48Video: The Big PictureFrom the IRS to the Department of Defense, bureaucracy exists to help Americans—so why does everyone hate it? In this video, textbook author Karen O’Connor defends public bureaucrats against the charges that they are lazy and inefficient, and provides some explanations for why they are so underappreciated.TO THE INSTRUCTOR: To access the videos in this chapter, please enter your Pearson or MyPoliSciLab username and password after clicking on the link on the slide.
58Learning ObjectivesTrace the growth and development of the federal bureaucracy8.1Describe modern bureaucracies, and outline the structure of the modern bureaucracy8.2The federal bureaucracy, also known as the thousands of government agencies and institutions that administer federal laws and programs, is often called “the fourth branch of government.” In this chapter we will examine what the bureaucracy is, how it works, and how it is controlled. We will look at how it evolved following the Civil War and both World Wars.
68 Learning Objectives Determine how the bureaucracy makes policy 8.3 Evaluate controls designed to make agencies more accountable8.4
78Video: The BasicsWhat does the bureaucracy do? What is its role in our democracy? In this video, you will listen to what people think about bureaucrats and the job they do. You will also learn why the bureaucracy can have such a big impact on your life.
8Roots of the Federal Bureaucracy 8.1Roots of the Federal BureaucracyThe Civil War and the Growth of GovernmentFrom the Spoils System to the Merit SystemRegulating CommerceThe World Wars and the Growth of GovernmentAs we’ll learn in this section, the size of the federal bureaucracy grew from just a small Cabinet that served President Washington to one that critics often argue is too large, too powerful, too wasteful and too unaccountable. Many Americans are calling for smaller government, less bureaucracy. Yet many of those same Americans who have a negative opinion about the federal government as a whole are more satisfied with the service they have received from departments or agencies.
9The Civil War and the Growth of Government 8.1The Civil War and the Growth of GovernmentCivil War changesCreation of the Department of AgricultureCreation of the Pension OfficeAuthorization of thousands more employeesPermanent changes to the bureaucracyThe Civil War left its mark on our country in countless ways. Its impact on the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy is no exception. As the nation geared up for war, President Abraham Lincoln authorized the addition of thousands of new employees to existing departments.Poor harvests, a casualty of the war, led Lincoln to create the Department of Agriculture in 1862 to ensure enough food was grown to feed the soldiers. Congress also created the Pension Office in 1866 to pay benefits to Union veterans who had fought in the war. These changes set the stage for the addition of future departments and the growth of government.
10From the Spoils System to the Merit System 8.1From the Spoils System to the Merit SystemPatronage system (“spoils system”)Federal jobs given to loyal supportersMerit systemJobs given according to abilityCivil Service systemCurrent system based on meritOver the years the patronage system, in which federal government jobs were given to friends and supporters of successful political candidates, had become the norm. By the time James A. Garfield was president, reformers were calling for changes in the loyalty system, also known as the spoils system.Garfield’s predecessor, Rutherford B. Hayes, had favored the idea of replacing the spoils system with a merit system, in which federal employment is based on qualifications, test scores, and ability, rather than on loyalty. Congress, however, failed to pass the legislation he proposed. Garfield took up the cause, but was assassinated, ironically, by a frustrated job seeker. Public reaction to Garfield’s death led Congress to create the beginnings of the current merit-based civil service system, which now covers 90 percent of federal employees.
118.1 Which president popularized the spoils system? This political cartoon depicts how President Andrew Jackson might have been immortalized for his use of the spoils system. Note that President Jackson is shown riding a pig, rather than a horse. Words written in the ground below the animal include “fraud,” “bribery,” and “plunder.”
12Regulating Commerce 8.1 Growth of big business Additional departments Unfair business practicesAdditional departmentsReaction to railroad shipping ratesProtect workers and small businesses from big businessesSixteenth AmendmentFederal income taxFollowing the Civil War, the nation experienced tremendous growth. Urbanization and Industrialization led to widespread price fixing and other unfair business practices. In particular, exorbitant freight-hauling fees charged by the railroads led Congress to create the Interstate Commerce Commission.Progressives began calling for more worker protections and a curbing of the big business monopolies. In 1913, it became apparent that one agency could not represent both employers and employees. So President Woodrow Wilson divided the Department of Commerce and Labor. Congress followed a year later with the creation of the Federal Trade Commission to protect small business from monopolies.Finally, the Sixteenth Amendment gave Congress the authority to levy a federal income tax, which became a revenue source to fund growth in the bureaucracy.
13The World Wars and the Growth of Government 8.1The World Wars and the Growth of GovernmentFranklin D. RooseveltSocial programs during DepressionWorld War II veterans benefitsG.I. Bill, housingLyndon B. Johnson’s Great SocietyEqual Employment Opportunity Commission, Housing and Urban Development, TransportationThe stock market crash of 1929 and the resulting Great Depression called for government action. President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded with a series of programs and agencies that regulated business practices and other aspects of the national economy.The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor launched the U.S. into World War II, and jobs were created to support the war effort. Tax rates went up to pay for the new federal agencies and programs needed during the war, and those rates never went back down. The revenues were used after the war to expand the federal bureaucracy even more to support veterans with schooling under the GI Bill and housing.Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, with its focus on creating equal opportunity through the recognition of civil rights and reduction of poverty, created even more government programs.
148.1 FIGURE 8.1: How many employees work in the federal executive branch?As we see in this graph, there was rapid growth in the number of federal employees following World War II, a dip, and then a fairly steady climb.
15How did World War II change government? 8.1How did World War II change government?During World War II, the size of the federal government grew dramatically. Men went off to war and women were encouraged to work in factories in order to help the war effort, as exemplified by this famous poster of Rosie the Riveter. When the war ended, veterans returned to their jobs.
168.18.1 What agency was created to help control the railroad shipping rates?Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionFederal Trade CommissionInterstate Commerce CommissionCivil Service SystemAs we’ve discussed, the federal bureaucracy grew to meet the needs of a growing nation. Do you remember which of these was the first independent regulatory agency?
178.18.1 What agency was created to help control the railroad shipping rates?Equal Employment Opportunity CommissionFederal Trade CommissionInterstate Commerce CommissionCivil Service SystemThis first independent regulatory commission was created to help stabilize and regulate the railroad shipping rates.
18The Modern Bureaucracy 8.2The Modern BureaucracyWho Are Bureaucrats?Formal OrganizationGovernment Workers and Political InvolvementBureaucrats are workers in the federal bureaucracy. Unlike workers in the private sector, who are rewarded for ambition and taking risks, often bureaucrats are motivated by the fear of making a mistake. Bureaucracies do not act like businesses, and bureaucrats are considerably more risk-averse than private sector employees.One key to understanding the modern bureaucracy is to learn who bureaucrats are, how the bureaucracy is organized, how organizations and employees within the bureaucracy affect each other, and how they all navigate the political process.Activity: Ask students to evaluate the organization and efficiency of your university. How is it organized? Who is employed in what types of positions? Who are the bureaucrats and how efficiently do they perform their jobs? Do these bureaucrats have the same challenges in implementing policy that federal bureaucrats face?
19Who Are Bureaucrats? 8.2 Covered by the Civil Service System 90-percent of federal employeesNot covered by the Civil Service System10-percent of federal employeesTurnoverHigh in some agencies, low in othersFederal bureaucrats are career government employees who work in Cabinet-level departments and agencies that comprise more than 2,000 bureaus, divisions, branches, offices, services, and other subunits of the federal government. There are more than 3 million of them, and one quarter of those work for the U.S. Postal Service.Some 90 percent of these employees are covered by the Civil Service System. Some may have to pass exams to be hired; others submit a resume online. The 10 percent of federal employees not covered by the civil service system tend to fall into one of these three categories:• presidential appointees• independent regulatory commissioners, and• low-level, non-policy patronage positions, which generally are secretarial assistants.Some bureaucrats hold onto their jobs for a long time. In other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, turnover is high.
208.2FIGURE 8.2: What are the federal agency regions, and where are their headquarters located?To bring the federal bureaucracy closer to citizens and increase the efficiency of providing government services, the federal agencies maintain regional offices in eleven locations across the country.
21Formal Organization 8.2 Cabinet departments Independent executive agenciesIndependent regulatory commissionsGovernment corporationsToday, the federal government consists of four different types of organizations: Cabinet departments, independent executive agencies, independent regulatory commissions, and government corporations,.Cabinet departments generally are large organizations responsible for a broad section of policy such as education, national defense, and transportation. About 60 percent of the federal workforce are employed in these departments.Independent executive agencies tend to have narrower responsibilities for a specific policy area, such as the environment.There are also independent regulatory commissions, which are not under the control of the president or a department. They have a specific policy mission, such as regulating nuclear power, and their members are drawn from both political parties and are appointed in staggered terms over the course of more than one administration.Government corporations, like the U.S. Postal Service, have independent boards and are supposed to be run like a business.
228.2 FIGURE 8.3: What are the Cabinet departments? Cabinet departments reflect the government’s permanent interest in a particular issue area. The modern Cabinet includes fifteen agencies focusing on issues ranging from commerce and foreign affairs to education and health.
238.2 What do government corporations do? Amtrak, like the U.S. Postal Service, is a government corporation. Congress created Amtrak when passenger rail service in the United States was not profitable enough to keep the trains running.This photo shows Vice President Joe Biden commuting between his home and Washington, D.C., on Amtrak.
24Video: In the Real World 8.2Is the federal bureaucracy too big and too powerful? In this video, real people weigh in on this question and discuss whether they feel reducing the size of the bureaucracy is worth losing the protections that those agencies provide.
25Government Workers and Political Involvement 8.2Government Workers and Political InvolvementHatch ActLimits federal employees’ political activitiesAmendments to Hatch ActRules relaxed somewhatAs the number of federal employees grew in the 1930s, many Americans began to fear that these workers would play major roles in electing members of Congress and even the president. In response, Congress passed the Political Activities Act of 1939, commonly called the Hatch Act. It prohibited federal employees from becoming directly involved in a political campaign. Critics said it was too harsh, however, and it was later amended to allow federal employees to run for public office in nonpartisan campaigns, contribute money to political organizations, and campaign for or against political candidates – but not during working hours!
268.2 TABLE 8.1 What does the Hatch Act stipulate? Table 8.1 shows the limits placed on federal employees’ political involvement by the Hatch Act.
278.28.2 Which of the followingorganizational entities has a narrow focus on a specific policy issue?Cabinet departmentsIndependent agenciesIndependent regulatory commissionsGovernment corporationsLet’s review the various organizations that make up the federal bureaucracy. Can you answer this brief question?
288.28.2 Which of the followingorganizational entities has a narrow focus on a specific policy issue?Cabinet departmentsIndependent agenciesIndependent regulatory commissionsGovernment corporationsIndependent agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, have a narrower focus on specific issues, such as the environment.
29How the Bureaucracy Works 8.3How the Bureaucracy WorksMaking PolicyRule MakingAdministrative AdjudicationGerman sociologist Max Weber believed bureaucracies were rational ways for complex societies to organize themselves. Such bureaucracies would include a chain of command, division of labor, clear lines of authority, a goal orientation that helped shape the organization’s structure, impersonality, in which all employees are treated fairly, and productivity. This is the ideal, of course, but government agencies do try to work this way.Congress creates the departments and agencies of the bureaucracies, and give them broad guidelines, because it cannot be involved in every detail of government. How agencies carry out Congressional wishes is called implementation.The relationships and interaction among federal agency workers, interest groups, and key congressional committee staffers has been called the iron triangle of implementation. More recently the complexity of those relationships has changed and they are now called iron networks.Activity: Ask students if they feel that federal spending provides assistance and services to the greatest number of citizens, across the greatest possible spectrum. Why or why not?Then ask them to consider the services provided by the government. Which do they think the government should not provide? Why? How would such services be provided instead? How would Weber approach the topic of bureaucracy? Why did he view bureaucracy so positively?
308.3 FIGURE 8.4: What constitutes an iron triangle? Iron triangles are relatively stable relationships formed between bureaucratic agencies, congressional committees, and interest groups.
31Making Policy 8.3 Rule making Administrative adjudication Quasi-legislative processRegulations have force of lawAdministrative adjudicationQuasi-judicial processMany decisions are left up to individual government employees on a day-to-day basis. Government employees have administrative discretion, and can choose how to implement congressional or executive intentions. There are two formal procedures for this: rule making and administrative adjudication.Rule making is the quasi-judicial process resulting in regulations that have the force of law. Put simply, bureaucratic rule-makers often act both as lawmakers as well as law enforcers when they make rules or write regulations to implement congressional acts.The Administrative Procedures Act was passed in Among other things, it requires that the public be made aware of proposed rules and be given the chance to comment.If people or businesses are not in compliance with federal laws, rules or regulations, the agencies may resort to administrative adjudication. This is a quasi-judicial process that settles disputes between two parties much like the way disputes are handled in court. An administrative law judge presides over the hearings. The judge’s rulings can be further reviewed and challenged in court.
32Video: In Context8.3Why is the bureaucracy important in the policymaking process? In this video, Texas A&M University political scientist Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha talks about not only the bureaucracy and its importance at the federal level, but also the role the federal bureaucracy plays in cooperation with state and local bureaucracies.
338.3 FIGURE 8.5 How is a regulation made? This figure spells out the process, as directed by the Administrative Procedures Act, for rule making. A proposed rule has many opportunities to fail to be implemented. Affected citizens also have a number of opportunities to offer their opinions on a proposed rule.
348.3 TABLE 8.2 How many comments do agencies receive on proposed rules? This table shows how many thousands of comments agencies may receive from the public on proposed rules.
35Making Policy 8.3 Administrative adjudication Quasi-judicial process If people or businesses are not in compliance with federal laws, rules or regulations, the agencies may resort to administrative adjudication. This is a quasi-judicial process that settles disputes between two parties much like the way disputes are handled in court. An administrative law judge presides over the hearings. The judge’s rulings can be further reviewed and challenged in court.35
368.3 What helps keep government agencies running smoothly on day-to-day issues?Administrative Law Judge authorityAdministrative Procedures ActAdministrative rule-making and regulationsAdministrative discretionThis section covered how bureaucracy works. Let’s recall what we’ve covered with this brief question.
378.3 What helps keep government agencies running smoothly on day-to-day issues?Administrative Law Judge authorityAdministrative Procedures ActAdministrative rule-making and regulationsAdministrative discretionThis gives government employees the leeway to make choices on a day-to-day basis.
38Explore the Simulation: You Are Head of FEMA 8.3Explore the Simulation: You Are Head of FEMAAlthough Congress makes laws and policies, bureaucratic agencies implement these laws and must often make decisions about how laws should be carried out. In this simulation, you will learn about the power and functions of the federal bureaucracy by facing several challenges as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
39Toward Reform: Making Agencies Accountable 8.4Toward Reform: Making Agencies AccountableExecutive ControlCongressional ControlJudicial ControlSo which branch of the federal government controls the federal bureaucracy? The answer, as you will see in this last section, is that they all do. The president, under the Constitution, is in charge of executing the laws of Congress. But Congress certainly has an interest in how its laws are implemented. And, as with most other matters, the judicial branch has the ultimate authority to review the actions of the bureaucracy.
40Executive Control 8.4 Delegating Powers Reorganizing the Bureaucracy Challenges with agency responsivenessReorganizing the BureaucracyNeeds Congressional approvalExecutive OrdersDirections to agencies that have the force of lawGiven the growth in the size of the federal government over the last half-century, presidents have delegated more and more power to the bureaucrats. But that delegation has come with its own challenges. Sometimes, those agencies don’t always seem to hear even the words of the highest authority: President John F. Kennedy once complained that to give a directive to the Department of State was like putting the directive in a dead-letter box. Nothing would happen. So presidents have learned how important it is to appoint the right person to head up an agency.Presidents can also reorganize aspects of agencies, with congressional approval. Finally, presidents can issue executive orders, which direct agencies to follow certain rules or regulations. Such executive orders have the force of law.
41Congressional Control 8.4Congressional ControlConfirms president’s picks for agency headsCan approve or rejectOversight and InvestigationsProactive or reactivePower of the purseControls the budgetCongress checks the power of the federal bureaucracy in several important ways. It must confirm the president’s nominees for key government bureaucracy posts. Congress also has oversight power and can investigate when it suspects an agency hasn’t implemented its laws properly. Finally, it controls the money by authorizing agencies to spend revenues and then determining a specific allocation of funds to be spent.To help Congress oversee the bureaucracy’s financial affairs, Congress created the General Accounting Office in That office is now known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
428.4 Table 8.3: How are agencies made accountable? This table provides an overview of how authority and control are divided among the three branches.
43Video: Thinking Like a Political Scientist 8.4Video: Thinking Like a Political ScientistAre bureaucracies democratic? And if so, how are they democratic? Texas A&M University political scientist Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha tackles this question in this video and also looks at political appointments and other important research topics associated with bureaucracies.
448.4 How does government oversee environmental disasters? Congressional oversight hearings examined the causes of a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in The results of these hearings helped the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and numerous other agencies to design ways to minimize the effects of this spill and craft strategies to prevent future disasters.44
45Judicial Control 8.4 Injunctions or orders Requires due process Even before a rule is publicizedRequires due processIndividuals can litigateSpecialized courtsHave expertise in certain issuesCompared to the executive and legislative oversight of the bureaucracy, judicial oversight is more subtle but no less important. Federal judges can issue injunctions or orders to a federal bureaucracy even before a rule has been publicized. Due process must be granted to individuals who are affected by rules and regulations. Finally, specialized courts have developed expertise in certain policy areas and are less likely to simply take an agency’s word in a case. One such court is the Court of International Trade.
468.4 What is one check Congress has on government agencies?Authorizes maximum amount of fundingIssues injunctions to halt regulationsNominates heads of agenciesDetermines best way to implement regulationsOne final multiple choice question for this chapter on the checks on the bureaucracy.
478.4 What is one check Congress has on government agencies?Authorizes maximum amount of fundingIssues injunctions to halt regulationsNominates heads of agenciesDetermines best way to implement regulationsCongress controls the funding for an agency. Money is a powerful way to coerce bureaucrats into implementing policies.
48Explore the Bureaucracy: What Puts the "Big" in Big Government? 8.4Explore the Bureaucracy: What Puts the "Big" in Big Government?When we talk about big government, we are talking about the bureaucracy, whether we realize it or not. In this exercise, we will explore why the bureaucracy is so large.
498Discussion QuestionWhy does the bureaucracy have so much power in a democratic regime when it is unelected? What gives the bureaucracy its power? How does it make policy? What checks do the three branches of government have on the bureaucracy?
508Video: So What?In this final video for the chapter, you will discover how bureaucracy affects you. Author Karen O’Connor examines a typical day in the life of a student, and highlights the ways that bureaucracy is present—from the water temperature of your shower to the brand of clothing that you wear.
518 Further Review: On MyPoliSciLab Listen to the Chapter Study and Review the FlashcardsStudy and Review the Practice Tests