Laws of nature and the laws of man

Everybody knows “what goes up must come down.”  It is the first law of science than everybody learns.  The law of gravity is immutable.  You can’t cheat it.  You an resist it for some time by expending a lot of energy, like flying or launching a rocket into space, but once you stop expending energy your craft falls back to earth.

The laws of economics are just as adamant as the law of gravity.  That is because the good laws of economics come from the same place as the law of gravity, observation of the natural world.

People behave in certain ways because we all have been influenced by the laws of evolutionary biology.  Economics is really just the study of human behavior with the medium of money.

People will naturally tend to self preservation.

People naturally expend the least amount of energy necessary to attain a goal.  If you are salaried, you are not going to put in 60 hours a week if you can do your job in 40, if putting in 60 gives you no chance at a raise or promotion.  Nobody gives away free work.

This is human behavior.  Every time a politician attempts to come up with a system, regulation, or policy that fights the natural economic laws, the only way it “works” is by expending HUGE amounts of energy in the form of money, and as soon as they stop their scheme crashes back to earth.

There are three natural laws of bureaucracy that are worth committing to memory.

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy: In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

Gammon’s Law of Bureaucratic Displacement: In a bureaucratic system, increase in expenditure will be matched by fall in production.

Shirky Principle: Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution

Taken together, what they say is anytime you hand any problem to a bureaucracy, that bureaucracy will make the problem worse because it is in the best interests of the people in the bureaucracy to have the problem exist in perpetuity to guarantee their future employment, and the people put in charge of the bureaucracy will consume more and more resources to never fix the problem, ever.

Looking at DC, what all the Democrats and a large chunk of the Republicans keep telling us is “trust us, this time the bureaucracy will be different, we promise.”  It doesn’t matter what the issue they are addressing is.

The answer that best satisfies the natural laws of economists is “do away with the bureaucracies.”

Unfortunately politicians are bureaucrats and are not going to vote for the demise of the system that feeds them.

3 Replies to “Laws of nature and the laws of man”

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.