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Bureaucracy In The United States

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The United States government is a hugely complex and growing entity. In fact, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia believes, “that the largest enterprise in the world is the federal government of the United States of America” (Madsen, 2014). From Congress to the military, millions of citizens, at home and abroad, are employed through the United States Federal government. The largest employer by far is the Executive Branch, within which are the Executive agencies, or bureaucracies. Encompassing huge departments such as Defense, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, the United States Bureaucracy is truly enormous and extremely influential. From its implementation in the early days of the nation to current day, the bureaucracy has caused a shift in the…show more content…
The original bureaucracy of the federal government consisted only of the State, Treasury, and War departments. Today the executive branch employs almost three million people (The Bureacracy the Real Government, 2014) One of the largest problems with the early bureaucratic system, and the hiring of government employees in general, was patronage. President Andrew Jackson argued that patronage, later deemed the spoils system, brought greater rotation in office and avoided corruption from disgruntled predecessors’ employees (The Bureacracy the Real Government, 2014). However, the negative side of patronage soon reared its head when President Garfield was assassinated by a resentful job seeker. Congress subsequently passed the Pendleton Act, establishing a merit-based system to hire government employees. (The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration , n.d.). The Pendleton Act created a three-member Civil Service Commission to administer this new merit system which includes exams to determine if a person is adequately skilled for the position. One problem not addressed by the Pendleton Act was the effect that politics have on bureaucrats. Unfortunately, in the 20’s and 30’s, eras filled with deep seated political corruption, many bureaucrats were not only influenced by partisan politics, but actively worked on and enjoyed benefits from political campaigns. After many issues of public officials manipulating policy to influence certain candidates’ primary chances, The Hatch Act was drafted and passed through Congress. The Hatch Act of 1939 is a piece of legislation that prohibits federal employees and certain employees of state and local governments from engaging in partisan political activity (Hatch Act, 2016). Although it was amended in 1993 the Hatch Act, to allow for political participation but not position or direct donation, it
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