Monday, February 1, 2010

British Bureaucratic Idiocy: Quantifying Bravery

Tim Ripley of The Time of London has a scathing piece "Quota rules rob troops of medals" on how out-of-control government bureaucracies become slaves to quantifying the unquantifiable to the detriment of the people they are attempting to serve. In essence, White Hall has decided that a quota must be in place to recognize bravery on the battlefield in the case of British troops deployed in the very active combat theater of Afghanistan. Bravery, or courage under fire, is like laughter or love, it is something that can't be quantified based off of a rigid quota system and capped for allocation. Sure, rigorous standards must be established to meet a threshold to be recognized for bravery, but the werewolf thinks of few things as sinister as valuing courage through a rigid quota system. That sends a very perverse signal throughout the ranks and it is likely very demoralizing.

It also got the werewolf thinking that if governments instinctively want to set quotas for courage and bravery, imagine how treacherous they are when it comes to allocating the scarce resources of a health care system. Another reason for the United States to avoid a nationalized health care system like herpes from a crack-house hooker. Once you get it, it sticks with you forever, and you never treat or value life with the same dignity.

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