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Federal Bureaucracy Concepts
The big picture: What you need to know and why.
Bureaucrats Have Bad Reputations
The word "bureaucrat" is, for many, a kind of slurFor many, bureaucrats embody the worst aspects of wasteful government Few people like bureaucrats. You know, the supposedly pencil-necked, paper-sh...
Structure of the Bureaucracy
Federal bureaucracy is divided into fifteen different executive departments and hundreds of agencies, bureaus, boards, authorities, and administrationsBureaucracy also includes independent agencies...
Growth of the Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy grew slowly before Civil War, but then expanded quickly in 20th centuryFederal bureaucracy has shrunk, as percentage of national workforce, since 1970But government subcontracting to pr...
The Spoils System
Gilded Age corruption led to civil service reform in 1883Today, two-thirds of government jobs are awarded on basis of merit, vs. one-tenth awarded by political patronage Government employees, many...
Accountability in Government
Government rules and union contracts do make it quite difficult to fire federal employeesFederal agencies are accountable to both the president and to CongressIs it really impossible to fire a lous...
Federal bureaucracy was not created systematically, but grew haphazardly over timeThere are some redundancies between different agenciesSome bureaucracies are inefficient, but others are actually q...
Liberals and conservatives disagree over whether government intervention helps or hurts the economyBureaucracy reflects the democratic priorities of the legislative and executive branches Do govern...
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