The three means of controlling the unelected officials that make up a portion of the government are through patronage, merit and executive leadership. Some combination of these three management schemes has always been employed. Bureaucracy is the collective name given to these…
The advantage for elected officials is the fact that they know these people and how they work. They are simply pulling trusted people from the pool they know. The problem with patronage is that unqualified individuals may end up in the bureaucracy.
Merit is the most highly approved method of forming a bureaucracy. The idea that government officials are competent in their jobs and worked hard to get them sounds great to voters. The problem of deciding what merits to measure becomes paramount when too much emphasis is placed on taking a test and accomplishing a certain score. There are skills that tests do not answer. It also eliminates talented individuals from government that did not have the chance to get a decent education.
Executive leadership is often what is looked for in high level appointments to the President’s cabinet. These skills are vital for running huge organizations such as the Department of Education or the Environmental Protection Agency. The problem with appointment by executive leadership lies in the fact that governments and corporations are different. The executive in a corporation can eliminate 10,000 jobs and get a raise. The cabinet member that cuts 10,000 jobs in the Department of Education will be a liability for the President next ...
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