The Administrative State – Religion and Politics

Kurt's Religion and Politics

20201104 The Administrative State – The Daily Summation
20201104 The Administrative State – The Daily Summation Podcast

If you haven’t heard the term, “the administrative state,” I’d have to wonder from what source, you get your information on government.

In certain quarters, the term is used all but mockingly. Among that group, there’s tendency to argue that either there’s nothing wrong with the vast amount of power being vested in bureaucrats, or that things aren’t as some (read here, “people like me”) would have you believe.

Others maintain, that at present, the control held by unelected individuals, is so great, that short of a good deal of dismantling, the chances of wresting it from them, are almost nonexistent.

This is an argument that will, I’m sure, continue to rage, for a long time to come.

That said, I wanted to take a moment to discuss my personal dealings, with what amounts to the long arm of the administrative state.

To begin with, let’s talk about my time working as a subcontractor, to an organization that contracted to provide certain services, to my local Department of Health and Human Services.

I worked as someone who helped to keep their various web applications running, make enhancements on existing ones, and help create new ones.

One of the projects I was involved in, was a system called Coding Validation Tables or CVT. We were working to modernize that site, so that it looked and felt as a newer application ought to.

I learned from my time working on that system, that typically more than fifty percent of state funding, wasn’t from the people of the state directly, but from the U. S. federal government.

You can be quite certain those monies, did not come to the state with no strings attached.

It turns out, that’s just one of many ways, the national government, keeps its hooks into state and local entities.

Another example, is the Medicaid system.

Anybody who’s worked on either Medicare or Medicaid, is well aware there’s an oversight body, known by the acronym CMS

The funny part? That abbreviation expanded is, “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.” In case you think I’m making that up, go to the CMS website, and check out the expansion of the letters under the words “,” at the top of any given page.

And to be sure, if you were confused into believing the federal entity supposedly providing oversight to Medicaid (supposedly ostensibly a state agency, for each state), doesn’t have an iron grip on that program, just ask anybody who works in things related to it—if you can get them to converse honestly with you.

Because the federal government decides how a large part of Medicaid is funded (since much of the largess in question originates with that entity), all it has to do, is threaten to withhold those funds, if a given state won’t play ball.

But my favorite example of government at a high level, reaching down into the daily lives of others, is related to my experience, with having my children in daycare facilities.

As it is, I’m not at all happy with such an arrangement. Having my choice, my children would never find, or have found themselves, in either public schools, or daycare.

That said, I’ve been in circumstances, where I couldn’t easily see another way to do business, and still provide a home for them that was anything like reasonable.

The simple result is, my children go and have gone to, both school and daycare.

One of the more interesting things you find in daycare facilities in my area—and I doubt very much, my region is alone in this—is notices informing you, the business in question is essentially prohibited from discriminating, on the basis of race.

You might expect to find such an admonition in many businesses, but the interesting thing about this particular warning, is its source.

You see, it actually says on it whence it originates. You may not be surprised to hear, it wasn’t the idea of the company itself.

It may come to your mind, that local, or even state government, required its placement.

If so, you’d be incorrect.

So who did cause it to be posted?

“Surely it wasn’t the federal government?” you might be tempted to inquire. Yes, in fact it was.

“What agency could possibly have done such a thing?” might be your next question.

The answer? The United States Department of Agriculture.

That’s right, the USDA.

You may next ask, “How on Earth can they have implemented such a requirement?”

The answer is, some time in the distant past, the USDA convinced a sufficient number of such enterprises, to take food given via their programs.

If other such businesses wish to compete in that market, they must either buy food very cheaply, or partake of those same “giveaways.”

For daycare facilities that make small amounts of money, and are required to have a certain number of workers on staff, the obvious choice, is to use the programs in question.

Of course, as usual, they must meet certain standards, to obtain the items they receive. One such requirement, is a non-discrimination dictate, including the aforementioned placards.

This is just one of many such things, folks performing daycare services, must have in place, just in order to succeed in their chosen business.

You can bet other such strictures (based, of course, on benefits of some sort given), are as or more onerous, than the one mentioned.

It may seem like a small thing, to have to maintain such items in your place of business, whether or not you agree with what’s required. That said, it’s just one more thing they must do, if they wish to survive.

So on top of the more nebulous aspects of the nanny or administrative state, there are some examples I can give, that’re far more concrete, as you can see.

You may not have a problem with a constantly growing and expanding group of bureaucrats, implementing requirements at ever lower levels, from on high. As for me, you can rest assured I consider such things, a major concern. Perhaps it’s already too late to do anything about them. By the time many conclude they’re problematic, it will almost certainly be so. Make your choice now or later, but remember, choices have consequences; as does kicking the can down the proverbial road.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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