American Government Exam II.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 2244E
P Ferguson

American Government 11/30/2011 9:32:00 AM What is the Bureaucracy? Review 416 Bureaucracy: Large, complex organization composed of appointed officials Hierarchical organizations o As you move up, more specialized people and more intense management Division of labour people get more specialized and things are more efficient Organizes chaos Creates accountability Necessary to implement public policy o Division of labour o Coordinate experts on complex task o Accomplish unimaginably difficult tasks o Insulate programs from predators Predators against certain policies Red tape Distinctiveness of US Bureaucracy Shared political authority Functions shared across federal levels (Iron triangles: agencies(bureaucracies), congressional committees, and interest groups) Adversary culture (courts) o the actions of bureaucrats are often fought in court Scope little public ownerships of corporations, but high degree of public regulation Government by proxy (contract out) Oversight? Efficiency? o Private corporations do private work, contract out o Hiring people who are knowledgeable but also have other loyalties not to government o Want to fund less federal employees Black water: private security firms that are hired by the government (military), less red tape Growth of the Bureaucracy Patronage (19 thcentury and early 20 thcenturies) o Passing out offices to courier political favour The Civil War (administrative weakness) o When it came time to gather and support troops, Lincoln didnt know how o Government activism (Depression and WWII) o Supreme Court (serve public interest = discretion) o Income tax ($5-$44 bil from 1940-1945) o Public attitudes (social safety net) Today: o Employment growth Direct growth is modest, at best Significant indirect growth (13m, 1+3) o Growth in discretionary authority Delegation of undefined authority Examples: subsidies, grants and aids, devising and enforcing regulation Explaining Bureaucratic Behaviour Recruitment and Retention o Review 408-409 Competitive service (civil service exams) The government offices to which people are appointed on the basis of merit, as ascertained by a written exam or by applying certain selection criteria By 96, less than 54% were selected by competitive service because it is cumbersome, not always relevant and they needed professional trained employees that couldnt be ranked on the standard exam. Civil rights groups also wanted a more varied racial combinations (Affirmative action) o Excepted service (50%) (bypass competitive service) o Buddy system (name-requests) o Presidential appointments (3%) o Most bureaucrats cannot easily be fired 1/10 thof 1% Senior executive service making firing easier 2 years of 1% received unsatisfactory ratings (no fires) Characteristics of Federal Employees o Dominated by lifers Continuity and expertise Subordinates power over new bosses Agency POV longer you stay in a bureaucracy, the more you adopt views of bureaucracy o Do bureaucrats look like Americans? More liberal/conservative? Not extreme Type of agency correlated with attitudes of employees (bureaucrats reflect their work) Nature of the Job Culture of an agency o Informal understandings o Solutions are geared towards capabilities o If you want to get aheadwhich job? Advantage/Disadvantage? o Motivate workers o Hard to change agency Constraints on the Bureaucracy Hiring, firing, pay established by law and not the market Multiple agencies addressing any issue Citizen demands: openness, honesty, and fairness Budgets Maximizers? Effects of Constraints Government moves slowly (many constraints) Sometimes inconsistent (open v. private) Actions easily blocked (many voices) Reluctant decision making (lower ranks) Peters principle: people will rise to the level of their incompetence Complaints about red tape (citizens) Agency Allies Iron triangles: o Agency o Congressional committees o Interest groups Action and support is exchanged Today? o Iron triangles far less common today Issues too complicated Explosion of groups Media attention Party polarization o Issue networks: groups that regularly debated government policy on certain issues Contentious Recruitment (in and out) Congressional Oversight Congress creates agencies Congress authorizes programs Congress appropriates funds Congressional investigations (police v. fire) Coalition Drift v. Bureacratic Drift o Coalition: Opposite views will try to undo good idea, try to protect new program from coalition drift when politics shift Insulate and autonomy Responsive and democratic Bureaucratic Patholigies Red tape: complex, sometimes conflicting rules Conflict: agencies work at cross-purposes Duplication: two or more agencies seem to be doing the same thing Imperialism: tendency for agencies to grow, inspective of programs benefits and costs Waste: spending more than is necessary to buy some product or service Cross cutting purposes? o Reduce one pathology, increase another Reforming the Bureaucracy Difficult due to struggles between congress and president, congress and congress
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