I am delighted with discovering so many nuggets of wisdom in a Charles Munger speech. There’s enough fodder there to inspire a hundred blog posts. I was particularly taken with his discussions about the balance between economies of scale and super-sized bureaucracies. This delicate balance is not limited to business. All institutions share the same problem. Business has a strong incentive to get the balance right. If they don’t, and competitors do, they disappear. But other institutions such as governments, churches, and charities, have weaker incentives. I would predict that a church or government is more likely to suffer from bureaucratic bloat than your average business. In fact, when it comes to wasting time and money, government seems to be in a class by itself. The more we ask of it, the more it disappoints.