The federal government is ailing and needs a cure. The cure lies in embracing a principle long known to the American people but little recognized by Washington - until now: common sense. In this pathbreaking report, Vice President Al Gore, presiding over the National Performance Review, at the request of President Clinton, charts a fundamental shift in how government conduThe federal government is ailing and needs a cure. The cure lies in embracing a principle long known to the American people but little recognized by Washington - until now: common sense. In this pathbreaking report, Vice President Al Gore, presiding over the National Performance Review, at the request of President Clinton, charts a fundamental shift in how government conducts itself. This report understands that a government that recognizes who its real customers are, works with them to understand their needs, and puts them first, not last, is a government that deserves to govern....
|Title||:||Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less|
|Number of Pages||:||368 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less Reviews
It seems odd to think that an essay written in 1995 would be pertinent today, especially one written by Al Gore, about a National Performance Review initiated by President Clinton.But it is. Today, the tea party and much of the GOP hardcore base are under the impression we need to slash and burn the government to make it smaller. They don't care about making effective or efficient government. They just want it gone. They even go onto claim the majority of the population has this view.Al Gore writes: "As the frustration with the federal government has mounted, some people ... have decided that the way to fix the government is just to eliminate as much of it as possible. That might help bring the budget into line--or it might do no more than shift around a lot of organizational "boxes".... The main problem with taking an axe to the federal government is that it won't fix what remains. Government would be smaller, but it would still be as inflexible and bureaucratic. Cutting may treat a couple of symptoms, but it won't cure the disease."More to the point, people don't want the government to disappear. We realize when we lose our jobs, get diagnosed with cancer, suffer a work related injury, or an earthquake opens up beneath our feet, we need someone to be there. In other words, "Polls show Americans are angered less by what government does than by how it goes about its business. We want it better managed. We want it to use common sense."Government can put up lots of red tape and contain unnecessary regulation. Today, the GOP suggests we should do away with the EPA, cut the Department of Education, and reduce OSHA. They want to amputate, rather than diagnose and treat. The EPA wasn't created because corporations did the right thing - it was created because our rivers caught fire and our air was becoming quickly unbreathable. With the advent of OSHA, "the rate of work related fatalities decreased more than 50 percent." Its scary to think what would happen should OSHA pack its bags. In fact, watching an episode in Mad Men had me pondering disability from the workforce. In this particular moment, a lawn mower near amputates an up and coming manager. When sitting around the hospital, the owners of the ad agency are of course horrified that such a thing had happened and were saddened that his career was over. Finished. Dead.Instead of amputating, its time to once again assess and "get rid of bad rules and make good ones easier to understand."
In this book, Al Gore (and/or his ghost writer) systematically explore sources of government waste and offer some common sense ways to fix them. It's an idea that most people can get on board with, and an effort that is definitely needed now. Many of Gore's ideas are good, even 20 years later. He suggests some moves like cutting red tape, allowing more decisions to be made on the local level and spending more money on the training that workers need. Ultimately, these moves would save the government millions of dollars a year and shrink the government bureaucracy... an effort that both parties would likely be on board with.This book suffers in two places. First, it was written 20 years ago, so most of the specific suggestions are obsolete. Furthermore, one of his biggest suggestions is to get rid of paper files and computerize things while also embracing this new creation called "the internet". It's kind of funny to see how something as everyday as the internet was considered a fix-all back then. If only Gore knew how much time workers wasted on the internet...The second place where this book suffers is that is gets very repetitive very quickly. I get it, Al... give lower level managers more authority over hiring and purchasing decisions and let the citizens have more of a say in the effectiveness of the government.Since this book was published, many of his suggestions have been adopted. Government agencies are now organized into "teams", records have been computerized and agencies like the IRS and USPS are more receptive to citizen's needs. There is still a lot to do, however. It would be nice to see another bi-partisan effort like this one take place today... but that seems unlikely with the current political environment.Overall, Gore proposes some good ideas, most of which were good 20 years ago, and a few that still apply today. But the book is dry and needs a serious update.