In Defense of Inefficiency

fvt6bh69     The United States government is incredibly inefficient with a massive and corrupt bureaucracy. The gridlock in congress prevents Congress from passing most legislation without either party having the majority. While this is a tragedy in need of drastic change for people like James Morone, this may have inefficiency and gridlock may have been exactly what the American Founding Fathers wanted. Morone calls for the checks and balances that have developed in American politics to be removed to allow for a more democratic society. The checks and balances that Morone wishes to dispose of were carefully established in the Constitution as a safeguard to prevent one branch from asserting power over any other and to prevent the constantly changing passions of the people from dictating policy.
In 1787, most conceded that the Articles of Confederation were not the answer for our new nation. American political leaders realized they needed a change, and came together to establish a new government. After several weeks of debating, the Founders created the Constitution. However, the Constitution was not supported by all the Constitutional delegates. In an attempt to ease the fears of these delegates, supporters of the Constitution like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote the Federalist Papers to show the people what kind of government they wanted to create to protect their liberties. Madison attempts to ease some of those concerns in Federalist 51, stating, “But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department, the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives, to resist encroachments of the others.” (Madison, Federalist 51) The federalists and anti-federalists feared a centralized power, and built the government in such a way to insure those powers were divided. There are those that argue the checks and balances set in place by our founding fathers no longer work in today’s world. They believe that it prevents the government from doing the tasks that need to be done quickly and effectively, and that in the modern era the government needs to have more authority to protect people’s liberties. However, these protections are more important than ever. People’s opinions and interests shift quickly and often, and the checks and balances on our government prevent the passions of the people from creating laws that are unnecessary.
Some argue that the inefficiency and road blocks slow down things that the government should be able to handle quickly, such as civil rights. However, I argue that giving the government more authority in these situations would not have sped up this process at all. The government still represents the people of the United States, and as horrible as it is to concede, it took American society decades to overcome the prejudices ingrained in their culture. While it is frustrating to see how long it takes for minority groups to receive rights in this country that is not necessarily because of a weak government, but because of a prejudice society. And the federal government has taken action to insure the civil rights of minority groups, like when President Eisenhower took command of the Arkansas National Guard in 1957 to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
I concede that the current system of government is not perfect. The bureaucracy that has been created breeds only inefficiency and corruption. However, removing the checks and balances is the solution. While it may be frustrating in certain situations, the painful process of creating laws in this country is a necessary defense of our liberties. The people and the government have shown in times of need that they can take the necessary action to correct wrongs, while still ensuring that no branch overtakes the others.

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6 Responses to In Defense of Inefficiency

  1. iannukem says:

    I agree. I am often angered with the inefficiency of the current system, but then I take a step back and realize that the system has been tried and true for several hundred years and was developed for the specific purpose of adding the several steps which often seem like a waste of time or like a bureaucracy, for the sole purpose of ensuring that each branch has equal power and that there is adequate safeguards put in place to ensure an equitable and fair assistance for all.
    I think we all need to take a step back and acknowledge that several countries have tried to emulate our checks and balances system and make it more efficient, and each time paid the price when one branch or division (usually the military) strong arms the others and creates corruption or inequity.
    That’s not to say our system is perfect or devoid of corruption, but it’s also not the worst. I would say that inefficiency is a small price to pay.

  2. ztacner says:

    I am going to have to agree with you, the gridlock created by our overly complex system of checks and balances is a negative and destructive aspect that came out of what is supposed to be a noble idea. The idea of such an easy shutdown of politics is a primary cause of stagnation, the enemy of progress. When a system as large and powerful as the government of the United States, who rules and governs many aspects of our lives cant even put simple rules to the public without forcing the entire “machine” that is politics to shut down from adolescent quarreling, then you know there’s a problem. I believe Morone was onto something when he said “strong and limited government” with fewer checks and balances; It assures a moving and adaptable system that would allow American policy to stay current with the ever evolving world around us.

  3. jcpartida says:

    While I can see the point you are trying to make, Im having a little trouble trying to find what side you are truly with, but I think that may be due to errors in the writing. For the most part you paint a picture, a passionate representation of what the founders may have wanted the need for “inefficiency”. Though I may not agree on your idea that congress was made to be ineffective, mostly for the fact that the inefficiency in this day and age comes from a multitude of facets-ranging from lobbyists to population density, it does look as if it is inefficient now but that can be for the better as well as you said. While in their days it came from trying to explore other possibilities because it took time to gather all the resources and time to get to a place where you could talk about them and where you would need more than just yourself to know what’s going on, and with the amount of resources today compared to then it may only look inefficient by standards. In the day of information when all you need is a computer to be well rounded in the exploration of what you need to vote on. It’s difficult to truly say that today and yesteryear are inefficient even though it may seem it.

  4. tonybetz says:

    “The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is inefficiency” -Eugene McCarthy
    I really enjoyed your post and didn’t event think about how inefficiency and gridlock may be something that the founding fathers had actually intended. I love our system of checks and balances, as frustrating as it may be sometimes, and think that it’s one of the reasons our country is unique. However, I don’t think that removing checks and balances is the solution to our problems. As you said checks and balances are set in place to to insure that there was no central power, and removing checks and balances could bring us dangerously close to having one central power that is the supreme law of the land with no way to check that power. I believe the founding fathers were correct with the separation of powers and only having one central power is bordering on having a monarchy ruling over America once again, and we all know how that turned out last time. Again, really enjoyed the post.

  5. mike65965 says:

    I believe that the gridlock today very necessary and exactly what the founders had in mind. I think that the majority of issues today are ones of individual rights and freedoms. the act of creating a law is supposed to be a long and challenging process because once something becomes law it likely will never change, or will be just as hard to overturn. A law being passed takes the cooperation of a majority of people or representative which is something that is tough today because we seem to be effectively split in half. I am not sure we should be deciding things for us all at a time when half the populations consensus is against whatever is decided. The checks and balances system is vital to a strong Democratic Republic to keep any one group from making the rules.

  6. nicmccaleb says:

    I never thought of inefficiency in that way. Now that I have heard that perspective, it makes complete sense. A system that is considered “efficient” may move issues through the government too quickly. The slow tedious struggle associated with pushing legislation through our government may prove to be a positive. In out “inefficient” system, the legislation is usually pretty well examined before it makes its final pass. An inefficiency that I point out is the current relationship between the citizens and the government. In the readings we did this past week we talked about how voting has become more of a personal accomplishment rather than an actual functioning vote. I think that the distant relationship between citizen and government is what causes so much inefficiency in our current system.

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