Everybody hates bureaucracies, even those who work in them. Yet in twenty-first century America, apart from a handful of hermits and survivalists living off the grid, dealing with impenetrable, impersonal, infinitely complex, obdurate, arrogant, and often stupefyingly incompetent bureaucracies is an everyday travail for everyone. Think about it:Social Security. Medicare, Local, state and federal taxing agencies. Getting a driver's license. Obtaining documents for business, remodeling your house, or getting a building permit. Any federal department or agency. Dealing with the phone company, your credit card issuer, a credit bureau, a billing error by a big chain store. Navigating airport security, health-care insurance, university and public school administrations.
- From A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service by Robert M. Gates