Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Administrivia Prevails

It is amazing how administrivia increases exponentially when things get tight and people begin to lose perspective.

I am finding more and more that people are resorting to focusing on small items and procedures at the expense of finding the big picture in things.

It is frustrating--our world collapses and the most important things are whether forms are completed at the expense of the ideas they contain.

Look at the government, for instance.

Congress has enacted thousands of onerous reporting requirements which are, I believe, almost singleandedly dragging the economy into the abyss.

State governments, likewise, in looking for increased revenues are finding new and creative means to apply taxes and fees. In Maryland, for instance, the state is considering raising the gas tax from 23 cents to 38 cents per gallon. A 15 cent per gallon increase. Really? And the consumers continue to bear the brunt of economic downturn and then the state wants to make it all the worse. While 15 cents per gallon may seem small, it adds up fairly quickly.

Instead of finding new and creative revenue means, the state needs to exammine the administrative burden it is placing on people and companies and begin to shed some of those revenue costing measures. Streamline. Don't reduce basic services, but remove the administrivia. I read that there is a 25 step process to gain road access for a construction project. Really? 25 steps? We are beginning to drown in administrative burden and it is causing productivity to fail.

I have already written of fee increases by banks and other industries.

Taken together--the increases, devoted to administrivia, begin to add up to a significant bill.

We need to rid ourselves of the small death by a thousand cuts approach to fees and taxes. Excise administrivia from society to improve our quality of life.

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