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Good, Bad, or Necessary

Page history last edited by Jason 13 years, 5 months ago

Previous Section: Complexities, Constraints,and Problems

Next Section: Bureaucracy Rap Part 1




Maybe Bureaucracy Can Be Helpful: 


          There is a reason that in almost all businesses and governments, a bureaucracy is created.  In order to establish a consistent and more efficient system bureaucracies must be formed.  Just imagine if the President did not have a bureaucracy to maintain and carry out the law?  Mortality rates might just sky rocket for the most influential position in America.

          We have all been exposed to bureaucracy in our lives.  It can be as simple as a teacher, his or her teaching assistant, and we the students, and this is in order to reduce the workload on a single person or group.  Thus, in a large country like the United States, a large bureaucracy is required to pander to the needs of all its citizens.  The bureaucracy is able to streamline the process for whatever need a citizen has, and through the bureaucracy an equal and fair decision is made for all of the citizens it serves.  Also, many times, it is not the bureaucracy that is not helpful, but rather the people who laden down the bureaucracy.  Every day, agencies receive hundreds of requests and papers to be dealt with, and many times, these clients are not even going to the right bureaucratic institution.  This means that they are only causing more problems for an already busy organization and slowing down an efficient process.  At the same time, many people complain and call for the bureaucracy to solve problems they could very easily deal with by themselves.  So before you go and complain about the bureaucracy being slow and not helpful, maybe go look at  bureaucracy with a more able constituency.

          In terms of controllability, having a large bureaucracy with heavy amounts of red tape is necessary.  If the Federal bureaucracy is not guarded against or does not guard other businesses, it is completely within the realm of possibility that the agencies or businesses grow so large and powerful that they can no longer be stopped.  For example, an agency in the bureaucracy could have the task of regulating the manufacturing of an every day commodity.  As time goes on, this agency expands, and at a certain point, it has such a large support base that the government or business cannot control it for fear of opposition from the people.  If the government does try to intervene, maybe that party of the government will not have its governor or Presidential candidate elected, and the business may lose too much profit.  In a similar fashion the same could happen to a business which accumulates massive amounts of power (just think about how much power google has gotten within the last few years, and if they decided to start abusing it with no bureaucracy to try and stop them).

          The American bureaucracy has also done loads for the environment.  Its regulations, such as from NEPA, have essentially been the only thing stopping large businesses and corporations from devastating the land just for the sake of profit.  If not for the bureaucracy, Alaska would most likely have been turned into a completely industrialized wasteland by now due to the oil and natural gases there.  And don't even think about Yellowstone or Yosemite.  National parks would be a thing of the past.


Here's another argument to look at that argues for the bureaucracy:




Bureaucracy = evil >:(



          To start with lets take a look at the following: 



          What this form doesn't show is that after filling out this form and moving on too the next (if you do finish it to begin with), there will be more than just the next form to fill out.  You may have to fill out a stack of papers the length of a college dissertation if you are dealing with an agency within the Federal bureaucracy.  In all, opponents to bureaucracy talk about how it has become too slow to be efficient, and in general is just burdening society.  Also, the large size of the bureaucracy means that all the overlapping agencies and groups are only harming their own efficient nature.  This basically leads to a mass of government agencies that deal with insignificant tasks or already accounted for tasks (which they still will do again).  The worst part--it costs money to maintain this turtle of a bureaucracy.  So instead of maintaining such a system, why not allow the duties to be covered by private businesses.  It looks like Fedex and UPS have been doing a great job running the United States Postal Service down anyways, and if more businesses were to take over then efficiency would rise tremendously.

     For those of you who believe that the bureaucracy is necessary to regulate businesses and market forces, maybe you should look at the "national security state" that has become a negative influence on the United States.  To start off you might need to know what this state is.  According to William E. Hudson in American Democracy in Peril, America has become so enveloped by a state that is focused on protecting its democracy that it has become taken over by a military-industrial complex.  This makes up the American national security state.  To wrap your head around this more, think about how much money America spends on weapons.  Half of these weapons are not even necessary as they do horribly against the guerrilla warfare employed by our enemies in the Middle East.  However, it has become near impossible to stop making these weapons.  Why? Because of the military-industrial complex.  Over the past few decades, creating weapons has become a huge manufacturing realm, and many politicians have become invested in the companies that participate, such as Raytheon.  Currently, these manufacturers play a major role in the economy of many states, meaning Congress and its politicians do not want to close them down for fear of economic depression and loss of support.  Thus America wastes millions of dollars each year investing in weapons and other technology that could otherwise be spent on more beneficial prospects, such as education or alternative energy research.  This shows how the government and its bureaucracy are doing nothing to stop this waste of money.  So who says the bureaucracy actually helps?  If all the bureaucracy does is slow down and burden America while allowing such activities to go on, it's only taking away from our economy and society.[2]

          Can you think of any other ways the bureaucracy has a negative influence on America?


Don't forget the middle: It's just there


          While many people argue that the bureaucracy is not helpful or beneficial, there are also those who believe it's just there.  To them, the bureaucracy has become inevitable in the modern world where regulation and fair processes are demanded.  In order to control businesses while being impartial, the bureaucracy has to be large enough to control both the businesses and itself.  Though this size may slow down the system, its pros balance out the cons since no one wants to live in a corrupt nation where businesses and the government can do whatever they want.

          Now to make you do some analytical thinking I'm going to leave this section relatively blank.  Think about ways that the Federal bureaucracy just helps maintain the status quo in America instead of exerting a true positive of negative influence.  Maybe you can consider the bureaucracy you experience everyday and if it's really that bad or good.



Previous SectionComplexities, Constraints,and Problems

Next SectionBureaucracy Rap Part 1



  1. Picture taken from- http://flatphilosophy.com/comics/2009-06-15-Bureaucracy.jpg
  2. This paragraph takes information from- Hudson, William E. "American Democracy in Peril." Washington, DC: CQ Press. 2006.

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