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Book cover of A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

by Paul C. Light, Paul A. Volcker

Publisher: Harvard University Press
Pages: 288
Paperback
ISBN: 9780674034785






Available to Buy

Overview of A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

Hear commentary by Paul Light on why young, talented workers are steering clear of jobs in the federal government (from National Public Radio).

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called “the true test” of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton’s seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

Synopsis of A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

Hear commentary by Paul Light on why young, talented workers are steering clear of jobs in the federal government (from National Public Radio).

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called “the true test” of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton’s seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

Al Kamen - The Washington Post

The next administration had best heed Light's call to focus on getting a coherent, shorter nomination and confirmation process that encourages talented people to sign up for government service.

About the Author, Paul C. Light

Paul C. Light is Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University.

Reviews of A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

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Editorials

" PBS "Bill Moyers Journal

Not only the presidential candidates, but everyone running for Congress should read this book. If our political leaders do not confront this pattern of desperate concern, says this sober scholar, "they are likely to preside over a string of meltdowns that will make the federal response to Hurricane Katrina look like a minor mistake."
— Bill Moyers

<i>Bill Moyers Journal</i> on PBS Bill Moyers

So, not only the presidential candidates, but everyone running for Congress should read this book. If our political leaders do not confront this pattern of desperate concern, says this sober scholar, "they are likely to preside over a string of meltdowns that will make the federal response to Hurricane Katrina look like a minor mistake."

<i>Lou Dobbs Tonight</i> on CNN Lou Dobbs

I urge you to read A Government Ill Executed. It is an important book, and I hope that Senators Obama and McCain are looking at the book as we speak.

Choice

This book provides an important contribution to the literature on federal personnel, and it should be required reading among scholars who study the federal bureaucracy, the U.S. presidency, and public administration.
— A. L. Warber

CNN

The book is A Government Ill Executed. I urge you to read it. It is an important book, and I hope that Senators Obama and McCain are looking at that book as we speak.
— Lou Dobbs

Minneapolis Star Tribune

[A] book that ought to be read by every candidate for federal office this year...[It] goes beyond the complaints to describe what’s happened inside federal agencies to make them less effective.

The Washington Post

The next administration had best heed Light's call to focus on getting a coherent, shorter nomination and confirmation process that encourages talented people to sign up for government service.
— Al Kamen

Washington Post

The next administration had best heed Light's call to focus on getting a coherent, shorter nomination and confirmation process that encourages talented people to sign up for government service.
— Al Kamen

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