CHAPTER

11

Bureaucrats and Red Tape Warriors

The worst attributes of bureaucracy should much more often be treated like the cancers they so much resemble.

—Charlie Munger, Investor and business philosopher

It may seem like the battle against red tape is hopeless. Just as entropy increases in our universe, it seems that rules, procedures, and wasteful practices inevitably get worse with time. But, human intervention can add order to a disordered universe. And, we’ll see, that efforts by individuals, organizations, and sometimes even the bureaucrats themselves can take action to reduce friction.

YINCHUAN, CHINA

City Hall in Yinchuan, China, is a modern building that bustles with activity. It’s the hub for most of the city’s social services and ...

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