Sunday, April 10, 2011

Government by Absence

America has avoided a shutdown of its government but still inspired Joshua Keating to wonder why our European counterparts, basket cases though they may be, don't have to worry about shutdowns.

Belgium and Portugal illustrate how most countries avoid governmental gridlock. The premier and his staffers propose a budget. If it's rejected by the legislature, the premier resigns. This solution raises the stakes somewhat, but on the other hand, civil services tend to continue in Europe even after the resignations.

American bureaucratic sclerosis is keeping up with the Old World -- maybe even outdoing them.