Tag Archives: Federal bureaucracy

America Is a Technocracy, Not a Democracy, by Ryan McMaken

American is run by federal government bureaucracies, not elected officials. From Ryan McMaken at ronpaulinstitute.org:

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Perhaps never before in American history have the unelected technocrats played such an enormous role in shaping public policy in America.

In recent weeks, members of Congress have been missing in action. Late last month, the House of Representatives passed the biggest spending bill in history while most members were absent. Member votes were not recorded and the legislation was passed with a voice vote, which required only a tiny handful of members.

Weeks later, the Senate refuses to even meet, and may finally get around to debating some legislative matters in May. As with the House, a handful of members assembled earlier to approve another enormous stimulus bill. Many Senators stayed home. This is “representative government” in modern America.

But if you thought this lack of congressional action means not much is happening in Washington in terms of policymaking, you would be very wrong. It’s just that the democratically elected institutions have now become a largely irrelevant sideshow. The real policymaking takes place among unelected experts, who decide for themselves—with minimal oversight or control from actual elected officials—what will happen in terms of public policy. The people who really run the country are these experts and bureaucrats at the central banks, at public health agencies, spy agencies, and an expanding network of boards and commissions.

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The Deep State: The Headless Fourth Branch of Government, by Ryan McMaken

The national security bureaucracy that many people think of as the Deep State is part of the administrative state, never contemplated by the Constitution, that combines executive, legislative, and judicial functions. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

School children learn that there are three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial. In actual practice, however, there are four branches of government.

The fourth is what for decades now has been called a “headless fourth branch of government,” the administrative state.

As early as 1937, in a “Report of the President’s Committee on Administrative Management,” the authors write:

Without plan or intent, there has grown up a headless “fourth branch” of the Government, responsible to no one, and impossible of coordination with the general policies and work of the Government as determined by the people through their duly elected representatives.

The problem of waste and lack of accountability in this fourth branch, the report notes, has “been clearly recognized for a generations and ha[s] been growing steadily worse decade by decade.”

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