Ovi -
we cover every issue
worldwide creative inspiration  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Join Ovi in Facebook
Ovi Language
Murray Hunter: Essential Oils: Art, Agriculture, Science, Industry and Entrepreneurship
The Breast Cancer Site
Tony Zuvela - Cartoons, Illustrations
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
Eureka: The era of bureaucracy?
by Jay Gutman
2017-01-07 12:12:02
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

berau01_400I remember applying for a conference and all we needed was a written statement explaining why we wanted to be at the conference. No other paperwork was needed. This meant the conference organizers could trust their intuitions and see who had the strongest statements. Out of 150 applicants they picked 20, including me. The chemistry could not have been better with other participants. All 20 of us knew what we were talking about and had we worked with each other long-term I’m sure we could have achieved a lot together.

In another case, I applied for a job that had several bureaucratic layers attached to it. I had 36 rounds of paperwork to submit, and at each round of paperwork I was told they weren’t sure I was providing the right paperwork. The worst part was it was only for a 1 year non-renewable contract. I spent all summer gathering the paperwork and the following year, the government required about 80 rounds of paperwork to get another job in the same field, and I was no longer qualified to even enter the field.

An example of how bureaucracy stifles innovation is some people often ask me why they’re not getting those Nobel prizes or why they lag behind in innovation. What I tell them is that if each year professors need to provide 80 rounds of paperwork to keep their jobs, they’re not going to have time to solve medical, chemistry or physics problems that are going to get them any prize.  

1. Employment and bureaucracy

Medical checks, notarized degrees, notarized certificates, background checks, residency certificates, social security paperwork, standardized test scores, marriage certificates, birth certificates and I’ve even seen employers ask for the last three gas and electricity bills, or for the last 3 pay slips from the previous employers. I’m not joking.

When you need several dozens of rounds of paperwork for any job, you’re not going to attract the most qualified workers. Workers are valuable for their perfections as well as their imperfections. The idea with asking so much paperwork for employment is that employers are looking for the perfect candidate. In this case, the perfect candidate would be one who knows how to get his or her paperwork on track, but doesn’t have time for professional development or the out of the box thinking some companies might need.

2. Investment and bureaucracy

Bureaucracy often affects smaller businesses because larger business can always hire a team to take care of the paperwork. Smaller investors will in some cases spend so much time gathering the paperwork that they won’t have time to actually start the production or sales process.

3. Transportation and bureaucracy

The tendency over the years was to ease regulations regarding transportation and that meant a lot of predatory practices that included charging all sorts of extra fees and refusing refunds for long-distance plane, bus or train rides. Easing the bureaucracy also meant a lot of long-distance bus and airline companies going out of business within weeks after they start going in business.  

4. Banking and bureaucracy

As in transportation, the banking sector saw an easing of bureaucracy which meant predatory practices from banks including very high interest rate loans. I was at a bank once when a teller forced me to sign papers for a loan, at that time I was shy so I signed the papers and repaid the loan immediately. But if that were to happen today, and if that happens to you, I suggest you yell “hell no I’m not taking that loan!” as many times as necessary.

5. Housing and bureaucracy

Regarding land and housing, again minimalist bureaucracy meant predatory practices that include overcharging for housing, and selling housing for an expensive price to deflate the price immediately so the original owners can own the property at a much lower rate.

6. Immigration and bureaucracy

Unlike housing, banks and transportation, immigration has become ridiculous. I just watched a documentary where people were applying for immigrant visas to the US for 27,000 dollars in legal fees, so they could work on a farm making 9 dollars an hour. I was thinking to myself, if you stay in Korea, Turkey or Mexico, you could make 9 dollars an hour selling ice-cream in crowded streets. But then the Koreans, Turks or Mexicans insist that their families would disown them if they sold ice-cream on the streets. So they wouldn’t disown you if you worked on a farm in Alabama? What if you lose your farming job in Alabama?

7. Higher education and bureaucracy

I must say students have become slaves. Gurus –slash- academic advisers tell them what classes they should take, how much work they should put into each class and decide whether they are graduation material or not. I, the guy who speaks tons of languages and solves math and economic puzzles, was not graduation material, because my academic adviser said so.

8. Imports and exports and bureaucracy

The deregulation of the imports and exports business means dumping, and lots of it. Chinese companies dumping their products and killing American companies who sell the same product. Foreign car companies selling high quality cars so cheap that local cars can’t compete, local car companies go bust and the foreign car companies suddenly raise their prices only to find out that another car company is killing them the same way they killed local car companies. When you allow dumping foreign products it’s always the next company who is going to kill the previous company.

9. Taxation and bureaucracy

Thank God for tax accounting firms. Some countries have tax laws so complex that you’re never quite sure you paid the right amount of taxes. In my case, I always tell tax accounting firms to make sure I’m overpaying taxes, rather than underpaying them.

10. Legal changes and bureaucracy

To be a good legislator, you need to have a good idea what goes on in every sector. The problem with internet politics is that the handsome and pretty ones get to be elected in many cases, and few people read platforms. Or in some cases the ones who use the most buzzwords or who have the most coarse criticism of the people in power get elected. Again fair legislation demands that people know what goes on around them, how the laws are going to affect everyone, and how they might advantage some or disadvantage others.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi