Sweden: Government gone amuck
Recently the Swedish government was forced to admit that they simply had no idea how many government agencies exist. As the major daily papers took up the issue, the Agency for Public Management were given the task of performing an official inquiry to find out how many agencies there were.
One of the first things the agency did was to call the largest free-market think tank in Sweden, Timbro, and ask whether they knew. Alas, the expansion of public bureaucracy has been so rapid in Sweden that even the opposition to central planning finds it difficult to keep track of things.
And so the investigation has been going on for a few months. The results that were recently released were shocking to say the least. There are currently 552 government agencies in Sweden, working with important issues such as making sure that those employed by the merchant fleet can consume culture or that we might have "handicraft circuses" (an ongoing project of the committee for handicraft issues).
Looking at the list of Swedish agencies and having some previous knowledge of what they spend their funds on, it is perhaps quite understandable that even our government did not know how many agencies existed – if you don’t do anything worth noticing nobody is going to be aware of your existence.