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American Government

American Government

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American Government

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  1. American Government Bureaucracy

  2. Questions for Today • Why so much bureaucracy? • Why are bureaucracies so bureaucratic?

  3. Differences between McDonalds and DOL • At DOL… • Strict system of hiring/firing (civil service) • No “profit motive” • Control from “above”: • Administrators can’t re-allocate budget resources (for things like new equipment…) • Goals, budgets, etc. controlled by Congress, Executive, Courts, interest groups

  4. So why do we have government bureaucracies? • To provide public goods • Non-excludable • Indivisible • Examples?

  5. And why are bureaucracies so bureaucratic? • Red Tape • Rules, regulations, and procedures • Opposite of discretion • Often works against efficiency

  6. Why Red Tape? • Agencies vulnerable to corruption and fraud • Belief in rights, due process, and equal treatment

  7. Corruption and Fraud • Corruption: by someone on the inside • Fraud: by outside companies and individuals • These problems viewed more seriously in public sector • Waste of our tax $$ • Assault on democracy • Solution: specify rules, create a paper trail

  8. Belief in Rights, Due Process, Equal Treatment • If given discretion, government personnel might not treat everyone equally • Solution: Red Tape • Example: Administrative Procedures Act

  9. Drawbacks of Red Tape • Inefficiency • In corporations, efficiency (indicated by profits) takes precedence • Rigidity • Sometimes best response often requires adaptability to changing circumstances • Ex: Police officers

  10. Homeland Security • White House Office of Homeland Security established 10/2001 • Cabinet level department created 11/2002 • Largest reorganization of federal government since National Security Act of 1947 created DOD, CIA, NSC • Merges 183,000 employees from 24 agencies • $36.5 billion budget http://www.dhs.gov/