Martin’s Law of Diminishing Returns

Martin’s Law of Diminishing Returns

Typical of the ineptitude of those whose checks arrive at the end of each month, no matter how effective or efficient they preform, the employees of the federal government have sent out six hundred one million dollars ($601,000,000.00) in retirement benefits, over only the last five years, to DEAD retirees.  Who knows how many billions were sent in years before?  Do you think that would happen in the private sector?  Do you think had it happened in the private sector that those who so recklessly squandered their employer’s funds would have remained employed?  This at a time when the administration and congress seem to find it impossible to cut a half billion from each annual federal budget…read annual deficit.

Government, by its very nature, mostly due to the fact there’s no “profit motive” for employees, departments, and agencies, is ineffective and inefficient.  That’s not saying that individual employees don’t care about doing their job.  In most cases I believe they do, or at least do so when they first undertake their responsibility.  However, the motivation of those who receive their checks no matter, falters with time, and they’re bound to eventually forget who pays them and what they are paid to do…somehow those checks appear at the end of each month no matter how effective and efficient they’ve preformed.  After many years of receiving that paycheck, no matter how hard you work or how hard you ignore working…one’s bound to be influenced in a negative way.  One begins to pick only the low hanging fruit, for there’s nothing to be gained by climbing the tree.

As the “Peter Principle” begins to become ingrained in these bloated and overblown federal agencies, and each employee finds less and less to occupy his time, they begin to “create” jobs.  You remember the Peter Principle:  in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. That is how ridiculous, inane, asinine regulations come to be, such as the Department of Transportation’s dictates that all traffic signs, including street names, must be in upper and lower case.  It’s the perfect example of a bloated agency attempting to justify their existence, and their receipt of a check at the end of each month, by doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to prove their necessity.  That’s how retirement checks continue to be mailed to the long dead.

The growth of any hierarchy is difficult, if you consider the fact that when one employee finds him or herself with ten hours of work to do in an eight hour day, and complains; another employee is hired.  Now you have two employees each with five hours of work to do to fill an eight hour day, and eventually they come to believe that five hours is an eight hour day’s worth of work.  When those employees are burdened with six hours of actual work to do, they think they are overburdened and complain, and two more employees are hired, each of the four now with three hours of actual work to preform in an eight hour day, and they come to believe that those three hours are an eight hour day.  It’s my law of diminishing returns.  It’s an endemic problem that haunts even private enterprise; however private enterprise has the final free enterprise manager…Mother Profit who looks over the shoulder of managers and says, “John or Jane is playing solitaire on the computer for three hours every day, and that can’t be tolerated.”  And John or Jane, in the private sector, finds themselves not receiving the check at the end of each month if they don’t find a way to be truly productive.  Mother Profit herself is the ultimate effective manager.

Some bureaucrat in the Department of Transportation, after seeking the input of many other bureaucrats, none of whom believe, or even consider, that they will be effected by the economic repercussions of their acts, determines that traffic signs may be easier to read if in upper and lower case rather than all upper, and down comes a dictate that will cost the country billions of dollars; one hundred twenty seven million in Manhattan alone.  But the bureaucrats have filled their day with work…at least they consider that work, no matter the consequence.

And that dictate is just that, a dictate, and is received without complaint because those dictated to have become dependent upon their dictators.  The federal government funds many state, county, and city road projects, and those funds flow through state, county and city governments to contractors who in turn pay permits and fees which in turn funds (or at least helps to fund) local road departments, building departments, and planning departments. The logic of those dictates from a seemingly benevolent dictator is of little consequence…due to the fact that paycheck will be there at the end of the month, no matter the consequence to the country as a whole.

This notion that something must be done, no matter how inane and unnecessary, permeates not only all departments and agencies of government, but the highest levels: the administration and congress, as well as the courts.

No one, at any level of government, seems to consider the fact that those funds originated from income and other taxes paid by the thousands of homes surrounding those state, county, and city departments.  No one in those homes seems to consider the fact that of the billions paid into the federal government, only a fraction flows back to the states, counties, and cities.  Give the fed ten thousand dollars in tax and then smile when you get two thousand in services returned.  What a deal!  Mother Profit’s tears are not tears of joy.  Money flowing from one bureaucracy to another flows with impunity.

An investment in federal government, outside the dictates of the Constitution, is an investment destined to futility, to disappointment, to eventual disaster.

It’s a vicious circle that’s destroying the country.  We are eating ourselves from the inside out.  The very core of our being, our federal government, is rotting with ineptitude and inefficiency.   And it’s our fault, yours and mine, for we have not limited the fed to the dictates of the Constitution.  The fed has no business regulating the size or style of the type on the street sign down at your corner.  And that’s one of millions of examples of Martin’s law of diminishing returns at work.

And it’s endemic throughout our federal system.  Regulation, 95% of which is unnecessary, and not only unnecessary but outside the purview of the Constitution.  The brilliant document originally created to subdue the very monster that has grown by ignoring it’s principals, the monster that’s begun to rot for the same reason.

It’s time to contain and control and reinvent the federal government as originally perceived by the founding fathers.  It’s time to regain control of our own destiny at the state, county, and city level; and yes, as individuals.  It’s time to regain our self-reliance and self-respect.

L. J. Martin is the author of twenty eight published book-length works and dozens of articles.  His blog, reaches out to conservatives all over the country.  His books can be found on Amazon and from many other sources in both print and ebook, and his blog can be subscribed to on Kindle.  L. J. lives in Montana with his wife, NYT bestselling novelist Kat Martin.

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