Bureaucratic inertia describes the tendency of administrative institutions to complicate their operations at the expense of accomplishing their original goals. The more complicated procedural frameworks become, the more time it will take to negotiate those procedures, which in turn means it will be more difficult for the bureaucracy to achieve the ends it was designed to pursue in the first place. Bureaucratic growth results.
You can get a sense of how pervasive the American regulatory regime has become by considering water regulation, especially in the American west, where water is a scarce resource. Access to water determines, in no small part, how, or even if any number of people make their living.
- What is the “Tragedy of the Commons”? Do you treat common property as well as your own?
- Who do you think should make decisions about local issues such as allocating water rights?
This reading is an excerpt from Certell’s Common Sense Government eBook. Certell offers curriculum materials and eBooks free of charge for use by students and teachers. Click Here to download the Common Sense Government materials.
Peter Essick/Aurora. 3, Nov. 2018, “Give Us Back Our Water” [Digital photograph]. Retrieved from <orionmagazine.org/article/fluid-values-battles-over-water-rights/>.