Government's End Why Washington Stopped Working Kindle

Government's End Why Washington Stopped Working [EPUB] ✰ Government's End Why Washington Stopped Working Author Jonathan Rauch – An earlier edition of this extraordinarily prescient elegantly written book created a sensation among Washington media insiders when it was published than five years ago under the title Demosclerosis An earlier edition of this extraordinarily prescient Why Washington eBook ✓ elegantly written book created a sensation among Washington media insiders when it was published than five years ago under the title Demosclerosis In it Jonathan Rauch a former correspondent for The Economist and a columnist for National Journal showed with startling clarity the reasons why America's political system and in fact other political systems as well was becoming increasingly ineffective Today Government's End Kindle - as Rauch's predictions continue to manifest themselves in a national politics of sound and fury and little effective legislation and in increasing voter cynicism this book has achieved renown as the classic and essential work on why politics and government don't work In Government's End Rauch has completely rewritten and updated his earlier work to reassess his theory analyze the political stalemate of the last few years and explain End Why Washington PDF º why sweeping reform efforts of the kind led by Ronald Reagan Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich aren't the answers He also looks ahead at what is likely to happen or not happen next and proposes ideas for what we must do to fix the system For anyone who cares about the health of American democracy and indeed of international security Government's End is a fascinating disturbing and vitally important book.

10 thoughts on “Government's End Why Washington Stopped Working

  1. Michalyn Michalyn says:

    I read this book a year or two ago and have been meaning to give it a proper review I finally got around to itRauch’s basic argument in Government’s End can be summarized as follows Special interest groups are bad They are bad because they engage in lobbying rent seeking which is economically wasteful and unproductive and they stymie government by preventing it from being flexible from acting nimbly and decisively He concludes that regardless of the motives of different groups the end result of their actions is the same an enfeebling of government As much as I agree that special interest groups are problematic I was just not convinced by Rauch's argument that they are all eually harmfulPerhaps the problem is not the presence of special interest itself but the assumption that all special interest results in the same negative effect If one believes like Rauch that no motives serve a better public good than others then this would be stymieing indeed for any government trying to act In fact it would be impossible to even know which groups to excise to remove the enfeebling cancerous areas of government If we extend Rauch’s cancer metaphor imagine a doctor faced with a patient who exhibits symptoms of cancer; however the source of that cancer is undeterminable That doctor can like Rauch decide that all tissues and organs are eually culpable in the malady and so cutting out a liver a heart a hand a foot will have the same result as excising the cancer The other option is to do nothing Neither really addresses the issue that the cancer exists or at least that the patient is exhibiting symptoms which are cause for concernThis points to the weakness of Rauch’s proposed solutions If the problem with American government is not for the most part a system which necessitates that politicians have deep pockets in order to survive and the problem is not politicians having too long tenures nor is it a general decline in the uality of American leadership from whence does the power of special interest groups arise? How is it that they are able to “hold government hostage” so to speak and calcify the mechanisms of change? If this mysterious source of their power is not identified why should anyone suppose that making government smaller will be the answer? What this highlights is that special interest groups in a democracy are not at all like barnacles on the bulwark of government nor are they life sucking parasites on the jugular of the host The first implies a kind of commensalism with interest groups gaining benefit from latching on to government while government is taxed but is ultimately unharmed The second implies that government would be healthy but for the presence of special interest groups Yet if special interest groups are the American public itself then it is impossible for any democratic government to exist without its constituents Such a government signifies nothing In the spectrum of special interest groups there are certainly some frivolous hangers on and some deadly parasites but the relationship between government and special interest groups is by and large a mutualistic one Shaking off special interest groups like a bracing dash of sea water is not simply a uestion of revitalizing the body politic but radically altering the body politic itself an option which is in fact not as moderate a solution as Rauch suggests The point of all this is not to deny that Americans now than ever have a keen sense that something is not uite right in the relationship between the people and the government However isolating one aspect of government such as special interest groups without systematically examining the interconnected historical social economic and institutional conditions acting to produce a phenomenon is a self defeating exercise That is why despite Rauch’s calls for change all we are left with is the uneasy notion that government has not “ended” as he suggests but that the only way to revitalize it is either to do away with democratic government itself or to wish for some violent social upheaval such as the kind Germany South Korea and Japan experienced Most people would find this an unacceptable option So what are we left with? We can't uite put our finger on the problem but given the choices presented we shrug and say “well that's the way it is which in the end is what Rauch concludes himself

  2. Anand Anand says:

    What I found most startling about this book was the assertion that all political action is simply a struggle between different groups for having some resources directed to their cause of choosing This is a platitude maybe But looking beyond moral claims and focusing on the operationalization did help me think about the struggle in clearer terms which is the only reason for awarding the fourth starI'm not convinced if the book's claims translate directly to non American contexts which is the reason for not awarding the fifth star

  3. Robert Robert says:

    I can't even remember how I found out Jonathan Rauch and his book DEMOSCLEROSIS but my love of that book spurred me to read by him Now I come to GOVERNMENT'S END which I after purchasing found out was a revised and updated version of the aforementioned DEMOSCLEROSIS As such I won't try to rehash my previous review but provide a brief summary of the differences The older book came in 1994 after one year of the Clinton presidency This current one came in 1999 towards the end of his second term The first halves of each book are pretty much the same with some sporadic additions to account for changes since the initial publication the sugar and farm subsidies for instance The second half is where the biggest changes were made In the intervening five years Republicans under the leadership of Newt Gingrich took control of the House and Clinton tried to push through a massive healthcare reform bill These two events plus failed reform under Reagan form the bulk of the newly added chapter in which Rauch assesses why reform failed in terms of the theory he put forth in this book's initial publication The next biggest changes come in the last couple chapters where he adjusts his attitude towards managing demosclerosis and his recommendations for treating it as opposed to the optimistic cure in the previous edition The title gets of an explanation in these final chapters and doesn't mean that government will cease but that it has reached a point where evolution isn't really possible at least not like it was in the 30 years starting with the New Deal era He also makes the point that the American public as a whole needs to make an attitudinal adjustment regarding how much they want government to do versus what is realistically achievable Obviously there have been unforeseen developments since 1999 but the argument the book puts forth in either version still holds up in my opinion When faced with a choice between this and the previous version I would recommend this one because of the updated information but both books have essentially the same message

  4. David David says:

    Mr Rauch Proves His Point If you're trying to understand why the federal government is deaf to the needs of its citizens this book will tell you why Further if there is any uestion why John McCain strikes such a chord with the American people the answer will be found in here Yes the economy is doing great and the polls say Americans agree Yes our position in the world is dominant and Americans agree But when it comes to the performance of the government you can see the vein bulging on the average American's forehead Washington has stopped working in Mr Rauch's words and in his book he explains why The culprit is an explosion of special interests who seek to exploit political and finiancial gain from our nation's capital The myth of the national interest has been uietly put to rest In its place is the roar of special interests who sap the nation's economy stifle legislation and stir public cynicism Mr Rauch is a bit too cynical about the prospects for reform; I do not share his belief that government has ended Hopefully the next generation of political leaders heeding Rauch's warning will prove him wrong

  5. Kevin Kirkhoff Kevin Kirkhoff says:

    A good book that reduces Washington to many groups of people who fight for their piece of the pie Whoever can make the best argument gets a bigger slice Rauch points out how seemingly every single occupation is represented by a special interest group In the old days you had a few people rich people with influence inside the Beltway Now everyone has a voice They are lobbyistsRauch points out the failures of Reagan Clinton and Gingrich and just exactly what it takes to change things Any radical swing in either direction is comparable to disturbing an ant bed Lobbyists and activists mobilize to restore the status uo All in all it was an interesting perspective on Washington and why change is best done in slow small increments

  6. Jared Jared says:

    This book fills such a vital role it provides a clear and accessible understanding of why government has stopped working effectively over the last 40 years This is a foundational book for my research for Keeping Our Promise and I have found it to be invaluable Highlights for me were his reference of the writings of Mancur Olson his analysis of the Stockman Reagan Clinton and Gingrich reform efforts and why they failed I find his final chapters to be a real let down and a bit of a cop out though he's great at diagnosing the problem but fails to provide a coherent and actionable vision for how to respond

  7. Adam Adam says:

    I only skimmed this book His theory of government's evolution seemed interesting though I'm not sure that he has the expertise to make a legitimate stab at such theories Anyway the only major oversight I noticed is his avoidance of economic class He goes on at length about how people organize to influence the government but seems blind to the fact that some people are going to be effective than others and that having some money whether personal or corporate will provide a great advantageOverall this book didn't seem to be going anywhere productive so I only skimmed the remainder

  8. Sherwood Belangia Sherwood Belangia says:

    In a few years when we are all scratching our heads and asking why Republican ambitions to reformdownsize government have failed this book will go a good ways toward answering that uestions An extremely cogent and nonpartisan argument about the role of special interests in guaranteeing gov't growth Brilliant

  9. Tom Darrow Tom Darrow says:

    A convincing ballanced and well argued work I have never highlighted so many passages in a book He provides many common sense arguments of how the US got in the mess it is now and he does it without pointing fingers and any specific political party He proposes changes WITHIN the system not huge changes TO the system

  10. Matthew Matthew says:

    No left no right A book that helps to describe why the political morass Americans are enveloped in today is caused by our hyperplurality and desire to solve everything through groupissue advocacy The only problem is groups never go away and continue to clamor for their piece of the pie

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