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Chapter 14. Bureaucracy in a Democracy. Bureaucracy in a Democracy. Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats. Bureaucracy: complex structure of departments, tasks, rules, and principles of an organization used by large public and private institutions to coordinate work.

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Chapter 14

Bureaucracy in

a Democracy



Bureaucracy and bureaucrats
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • Bureaucracy: complex structure of departments, tasks, rules, and principles of an organization used by large public and private institutions to coordinate work.

    • Includes: structure, procedures, workers, services, and other deliverables associated with implementing policies.

      • Example: colleges and universities



Bureaucracy and bureaucrats1
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • The size of the federal service

    • Federal bureaucracy shrunk over last 35 years

    • 1968: 3m civilians, 3.6m military

    • 2008: 2.7m civilians, 1.4m military


Bureaucracy and bureaucrats2
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • Despite population growth, spending as a percentage of GDP has remained remarkably constant.


Bureaucracy and bureaucrats3
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • Implementation: department and agency efforts to translate laws into specific bureaucratic rules and actions

  • Making rules

    • The rule-making process is highly political.

    • Agencies must submit rules to the public in advance to obtain feedback during a comments period.

      • During this period, opponents can wage PR wars to have the proposal withdrawn.



Executive Branch Employees, 2010 (in thousands)

Key

Health & Human Services

3.25%

70

> 0.6%

0.6 – 5.5%

5.6 – 10.5%

10.6 – 15.5%

15.5% +

Education

0.14%

4

Soc. Sec. Admin.

2.5%

70

Justice

4%

118

EPA

0.68%

19

  • Independent agencies include NASA, the EPA, and the Social Security Administration (shown here), as well as other agencies.

SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract; Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Executive Branch Employees, 2010 (in thousands)

Key

> 0.6%

0.6 – 5.5%

5.6 – 10.5%

10.6 – 15.5%

15.5% +

Treasury

4%

110

Agriculture

3.9%

107

Commerce

2.10%

57

State

1.4%

39

NASA

0.7%

19

General Services Admin

0.47%

13

Labor

0.65%

18

Energy

0.58%

16

Housing & Urban Dev.

0.36%

10

  • Independent agencies include NASA, the EPA, and the Social Security Administration (shown here), as well as other agencies.

SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract; Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Executive Branch Employees, 2010 (in thousands)

Key

Defense

28%

773

> 0.6%

0.6 – 5.5%

5.6 – 10.5%

10.6 – 15.5%

15.5% +

Veterans

Affairs

11%

305

Independent Agencies

9.5%

180

Homeland Security

6.6%

183

Interior

2.5%

70

Transportation

2.1%

58

  • Independent agencies include NASA, the EPA, and the Social Security Administration (shown here), as well as other agencies.

SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract; Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Location, 2008

(number of federal employees in thousands)

Washington, D.C. Area

17%

320

83% – Other

1,589

  • Independent agencies include NASA, the EPA, and the Social Security Administration (shown here), as well as other agencies.

SOURCES: U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Statistical Abstract; Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Bureaucracy and bureaucrats4
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • Enforcing laws

    • Agency powers can include:

      • Demanding reports

      • Auditing books

      • Monitoring contracts

      • Tracking company obligations

      • Regulating citizens’ actions


Bureaucracy and bureaucrats5
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • The civil service

    • Spoils system: prior to the 1880s, most federal jobs were given to political supporters of various officials until the next election.

      • Virtually no central bureaucracy at this time

      • Most jobs were with the post office or the courts.

      • Simple jobs, often used to reward political supporters.


Bureaucracy and bureaucrats6
Bureaucracy and Bureaucrats

  • On July 2, 1881, President Garfield was assassinated by a man upset that he was not given a patronage position.

  • Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, 1883

    • Covered positions must be obtained by passing an exam.

    • Civil servants cannot be fired without cause.


Organization of the executive branch
Organization of the Executive Branch

  • The executive branch is divided into departments, each headed by a secretary and a wide array of deputies, assistant secretaries, and undersecretaries.


Organization of the executive branch1
Organization of the Executive Branch

  • The basic operational unit is the agency.

    • Sometimes called a bureau, service, or administration

    • Examples:

      • Federal Bureau of Investigation (Justice)

      • Secret Service (Homeland Security)

      • Food and Drug Administration (Health and Human Services)


Organization of the executive branch2
Organization of the Executive Branch

  • Independent agencies

    • Treated like any other bureaucratic agency, but exist outside the current departmental system

    • Usually have sweeping mandates

      • CIA, EPA, NASA


Organization of the executive branch3
Organization of the Executive Branch

  • Government corporations

    • Provide public services and, while chartered by the U.S. government, are highly independent

    • Have outside revenue sources

    • May or may not get funding at any time

    • Examples:

      • Amtrak, United States Postal Service, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Tennessee Valley Authority


Organization of the executive branch4
Organization of the Executive Branch

  • Independent regulatory commissions

    • Highly specialized rule-making bodies that are supposed to be insulated from politics

    • Typically overseen by a board of commissioners appointed for fixed terms



Promoting the public welfare1
Promoting the Public Welfare

  • Many agencies are concerned with the general well-being of Americans, often with a special focus on the most needy.

  • Examples:

    • Housing and Urban Development

    • Health and Human Services

    • Veterans Affairs

    • Interior, Education, Labor, and Agriculture



Maintaining a strong economy
Maintaining a Strong Economy

  • Monetary and fiscal agencies

  • Fiscal policy: the government’s use of taxation, monetary, and spending powers to manipulate the economy.


Maintaining a strong economy1
Maintaining a Strong Economy

  • The Federal Reserve Bank: “The Fed”

    • Every night, some banks will have surplus money, and some will need to borrow.

    • The Fed determines the lending rate between banks, which influences the rates they charge to borrowers.

    • This helps determine how much money is in the economy by making borrowing easier or more expensive.


Can the bureaucracy be reformed1
Can the Bureaucracy Be Reformed?

  • National Performance Review (1993)

  • Termination of programs

  • Deregulation

  • Devolution

  • Privatization


Can the bureaucracy be reformed2
Can the Bureaucracy Be Reformed?

  • Privatization: paying private contractors to perform tasks previously performed by government employees

    • 2000: the U.S. paid out $209b in contracts

    • 2008: $528b

  • Private contractors are not usually subjected to the same standards or reviews as federal employees.



Managing the bureaucracy
Managing the Bureaucracy

  • The managerial presidency

    • Presidents have vast authority over budgeting.

    • Nominate top officials in every department

    • Have tremendous influence over the policies agencies propose and follow

  • Difficult to displace agency cultures; civil servants cannot be fired



Managing the bureaucracy1
Managing the Bureaucracy

  • Congressional oversight

    • Committees are expected to oversee the executive-branch agencies in their purview.

      • Often oversight is partisan

      • Can be effective in bringing issues to the public’s attention

      • Iron triangles: members of Congress can be too supportive of agencies to be critical of them.


Public opinion poll
Public Opinion Poll

Do you generally approve or disapprove of the way the

federal bureaucracy is handling its job?

  • Approve

  • Disapprove


Public opinion poll1
Public Opinion Poll

The U.S. military is a huge and very expensive

bureaucracy. As far as you can tell, is it an effective

and efficient bureaucracy?

  • Yes, it is an effective and efficient bureaucracy.

  • No, the military is neither effective nor efficient.

  • It is effective, but not efficient.

  • It is not effective, but it is efficient.


Public opinion poll2
Public Opinion Poll

Do online service options make bureaucracies better at

their core business (whether it is driver licenses, class

registration, or looking up information from library

websites)?

  • Yes, online services make bureaucracy work better.

  • No, online services make bureaucracy worse.

  • It makes no difference.


Public opinion poll3
Public Opinion Poll

Why do you think most Americans have a negative

view of the federal bureaucracy?

  • Negative personal experiences (long lines, poor service, etc.)

  • Opinions that the public costs exceed the benefits

  • Both A and B

  • Disagree with premise that most Americans have negative views of the bureaucracy.


Public opinion poll4
Public Opinion Poll

The size of the bureaucracy has consistently shrunk

over the last 30 years. Federal jobs have been

phased out, or outsourced to private sector contractors.

Who should be credited or blamed (whatever your

point of view) for the smaller size of government?

  • Presidents

  • Congress

  • Both A and B


Chapter 14 bureaucracy in a democracy
Chapter 14: Bureaucracy in a Democracy

  • Quizzes

  • Flashcards

  • Outlines

  • Exercises

    wwnorton.com/we-the-people


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