Sep 20, 2014

Want More Effective Government? Hire A Million Bureaucrats!

     The excerpt below is from an opinion piece in the Washington Post written by John J. Dilulio, Jr., a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Dilulio served as the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush. This was abstracted from Diulio's book, “Bring Back the Bureaucrats."
 We all know that the federal government has gotten a lot bigger in the past half century. ...
And yet, the number of federal civilian workers (excluding postal workers) has barely budged. ... 
This is the dirty secret behind all those debates over the size of government. Yes, government is big and is dangerously debt-financed, but it is also administered by outsiders — and that is what guarantees that our big government produces bad government, too.
Post-1960 Federal America has become a grotesque Leviathan by proxy, in which an expanding mass of state and local government workers, for-profit contractors, and nonprofit grant recipients administers a vast portion of federal money and responsibilities.  ...
We don’t need fewer federal workers; we need more of them — a lot more. More direct public administration would result in better, smarter, more accountable government. ...
[W]ith little regard for performance or results, Washington’s proxies lobby for federal policies, programs and regulations that they are paid to administer. The proxies rarely lose, which is a big reason government never stops growing. ...
Today’s federal civil service is not bloated — it is overloaded. We have too few federal bureaucrats monitoring too many grants and contracts, and handling too many dollars. Many federal agencies are in crying need of more workers. By 2025, for instance, the number of Social Security beneficiaries will exceed 85 million , and the Social Security Administration will disburse nearly $1.8 trillion a year. But the SSA projects that it could lose a third of its workforce by 2020, when some 7,000 headquarters workers and 24,000 field employees become eligible for retirement. Unfortunately, in recent years, because of a congressionally mandated hiring freeze, the SSA has been unable to fill positions left open by employee retirements. ...
How many more federal bureaucrats are needed? Here’s a rough measure: In 1965, the ratio of full-time federal civil servants (1.9 million) to the total U.S. population (193 million) was about 1 to 100. In 2013, with a civilian workforce of 2.1 million and a U.S. population of 316 million, that ratio was about 1 to 150. The Census Bureau estimates that the nation’s population by 2035 will be about 370 million.
If the federal workforce grew back to its 1965 ratio, then by 2035 it would need to have 3.7 million employees. If, instead, the federal workforce merely maintained its 2013 ratio, then by 2035 it would have about 2.5 million workers. The midpoint would land the federal personnel roster at about 3 million by 2035, with roughly 1 federal bureaucrat for every 125 citizens.
Crude as it is, that calculation is probably in the ballpark of what’s needed: 1 million more full-time federal civilian workers by 2035.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A more effective government to do what? Increase central command and control, regulate and enforce all aspects of behavior, etc.? Oh, the great successes and happiness brought on by Obamacare, federalizing education, the national pick and choose enforcement of federal law depending on politics and favored groups, and bureaucrats writing regulations congress never intended. Can't we learn from the latest failure of the national school lunch program? I am sorry, but I think the basic ideas of freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and accountability are not understood by those wanting big government.

Anonymous said...

There are too many federal programs, with ridiculous overlapping and duplication. That is the real problem.

75seconds Smm said...

I agree with you this post is really great full of information regarding
#A more effective government to do what
plus factor is that it should add more knowledge for us to know regarding this matter.
Secugo is your free security network application which provide free secuirty network...feel free and contact:-+32 477 65 21 65 Or mail at:-facebook@secugo.com...Thanks...
I Really appreciate to National Council of Social Security Management Associations for this ver valuable blog...

Anonymous said...

@ 8:30


I hear this all the time. If there are indeed so many programs overlapping so much, please name a handful of your favorite examples. Shouldn't be hard to rattle off a list of 5-10 if there are as many as you just claimed.