Opinion polls indicate that most Americans hold a negative view of the federal bureaucracy. Is this view justified?Hey people out there I need a little help.. well I need alot of help - lol - but...

Opinion polls indicate that most Americans hold a negative view of the federal bureaucracy. Is this view justified?

Hey people out there I need a little help.. well I need alot of help - lol - but seriously... I don't want anyone to do my homework for me, I just would like to have this question put into english or basic terms to understand it better. And if you would like to give me your opinions or where I can search the answer that would be GREAT!! thx

Asked on by pokesdlt

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What people most dislike about bureaucracy is their size and weight.  Because of these two factors--which are true of even small bureaucracies--any experience with them is necessarily impersonal and often frustrating.  Their sheer complexity sets up overlapping services as well as gaps in services.  No one minds waiting a bit for an answer or some help if they know they will actually be helped or be served.  Unfortunately, the perception--at least in government bureaucracies--is that no one cares.  That's what those polls say.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I guess I would argue that people dislike bureaucracies period.  Corporations have bureaucracies at the executive, personnel and benefits levels, and sometimes they are hard to deal with.  Insurance companies certainly have bureaucracies, even intentionally large ones so as to discourage people from making claims.  No one likes dealing with these because, as pointed out above, they are time consuming, tedious and frustrating to deal with.

This is also often true with the federal government bureaucracies:  The military procurement system, Medicare/Medicaid, the welfare system, the post office, Social Security.  Because they are the largest and most well-known bureaucracies in our country, they often are the most disliked.  I don't know if I would say that dislike is any more justified than that of the other systems I list.

I could just as easily argue that a majority of people dislike waiting in lines at the Post Office, when in fact they dislike waiting in lines anywhere.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The bureaucracy is the term used to refer to all the various agencies of the federal government.  These are things like the IRS (collects taxes), FEMA (disaster relief), TSA (checking for terrorists in airports) and many other less famous agencies.  The question is asking you whether people are right to dislike these agencies.

As far as opinions go...

The most typical reasons people give for why they dislike the bureaucracy is that it is too intrusive (too many rules), that it is ineffective (don't do a good job of things like responding to the oil spill) and that it is too big.

A typical defense is that the bureaucracy has a set of very hard jobs -- it would be hard for any agency to respond to something like Katrina or the oil spill.  As for it being too intrusive and too big, its size and its responsibilities are set by Congress -- if you don't like them, blame Congress, not the agencies.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

People in all countries across the world hold a negative of the work and efficiency of their respective government organization. This means that in general people expect from their government better performance than the average of performance levels all different governments in the world are able to achieve. The negative view of government bureaucracy is more the result of high expectations than below average performance.

I think something of this nature is applicable to the federal bureaucracy in the USA also. When I try to judge the performance of the bureaucracy in the USA in isolation, I do spot many instances of insensitive rigidity and errors. But comparing the bureaucracies in India and the USA, I cannot help acknowledging that bureaucracy in the USA is significantly more effective and fast as compared to that in India.

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