Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Wages of Bureaucracy are Death

Friedrich von Hayek developed a systematic argument against government regulation and government edict. According to Hayek, regulators cannot anticipate consumers' shifting evaluations of goods and services and changes in small facts, knowledge of which is essential to effective management. As a result, a regulated system will lack flexibility, especially when the inflexibility is compounded over a large-scale socialist economy such as the Soviet Union's was. Moreover, innovation is not likely in a system where rewards cannot accrue to innovators because government rules and penalties deflect shifts in demand and distort consumers' valuations of innovation.

Merv of PrairiePundit blogs a tragic episode in the Iraqi War that is covered on Reuters.

According to Reuters, a federal regulation that the Democrats pushed through that emphasizes privacy rights of terrorists may have resulted in the deaths of US military personnel.

"U.S. authorities racing to find three kidnapped American soldiers in Iraq last May labored for nearly 10 hours to get legal authority for wiretaps to help in the hunt, an intelligence official told Congress on Thursday. In order to comply with the law, the government was required to spend valuable time obtaining an emergency authorization ... to engage in collection related to the kidnapping," Ronald Burgess, principle deputy director to McConnell, said in a letter to U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes...Some Democrats and civil liberties advocates say a temporary expansion of the eavesdropping authority passed in August threatens the rights of Americans and any permanent law needs more protections...The wiretap began at 7:38 p.m. (2138 GMT). Authorities then had 72 hours to obtain a special court's endorsement of the emergency authority, which was granted, a U.S. official said...

"An al Qaeda-led group in June said it had killed the three soldiers, and showed pictured of ID cards of two of the men..."

It is unknown if the information obtained in the wiretap would have enabled the military to stop the execution. Merv points out that the Democrats and ACLU who are pushing for the bureaucratic rules do not take responsibility for the murders of the three soldiers.

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