Free Essay

Bureaucracy and You

In: Social Issues

Submitted By andrear1981
Words 1351
Pages 6
Bureaucracy and you

October 23, 2011

POS/110

Mary Ann Koehler

Axia College

The federal bureaucracy is the United States (U.S.) largest employer. They have millions of employees that literally help run the country we all know as home. Their jobs range from postal services, public broadcasting, and to being in control of student loans. The federal bureaucracy plays such a significant role in our everyday lives that sometimes we do not even realize it. My essay will explain five ways in which the federal bureaucracy regulates my everyday life. I will explain the five agencies that are associated with these regulations and give an in depth explanation of the agencies specific job description and how they affect my life.

The federal bureaucracy affects my life more than I knew. I was very surprised to learn that almost every move I make and every think I do on a daily basis is based on the federal regulations. My fiancé is in the process of starting his own business so one of my first errands I or we have to run almost every day is to the bank. The bank that I use is run by the Federal Reserve Board (FRB). When I am home I wait for the mail to come because clients send receipts for invoices they receive and I have to keep track of all of them to ensure our books are straight and that all payments have been made. This goes for our monthly bills we get in the mail as well. The United States Postal Service is in charge of shipping and inspecting the mail I receive. While I am home I care for our two year old son and my seven year old daughter. One of the most important things to me is their safety. With all of the ciaos with plastic toys not being safe it is very important to keep up with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The last part of my day either includes homework through the internet, listen to the radio, or a television show on local programming television station. The internet, radio and television are on the air through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All of these federal bureaucracies play a significant role in my daily life.

The Federal Reserve Board is in charge of the bank and regulating the supply of money along with interest rates. It is very important for them to keep track of where the money is going and assuring that it is all accounted for. The United States Postal Service is in charge of transporting, separating and making sure that they mail is safe to send. For example, the very unfortunate situation when anthrax was placed in some of our mail to hurt us; some of the workers and people got hurt but the anthrax was removed and not able to harm the thousands of people it was intended to hurt. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission tests products to make sure that the materials used for the product are safe and to test whether the products overall purpose is safe. In many situations companies have to recall their products because they are harmful to individuals. This is especially important to me and the safety of my children because it was so scary when so much lead paint was found on children’s toys. I make sure to keep up on any recalls made by the companies and the Unites States Consumer Product Safety Commission. It is very important for me to know which toys have lead paint on them and which toys are harmful to my children. “The Federal Communications Commission is in charge of licensing radio and TV stations and regulating their programming in the public interest as well as the regulating interstate long-distance telephone rates, cable television and the internet” (Edwards, et al., 2008, page 432, para. 6). The FCC is important to my daily life because I am an online student and I use the internet every day. I also like to wind down to a television show or the radio station that I like and the programs are aired through the FCC.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission surprised me the most because they really help me the most every day. The safety of my children is so important to me and I feel that what they do is a great service to the public. They are protecting us from issues with the development of products and manufacturing defects. I feel that what they do is more important than most of the federal bureaucracies. I was least surprised by the FRB because someone has to be in charge of the money that flows through banks. They have to account for all the money and ensure that the supply of money is regulated and the interest rates. It is an important job but I understand what they do and someone has to be in charge of regulating the supply of money. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was developed thirty years ago. The agency was formed to protect consumers and children from hazardous chemicals, products that pose a fire to our households, and any type of hazardous materials that can hurt or kill children. The agency was formed to protect consumers from unreasonable risks that resulted in serious injury or in some cases death. The agency has decreased the death rate thirty percent over the past thirty years. That is a magnificent change considering that they are caused through mostly product defects or a manufacturing company trying to cut costs and use cheaper materials.

The agencies main job is to protect consumers from manufacturing defects and threats to consumers. They have implemented new rules to discontinue any toys, books or child care products that may pose a threat to children. Most of these toys are older and it is inevitable that consignment shops and thrift stores are going to take a loss due to the new rules. Manufactures are considered to be anyone who distributed these products to the public. For example, people who are making donations to thrift store must be cautions with what they give them and the company must be cautious with what they chose to keep and sell. So it is important for everyone to watch for products that are being distributed through company’s even companies that are giving their products away for free.

The CPSC is always in the news because they are always recalling a new product. It is sad that they recall a new product almost every week but it is more disturbing that most of the products recalled are usually children’s products, such as car seats, toys and things we let then use almost immediately after we buy them. I think it is important that they are always in the news. It should make manufacturers be more cautious when developing and distributing products and it make me feel safe that they are examining a product to ensure the safety of it.

The CPSC is a very important company to my household and every household in this country. I think it is most important that they are ensuring the safety of our children and that they have declined the death rate by thirty percent. It is a very important company and they do a great job. Most federal bureaucracies are helpful and useful to our households. I could not imagine not having the convenience of being able to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles or having my mail delivered to me. Many people want to discuss the negative aspects of these agencies but the fact remains that they are here for our convenience and they are here to serve the public. I know that I am thankful to live in a country with a government that cares enough about the people to serve us with the several different federal bureaucracies to make our life safer and more comfortable.

References

Edward, G. et al. (2008). Government in America: People, Politics, and Policies. 9th Edition. Pearson Education, Inc.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Bureaucracy and You

...Bureaucracy and You August 7, 2011 The Federal Bureaucracy affects so many aspects of my day to day life that it can be difficult to narrow it down. Everything that I do, from drive my vehicle, my recent home purchase, the food I eat and especially the food that I purchase. Even the internet that I have to use in order to take my classes online is controlled by our government. Everything that we do in our daily lives has been made capable of our government. It has already had to be preapproved and inspected in order for us to use or consume the product. I think of all the things that are affected by the federal bureaucracy the agencies that I was least amazed by were the Department of Transportation and the Internal Revenue Service. I believe that I was least amazed by these two agencies because they seem too obvious. We all know that we have to pay taxes on everything (from clothing, gas, cable, electricity, etc). We cannot escape it. The same goes with the roads that we all have to drive on in order to get from point A to point B. The agency that surprised me the most was the U.S Food and Drug Administration (also known as the FDA). The FDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (fda.gov 2011). Because of my son’s severe food allergies, I was very aware that this agency was in charge of regulating the allergy warning labels on food products. I was not aware that they are also responsible for assuring the safety and security...

Words: 617 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...| A bureaucracy is the most effective organisational structure The bureaucracy consist of a suffix cracy which derives from Greek word kratis, means power or rule which is exercised by bureaucrats who sit behind their bureaux, or desks making and administering the rules that are to guide organisation activity. In bureaucrats organisation the highest position has ultimate power to running the organisation (Morgan, 2006). Weber a German sociologist, studies the bureaucracy structure and mainly on power and authority. He pointed out definitions of tasks and responsibilities within the structure of management gives rise to a permanent administration, regulation of work procedures and change in the actual holders of office. The term of bureaucracy has been criticised as official rules and processes that seem unnecessary (red tape) and cause delays although, it only applies to certain structural features of formal organisations. Weber analysed it as idea type which is the most characteristic feature of all known organisations. He saw the development of bureaucracies as a very important part in human social life. In bureaucratic organisation the tasks are allocated as official duties among the various positions. A hierarchical authority applies to the organisation of offices and positions. Uniformity of decisions and action is achieved through formally established systems of rules and regulations. Together with a structure of authority, this enables the co-ordination of......

Words: 2045 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...The bureaucracy is an agent for the fulfilment of the policies of the government. Rigid neutrality and rigorous impartiality regarding political issues are the basis of official conduct. Democratic objectives would be impossible to attain in modern society without a bureaucratic organisation to implement them. Bureaucratisation usually concentrates power in a few men and curtails the freedom of the individual, which is essential for democracy. Bureaucracy endangers democratic freedom but at the same time it serves important functions in a democratic society, which must not be ignored. Whatever the present state of administration, it seems clear that the art of administration implies democracy, which must be built on understanding of hierarchy as the structure of responsibility. The bureaucracy is an instrument to carryout public will, and this is expressed by parliament in the form of law. The principles of Weberian bureaucracy seem to be in use in the Bangladesh bureaucracy. Our bureaucratic institutions are centralised and hierarchical, they are professional and impersonal, and the staff is chosen on the basis of examinations. These principles might have worked well in Weber's day when the tasks were relatively simple and straightforward. But the world has changed rapidly: the situation is characterised by technological revolution, global economic competition, free markets, educated workforces, demanding customers and severe fiscal constraints. Bureaucracy has become......

Words: 1030 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Bureaucracy and You

...Bureaucracy and You POS/110 June 18, 2012 Bureaucracy and You Our everyday lives revolve around some kind of necessity that is directly linked to the government. Everywhere we go today there are taxes we contribute toward. The only location that we do not directly pay a tax on is at a garage sale. The government is comprised of many avenues, and as citizens of a country that is supposed to be the richest place in the world, we are more well-known currently as a country that is falling under because of the current direction our government is leading us. All of us contribute one way or the other to the federal bureaucracy. We all contribute to the welfare of our country by paying taxes. Sometimes we are unaware of just how much we give and where, who, and what we give to. Individuals are constantly surrounded by some form of bureaucracy. It regulates basically 100 percent of our daily lives. Upon waking in the morning, a routine generally consists of eating breakfast. All food is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). There is also the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). From the water we drink to the air we breathe, there are so many variations of federally regulated places that control the forces of which we partake in each day. One thing that was interesting to learn was that the FDA was established in 1906 and was called the Pure Food and Drug Act at that time. The actual name change did not take place until around......

Words: 844 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...Introduction Bureaucracy today is an integral part of most modern organizations. Whether public or private, organizations all across the world implement systems and regulations in their daily procedures which are enforced by appointed employees. Although bureaucracy has existed in some form or another for hundreds of years in human society, our point of departure will be the definition presented by Max Weber. In short, Weber defined bureaucracy as an organizational system with a clearly defined chain of command, where employees set aside their own personal opinions in favor of neutrality and impartialness. Rules are clearly defined and followed, to ensure the elimination of nepotism and the employee is required to adhere to the orders of their superiors who in turn have to operate under the structure and rules of the organization (Weber, 1946). When looking at how bureaucracy is used and implemented across the globe, it is clear that there are huge differences in how efficiently organizations and governments are being run, despite the fact that they are all working within a bureaucratic structure. In this paper we will look at public administration and question whether or not the bureaucratic ideal of the impersonal worker is still valid today. Is the strict adherence to regulations and formalities a concept which is no longer needed in our modern society? Traditional bureaucracy To many, bureaucracy is seen as a very stringent and almost soulless system, which......

Words: 1683 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...A bureaucracy is an organization made up of many departments and divisions that are administered by lots of people. The administrative structure of any large organization, public or private. Ideally bureaucracy is characterized by hierarchical authority relations, defined spheres of competence subject to impersonal rules, recruitment by competence, and fixed salaries. Its goal is to be rational, efficient, and professional. Max Weber, the most important student of bureaucracy, described it as technically superior to all other forms of organization and hence indispensable to large, complex enterprises. However, because of the shortcomings that have in practice afflicted large administrative structures, the terms bureaucracy and bureaucrat in popular usage usually carry a suggestion of disapproval and imply incompetence, a narrow outlook, duplication of effort, and application of a rigid rule without due consideration of specific cases. Bureaucracy existed in imperial Rome and China and in the national monarchies, but in modern states complex industrial and social legislation has called forth a vast growth of administrative functions of government. The power of permanent and nonelective officials to apply and even initiate measures of control over national administration and economy has made the bureaucracy central to the life of the state; critics object that it is largely impervious to control by the people or their elected representatives. The institution of the ombudsman......

Words: 459 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...MGMT 610 Professor Scanlan Feb 3, 2014 Originality score: 5% Bureaucracy According to the term, “Bureaucracy”, as coined by Max Weber, initially he felt it was a threat to personal liberties, but then realized this type of systematic structure was the most effective form of organizational functioning within the government and businesses. Weber spoke about six characteristics that determine success within a bureaucracy. The first characteristic is called rules and procedures. Every business has a standard code of conduct which is a guide on the do’s and don’ts of the work place. The second characteristic is specialization and division of labor, which means that each employee will have their own individual tasks they are responsible for completing within the allowed time. The third characteristic is hierarchy of authority. This gives each department an authoritative figure to maintain productivity and control. Characteristics of Bureaucracy The next characteristic is technically qualified personnel, which means being hired based on who best meets the criteria, not through favoritism or because you know that person. This gives all applicants an equal chance. Separate position from position holder is the fifth characteristic meaning that no employee is above another within a department. All employees were treated as equal, forcing them to work harder for promotions. The last characteristic is written communication and records. This gives the organization a written......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...these rules. When it comes to informal organization it can affect the way the formal hierarchy works. When discussing formal organizations the decisions made and the coordination that occur both the rules and norms will emerge out of the informal organization and over time personal relationships will begin to develop. Informal organization will affect not only individual behavior but group behavior as well. This will result with an altering of the formal structure disrupting informal norms which make up the organizational work. Although it could actually enhance the company’s organizational performance mainly from the many accomplishments that had been passed through the informal network and not revealed through the formal hierarchy. Bureaucracy can and will become a problem within an organization. It will become a problem when management tends to fail to control the development of the organizational hierarchy. If members rely only on the rules then they will become non-responsive to the stakeholders needs. According to Max Weber, there are six principles in which distribute responsibilities and authority in order to maximize their company’s effectiveness. The first principle is that of a person’s authority which is due to a position within the organization and showing that power should be separate from personality. Principle two suggests roles determined by technical competence and requires that management see’s all potential candidates objectively. Principle three is the......

Words: 742 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...ABSTRACT Bureaucracy is all about the rules and regulations to manage a particular activity in the organization. This paper is about how bureaucracy used in old organizations and how it affected the processes of new organizations. It explains how bureaucracy is not applicable in today’s business environment because of many facts. As years went through there was a drastic change in the operations of the organisation. The concern moved from organization to customer service, so the bureaucratic organizations changed their strategy from bureaucracy to customer service, this include government organizations also. Different authors thought about issue the issue different and this is explained in a very lucid language in this paper. INTRODUCTION TO BUREACRACY In the 18th century, officials of the French government demoted bureaucracy as desk cloth cover. Bureau means the official body which is engaged in the office which is public. This body uses the required implemental material and files. The term bureaucracy derived from the word bureau. (Reinhard Bendix,1968) According to Blau(1965), bureaucracy is defined as “The type of organization designed to accomplish large scale administrative tasks by systematically coordinating the work of many individuals.” However, Weber(1958) defined bureaucracy in a very scientific and systematic way. This means that technology became an important reason for the growth of organizations where bureaucracy is used. In the strict......

Words: 1420 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...Max Weber on Bureaucracy I. Merriam Webster’s Definition of Bureaucracy: 1 a : a body of nonelective government officials b : an administrative policy-making group 2 : government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority 3 : a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation II. Background and Description Max Weber was born 1864 and died 1920. Weber asks how is it a leader can give a command and have actions carried out? He answers the question by classifying claims to the "legitimacy" in the exercise of authority. His observations on bureaucracy were heavily influenced by his experiences in the United States. While traveling there, Weber was struck by the role of bureaucracy in a democratic society. The problem, as he saw it, was that modern democracy required bureaucratic structures of all kinds in the administration of government and even in the conduct of professional party politics. Handing over the reins to a class of unelected "experts," however, threatened to undermine the very basis of democracy itself. In particular, Weber stressed two problems: the unaccountability of unelected civil servants and the bureaucratic tendency toward inflexibility in the application of rules. Weber's interest in the nature of power and authority, as well as his pervasive preoccupation with modern trends of rationalization, led him to concern himself with the operation of modern......

Words: 1957 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Bureaucracy

...The Bureaucracy This report is based upon the topic bureaucracy being compared to the course textbook. This book breaks down what is a bureaucracy, the federal bureaucracy, becoming a bureaucrat, the bureaucracy and policymaking, and also reforming the bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is a way of administratively organizing large numbers of people who need to work together. As the textbook goes more in depth defining bureaucracy as a form of organization that operates through impersonal, uniform rules and procedures. Also, stating that bureaucracy actually at one time in history meant fast, effective, and rational administration. Organizations in the public and private sector, including universities and governments, rely on bureaucracies to function. The term bureaucracy literally means “rule by desks or offices,” a definition that highlights the often impersonal character of bureaucracies. Even though bureaucracies sometimes seem inefficient or wasteful, setting up a bureaucracy helps ensure that thousands of people work together in compatible ways by defining everyone’s roles within a hierarchy. Government bureaucrats perform a wide variety of tasks. We often think of bureaucrats as paper-pushing desk clerks, but bureaucrats fight fires, teach, and monitor how federal candidates raise money, among other activities. The job of a bureaucrat is to implement government policy, to take the laws and decisions made by elected officials and put them into practice. Some bureaucrats......

Words: 1522 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...A bureaucracy is defined as a form of organisation that centres on precision, speed, reliability, and efficiency achieved through the creation of job specialisation, hierarchical structure and detailed rules and regulations. (Visitchaichan, n.d. p.5) Bureaucratic organisations have been around for a very long time. They began as primarily the structure for just a few political and religious organisations (e.g. the US Government and the Roman Catholic Church). But by the second half of the 19th century, businesses were becoming larger and more complicated, and there was a move from small, primarily family run organisations to huge companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees. It became clear that a new form of organisation was required to deal with the increasing administrative problems of these larger companies. (Volti, 2008, p.80) Max Weber created the idea of bureaucratic structure of organisation that he believed would counteract these issues. His theory, however, is permeated by scepticism. He describes the bureaucracy as the most dominant form of modern control, both positively and negatively. Although he describes bureaucracies as the fairest and most efficient method of control, he was alarmed by their rapid spread through state, business and institutions and concerned about the effect that they would have on the people within the bureaucratic structure. He argued that due to their technical superiority, bureaucracies would come to dominate all forms of......

Words: 2222 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy Essay

...Victoria Typpi SOC-102 October 2, 2014 Dulce Medina Bureaucracy “Groups, people who think of themselves as belonging together and who interact with one another, are the essence of life in society,” (Henslin, 2013, p. 126). Groups are an important part of everyone’s well-being because they provide people with a sense of belonging. They also help shape who we are and there are two main types of groups. The first group, primary groups, include family and friends who provide intimate, face-to-face interaction, which give us an identity, a feeling of who we are (Henslin, 2013). After primary groups come secondary groups, which are much larger and more anonymous while being formal and impersonal (Henslin, 2013). An example of secondary groups are students and professors at a school. Since secondary are so impersonal, they usually break down into primary groups like how students form friendships within schools. Within society is a specialized group called a Bureaucracy, which is an organization which has become dominate in social life. There are five main characteristics of a bureaucracy and one organization that contains bureaucracy is the military. The first characteristic of a bureaucracy contains “clear levels, with assignments flowing downward and accountability flowing upward,” (Henslin, 2013, p. 133). Within each level the level above will assign responsibilities to the level below it and the level below are accountable for fulfilling those assignments assigned to......

Words: 886 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy

...UREAUCRACY: WEBER’S THEORY The literal meaning of bureaucracy is “rule by desks or offices, or government with a small desk.” A bureaucracy comprises of a great number of non-elected government officials that are concerned with administrative work and policy-making. Many big organizations and governments depend on bureaucracies to operate; they need consistent rules and procedures. Governmental agencies such as homeland security demonstrate best how bureaucrats function and what they do. (Blau, 1956) During the time of the great German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920), organizations were run in a casual manner. Max Weber searched for means to create a more official structure in organizations. According to him, organizations that were run like families were less successful because authority was misplaced. He believed that workers were loyal to their superiors as opposed to organizations. Organizations that are more structured, authoritative, and rigid were Max Weber’s ideal of a fully rational bureaucracy; he imagined them to be that way. His ideal organizations were those that were able to turn regular workers into coherent decision makers that will serve clients with fairness and competence. According to Weber, the following are characteristics of a fully rational bureaucracy: (Weber, 2009) Hierarchy: a clear-cut chain of command characterizes the level of power within organizations. People who occupy positions of authority will oversee and guide those who hold......

Words: 1252 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Bureaucracy and You

...Week 7-POS/110 American National Government Assignment Bureaucracy and You By Timothy R Cole   Throughout our daily lives there are so many different bureaucrats that run our days it is completely amazing. I believe the one branch of bureaucrats that amazed me the most was the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I never realized how much these individuals actually do within my daily life whenever it comes to inspecting, approving, or running some facet of our lives. The agency which surprises me the least would be the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, and Firearms as their entire purpose is to collect taxes whenever these items are sold. So when and why was the FDA formed? Was it in response to some national emergency or event? The “FDA is a branch of government housed within the department of Health and Human Services” (FDA,2010). The onset of the FDA was in direct correlation with the instituting of the Federal Food and Drug Act in 1906. The history of the FDA however can be traced all the way back to the latter part of the 19th Century under the US department of Agricultural Chemistry. Under the direction of chief chemist Harvey Washington Wiley in 1883 this branch of government began to investigate the adulteration and misbranding of food and drugs within the American government. (FDA, 2010) I do believe this was in direct response to an emergency as such drugs as cocaine, opium and heroin were consistently being added to medicinal elixirs......

Words: 1097 - Pages: 5