The New Clarion

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Bureaucracy In Action

July 16th, 2011 by Myrhaf · 3 Comments · Politics


Embroiled by legal battles for more than 25 years, two U.S. Navy ships are finally headed to the scrap heap without ever having sailed and despite the fact that they’re almost completely finished.

According to Hampton Roads, the USNS Bejamin Isherwood and the USNS Henry Eckford were commissioned in 1985 at the Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Co. to carry fuel to the Navy’s fleet around the globe.

When the company defaulted on its Navy contract in 1989 the 660-foot ships were sent to Florida for completion, but cost disputes terminated that contract in 1993.

Since then, the vessels have sat 95 and 84 percent complete at the mouth of the James River as part of the mothballed ghost fleet.

Do you think any private shipping company would let two ships sit around almost complete for 18 years? This is a good example of the difference between bureaucracy in the public sector and profit-seeking companies in the private sector. And the statists want to turn every aspect of our lives over to bureaucrats — from health care to carbon dioxide emissions to the stock market to the banks to car companies to workplace rules to how much fat we can eat to where we can smoke a cigarette (until cigarettes are banned altogether).

3 Comments so far ↓

  • c andrew


    The funny thing is that you could have made the header two words and expressed, in context, the same meaning [grin]. Bureaucracy In Action = Bureaucracy Inaction. (In this case. There are plenty of other cases I’d prefer Bureaucracy Inaction. As in most of them…)

  • Inspector

    Altruists so often try to argue about how companies are so “evil” and “predatory” since they’re driven by the profit motive, and instead we should trust our lives to “disinterested” parties in the government.

    The darkly ironic part of this is that nothing can approach the level of evil that disinterested governments can perpetrate, precisely because they are disinterested. “Disinterested” means that they literally do not care about outcomes or (your!) money wasted. They have bureaucratic rules that they will follow, regardless of logic or even common sense – to the death (mostly yours), if necessary.

  • Jim May

    “Disinterested” = no skin in the game. I’ll have to remember that.