Books Feed

"A Peek Inside the Undrained Swamp"

Just awful:

Bernhardt describes various factors that contribute to the bureaucratic morass within administrative agencies: badly-written statutes that provide little guidance to regulators; labyrinthine organizational structures within agencies, padded with layers of career civil servants; weak agency heads unwilling (or unable) to manage the sprawling operations they oversee—serving as mere “figureheads” and allowing their agencies to run on “autopilot”; and even chaotic White House staffing arrangements that impede vital communication between agency heads and the president to whom they report. Fixing some of these problems requires action by Congress or (in the case of Chevron deference) the Supreme Court, but—in Bernhardt’s telling—a strong executive can make progress with forceful, decisive management. However, it is not easy: systemic problems elude simple solutions.

"Class Dismissed"

Naomi Schaefer Riley rakes a new book, The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession, over hot burning coals.

"Teachers are this country’s silent, constant superheroes," writes Alexandra Robbins in her new book, The Teachers: A Year Inside America’s Most Vulnerable, Important Profession. The book, which is filled with this kind of pablum . . . 

"Ending the Stranglehold of Public Employee Unions"

Something devoutly to be wished.

Howard ably distills the issues into a five-point indictment. He argues that public employee unions have:

  1. Severed the links of accountability;
  2. Rendered government substantially unmanageable with detailed rules and veto powers;
  3. Made government unaffordable with opaque benefit packages and compensation manipulations;
  4. Changed public policies to the harm of the public good; and,
  5. Entrenched these abuses, and made reform practically impossible, through organized political power.

UPDATE: link fixed. Thanks, Albert.