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Bureaucratic Pathology Essay

900 words - 4 pages

The concept of bureaucratic pathologies is not a new one. Profuse spending by dignitaries, flamboyant parties, and lackadaisical responses to the nation’s critical issues have been problematic to the United States for decades. A bureaucratic pathology is the failure of the government or of any department of the government to fulfill the purposes for which it was designed. Government waste and extravagant spending, duplication and conflict between agencies are some examples of these pathologies.
Some Americans have misgivings of an incompetent and unresponsive government. Stories of the slow response of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the aftermath and devastation of ...view middle of the document...

The IRS spared no expense and spent $4.1 million on meals, cocktails, hotel suites, $50,000 for line dancing and “Star Trek” parody videos; $135,350 for outside speakers and over $60,000 in booty for the employees in attendance (Harris). Consequently, the department acknowledged and apologized for the scandalous soiree. Treasury reports claim that the cost of the conference may indeed have been as high as $5 million, however the IRS admitted it did not “keep full records” of the conference. Moreover, the Treasury report states “$3.2 million of the cost was funded by money set aside to hire enforcement employees” (Dixon). Absurdly, the department most well known for requiring copious amounts of documentation from corporations and individuals neglected to adequately document its own expenses.
Similarly, duplication and overlapping regulations are another source of these bureaucratic pathologies. The most compelling evidence of this fact ironically comes from a government agency – The United States Government Accountability Office, or the GAO. In its March 2011, three hundred forty-five-page report to congress, the GAO enumerates thirty-four opportunities for reducing duplication between departments. The first item on its list describes the country’s food safety system and discloses that fifteen government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, are involved in the management of this system in some way. Further review of the report acknowledges many more duplications of this sort – some involving as many as twenty different agencies and up to eighty-two different programs (Opportunities).
These pathologies are not something that is unique or exclusive to the Obama regime. In fact, in 1985, author George Roche describes conflict between two government agencies in his book “America by the Throat: The Stranglehold...

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