Monday, November 9, 2009

Department of Homeland Security

Posted by Allen Lewis

One of the great failures of the George W. Bush administration - and there are many to choose from - was the wild expansion in the size, scope and power of the state. The Department of Homeland Security is a prime example. This agency (the third largest Cabinet department by headcount) has been a cesspool of waste, ineffectiveness and fraud since the day it was created. And now we find out that US "intelligence" agencies which fall under the purvey of DHS knew that Major Nidal Hasan was in electronic contact with al Queda in the months before his rampage at Fort Hood.

Like all government agencies, DHS is not subject to market forces. In a market system, when a firm fails to provide goods or services of adequate quality, it goes out of business. The incentive to succeed (with success defined by the customer) is clear, and the cost of failure is the immediate and complete withdrawal of resources to the firm by the market.

In the realm of government, failure is rewarded with additional resources, which are always stolen from the people through theft, legal plunder, and/or inflation. This is because a lot of politicians and moneyed special interests have a lot to lose if a government entity were to fail. Further, I categorically reject the idea that Americans have to give up their liberty to the state in order to secure liberty. DHS should be abolished immediately.

(Interesting bit of trivia: what was the last government agency to be abolished, and when did it happen. The answer is surprising, if not disheartening.)


Tom Sawyer said...

Beautiful, succinct, and correct.

I think that Janet Napolitano has been too busy trying to spot Timothy McVeigh among the town-hall protesters to notice that there is a threat from Al-Quaeda and Islamo-fascism.

Imagine that, a government agency screwing something up.

No individual should be required to depend upon such institutional ineptness for anything.

One Salient Oversight said...

The DHS is a security organisation, like the CIA, the FBI and the armed forces.

So are you saying that the government shouldn't have to tax and spend on national security?

Are you saying that private industry should be given the power to enforce the law?

Anonymous said...

Individuals should have to protect their own property. This may include using the capitalist system of free exchange to work cooperatively with other individuals and companies to accomplish that objective.

The government's role is to protect individual rights, including the right of individuals to protect their person, property and liberty from others.

As a practical matter, if the US government (empire) were not constantly interfering in the internal affairs of other nations, but instead focused itself on the very narrow, specific task of protecting the rights of individuals, the need for defense spending would be minuscule compared to the current obscene levels.