Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Carson as HUD Secretary

There are several ways to look at Carson's selection and acceptance as Secretary of HUD.

1)  Carson had previously admitted that he wasn't really qualified, knowing nothing whatsoever about housing policy.  However, traditions of patronage run deep throughout American history.  The key is that you only treat a job as a patronage job if it isn't an important job.  Example:  the job of ambassador to some tiny beach resort country might be for sale to campaign bundler, but the job of ambassador to France?  Nope.  France is too important and complicated, even if everyone wants to hang out in Paris.  What does it say that Trump gives HUD to someone patently unqualified?  He thinks of it as a patronage job.  It's unimportant to him, and to Carson.  Priorities.

2)  "Urban."  Need I say more?

3)  Funny thing about bureaucracies.  Power doesn't always flow downwards, particularly since employees have civil service protection, and Trump can't just tell them, "you're fired!"  Carson will be, in all likelihood, a particularly hands-off Secretary, having no knowledge of or experience in housing policy.  Agency rules constrain employees anyway, as do existing laws, and without changes through either legislation or the regulatory process, employees at HUD will continue to be constrained by the same rules as under Obama while Carson pontificates about how the pyramids were built as grain silos by Joseph...

Yeah.  So, what will Carson do?  Hard to say, apparently even for him.  The obvious role for Carson would have been Surgeon General, but apparently, ya' know, "urban."

Y'all know he is actually a seriously great surgeon, right?  Medicine is actually his thing.  But, well...

Nevertheless, boring but good book:  James Q. Wilson, Bureaucracy.  With a name like "Smuckers," nope, still boring.  I had to read it, though.  For multiple classes.  So, hey, here's something exciting.  Jazz on a Tuesday.  Can we just admit this is what Trump was thinking?

1 comment:

  1. 1) Almost ALL jobs are patronage jobs to Trump.
    2) Yep.
    3) He'll do absolutely nothing except go on Fox a lot.