Saturday, November 23, 2019

Codevilla Expanded

Angelo Codevilla expands on his earthquake essay of ~10 (!!!!) years ago.

...The understanding of America as an empire is as foreign to most Americans as is the idea that the specific country that they live in is run by a class of people who may number themselves among the elect but weren’t in fact elected by anyone. Under whatever professional job titles, the people who populate the institutions that exercise direct power over nearly all aspects of American life from birth to death are bureaucrats—university bureaucrats, corporate bureaucrats, local, state and federal bureaucrats, law enforcement bureaucrats, health bureaucrats, knowledge bureaucrats, spy agency bureaucrats. At each layer of specific institutional authority, bureaucrats coordinate their understandings and practices with bureaucrats in parallel institutions through lawyers, in language that is designed to be impenetrable, or nearly so, by outsiders. Their authority is pervasive, undemocratic, and increasingly not susceptible in practice to legal checks and balances. All those people together comprise a class.

Another thing that residents of the broad North American expanse between Canada and Mexico have noticed is that the programs and remedies that this class has promoted, both at home and abroad, have greatly enriched and empowered a small number of people, namely themselves—while the broader American population continues to decline in wealth, health, and education. Meanwhile, the American Empire that the ruling elite administers is collapsing. The popularity of such observations on both the left and the right is what accounts for the rise of Donald Trump, on one hand, and of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the other hand, among an electorate that has not been historically distinguished by its embrace of radicalism. Add those voter bases together, and perhaps 75% of Americans would seem to agree that their country, however you think of it, is in big trouble, and that the fault lies with the country’s self-infatuated and apparently not-so-brilliant elite....
In 1965, there was the "Personnel" department which managed payroll, purchased benefits (health insurance, maybe dental), processed hiring and separations--and checked some references.  In large-scale companies with more than 1,000 employees, there might have been 8-10 individuals handling all those matters.  If there was a union, there were a few folks who handled "industrial relations"--the bargaining and rules-keeping/interpreting/enforcing part of the deal.

Now there's the "HR" department.  It has Managers (or DIRECTORS!!) of Employment, Benefits, Safety, Compensation, EEO, "On-Boarding," and --oh, yah--Payroll.  Each of those poohbahs has 2 or 3 subordinates.  ALL of that growth has been forced by Federal and State laws and regulations.

Well, the military has Polly PrissyPants Vindman, so maybe it's fair, eh?

HT:  Grim

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