Escaping Jurassic Government

Escaping Jurassic Government : How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence

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The Progressive government movement reined in corporate trusts and improved the lives of sweatshop workers. It created modern government, from the Federal Reserve to the nation's budgetary and civil service policies. Ask any American today and they will tell you how our government has hit a wall with profound implications. Trust in government is low, and the success of its programs. Instead of a focus on governmental effectiveness, the movement became known for governmental size. Both political parties contributed to the decline of the Progressive ideal, helping feed the gridlock and create a government that does not work the way citizens deserve.

Donald Kettl argues for a rebirth of the Progressive spirit with a dedication to making the government work better. He outlines the problems in today's government, including political pressures, proxy tools, and capacity for management. Government Reclaimed details the strategies, evidence and people necessary to strengthen governmental effectiveness and shut down the gridlock.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 408.23g
  • Washington DC, United States
  • English
  • 0815728018
  • 9780815728016
  • 2,798,822

Back cover copy

Government has hit a wall: low performance and high distrust. It is time for a rebirth of the original Progressive spirit, not in pursuit of bigger government, but better government that works on behalf of all citizens and delivers services effectively and with bipartisan dedication.
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Review quote

Don Kettl has spent his professional life analyzing the performance of
American government. He is worried, deeply worried. The gap between what we
collectively set out for the federal government to do and its capacity to do it effectively and efficiently has become way too large.
What has been so sadly lacking is a consistent, whole-hearted "commitment
to competence." How else can we restore a sense of confidence in what our government--our great democracy--can do?
--Paul A. Volcker, Chairman, The Volcker Alliance, and former Chairman,
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1979-1987 Food safety, air traffic control, public health--these are just a few of the areas where government must play a vital role. But in an era where political dysfunction, shrinking resources, hostility to government workers, and increased complexity have eroded both government performance and public faith in government, what can be done? In this important, eloquent, compelling book, Don Kettl uses clear examples, powerful data, and reasoned arguments to show us realistic ways forward. It is an absolute must-read for everyone concerned about America's future.
--Norman J. Ornstein, Contributing Editor and Columnist, National Journal and The Atlantic Books on governance are rarely page turners, but Don Kettl offers a lively riposte to liberals and conservatives who fight endlessly over the size and scope of government: It's competence, stupid. His book unfurls a pragmatic way to narrow the gulf between what Americans expect of their government and its ability to deliver.
--Will Marshall, President, Progressive Policy Institute
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About Donald F. Kettl

Donald F. Kettl is the dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, USA. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
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