50 Bureaucracy Quotes about Extreme Inefficiency

You’ll relate to these bureaucracy quotes if you’ve ever wasted time or money due to bureaucracy.

Investopedia defines bureaucracy as “a complex organization with multilayered systems and processes.”

While bureaucracies are most often discussed within the government, they dominate large corporations.

The reasons for bureaucracy are rooted in good purposes, as it is a check and balance system that also allows people to specialize in one area.

However, while it may be rooted in good intentions, bureaucracy is often known for delaying decisions due to excessive red tape and costing the consumer or taxpayer more money because they must pay for the bureaucracy to operate.

Look at these Bureaucracy quotes and see if you can relate to them.

Top Bureaucracy Quotes

Here are some short and quick thoughts on the topic of bureaucracy.

1. “Bureaucracy destroys initiative.” — Frank Herbert

2. “Bureaucracy is the death of any achievement.”  Albert Einstein

3. “The bureaucracy always goes with the way politicians go.” — Yogi Adityanath

4. “Democracy is cancerous, and bureaus are its cancer.” — William S. Burroughs

5. “If you have a reputation as a big, stiff bureaucracy, you’re stuck.” Jack Welch

6. “Stand-up is no bureaucracy. No one can tell me what to do or not to do.” Ali Wong

7. “Bureaucracy gives birth to itself and then expects maternity benefits.” — Dale Dauten

8. “The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” — Eugene McCarthy

9. “One of the enduring truths of the nation’s capital is that bureaucrats survive.” — Gerald Ford

10. “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” — Franz Kafka

Challenges of Bureaucracy Quotes

There are many challenges caused by bureaucracy, as shown in the following quotes.

11. “Bureaucracy kills people’s ability to try new ideas.” — Walter O’Brien

12. “We will not let government bureaucracy stand in the way of helping small businesses.” — Chris Sununu

13. “Bureaucracy is not an obstacle to democracy but an inevitable complement to it.” — Joseph A. Schumpeter

14. “Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.” — Laurence J Peter

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15. “In any bureaucracy, there’s a natural tendency to let the system become an excuse for inaction.” — Chris Fussell

16. “Too many vital education dollars that should be spent in the classroom are bouncing around in the federal bureaucracy.” — Mark Kennedy

17. “Higher education should be based on quality, not quantity; receive merit-based funding; and be free of unnecessary bureaucracy.” — Ahmed Zewail

18. “For me, governing starts with people. It doesn’t start with bureaucracy. It doesn’t start with policy. It starts with people and what people need to thrive.” — Betsy Hodges

19. “No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.” — Aldous Huxley

20. “As a flood spreads wider and wider, the water becomes shallower and dirtier. The revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” — Franz Kafka

Why People Hate Bureaucracy Quotes

You’ll see in the following quotes why so many people hate bureaucracy.

21. “Bureaucracy is like a fungus that contaminates everything.” — Jaime Lerner

22. “Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” — Honore de Balzac

23. “We must fight against negativeness—especially bureaucracy, corruption, and wastefulness.” — Nong Duc Manh

24. “The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escape all responsibility.” — Brooks Atkinson

25. “Government proposes, bureaucracy disposes. And the bureaucracy must dispose of government proposals by dumping them on us.” — P.J. O’Rourke

26. “Bureaucracies force us to practice nonsense. And if you rehearse nonsense, you may one day find yourself the victim of it.” — Laurence Gonzales

27. “Fight hierarchy and bureaucracy as hard as you possibly can. Don’t ever let it become the master; always remember it’s the servant.” — Herb Kelleher

28. “Any plan of administration which contemplates a concentrating of responsibility is open to the dangers which follow the creation of a bureaucracy.” — Arthur Capper

29. “What you have to understand is that bureaucracy is an organism, and the prime goal of every organism is self-protection. Bureaucracy exists to protect itself.” — Emily St. John Mandel

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30. “Mystical references to society and its programs to help may warm the hearts of the gullible, but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.” — Thomas Sowell

Opinions About Bureaucracy Quotes

Here are more thoughts from others on bureaucracy and the challenges it creates.

31. “The best way to put the federal bureaucracy back on a leash is to make it obey the laws the people write.” — Josh Hawley

32. “What comes after the revolution is inevitable bureaucracy. Whoever wins the revolution builds a bureaucracy.” — Sean Parker

33. “I’m against big bureaucracy in Washington making health care decisions. I just have an aversion to bureaucrats.” — Gary Bauer

34. “Misdirected focus on paperwork, on procedures, and on bureaucracy frustrates teachers and fails to give children the education they need.” — Christopher Bond

35. “We have this idea of bureaucracy in local government, and it’s generally things that we’re frustrated at. It doesn’t work the way we like it to work.” — Jennifer Pahlka

36. “One of the greatest threats to mankind today is that the world may be choked by an explosively pervading but well-camouflaged bureaucracy.” — Normal Borlaug

37. “Just remember: if ever you feel weighed down by the bureaucracy and often mundanity of modern life, don’t fight the frustration. Let it be the catalyst to whimsy.” — James Veitch

38. “I see my job as being to facilitate the life of clinical researchers so that they can be more productive, and trying to keep the bureaucracy from getting in their way.” — Alastair Wood

39. “The minute you’re working with the government, you’re dealing with bureaucracy, you’re dealing with time lags, you’re dealing with rigidity, you’re dealing with a slow pace.” — Bob Simon

40. “That is why I strongly believe we should be working in Congress to make America a better place to run a business by reducing the costly burdens of bureaucracy and red tape.” — Mike Simpson

Additional Bureaucracy Quotes

Here are a few more perspectives on bureaucracy.

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41. “The United Nations must focus on delivery rather than process and on people rather than bureaucracy.” — Antonio Guterres

42. “When you start playing tennis, you don’t imagine there’s a whole bureaucracy behind the tournaments and all of that.” Venus Williams

43. “Privately, we know that the bureaucracy has only gotten worse since the high-level people are scared of being held responsible for 9/11.” — David Hunt

44. “Bureaucrats derive their power from their position in the structure, not from their relations with the people they are supposed to serve.” — Alan Keyes

45. “Silos and bureaucracy are well-oiled machines in corporate America, but they are ultimately perpetuated by individual behavior.” — Chris Fussell

46. “No words can describe the personal liberation that heading seaward bestows upon me. In this aquatic realm, no man or woman is subject to the petty decrees of social bureaucracy.” — Paul Watson

47. “Bureaucracies are designed to perform public business. But as soon as a bureaucracy is established, it develops an autonomous spiritual life and comes to regard the public as its enemy.” — Brooks Atkinson

48. “This always confuses liberals that conservatives like the military and don’t like the bureaucracy. That’s because the military has their guns pointed out and the bureaucracy has them pointed in.” — Grover Norquist

49. “I believe the best service to the child is the service closest to the child, and children who are victims of neglect, abuse, or abandonment must not also be victims of bureaucracy.” — Kenny Guinn

50. “Bureaucracies, I’ve suggested, are not themselves forms of stupidity so much as they are ways of organizing stupidity—of managing relationships that are already characterized by extremely unequal structures of imagination, which exist because of the existence of structural violence.” — David Graeber

What Are Some Examples of Bureaucracy?

Here are some examples of bureaucracy:

  • Government
  • Insurance Companies
  • Lending companies
  • Education System
  • State Department of Motor Vehicles

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