PS220 Bureaucracy

PS220 Bureaucracy - PS220 Bureaucracy Does bureaucracy...

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PS220 Bureaucracy Does bureaucracy affect our daily lives ? The answer is yes, everything around is controlled by one agency or another. For example, the roads we drive on are maintained by the government, along with the food we eat, the clothes we wear, etc. All of these activities are in the realm of public administration . Public administrators carry out the policy goals of the elected officials. So it can be said that they implement the policy alternatives. Due to the power of the bureaucracy, the United States is often considered to be an administrative state . The reason is that everything around us is in some fashion controlled or regulated by the bureaucracy. With the expansion of the administrative state, there has been a considerable expansion of power for the public bureaucracy. One of the dominant issues that coincide with the discussion of an administrative state is administrative responsibility. For one, the elected bureaucrats are not elected officials, meaning the ebb and flow of public opinion has significantly less bearing on their job security. Thus, bureaucrats have more leeway to do as they wish. Do we really have an administrative state? Since the end of World War 2, the American people have demanded more from government. In order to acquiesce with these demands, more government agencies were built to cope with the demands. I would argue that we do have an administrative state in the United States, every where we turn we find something else that is regulated by government. However, Kettl and Fesler make an interesting argument as well. They suggest that we may have an administrative state, but in comparison to other first world countries, we have one of the smallest governments. Only about one third of the economic output in the United States was spent on government, whereas other countries such as Sweden spent close to two thirds of their economic output on government. However, bureaucracy is about more than the money spent by government. It is about who is in government and who is carrying out the
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policy alternatives. The efficiency (or lack there of) of bureaucrats is what often draws the ire of the American people. The Bureaucracy Problem: Generally, the bureaucracy is viewed in a negative light. Two perceptions of the bureaucracy come to mind. First, there is the view that it is a huge inefficient body that never gets anything accomplished. The second view is that it is a huge and powerful body that cannot be resisted. ( 200 Pound Sledgehammer vs. the Leviathan) However, for the course the term bureaucracy will refer to public organizations: the formal, rational system of relations among persons vested with administrative authority to carry out public programs. Keep in mind however that the first two problems are real.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course POLS 220 taught by Professor Birch during the Spring '07 term at WVU.

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PS220 Bureaucracy - PS220 Bureaucracy Does bureaucracy...

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