The real problem with government is lack of transparency and accountability ... all government, everywhere, regardless of size and political slant. If we had more transparency and accountability from government agencies purporting to operate on our behalf then things would be much much better. Government needs to serve the people, or else we only live in a sham democracy.
I just posted something like the following on www.thoughtsaboutme.com, but I also had this thread (and Jennie's work of course) in mind and so wanted to share here too:
"Negative effects of bureaucracy... Bureaucracies concentrate large amounts of power in a small number of people and are generally unregulated... [T]hose who control these organizations control the quality of our lives... Bureaucracies tend to generate oligarchy..."
"Bureaucratic hierarchies can control resources in pursuit of their own personal interests, which impacts society’s lives greatly... It [bureaucracy] also affects society’s political order and governments because... corruption remains an issue. The goal of the bureaucracy has a single-minded pursuit... what might be good for the organization might not be good for the society as a whole..."
"While bureaucracies are supposed to be based on rationalization, they act in the exact opposite manner. Political bureaucracies are established so that they protect our civil liberties, but they violate them... Service bureaucracies like health care are set [up] to help the sick and elderly, but then they deny care..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_cage
@Ren, I regard bureaucracy as the working arm of government, the bit that enacts the directions of the government. It is very much non-transparent and unaccountable in many respects. Regulating bureaucracy is critical for effective government, but this fails to some degree or other almost everywhere.
Secrecy is one of the things that is a problem. If you cannot see what they are doing, how can you know when to call them to account?
Even when you can see things are wrong, how can you stop what they are doing?
Regulation of bureaucracy and bureaucratic failure in part leads to the notion of small government. Yet its not the size that is critical, its that smaller is easier to keep an eye on. The more transparent the bureaucracy is, and the more accountable it can be made, the better things.are. This is easier to do in small government, but a properly directed and accountable large bureaucracy can have value in the right circumstances, its just harder to do.
Failures in bureaucratic regulation are at the heart of democracy and indeed all government, and I suspect in part go to old constitutions that have inadequate safeguards.
When you privatize bureaucracy you create an additional barrier to transparency and accountability. In time corruption will be almost inevitable. Bad bad bad idea. You risk creating a private organization that cannot fail because its protected.
" In what was one of their most epic displays of political crime-fighting, which was captured on video, Allen and Kraft held the entire Clark County Park District Board under citizen’s arrest on May 13, 2014, for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a Class C misdemeanor.
When asked if there would be public comment, one of the board members said, “I vote no.” Followed by five other board members.
Board attorney, Kate Yargus, could be heard on video saying there would be no public comment that night, and told the board members they were “free to go,” even after Kraft’s citizen’s arrest announcement. She tried to cite statute to Kraft, but before she could finish, he said, “Just sit down, you are making yourself look like a fool.”
Deputies were dispatched to the scene, but instead, Clark County Sheriff, Jerry Parsley, personally responded that night. Parsley said he knew it was a heated situation and felt it would be best if he handled it. He said that Kraft handled the citizen’s arrest responsibly, and the board was definitely in violation of the Open Meetings Act by not allowing the public to speak.
“It’s not that they should have. They’re mandated to,” Parsley said. “The people need to have their voice. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy.” "