Skip to content


The second is that ease of doing business ranking that comes out around this time each year. Where Bangladesh is normally some small fraction above the bottom of the listing. The problem is bureaucracy often enough. People have to stand around, or in line, to gain a permit or permission to do something. This is the opposite of productivity as the people standing in line can’t be off somewhere doing something, making or producing something.

That is, we can increase productivity — as above make ourselves richer, enjoy pure economic growth — simply by abolishing large parts of the “Babu” Empire.

That is, if we reduce the number of permits, permissions, and applications for them required to do something then more will get done — we’ll have more of that pure and joyous economic growth. Plus, it will be fun turning the bureaucrats out of their offices and seeing if they themselves are capable of doing something productive.

9 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. The Big Men control large voting blocs, often of peasants or barely literate day labourers. To control the bloc, they need to dish out patronage. The patronage comes from sinecures dished out by the state.
    The real trouble arises when instead of doing nothing, these placemen start reading the rules and hustling for bribes for non compliance.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    This is just Hernando de Soto’s The Other Path. A great book that should have had a bigger impact.

    But, in the end, if bureaucrats cannot regulate, the people who suffer their caprice will not pay them off by buying them tickets to Twickenham or giving them sinecures on retirement or the like.

    So this is not a path anyone will go down. Not even in the West.

  3. People LIKE fascism. They want others controlled.

    Puritanism. Lack of trust of fellow citizens.

    TV repairmen MUST be licensed. So Connie Homemaker lazily doesn’t have to learn anything about TVs or repairmen, as the government has guaranteed that any TV repairman with shingle up is competent. Unless he isn’t.

    That he has been in business for years is not sufficient evidence for Connie, mostly because she is too lazy to find out. The irony being that many people are not lazy, and still ask, “Who should I get to work on my TV?”

    My hair cutter is licensed by the state.

    Limits to entry into business. Any Jane with scissors can cut hair. Hair cutters don’t want anyone else cutting hair.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    My hair cutter is licensed by the state.

    The USA does have a problem with occupational licensing, some of the stuff would make an Indian bureaucrat blush.

    This is a very long piece on occupational licensing that uses this as an example:

    Kine Gueye is a hair braider in Kentucky. She learned to braid hair as she was growing up in Senegal, where “African hair braiding” is a way of life.

    When Gueye arrived in the United States, she turned her skills into a job. She sometimes worked 12 hours a day braiding hair in her Louisville home, earning between $80 and $250 per customer.

    Then the government came knocking. “She told me she was from the state Board of Cosmetology … and that I was not allowed to do hair without a license,” Gueye told the Urban News Service. “I told her I had been braiding for years, and I did not know you had to have a license.”

    It’s worth noting that until very recently Kentucky cosmetology schools didn’t teach African hair braiding, and that Gueye doesn’t use chemicals in her practice.

    Gueye could have gotten a cosmetology license, but the education alone would have cost her up to $20,000 and 420 days that she could not spend earning a living. Instead she would have spent time learning about hair cutting, facials, manicuring, hair removal, and numerous other things that have nothing to do with her business.

    THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT Gueye did not seek out a cosmetology license. She did not find a different job. She refused to stay underground. Instead, Gueye fought the government’s stifling regulations. She fought alongside other braiders in Kentucky to defend their right to earn an honest living performing their cultural trade. In a win for Kentucky’s hair braiders, Governor Matt Bevin signed a bill in 2016 exempting them from the state’s cosmetology regulations.

    It really is a mess, with different states having completely different requirements across all manner of occupations, from no licensing to 100s of hours of costly training and then having to pay a Board for the annual license.

    So much for the Land of the Free.

  5. “So much for the Land of the Free.”

    I might have told this story here before:

    Gordon Liddy said he took a friend from Italy to a U.S. baseball game. They all stood for the National Anthem. When it got to the line, “Land of the Free,” the Italian burst out laughing.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset


    Not heard that one, but sounds plausible 🙂

    In 2007 we were doing a tour of the famous canyons plus a few other areas and we had a few days staying in a B&B at a small town called Kernville, about 40km NE of Bakersfied CA, so we could see some seqoia trees and a bit of rural life.

    Breakfast was at a communal table and one morning we got in to a discussion that led me to state the New Zealand was more free market than the USA (it was at the time). Talk about committing a heinous crime, one guy took deep offence and we spent some time arguing about it and he was having none of it.

  7. See: is not ok for a depressing story of the bureaucratic mess the US has let itself into.

  8. 10-4, BiND.

    Another one that will get people excited is “Buy American.” The idea being that it is unpatriotic not to buy ‘Merican stuff.

    The fascist state has completely bollocksed American production. There is government content in EVERYTHING. Buying widgets from somewhere else is a market feedback. Insisting on buying American lets the fascist politicians get away with screwing with our marketplace.

    It is unpatriotic to buy American when there is “better,” as defined by the customer, available. Unfortunately, this is slightly above the intellect of the average American.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *