PPA 601 Foundations of Public Administration

Week 2 Discussion 1

The Size of Government

One of the most contentious issues that divide conservatives and liberals is the size of government.  Conservatives often argue that government has bloated beyond any reasonable extent, while liberals frequently see a larger government role in society — thus requiring a larger federal bureaucracy. 

Do you believe that the size of the federal bureaucracy has kept pace with the increasing demands on government? 

Would Americans trade lower taxes for a much smaller federal government, even if there was a decrease in public services for ordinary citizens? 

Are claims that the United States is burdened by “so-called” big government mistaken, or should government be enlarged to meet the expanding needs of a growing nation? 

Discussion 2

Reinventing Government

Former Vice President Al Gore launched a “reinventing government” initiative during the Clinton Administration that sought to streamline government procedures and processes, and also sought to reduce duplication in government personnel.  This is hardly a new concept, as almost every presidential administration has sought to discover more efficient ways of delivering government services. 

What ways, if any, would you suggest to streamline the way government does business?

 Would you outsource key government services?

 Should government hire less? 

Should pay be tied to performance in the public sector?  

Or, on the contrary, do you think there needs to be a wholesale reinvention of the way government does business? 

Feel free to be creative and to imagine ways you think government could be reinvented in the modern age. 

Class Text

Cropf, R. (2008). American public administration: public service for the 21st century (1st ed.) New York, NY: Pearson Longman.

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