Is bureaucrats good for us? Maybe in another world…

This article is a translation from a magazine The Freeman. It clearly shows the absurdity of bureaucratic thinking and the effort to control and manage. As the article puts it: "Once people begin to believe that government officials are protecting them, the way will open for the endless growth of official" protection "over ourselves that zealous officials will offer us." Fred Foldvary.

Homeless - source: The Freeman
Homeless - source: The Freeman

Part of the classic dogmas of progressives (statistists, socialists) is the idea that government regulations keep us safe. Thanks to the government, they say, we have safer cars, healthier food and better homes. He claims that if there were no bureaucrats, our lives would be full of danger.

This opinion is often used by many bureaucrats to defend their own work. According to them, if there is state regulation for our safety, then anyone who opposes that regulation is automatically against safety as such.

As an example, we can take the situation where voices began to appear among people, requiring minor changes to the Clean Water Act. New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis subsequently wrote about these people that "they want to have publicly accessible beaches full of faeces and another brothel."

Sure, it's an extreme example, but at the same time it's a great example of the thinking of those progressives who advocate regulation.

Charity? Not so fast!

The same principle of reasoning can be found in the recent dispute between the couple and the authorities in Houston, who did not understand their charitable distribution of food to the homeless:

Bobby and Amanda Herring have been providing food to the homeless every day in downtown Houston for more than a year. As Bobby Herring said, they always handed out hot food, which they handed out in peace, never left a mess, never a criminal incident.

Unfortunately, the Herrings had to quit their activities two weeks ago. The Houston authorities banned them from further activities due to a lack of permits. According to city officials, it is also very likely that the couple will not receive any permits in the future.

Why did the city do it? The explanation is the finished essence of the bureaucrats' thinking:

Anyone serving food to the public, whether selling it or giving it to the homeless, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the city's social and health department. However, in order to obtain this permit, food must be prepared in a certified kitchen by a certified expert.

The spokeswoman added that the regulations most seriously affect the homeless, because "poor people are most at risk of food-borne diseases and at the same time have more difficult access to health care.

Better hungry than potential danger?

So let's summarize now what this official actually said: According to her it is better for people to have more difficult access to food in general than to have any food at all, which, however, can theoretically pose a health risk.

Of course, officials do not have it in their hands no proof, which would prove that the food, which was often prepared by local businesses, which subsequently donated it to the couple, was in any way flawed.

Would food provided by state organizations go through the same rules? We are all aware of the "high quality" services provided by government, such as schools, prisons - and especially prison food and health care - and many public hospitals. After all, enough has already been said about these public services.

However, even the official "homeless organization" p the city agrees:

Connie Boyd, president and CEO of the Houston / Harris County Homeless Coalition, acknowledges the Herring couple's efforts, but also defends the city's stance.

"We certainly need a lot more people who are interested in the problems of these vulnerable groups, but while their efforts are, of course, good, they have encountered restrictions designed to protect the public, and there are certainly many good reasons why these restrictions exist. ”

So I already understand what the city actually regulates. The Herrings didn't open a restaurant. They distributed food that was prepared in restaurants that had already been inspected. However, if the city thinks the food will go bad as soon as it leaves the restaurant, it should logically be forbidden at all to serve food packaged "with you".

However, I think that this is still not very zealous regulation. What we witnessed in this particular case was merely an extension of diligent bureaucratic thinking. Once people begin to believe that government officials are protecting them, the way will open for the endless growth of official "protection" over ourselvesthat zealous officials will offer us.

In the name of security

The homeless people the Herrings fed they are not protected by government regulations. They are not safe even from food-borne diseases. Why? Simply because it will be more difficult for them to find any food at all, and when they manage to eat some, they will probably get lower quality food than they could have received from a charity couple.

All in the name of security.


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