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Written long before Public Choice economists began to take up the subject, Mises describes bureaucracies as both self-interested and economically irrational (thereby improving on the modern Public Choice critique). There is no reinventing government: if we are to have government do things for us, bureaucracies, which cannot behave efficiently, will have to do the work. This small book has grown in stature as Western economies have become more and more bureaucratized.
This volume's contents include:Preface to the 1962 Edition1. The opprobrious connotation of the term bureaucracy 2. The American citizen's indictment of bureaucratism 3. The "Progressive" view of bureaucratism 4. Bureaucratism and totalitarianism 5. The alternative: profit management or bureaucratic managementPreface to the 1944 Edition Introduction I. Profit Management1. The operation of the market mechanism 2. Economic calculation 3. Management under the profit system 4. Personnel management under an unhampered labor marketII. Bureaucratic Management1. Bureaucracy under a despotic government 2. Bureaucracy within a democracy 3. The essential features of bureaucratic management 4. The crux of bureaucratic management 5. Bureaucratic personnel managementIII. Bureaucratic Management of Publicly Owned Enterprises1. The impracticability of government all-round control 2. Public enterprise within the market economyIV. Bureaucratic Management of Private Enterprises1. How government interference and the impairment of the profit motive drive business toward bureaucratization 2. Interference with the height of profit 3. Interference with the choice of personnel 4. Unlimited dependence on the discretion of government bureausV. The Social and Political Implications of Bureaucratization1. The philosophy of bureaucratism
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Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was a preeminent philosopher and economist during the twentieth century. He shared an intellectual friendship with literary giant Ayn Rand, and his theorems and philosophies have continued to influence the careers and ideas of politicians and economists alike.Review:
Written by professor former Vienna Chamber of Commerce economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), Bureaucracy is a classic economic treatise, first published in 1944, about how the efficient aspects of private ownership and control of public good production ultimately produces superior results compared to the mishmash of publically administrated plans laced with codes of "officialdom," government incompetence, unforeseen legal wranglings, graft, and other ills. "Bureaucracy in itself is neither good nor bad," Mises states; rather, bureaucracy is a valuable resource for managing certain spheres of human activity, such as policing and courts of law, yet ultimately a failure or even harmful when applied to private enterprise, simply because forced obedience to strict rules hobbles entrepreneurial managers' room to maneuver amid fluctuating market situations, and stifles their innovation in response to evolving consumer wants. "Under socialism . . . the beginner must please the already settled. They do not like too efficient newcomers. (Neither do old-established entrepreneurs like such men; but, under the supremacy of the consumers, they cannot prevent their competition.) In the bureaucratic machine of socialism the way toward promotion is not achievement but the favor of the superiors . . . The rising generation is at the mercy of the aged." As timely and insightful now as it was over half a century ago, Bureaucracy is highly recommended especially for college library and economic studies shelves.
The Midwest Book Review
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