We are so wrapped up in the politics of the day, Democrat vs. Republican and the petty games they play, that we overlook the real power in our government and how that power has corrupted our republic to the point that we, as citizens, no longer have a voice in nor can we control it.
The power of the federal, state, county and local governments is vested in its bureaucracy and the bureaucrats that run those bureaucracies.
In 1940, the federal government employed a total of 699,000 people, including 256,000 in military, 98,000 in Agriculture, 9,000 in Social Security, 11,000 in Justice and 4,500 in Treasury and the remainder of all the other departments.
Now compare the latest numbers from 2014: total 2,079,000: 723,000 in military, total civilians 1,356,000 (excluding the additional 4,100,000 civilian contractors), 94,000 in Agriculture, 141,000 in HHS, Education and Social Security, 186,000 in Homeland Security, 70,000 in Interior, 114,000 in Justice and 469,400 in all others.
The average pay package for each federal employee in 2020 is $149,942 a year, keeping in mind that many federal employees make much less than this and others make considerably more.
But with this average, we can clearly see that federal employees make on average more than the average citizen for whom they work. I do not have the average pay for the state, county or local governments.
Add the total number of government employees, including local, county, state and federal, and that’s about 24 million in 2020 — now we can start to understand the size and scope of America’s bureaucratic class.
Who’s trying to fool whom when the government’s total bureaucracy is this large? Bear in mind that each and every level of these bureaucracies has it own rules and regulations that they create and perpetuate.
Each of them can, with impunity, set whatever standards and rules that their broad charters permit.
Each time a governing body creates a bureaucracy, they give it broad powers that the bureaucracy fills with its own rules and regulations.
They are almost independent of control or oversight by any elected official or elected body.
To give you a example of the insanity of a bureaucracy, let me tell a little tale about the way one bureaucracy works. I am a beekeeper and I also volunteer at the local wildlife refuge.
A couple of years ago, I suggested that the refuge install a couple of beehives to promote beekeeping, help pollinate plants on the refuge and educate the public on beekeeping.
Not a bad idea that covers what you would think was the goal of a wildlife refuge. Wrong!
The enlightened bureaucrats at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which controls the refuge system, after several months, said you cannot put a beehive on a National Wildlife Refuge because bees are an invasive species.
And seeing that they are not native to North America, they are not permitted on the refuge. Forget the fact that, on that refuge, there maybe hundreds, if not thousands, of feral honey bee colonies.
This may better than anything else, exemplify, how and why bureaucracies should be severely restricted and kept in narrow lanes.
Go to any bureaucracy’s office and ask to look at the regulations under which they operate and be prepared to be shocked by the volumes and volumes they have to work under.
Each of those regulations and rules have a direct effect on our lives. And the bigger the bureaucracy is, the more rules and regulations they will have.
When we consider the size and scope of our bureaucracies, we can begin to understand how little control we or our political leaders have over the government.
The government at every level, but especially at the federal level, have become a self-governed, perpetuity organism that regardless of which party is in control of the government, the bureaucrats and through them the bureaucracies actually control the government.
This includes anyone; regardless of how you may feel about the man, former President Donald Trump ran headlong into the federal bureaucracy and it chewed him up and spit him out.
Along with the Democratic Party and to a degree the mainstream media, the bureaucrats at every level of the federal government resisted his every effort to change the fundamental character of the government. Every department and agency repulsed him.
Some, especially the FBI and Justice Department, made a mockery of what they stand for, “truth, integrity and justice,” and instead tried to destroy the man and his policies.
It was a dark day in our history to see what they attempted and actually did to him and his administration.
If ever a bureaucracy showed its true colors, then the Justice Department and the FBI, showed theirs throughout Trump’s administration.
To a much lesser degree, the mainstream media and Democratic Party contributed to the damage they inflicted on that administration.
But without the support of and consent of the federal bureaucracy, the mainstream media and Democratic Party could not have done the damage they did.
And to this day, the bureaucracies continue to hound and persecute the man and his followers.
There lies the fundamental truth and problem with our government today: politicians and the governing bodies have relinquished actual control of the government over to the bureaucracies.
This has allowed them to absorb the government into the bureaucracies, thereby creating an independent government within a government, answerable to no one but themselves.
While our politicians are squabbling over nonsense and irrelevant poppycock, the actual governing of the country is slipping away and given over to bureaucrats.
Never forget that bureaucracies can only exist if they continue to widen their influence and by making themselves stronger.
There is not one bureaucracy or agency in our government that has weakened or become smaller in the last 60 years.
They are like a cancer that has been allowed, by our politicians and us, to slowly grow and strangle our democracy.
What can we do to alter the course we are on? How do we take our government back from the bureaucrats and their bureaucracies?
How can we stop the expansion of the bureaucracies and make our government more efficient? Where do we start?
These are all good questions, some of which have easy answers, while others are going to require radical changes in the way we look at government and governing.
We cannot afford to ignore this any longer; we must open an impartial dialog between our political class and the citizenry to stop the unfettered growth of the bureaucrat class.
We may be on the verge of our government becoming more and more like the governments of societies that are run by the bureaucrats who oversee every aspect of it’s citizens lives without oversight by the political class.
Unless we, the people of this country, take our government back from the bureaucrats and the bureaucracies and agencies that currently control our lives, then our democracy will fail.
Our forefathers, however flawed, understood what they were doing, and they first and foremost wanted us to live in a free country under the rule of the people.
Because if the people do not rule themselves, then someone or something else will.
BERNARD LESLIE is a beekeeping expert who lives beside Kentucky Lake in the northeast corner of Henry County. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.