Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better

Princeton University Press
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From healthcare to workplace and campus conduct, the federal government is taking on ever more responsibility for managing our lives. At the same time, Americans have never been more disaffected with Washington, seeing it as an intrusive, incompetent, wasteful giant. Ineffective policies are caused by deep structural factors regardless of which party is in charge, bringing our government into ever-worsening disrepute. Understanding why government fails so often—and how it might become more effective—is a vital responsibility of citizenship.

In this book, lawyer and political scientist Peter Schuck provides a wide range of examples and an enormous body of evidence to explain why so many domestic policies go awry—and how to right the foundering ship of state. An urgent call for reform, Why Government Fails So Often is essential reading for anyone curious about why government is in such a disgraceful state and how it can do better.

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About the author

Peter H. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor of Law Emeritus at Yale University. He is the author or editor of many books, including Agent Orange on Trial, Meditations of a Militant Moderate, Diversity in America, and Understanding America.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 23, 2014
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Pages
488
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ISBN
9781400850044
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Government / General
Political Science / American Government / General
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Robert's Rules of Order have been around since 1876, when Henry Martyn Robert published the first edition of his book, which was then known as the Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies. The book based its outline on the House of Representatives' meeting procedures and adapted these methods for use in society as a whole.

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In A Vast Conspiracy, the best-selling author of The Run of His Life casts an insightful, unbiased eye over the most extraordinary public saga of our time -- the Clinton sex scandals.  A superlative journalist known for the skillfulness of his investigating and the power of his writing, Jeffrey Toobin tells the unlikely story of the events that began over doughnuts in a Little Rock hotel and ended on the floor of the United States Senate, with only the second vote on Presidential removal in American history.  This is an entirely fresh look at the scandal that very nearly brought down a president.

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Should chronically disruptive students be allowed to remain in public schools? Should nonagenarians receive costly medical care at taxpayer expense? Who should be first in line for kidney transplants—the relatively healthy or the severely ill? In T argeting in Social Programs , Peter H. Schuck and Richard J. Zeckhauser provide a rigorous framework for analyzing these and other difficult choices. Many government policies seek to help unfortunate, often low-income individuals—in other words, "bad draws." These efforts are frequently undermined by poor targeting, however. In particular, when two groups of bad draws—"bad bets" and "bad apples"—are included in social welfare programs, bad policies are likely to result. Many politicians and policymakers prefer to sweep this problem under the rug. But the costs of this silence are high. Allocating resources to bad bets and bad apples does more than waste money—it also makes it harder to achieve substantive goals, such as the creation of safe and effective schools. And perhaps most important, it erodes support for public programs on which many good bets and good apples rely. By training a spotlight on these issues, Schuck and Zeckhauser take a first step toward much-needed reforms. They dissect the challenges involved in defining bad bets and bad apples and discuss the safeguards that any classification process must provide. They also examine three areas where bad apples and bad bets loom large—public schools, public housing, and medical care—and propose policy changes that could reduce the problems these two groups pose. This provocative book does not offer easy answers, but it raises questions that no one with an interest in policy effectiveness can afford to ignore. By turns incisive and probing, Bad Draws will generate vigorous debate.
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