Friday, August 11, 2017

How Bureaucracy Works

Jonathan Bernstein has good observations on the bureaucracy:
Or, to put it another way: Normal presidencies have a process in place in which important policy questions are brought to the president -- not just security briefings, but domestic problems as well. Just the need to present the president with serious briefings forces the White House staff and various agencies and departments to figure out what's important and what's not, to find potentially viable courses of action for the president to consider, and to be prepared in case the president asks tough questions in either an initial briefing or down the road. Good presidents won't just passively absorb briefings; they'll challenge the information and the options they're being presented with, reinforcing the need for everyone up and down the line to do their best work.
Sometimes the stimulus for action is from the top, sometimes it comes up from the bottom.  Either way the bureaucracy can't be much better than the person at the top.

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