The United States of America’s public sector has unique challenges that are unlike obstacles the private sector has to overcome. These differences include organizational structure, funding limitations, government transparency, bureaucratic red-tape, noncompetitive employee compensation, privatization, and the enormous number of stakeholders with opposing interests involved in the policy making process.
The organizational structure of the public sector rests on the foundation of public interest. Defining public interest, however, is a challenge with so many stakeholders with opposing viewpoints. In contrast, the private sector is market-driven and exists to make profits for owners and shareholders. Jaguar Automotive does not have to be concerned about the people who cannot afford their vehicles. The public sector has only one interest, its citizens, versus private sector who can develop many products to serve the few.
Another unique challenge for the public sector is its funding source. The government 's primary source of money is the collection of taxes. During a recession agencies and programs can be negatively impacted. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities since 2008 at least 46 states have made cuts in health care programs, services for elderly and disabled, K12- education and higher education. ( )
In the United States, we have a media hungry public who demand transparency in government. The media who have become, to a large extent, the people’s watchdogs, supplying the citizenship with fact-checking and investigative journalism. Not many private entities get rocked by scandals the size of Watergate, the Clinton-Lewinsky
affair, the NSA surveillance controversy and the Abu Gha...
... middle of paper ...
...dback and recommendations on policies created in the public interest. The Council-Manager form of government that we have here in the City of San Antonio is the structural equivalent of the Politics-Administration dichotomy. An elected council is responsible for policy formulation and a city manager is appointed by the council to carry out policy implementation. The city manager works at the pleasure of the council. San Antonio is considered a weak-mayor system because the mayor has no formal authority outside of council.
The United States has a diverse population with contradicting expectations, in an era of mistrust and at a time in history where the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics, and the nation’s elected leaders and by default public servants. Public administrators must focus on consensus building to keep government in action.
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