Safe Bets: Minerals Management Service Edition

Reacting to news that Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum — who was ostensibly charged with regulating drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — has been fired, Dave Schuler offers a sucker bet:

Prediction: the MMS will be abolished and its responsibilities split among several other agencies. Most of the same people will remain in place.

I made the same prediction vis-a-vis airline security when TSA and the DHS were being created and was, of course, vindicated.

See, also, Dave’s related post, “Why I Don’t Like Technocracy.”   A snippet:

None of [Obama’s cabinet] has ever started a business, made a payroll, built a bridge or a building, or, possibly, run a large project with specific deliverables or even hired somebody to do that. Of all of President Obama’s cabinet those I’d trust most to do those things are Steven Chu (physicists frequently actually build things) and Eric Shinseki. They’re the secretaries of the Department of Energy and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, respectively.

Formally, technocracy means the rule by experts or authorities. Practically, it means that authorities in some particular field run every field.

There is apparently an idea abroad in the land that any bright attorney from a good school can do anything. It ain’t necessarily so.

So it would seem.

FILED UNDER: Bureaucracy, Quick Takes, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

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