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Bureaucracy: Friend or Foe?

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J. Ryan Stone Political Science 370 1st Paper Bureaucracy: Friend or Foe? Paper due September 20, 2004 George Roche exemplifies the argument against bureaucracy in his essay "Bureaucracy: Enemy of the People". Firstly, he lets you know that even Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines bureaucracy as "a system in administration marked by constant striving for increased functions and power, by lack of initiative and flexibility, by indifference to human needs or public opinion, and by a tendency to defer decisions to superiors and to impede action with red tape." He lets you know the mistakes, flounders, bumbles, and idiosyncrasies of the federal bureaucratic machines that "infest" this fine country. Although I agree with Roche's case against the bureaucrats to a certain extent his argument is made up of outlandish facts that are unfounded and outdated (most of his examples are from the 1970's and we have to forgive him for that). It is clear to me that Milward and Rainey present the better argument for bureaucrats. ...read more.


The scope of problems also set up hurdles just like Milward and Rainey outline that many governmental agencies have to undertake problems that no one knows how to solve so opportunities for disappointment to the general public are abundant. Those tasks are also sometimes unpopular like stopping moonshine production where it is rampant or like back when integration of schools began and bureaucrats had to enforce it even where it was unwanted, or like in an editorial from the LA Times where the editor complains that the assets control office has trained hundreds of customs officials, who search 100% of the flights to and from Cuba at airports in Los Angeles, Miami and New York many times finding those famous Cuban Cigars. Many people also get a bad taste for bureaucrats in the media. Whistleblowers sound off the mistakes of bureaucracies. Daily, officials make decisions, not one official but thousands, but if one of them takes a bribe and his decision is influenced by that bribe does it make the headlines of our local newspapers. ...read more.


Bureaucrats are viewed as full of inefficient, uncaring empire builders, living off the sweat of people who really work for a living. Bureaucracy enters the game with a full count: three balls and two strikes; and industry have already hit the ground running. I want to bring my argument back to a point that I began with, many bureaucrats that are employed are supporting their families and I am sure that most of them enjoy their jobs. Although there is a negative view of bureaucrats caused by many more reasons than I personally can list, I think that bureaucracies are not the enemy of the people. They are our faithful servant and that was their original intent to make our lives easier. The bureaucratic "red tape" definition was probably written after Webster went to the DMV to renew his license and forgot his insurance card and had to return to the back of the line. George Roche's argument that the bureaucrats waste our money, time, and patience is supported with little sound examples and has wasted our time with his rants and outrageous examples. ...read more.

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