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Government Bureaucracy and the Parliamentary System



John Wonder writes: "I find the comparison of the Spanish bureaucracy [of Philip II] and the present US bureaucracy ominous, and I used to warn my classes about it. I pity poor Tom Ridge, and I don't quite know why he accepted the job. How can he coordinate those agencies and whip them into shape without adequate authority? It sounds impossible to me, at least without the complete cooperation of Congress, which is very problematic.Have we reached the point where our whole government is in jeopardy because of bureaucratic clog and self interest? I am afraid the answer is yes, and I see no hope unless the people wake up, which is also very problematic. John (The British have managed to keep their government in somewhat better shape; is it the parliamentary system? If so we should adopt it and do away with the mess.) "

My comment; An interesting question. Perhaps Larry Diamond or someone can tell us if there is a study of the comparative efficiency of different regimes. One problem is that US governments tend to "solve" problems by creating a new commission. The great weakness of the US system is that money plays such a large rule in it. How does that affect government efficiency?

Ronald Hilton - 11/1/01


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