What Washington Gets Wrong

The Unelected Officials who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People

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Author: Jennifer Bachner,Benjamin Ginsberg

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1633882497

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 304

View: 3045

-This book reveals a surprising ignorance on the part of unelected federal officials regarding the life circumstances and opinions of average Americans as well as an attitude of condescension---

What Washington Gets Wrong

The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People

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Author: Jennifer Bachner,Benjamin Ginsberg

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1633882500

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 4509

Each year unelected federal administrators write thousands of regulations possessing the force of law. What do these civil servants know about the American people whom they ostensibly serve? Not much, according to this enlightening and disturbing study. The authors surveyed federal agency officials, congressional and White House staffers, and employees of various policy-making organizations about their attitudes toward and knowledge of the public. They found a significant chasm between what official Washington assumes they know about average Americans and the actual opinions and attitudes of American citizens. Even in such basic areas as life circumstances (e.g., income levels, employment, racial makeup) the surveys revealed surprising inaccuracies. And when it comes to policy issues--on such crucial issues as defense, crime, social security, welfare, public education, and the environment--officials' perceptions of the public's knowledge and positions are often wide of the mark. Compounding this ignorance is a pervasive attitude of smug dismissiveness toward the citizenry and little sense of accountability. As a result, bureaucrats tend to follow their own preferences without much reference to the opinions of the public. The authors conclude with recommendations to narrow the gap between official perceptions of the American public and the actual facts. These include shorter terms, rotation from the Washington beltway to local offices, compulsory training in the responsibilities of public office, and better civic education for ordinary citizens in the realities of government and politics. From the Hardcover edition.

Analytics, Policy, and Governance

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Author: Benjamin Ginsberg,Kathy Wagner Hill,Jennifer Bachner

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300208391

Category:

Page: 272

View: 6710

The first available textbook on the rapidly growing and increasingly important field of government analytics This first textbook on the increasingly important field of government analytics provides invaluable knowledge and training for students of government in the synthesis, interpretation, and communication of "big data," which is now an integral part of governance and policy making. Integrating all the major components of this rapidly growing field, this invaluable text explores the intricate relationship of data analytics to governance while providing innovative strategies for the retrieval and management of information.

Constitutional Cliffhangers

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Author: Brian C. Kalt

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300178018

Category: Law

Page: 224

View: 5206

The United States Constitution's provisions for selecting, replacing, and punishing presidents contain serious weaknesses that could lead to constitutional controversies. In this compelling and fascinating book, Brian Kalt envisions six such controversies, such as the criminal prosecution of a sitting president, a two-term president's attempt to stay in power, the ousting of an allegedly disabled president, and more. None of these things has ever occurred, but in recent years many of them almost have. Besides being individually dramatic, these controversies provide an opportunity to think about how constitutional procedures can best be designed, interpreted, and repaired. Also, because the events Kalt describes would all carry enormous political consequences, they shed light on the delicate and complicated balance between law and politics in American government.

The Worth of War

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Author: Benjamin Ginsberg

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616149515

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4860

Although war is terrible and brutal, history shows that it has been a great driver of human progress. So argues political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg in this incisive, well-researched study of the benefits to civilization derived from armed conflict. Ginsberg makes a convincing case that war selects for and promotes certain features of societies that are generally held to represent progress. These include rationality, technological and economic development, and liberal forms of government. Contrary to common perceptions that war is the height of irrationality, Ginsberg persuasively demonstrates that in fact it is the ultimate test of rationality. He points out that those societies best able to assess threats from enemies rationally and objectively are usually the survivors of warfare. History also clearly reveals the technological benefits that result from war—ranging from the sundial to nuclear power. And in regard to economics, preparation for war often spurs on economic development; by the same token, nations with economic clout in peacetime usually have a huge advantage in times of war. Finally, war and the threat of war have encouraged governments to become more congenial to the needs and wants of their citizens because of the increasing reliance of governments on their citizens’ full cooperation in times of war. However deplorable the realities of war are, the many fascinating examples and astute analysis in this thought-provoking book will make readers reconsider the unmistakable connection between war and progress.

Health at Risk

America's Ailing Health System—and How to Heal It

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Author: Jacob Hacker

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231518617

Category: Medical

Page: 152

View: 7773

In this volume, the nation's leading advisors on health policy and financing appraise America's ailing healthcare system and suggest reasonable approaches to its rehabilitation. Each chapter confronts a major challenge to the country's health security, from runaway costs and uneven quality of care to declining levels of insurance coverage, medical bankruptcy, and the growing enthusiasm for health plans that put patients in charge of risk and cost. Bringing the latest research to bear on these issues, contributors diagnose the problems of our present system and offer treatments grounded in extensive experience. Free of bias and rhetoric, Health at Risk is an invaluable tool for those who are concerned with the current state of healthcare and are eager to effect change.

The Land of Enterprise

A Business History of the United States

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Author: Benjamin C. Waterhouse

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476766673

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 288

View: 6253

This groundbreaking account of the development of American business from the colonial period to the present explains that the history of the United States can best be understood not as a search for freedom—but as a search for wealth and prosperity. The Land of Enterprise charts the development of American business from the colonial period to the present. It explores the nation’s evolving economic, social, and political landscape by examining how different types of enterprising activities rose and fell, how new labor and production technologies supplanted old ones—and at what costs—and how Americans of all stripes responded to the tumultuous world of business. In particular, historian Benjamin Waterhouse highlights the changes in business practices, the development of different industries and sectors, and the complex relationship between business and national politics. From executives and bankers to farmers and sailors, from union leaders to politicians to slaves, business history is American history, and Waterhouse pays tribute to the unnamed millions who traded their labor (sometimes by choice, often not) or decided what products to consume (sometimes informed, often not). Their story includes those who fought against what they saw as an oppressive system of exploitation as well as those who defended free markets from any outside intervention. The Land of Enterprise is not only a comprehensive look into our past achievements, but offers clues as to how to confront the challenges of today’s world: globalization, income inequality, and technological change.

The Fall of the Faculty

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Author: Benjamin Ginsberg

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199831475

Category: Education

Page: 272

View: 769

Until very recently, American universities were led mainly by their faculties, which viewed intellectual production and pedagogy as the core missions of higher education. Today, as Benjamin Ginsberg warns in this eye-opening, controversial book, "deanlets"--administrators and staffers often without serious academic backgrounds or experience--are setting the educational agenda. The Fall of the Faculty examines the fallout of rampant administrative blight that now plagues the nation's universities. In the past decade, universities have added layers of administrators and staffers to their payrolls every year even while laying off full-time faculty in increasing numbers--ostensibly because of budget cuts. In a further irony, many of the newly minted--and non-academic--administrators are career managers who downplay the importance of teaching and research, as evidenced by their tireless advocacy for a banal "life skills" curriculum. Consequently, students are denied a more enriching educational experience--one defined by intellectual rigor. Ginsberg also reveals how the legitimate grievances of minority groups and liberal activists, which were traditionally championed by faculty members, have, in the hands of administrators, been reduced to chess pieces in a game of power politics. By embracing initiatives such as affirmative action, the administration gained favor with these groups and legitimized a thinly cloaked gambit to bolster their power over the faculty. As troubling as this trend has become, there are ways to reverse it. The Fall of the Faculty outlines how we can revamp the system so that real educators can regain their voice in curriculum policy.

"You're in the Wrong Bathroom!"

And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender-nonconforming People

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Author: Laura Erickson-Schroth,Laura A. Jacobs

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807033898

Category: Gender nonconformity

Page: 182

View: 2065

We have a lot of expectations about people based on their gender, and when someone doesn't fit into those expectations it can become difficult to handle, and perhaps even lead to hostility. But chances are you've met one (or more) transgender person, and not even been aware of it. Erickson-Schroth and Jacobs debunk the most common myths and misconceptions about transgender issues, bringing together medical, social, psychological and political aspects of the subject.

Stealth Democracy

Americans' Beliefs About How Government Should Work

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Author: John R. Hibbing,Elizabeth Theiss-Morse

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521009867

Category: Political Science

Page: 284

View: 811

Examining how people want their democratic government to work, this study finds that Americans don't like many of the practices associated with democracy: the conflicts, the debates, the compromises. It finds that Americans don't want to have to see democracy in practice, nor do they want to be involved in politics. If American citizens had their way, political decisions would be made by unselfish decision-makers, lessening the need for monitoring government.

The Value of Violence

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Author: Benjamin Ginsberg

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1616148322

Category: Social Science

Page: 222

View: 5343

This provocative thesis calls violence the driving force not just of war, but of politics and even social stability. Though violence is commonly deplored, political scientist Ginsberg argues that in many ways it is indispensable, unavoidable, and valuable. Ginsberg sees violence manifested in society in many ways. "Law-preserving violence" (using Walter Benjamin's phrase) is the chief means by which society preserves social order. Behind the security of a stable society are the blunt instruments of the police, prisons, and the power of the bureaucratic state to coerce and manipulate. Ginsberg also discusses violence as a tool of social change, whether used in outright revolution or as a means of reform in public protests or the threat of insurrection. He notes that even groups committed to nonviolent tactics rely on the violent reactions of their opponents to achieve their ends. And to avoid the threat of unrest, modern states resort to social welfare systems (a prudent use of the carrot instead of the stick). Emphasizing the unavoidability of violence to create major change, Ginsberg points out that few today would trade our current situation for the alternative had our forefathers not resorted to the violence of the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Winners Take All

The Elite Charade of Changing the World

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Author: Anand Giridharadas

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0451493257

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 3148

An insider's groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. Former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can--except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. We see how they rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; how they lavishly reward "thought leaders" who redefine "change" in winner-friendly ways; and how they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm. We hear the limousine confessions of a celebrated foundation boss; witness an American president hem and haw about his plutocratic benefactors; and attend a cruise-ship conference where entrepreneurs celebrate their own self-interested magnanimity. Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? He also points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world. A call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

Politicians

The Worst Kind of People to Run the Government, Except for All the Others

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Author: Bruce K. Chapman

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781936599530

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 354

View: 3180

Americans love to trash their politicians as corrupt and self-interested, but they don't agree on a solution. How can America attract good leaders to the thousands of elective offices in the land? In Politicians: The Worst Kind of People to Run the Government, Except for All the Others, Bruce Chapman lays out a bold plan for the changes we need to make in our public life if we are serious about enabling worthy leaders to emerge and to succeed. Drawing on history as well as his own extensive experience in politics and public policy, Chapman challenges the conventional wisdom about politicians, arguing that their chief rivals-the media, bureaucrats, college professors, and even political "reform" groups-are often sources of further political demoralization rather than renewal. Republicans and Democrats alike, conservatives and liberals, have a stake in responding to the stirring and provocative challenge raised by this book.

Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s

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Author: Yanek Mieczkowski

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813123493

Category: History

Page: 455

View: 1915

"In the author's reassessment of this underrated president, Ford emerges as a skilled executive, an effective diplomat, and a leader with a clear vision for America's future. Working to heal a divided nation, Ford unified the GOP and laid the groundwork for the Republican resurgence in subsequent decades."--BOOK JACKET.

HIRED

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Author: Theodore R. Malloch

Publisher: WND Books

ISBN: 9781942475477

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 2391

Hired makes the case for Donald J. Trump through a collection of astute articles by former Oxford professor and senior US government appointee. In more than thirty profound pieces, Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Malloch explainsthe case for Trump, Trump's worldview, why his opponents failed, the context for his victory, and Trump's policies.

From Privilege to Competition

Unlocking Private-Led Growth in the Middle East and North Africa

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Author: World Bank

Publisher: World Bank Publications

ISBN: 9780821378892

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 274

View: 7478

'From Privilege to Competition: Unlocking Private-Led Growth in the Middle East and North Africa' sheds new light on the difficult quest for stronger and more diversified growth in a region of unquestionable potential. It underlines the need to strengthen reforms in many areas specifically, by reducing policy uncertainty and improving credit and real estate markets. It also highlights other important issues that restrain the credibility and impact of reforms in many parts of the region: conflicts of interest between politicians and businesses, an investment climate that favors a few privileged firms, and a dominant private sector that often opposes reforms. The book recommends that countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) engage in more credible reform agendas by improving the implementation of policies in a manner that will reduce discretion and privileges. This renewed commitment to stronger growth would entail several developments. First, governments will need to reduce opportunities for rent-seeking and foster competition. Second, they will need to work to reform institutions: private sector development policies will need to be systematically anchored in elements of institutional and public sector reforms in order to reduce discretion and opacity and improve the quality of services to firms. Third, they will need to mobilize all stakeholders, including larger representations from the private sector, around dedicated long-term growth strategies. Short of such a fundamental shift in the way private sector policies are formulated and implemented, investor expectations that governments are committed to reform will be limited. It will take political will and time to support sustained reforms that credibly convince investors and the public that changes are real, deep, and set to last. MENA countries are endowed with strong human capital, good infrastructure, immense resources, and a great deal of untapped creativity and entrepreneurship. The economic and social payoff of embarking on a more ambitious private-led growth agenda could thus be immense for all.

Climate Leviathan

A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future

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Author: Joel Wainwright,Geoff Mann

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1786634309

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 8883

How climate change will affect our political theory—for better and worse Despite the science and the summits, leading capitalist states have not achieved anything close to an adequate level of carbon mitigation. There is now simply no way to prevent the planet breaching the threshold of two degrees Celsius set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What are the likely political and economic outcomes of this? Where is the overheating world heading? To further the struggle for climate justice, we need to have some idea how the existing global order is likely to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. Climate Leviathan provides a radical way of thinking about the intensifying challenges to the global order. Drawing on a wide range of political thought, Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann argue that rapid climate change will transform the world’s political economy and the fundamental political arrangements most people take for granted. The result will be a capitalist planetary sovereignty, a terrifying eventuality that makes the construction of viable, radical alternatives truly imperative.

Give Us Liberty

A Tea Party Manifesto

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Author: Dick Armey,Matt Kibbe

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062023640

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2955

Former Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and leading organizer of the Tea Party movement, Dick Armey offers a Tea Party Manifesto: Give Us Liberty. Written with Matt Kibbee, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, Give Us Liberty defines the issues and agenda of the wildfire grassroots movement that is electrifying the nation, as it calls on fiscal conservatives to take back America.

Trump: The Art of the Deal

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Author: Donald J. Trump,Tony Schwartz

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 9780307575333

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 4374

President Donald J. Trump lays out his professional and personal worldview in this classic work—a firsthand account of the rise of America’s foremost deal-maker. “I like thinking big. I always have. To me it’s very simple: If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”—Donald J. Trump Here is Trump in action—how he runs his organization and how he runs his life—as he meets the people he needs to meet, chats with family and friends, clashes with enemies, and challenges conventional thinking. But even a maverick plays by rules, and Trump has formulated time-tested guidelines for success. He isolates the common elements in his greatest accomplishments; he shatters myths; he names names, spells out the zeros, and fully reveals the deal-maker’s art. And throughout, Trump talks—really talks—about how he does it. Trump: The Art of the Deal is an unguarded look at the mind of a brilliant entrepreneur—the ultimate read for anyone interested in the man behind the spotlight. Praise for Trump: The Art of the Deal “Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again.”—The New York Times “Donald Trump is a deal maker. He is a deal maker the way lions are carnivores and water is wet.”—Chicago Tribune “Fascinating . . . wholly absorbing . . . conveys Trump’s larger-than-life demeanor so vibrantly that the reader’s attention is instantly and fully claimed.”—Boston Herald “A chatty, generous, chutzpa-filled autobiography.”—New York Post

Democracy for Hire

A History of American Political Consulting

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Author: Dennis W. Johnson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190272694

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 616

View: 5956

Though they work largely out of the public eye, political consultants-"image merchants" and "kingmakers" to candidates-play a crucial role in shaping campaigns. They persuaded Barry Goldwater to run for president, groomed former actor Ronald Reagan for the California governorship, helped derail Bill Clinton's health care initiative, and carried out the swiftboating of John Kerry. As Dennis Johnson argues in this sweeping history of political consulting in the United States, they are essential to modern campaigning, often making positive contributions to democratic discourse, and yet they have also polarized the electorate with their biting messages. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, political campaigns were run by local political parties, volunteers, and friends of candidates; but as party loyalties among voters began to weaken, and political parties declined as sources of manpower and strategy, professional consultants swept in to fill the void. Political consulting emerged as a profession in the 1930s with publicists Leone Baxter and Clem Whitaker, the husband and wife team who built their business, in part, with a successful campaign to destroy Upton Sinclair's 1934 bid for governor of California. With roots in advertising and public relations, political consulting has since developed into a highly professionalized business generating hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, some of the top campaign consulting firms have merged with others to form multinational public relations conglomerates, serving not just candidates but also shaping public advocacy campaigns for businesses and nonprofits. Johnson, an academic who has also worked on campaigns alongside the likes of James Carville and pollster Paul Begala, suffuses his history with the stories of the colorful characters who have come to define the profession of consulting, from its beginning to the present. More than just the story of the making of a political business, Democracy for Hire's wide-ranging history helps us to better understand the very contours of modern American politics.