Elaine Kamarck seeks to explain the bureaucratic approaches in keeping with the information age economy. This argument, although it seems illogical, stems from the assertions that have risen from political leaders that suggest that the government in modern days has shifted from being the necessary solution to becoming a problem. Such statements will not be taken lightly by citizens who look up to the government to provide solutions to the many problems they face. One man who is against such an opinion is Kamarck. Largely, Kamarck supports the endeavors that the government takes in order to make the citizens feel safe and secure. Kamarck’s argument is based on the notion that the citizens should never give up and instead, they should support the government in its dealings. He associates any revolt against the government to revolting against bureaucracy. After keenly analyzing the current situation, Kamarck notes with much concern that, in the modern day era, revolts have occurred in both the first world and developing countries. This shows that citizens from all walks of life have turned against government efforts to ensure their well-being is promoted. Important to note is the fact that revolts may create a perception that the government has come to an end, according to some people. Kamarck disagrees with this completely. In essence, such revolts indicate the process of replacing bureaucratic approaches of the traditional nature with new models. In his research (The End of Government), Kamarck explores the contours of the post bureaucratic state. One major area he gives more consideration is on how leadership will be redefined in the new circumstances. In his works, Kamarck explains that the leaders of governments today face a number of options as far as doing something is concerned. This presents the government the challenge of choosing the mode to implement, how the mode will match the policy statement and, as a result, how such a mode will be managed in the post bureaucratic world.
Golden Nugget Quotes
In the book, the author employs several mechanisms to communicate his point of view, including the golden nugget quotes. The arguments he gives vary in content. At times, some of the arguments are too strong to the extent that one will have to agree with him, while, at times, he uses loose and weak arguments to put his case forward. By using quotes in the book, Kamarck is able to relate other people’s works to the arguments that he seeks to put across. It is no secret that, after the 9/11 attack, most citizens of America joined hands with the government to oversee the rescue operations that were taking place (Kamarck, 2007). To some extent, this promoted national unity as every individual was seen as a brother. Perhaps, as Kamarck puts it, the attack was a good opportunity for America to make a comeback in order to win the hearts of the citizens. Prior to that, most citizens had poor opinions about the government and had given up. Although the late 1990s spell out the period that the citizens started having trust in the government, (the American economy was on a tremendous increase and the government had managed to move to surplus from deficits), it is the horror attack that inspired the patriotism in the nation. Partly, this was influenced by the heroism that was shown by the government workers in the operations that transpired. Effectively, Kamarck relates the events of the attack and its aftermath to the role that war plays in pulling nations together and supporting the government. This is true in practice since the citizens are united in order to overcome the common enemy, hence sparking some form of unity.
Strengths and Weakness of Arguments
Most of the arguments that Kamarck puts up vary in their levels of strengths. Whereas some arguments are so strong, others can be said to be mere statements that are very weak.The measures that the state takes in order to overcome problems have been keenly analyzed by Karmack in the book. As he puts it, the government is fading away as far as its bureaucratic manifestation is concerned. What has not faded, however, is the continued need to have a government that is responsible for the citizens. The inconsistency that governments have shown when caring for the citizens has not been taken lightly. As such, most people have argued that in the modern world, ‘governance’ is effectively replacing ‘government’ in democratic societies. Largely, governance encompasses various aspects, including the organizations that contribute in pursuit of the general good (Kamarck, 2007). To overcome the challenges that governments face in the modern era, Kamarck argues that there are three forms of government that are slowly replacing the bureaucratic states. These include the Networked Government; Entrepreneurial Government and the Market Government. These governments, though hypothetical, present better opportunities and services to the citizens as compared to the bureaucratic governments. The author argues that the Networked Government is simply the bureaucratic government without all the aspects that make it irritating to the citizens. For instance, a bureaucratic government may be changed to the Networked government if it sheds centralized procurement. Such centralization of events in government works against the government in that most citizens associate it with corruption, a vice that promotes revolt among the citizens. This argument is very true. Most states that have centralized governments find it difficult to appease the citizens because of the bureaucracies that transpire. Citizen satisfaction, in most cases, can only be achieved when the government does not indulge itself in practices that are likely to scare the private sector.
The Market Government, as Kamarck argues, does not involve the traditional government at all. As such, it is the furthest model from the government Perhaps the only common thing between the bureaucratic government and the Market Government is that both presuppose a community that is based on the rule of law and where enforcement of the law is possible by the government. In transforming the bureaucratic government to the Market Government, the government ought to use its power in creating a marketplace (Kamarck, 2007). Although the structure the author proposes as the Market Government is difficult to envisage in the modern world, there is no doubt it will represent good governance to the citizens. Kamarck associates the manner that Americans perceived the government in the twentieth century to the death of common sense. The Reagan administration is singled out to be the era that sparked the citizens to lose their trust in the government. To a large extent, the aforesaid administration was characterized with changing economic fortunes, from positive to negative. This persisted during the real governmental accomplishments and the political parties and their policies. Such practices were the reasons as to why the Americans lost faith in the government. Most citizens were of the opinion that the government was full of ‘waste, fraud and abuse.'
The third form of government that is emerging; according to Kamarck is the Entrepreneurial Government. Most successful governments are catalytic. This means that they steer, rather than being rowed. Some of the characteristics of such a government may include: ownership by the community, it plays a role in empowering its employees, competition in it is used to increase results, it is mission driven and to a large extent, it is results and customers driven. Decentralization and anticipatory terms have been used by the author to describe successful governments, which in most cases tend to have characteristics of Entrepreneurial Governments. Such a Government is shorn off the budget rules that are rigid. The procurement rules and personal rules are also done away with, giving the citizens an adequate chance to carry out their business in the economy. In most cases, the public sector’s goals are articulated and measured clearly. The differences between the private sector and the public sector have few significant differences when it comes to management. By clearly articulating the goals of the public sector, the organizations of the government will have some freedom in carrying out their tasks. This is important in that, such organizations will not worry about being controlled by the central agencies of the government that have for a long period, dominated the public sector (Kamarck, 2007). The accountability with which the agencies were invented to promote comes at a price. The initial goal was that the agencies will facilitate best practices of identifying and tracking how every penny belonging to the government was spent. Through the centralized procurement, it was difficult for managers to acquire what they needed in good prices. Consequently, it was difficult to transfer funds from a certain category to another. This did not promote accountability in the public spending.
Kamarck, E. C. (2007). The end of government-- as we know it: making public policy work. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.