Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review: The Rule of Nobody, by Philip K. Howard

"This town needs an enema." So said Jack Nicholson's "Joker" about the dysfunctionality of Gotham City in Tim Burton's 1989 movie, "Batman." In "The Rule of Nobody," author Philip K. Howard embraces Joker's sentiments exactly, save that Howard's disgust is aimed squarely at Washington D.C. Regardless of one's political stripe, the list of what's badly broken in national politics far exceeds the tally of what's working well. In this book, Howard illustrates the vast and litigious space separating common sense from bureaucratic inertia in modern America. Surely many ailments explain the malady, and just as surely one of the more prominent among them is bureaucratic malaise brought about by countless aged and conflicting rules and regulations as immortal as they are useless, if not downright dangerous. Thus the enema -- Howard's prescription to set things right in part is to vigorously seek and eliminate outdated federal bureaucratic regulations and regulators whose evolution has rendered them poisonous to the health of our national body politic. Howard's diagnosis, prognosis and suggested course of treatment all ring true. There's no politician alive who wouldn't benefit himself and his constituents by reading this book. You should read it, too.

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