Friday Funnies: Bureaucracy is a Joke!

Bureaucratic maze master.
Bureaucratic maze master.

Ah, Bureaucracy. It seems that no matter who much we try, Americans can’t get away from the pervasive bureaucrat and their oppressive, arcane regulations and spontaneous, nebulous rules.  As government keeps growing and bureaucrats keeps spreading, here are few jokes  to soften the impact…until the whole bureaucratic structure falls under its own weight that is! (hat tip:

(Oh yeah, also included is a GREAT clip of bureaucracy represented in Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”)

Bureaucracy: A system that enables ten men to do the work of one. Anonymous

The organization of any bureaucracy is very much like a septic tank. The really big chunks always rise to the top. Imhoff’s Law

In a bureaucratic hierarchy, the higher up the organization the less people appreciate Murphy’s Law. Rogers’s Observation

Oxymoron: Government organization. Oxymoron.

To beat the bureaucracy, make your problem their problem. Principle of Displaced Hassle

The effort expended by the bureaucracy in defending any error is in direct proportion to the size of the error. Nies’s Law

Typesetters always correct intentional errors, but fail to correct unintentional ones. Parkinson’s Fifth Law

A giant mechanism operated by pygmies. Honoré de Balzac(1799 – 1850) French novelist & playwright

Communism is like one big phone company. Lenny Bruce, (1923 – 1966) stand-up comedian, writer, social critic & satirist

You should have seen it when I got it. Bureaucratic Cop-Out #1

An inexorable upward movement leads administrators to higher salaries and narrower spans of control. Riesman’s Law

The spirit of public service will rise, and the bureaucracy will multiply itself much faster, in time of grave national concern. Branch’s First Law of Crisis

If anything can go wrong, it will do so in triplicate. Murphy’s Law of Government

1. Never use one word when a dozen will suffice. 2. If it can be understood, it’s not finished yet. 3. Never be the first to do anything.  Smith’s Principles of Bureaucratic Tinkertoys

Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. Ronald Reagan, (1911 – 2004) 40th U.S. president & actor

If the first person who answers the phone cannot answer your question, it’s a bureaucracy. Lyndon’s Observation

Bad regulation begets worse regulation. Mobil’s Maxim

1. When in charge ponder 2. When in trouble delegate 3. When in doubt mumble. Boren’s Laws for Bureaucrats

Of all possible committee reactions to any given agenda item, the reaction that will occur is the one which will liberate the greatest amount of hot air. Martin-Berthelot Principle


One Reply:

  1. Gary West

    Bureaucrats are like a can of mixed nuts…shake ’em up and the big nuts rise to the top.

    When in danger, when in doubt,
    Have a meeting, scream and shout.

    Bureaucrat’s Credo: Do nothing until you can assign blame on someone else for your failure.

    Government: If you think the problem is bad, wait ’til you see our solution.

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