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Decay Point: Bureaucratic Sclerosis

Big government isn’t just size, in terms of people. It's also the bigness of bureaucracy and the impediments it places on itself that prevent it to do what it’s supposed to do.

Alas, as a society decays, its parts shrivel and wither in interestingly tragic ways.

An exemplar of such decay occurred just the other day. Big Government’s bureaucratic sclerosis hit a fire department so hard that it felt it necessary for its, “...22 firefighters and six vehicles...” to remain idle on the shore and watch a man drown in icy water for 13 minutes, according to the Daily Caller. They “…didn’t launch an inflatable boat until just before he disappeared. The firefighters pulled Brown’s body out of the water roughly an hour after they arrived.”

“‘They followed our ice rescue guidelines pretty much to a T,’ Champaign Deputy Fire Chief Eric Mitchell told The News Gazette.”

Whew! Thank goodness. I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be cited for noncompliance. Allay your fears, great citizens of Champaign, Illinois. There will be no lawsuits or fines today, only one less citizen, because our fire department followed the rules to a “T.” That sounds like a decent trade off, eh?

What’s the point of having such services if they’re not around when you need them? Exactly what does the “rescue” mean in the notion of “fire and rescue”? Ahh, I stand corrected; after looking at the Fire Department’s Page on the City of Champaign’s website, they don’t have a “Fire and Rescue Department,” only a Fire Department, so that may be it. Although that same page states that the fire department’s mission includes, “Supply ... rescue services...for the City.” I guess we’ll need a definition of such “services.” Maybe it’s a literal interpretation, and it supplies help, literally, “for the City” and the pond being part of the “City.” It rescued the pond from a rotting corpse.

Too harsh? Too bad.

Big governmenters argue all the time that with big government you’re not on your own, and they’ll be there when you need them. Small governmenters counter that this belief is nefarious folly and provides a false sense of security. Too bad we can’t ask the drowning man, Kenneth Brown, which he understood when he first stepped his booted foot onto the icy surface and then later when he observed, through flailing glimpses of the shore, the gathering audience of public servants standing idle as hypothermia claimed his organs.

Big government isn’t simply the physical size of a government in terms of people as some on the left like to argue. Among other things, it also refers to the bigness of a bureaucracy and the inefficiencies it places on the government when there are so many rules, procedures, plans, departments and bureaucratic layers in place that it suffocates itself by these self-imposed impediments and can no longer do what it’s supposed to do. The left argues that all of this is necessary to solve a problem. It’s not. It’s a function of a lazy political class all too eager to find the easy “solution” and just throw money at a problem, deliver a press conference, place a “done this” check mark on the reelection resume, and move on. They’re assisted by followers of a political ideology that in essence is “more government, good.” All of this is enabled by a constituency too lazy or too uninterested to think through the problems and mistakenly trusts the illusory leftist ideologues that the problem is taken care of. Of course, it isn’t. And when it reemerges, they subscribe to the same solution that just failed. It’s a spiral that’s claimed many of our cities. That’s the problem.

The death of Mr. Brown didn’t happen because of slim government resources because as stated previously, there were “...22 firefighters and six vehicles...” at the scene. No, he departed because of bureaucratic sclerosis. A sclerosis so severe that some do not see a dissonance between a government department that, “...followed …” its “... ice rescue guidelines pretty much to a T,” and in being compliant with those guidelines, a man froze to death slowly in front of the public and the servants of that department for 13 minutes.

Bureaucratic sclerosis is a symptom of an incapacitated, red-tape beleaguered government that cannot function properly. A symptom of big government.

You've just read "Decay Point: Bureaucratic Sclerosis" by Scott Morales edited from the original--posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scott Morales January 17, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Watts, Given that this particular thread was started by Essay, it shouldn't be that hard to figure out that I was addressing Essay when I wrote "Essay". I addressed you as "Watts" because... well... that's the name you go by. I won't use "ese" on the Patch, as I think most peoples' head would explode. (btw. thanks for removing the Hispanic ethnicity stuff... that's for another place)
Scott Morales January 17, 2013 at 01:31 AM
@Mr. Jan Schmidt, Sir you just got your boxers in a bunch because you got duped by your crony, got caught and are embarrassed, so you lash out at others. As anyone whose read the articles and watch the videos referenced herein can tell, the facts in my post are accurate. Sorry sir, it was 3 for 3 for me, not for thee!
Scott Morales January 17, 2013 at 01:33 AM
LOL I look mad? A little projection Mike? You posted to the same thread more than 3 times in about a 15 minute span. Obsess much? :0)
ForThePeople January 17, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Jan, but you would also be getting rid of myself :( as well as a few other open-minded posters who are sympathetic to the human condition. There's no way I'm putting my private life on a website like this that endorses harassing blogs. Last thing I need is some alcoholic, gun toting, Glenn Beck worshiping conservative showing up at my door.
Seamus Carty January 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Jan, didn't you post as "Tesha" on the Nashua Telegraph site at one point? Doesn't your own husband post here with just his first name?

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