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W6 Assignment Please put into your own words!!!

Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration

In 3-4 pages, discuss public interest, administrative responsibility and some of the recent ethical obligations confronting public administrators in their day to day decision making. Also examine the recent trend in privatizing government functions and discuss if it posses any dilemma for the attainment of public interest. Be sure to use relevant examples to illustrate your point

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Written Assignment: Issues and Dilemmas of Contemporary Public Administration

The concept of public interest appears, at least from what has been presented to me in the required reading for this class, to be a highly questionable concept. There are those that would beg the question does public interest even exist? If that answer is in the affirmative, how does one gauge public interest? Can it even be accurately gauged? Personally I agree with the people that state the concept is highly
incoherent. It would seem to me that the concept of public interest is highly fluid and ever-changing, just as society is ever-changing. Certainly administrators and legislators can act in the best interest of the public, but for how long are their actions relevant, this has been a widely neglected question throughout my readings. Everyone will agree that society is ever-changing, and therefore the needs of society are in turn also always changing, but at the same time the majority of theorists and scientists on the subject go on and on about history, and tradition, how things have been done and often times how things are still being done that way. I would never be foolish enough to say that learning from ones past is a bad idea, studying history is vital, but how can so many people be studying the history of politics and administration and the evolution of public interest and yet have nothing new to show for it. Have we not learned from the mistakes of the past, from the inequalities and inefficiencies of the past? From a historical standpoint our democracy is at the precipice of its life, from a purely historical perspective our democracy has lived a long full life, and will inevitably fail just as others have. That proposition saddens me and I sincerely hope that we start learning from our mistakes, and right now for our survival, our mistakes are all we really need to concentrate on, we are the albatross, we will either evolve to suit the needs of our ever growing technological population, or we will die and if the United States of America fails at democracy when once we were a shining light I shudder to imagine what would happen to the rest of the world. Until we have better means by which to create an accurate consensus on public interest, so as to provide the highest standard of life for the citizens, public interest will still be a point of confusion and ignorance among all levels of government.

All of this reading about responsibility gives me flashbacks of being lectured by my parents for not taking out the trash and expecting an allowance, it is absolutely mind boggling that responsibility within the government has been so grievously overlooked, and not to mention more than a little frightening that measures for holding not only public administrators, but any member of government, responsible for their
actions, or inactions, have been so absent. Yes, I understand that some measures are in place to punish those that have so blatantly broken the law and gotten caught, but for the most part it seems that the only real punishment for those people who are elected, is not being re-elected. And for those appointed the only real punishment in place for irresponsible actions is internal pressure to resign. It is no wonder there is so much written on the topic of administrative responsibility, the current system has no real mechanisms for enforcement for codes of ethics, we have apparently been running the government on the honor system assuming that all those who fight for administrative positions are going to be good, honest, hard working individuals with the wellbeing of the public in mind. That was a really bad assumption to make, human nature itself dictates that we each tend ourselves first, when in history did politicians and administrators become an exception to that rule, they are still human after all – right? What ethical obligations that a public administrator must face, are entirely individual based, it depends almost solely on the values of the person, and with whom their allegiance lies. For instance an unmarried person, with no dependants, may have little moral imperative and therefore no ethical responsibility in their mind, to families. They may direct the solutions to problems that arise in their field in such a way that families are not a primary concern. It would be easy to assume that because someone has made it into a position of public administration that they feel morally obligated to do everything in their power to serve the public, this would create an ethical code for them that steers them to serve the public at large. They may also feel ethically obligated through that to not play favorites any certain interest groups that may try to distract his attention to their more selfish needs and away from the needs of the general public. In that same token the administrator would also be morally and ethically obligated to not ignore a minority in the community, the administrator would treat everyone that they must deal with equally and with ample enthusiasm, as doing something ethically sound often times is a great motivator.

 I am of the opinion that privatizing the government would be a wonderful thing, we have allowed, as a nation, the government to grow to massive proportions while at the same time do nothing but complain about how inefficient it is. Despite all its inefficiencies we still allow it to grow, why? That answer is simple and Colin Wilson said it best “The average man is conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain”. That is what we are now; we’re cows standing in the rain. We have grown inherently lazy, with this sense of entitlement that has been nurtured by the government itself, as the government seeks to always expand its power. The government does not want intelligent, motivated, out spoken citizens, it does not want citizens that would seek to challenge its authority, and it knows that human nature dictates seeking out the path of least resistance. So the government will go ahead and provide unemployment for an eternity, food, housing, healthcare – I shudder to type that one – and the people will eat it up because in their mind it is free, and that just goes to show the ignorance of people these days, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that nothing is free, someone has to pay for it, and it is more becoming the minority that pays for it. By minority I mean the successful
entrepreneurs, the people creating jobs, and also in this turbulent economy the people lucky enough to still have jobs. I also mean the wealthy, all of these people paying taxes, and if they really thought about it they would be furious to know that their hard earned money, taken by the government, was being used
to PAY people NOT to work, to feed people that intentionally have six kids so welfare will pay out more just because they are too lazy to try and find a job. Freedom was never free, ever, and people need to remember that, the freedom that we enjoy was worked hard for, it was fought for, and we have to bite and claw and scratch and dig to keep every ounce of power that the government does not really need, out of their hands so that we can keep that freedom. As essential as government is, it can just as easily enslave as set free. What do I think should be privatized? I don’t suppose just saying everything is enough so I
will elaborate a little.

 To start with education, public schools in many areas of the country failed long ago, the moment they started lowering the passing grades so that failing children could pass those schools failed. It has also been a common myth that private schools are better than public schools, and it is true. If you were to privatize education, sure a lot of teachers would lose their jobs, and they will probably deserve it, it will
also take a huge funding burden off of the government, pass those savings onto the tax payers and all of a sudden private school isn’t a real cost, the children still get better education, better prepared for life as an adult, sounds to me like a classic win-win scenario. Sure you can ask how all the people not paying taxes will see this increase in funds to be able to afford school and that is simple, if they are not paying taxes they do not deserve rewards for it. If they are here illegally and not paying taxes why should we
pay to educate their children? If they are mooching off welfare out of pure laziness why would we pay to educate their gaggle of children? Considering school is probably the best babysitter those people have I would almost venture to bet if we did that those people would have to get a job, then they’d be paying taxes, and would have the money for school.

Next I would privatize the post office, considering all of the other shipping options out there, a private
company would step in to fill the gap left behind by the post office, and it would very likely be more efficient and better managed, and there goes yet another funding burden from the government, amazing how that works, turn things over to the private sector not only do they stop costing the government money, but they actually increase tax revenue so they start making the government money. An interesting concept, making the government money, we keep on this train of thought and they might actually be able to balance the budget, wouldn’t that be something?

I would also privatize police departments; it has been long well known that private security companies do a better job enforcing the peace where they are employed to enforce the peace than the current government tormented police departments. This is of course no fault of the policemen themselves, they do everything that they can with the tools that they are given, and for what they have they do an exceptional job, but imagine what the current police departments could manage if their budget were doubled, or tripled, without any governmental meddling. What would pay for these privatized police? That is simple too; they would still be paid via taxes, through government contracts. The company itself would still govern how they ran their business, the government contracts out to private security companies all the time, and run like a business the efficiency of the new privatized police would be significantly higher than the current police that are heavily restricted by arbitrary government policy and meddling.

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