Why Washington Stopped Working By Jonathan Rouch

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The overall theme of Government's End, Why Washington Stopped Working by Jonathan Rauch is one of calling for a reform for the way in which the modern government is operated. I believe that the overall feel of the book is not so much that Jonathan Rauch has a problem with what the government can not get done, but rather what the government can not get undone. The feeling to the book is that the government is a slow giant that will not change its ways. His analyses of the government of being slow and not a whole bunch gets done is very correct. The Founders of this great country did not want a government where laws and regulations could be easily passed and put into place. The Founders had just fought with their lives against a government where the ultimate say, came down to a single person. This is the very reason why the Founders created a system of checks and balances, to ensure that no one person or group could influence and pass laws that would benefit just one group instead of the nation as a whole. So in short, with Rauch's belief that the government is a giant, he is very true.

Secondly, as far as the government not being capable of undoing what is has done, he is correct on this point. According to Dr. Michelle Chin, in order for a program to be "immortal" all it has to do is become a federal program. Once a program has become part of the federal government, it is very hard to get rid of that program. This is because that the programs impact a great number of people. Also, because people become accustomed to these types of programs and cannot remember what life was like before the programs existed. Also, the programs that were created then go out and hire lobbies to ensure that the program will not get cut and lobby for other programs to help the initial program, thus growing the government. This is part of the reason why the government has grown so large, because of the programs that have been created and cannot be terminated.

Rauch's biggest problem with organized interest groups participating in the policy process is that they are the ones that truly shape the government and not the policy makers themselves.

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