[ExI] Term limits

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 04:17:02 UTC 2013

One of the greatest dangers to our society is the unbridled growth of
the fourth branch of government, bureaucrats of the myriad federal
agencies. These organizations are uniquely detrimental to normal
functioning of the society, due to being largely outside of the web of
feedback loops that restrains erroneous behaviors in the civilized
world and due to their enormous size and reach in all aspects of our

A key feature of these bureaucrats is their permanence - no matter the
level of misconduct or incompetence, a federal agency never dies, and
a bureaucrat smart enough to cover his ass with enough paper never
gets fired. This is not a uniquely American situation, but rather a
general feature of state organization. In many countries there are
periodic attempts at cleaning out the Augean stables but these are
usually propaganda exercises or internecine warfare among various
bureaucratic factions, doomed to failure as a way of improving

However, there *is* a way to make the bureaucracy less dangerous:
Impose employment duration limits on all federal executive branch
employees (maybe except the DoD). Instead of having lifers, and a
revolving door, have temps (at most 10 years allowed on government
pay) and a rocket-assisted chute, kicking them out back into the ranks
of honest (i.e. not tax-supported) citizenry before they get too fond
of their power. If we kick out the president after eight years, why
would we keep the regular pen-pushers forever?

This tweak to the Civil Service Act would reduce the chasm between the
goons of the EPA, IRS, or OSHA, and their subjects, us. We would be
one again, since most people would end up temping at the government at
some time, continuously bringing in an outside perspective to these
insider machines. And before inventing yet another stupid law, a temp
might hesitate and think about how it might feel once he is on the
receiving end of the stick.


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