials, and special interest groups
— with bureaucrats at the apex of the triangle, running things. ...
“The bureaucracies have more power than those in any other country. Although Japan
has serious problems, the bureaucrat’s answer to just about any question is to build
a monument. “In field after field, the bureaucracy dreams up lavish monuments rather
than attend to long-term underlying problems” (p. 146). These monuments include dams,
stadiums, concert halls, museums, roads, and, yes, high-speed rail. From: http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=1159
How To Set Up An Inquery Commission
Picking the right team is the sine qua non. A panel of sound people, leavened with
a handful of neutrals (purely for effect, you understand) will produce the required
result every time. ....the public really shouldn’t be concerning themselves with
minutiae like the membership of panels of inquiry. How could they possibly understand?
And the important thing is that Edward will get the right result, and it’s the result
Of course it’s important to have the right chairman too. I thought Edward’s played
a delightful varation on his earlier theme here. Instead of picking someone who was
an obvious follower of the cause, he chose Ronnie, whose financial interests in the
outcome of the inquiry all but ensured the correct result was delivered.
You can get to where you want to go simply by ensuring that the majority of one’s
travelling companions are like-minded. The others simply have to be discrete. Of
course, it goes without saying that the panel should not have anyone from “the other
side” on board. It wouldn’t do to risk any indiscretions.
Note: If the commission appears be getting off of the plan, you just find an excuse
to shut it down and select a new commission, or perhaps, replace a few members.
The Iron Triangle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Central to the concept of an iron triangle is the assumption that bureaucratic agencies,
as political entities, seek to create and consolidate their own power base. In this
view an agency's power is determined by its constituency, not by its consumers. (For
these purposes, "constituents" are politically active members sharing a common interest
or goal; consumers are the expected recipients of goods or services provided by a
governmental bureaucracy and are often identified in an agency's written goals or
Apparent bureaucratic dysfunction may be attributable to the alliances formed between
the agency and its constituency. The official goals of an agency may appear to be
thwarted or ignored altogether at the expense of the citizenry it is designed to
Bootleggers and Baptists is a catch-phrase invented by regulatory economist Bruce
Yandle for the observation that regulations are supported by both groups that
want the ostensible purpose of the regulation and groups that profit from undermining
For much of the 20th century, Baptists and other evangelical Christians were prominent
in political activism for Sunday closing laws restricting the sale of alcohol. Bootleggers
sold alcohol illegally, and got more business if legal sales were restricted.
“Such a coalition makes it easier for politicians to favor both groups. … [T]he Baptists
lower the costs of favor-seeking for the bootleggers, because politicians can pose
as being motivated purely by the public interest even while they promote the interests
of well-funded businesses. … [Baptists] take the moral high ground, while the bootleggers
persuade the politicians quietly, behind closed doors.”
BRUCE YANDLE describes it in REGULATION, vol 22, No. 3:
“DURABLE SOCIAL regulation evolves when it is demanded by both of two distinctly
different groups. "Baptists" point to the moral high ground and give vital and vocal
endorsement of laudable public benefits promised by a desired regulation. Baptists
flourish when their moral message forms a visible foundation for political action.
"Bootleggers" are much less visible but no less vital. Bootleggers, who expect to
profit from the very regulatory restrictions desired by Baptists, grease the political
machinery with some of their expected proceeds. They are simply in it for the money.
“B&B theory helps to explain how leaders of consumer groups help major pharmaceutical
companies-the ones with approved chemical entities-by valiantly supporting a cautious
FDA approval process. The theory explains why holders of permits to produce and market
EPA-approved insecticides value the efforts of environmental groups who oppose rule
changes that facilitate the entry of new, and sometimes less risky, substitutes.
Indeed, once the theory is explained, bootleggers and Baptists seem to come out of
the woodwork. They are everywhere. “
Regulatory capture is a form of government failure that occurs when a regulatory
agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or
political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector
it is charged with regulating. When regulatory capture occurs, the interests of
firms or political groups are prioritized over the interests of the public, leading
to a net loss to society as a whole. Government agencies suffering regulatory capture
are called "captured agencies".