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Discussion Question Seven

The simplest definition of democracy is probably by the people, for the people. In a democracy, the people are supposed to elect the leaders. However, in a bureaucracy, many people hold appointed positions rather than elected positions. Some of those political appointees are able to keep their jobs for decades. We call these people career bureaucrats. Some people criticize career bureaucrats because they are not elected, but they hold significant power. What is the value of civil servants who have been doing the same work for decades? How do you reconcile these two opposing systems of bureaucracy and democracy? Can a bureaucracy be run democratically? How well do you think the government would function without the bureaucracy and the technical expertise some of the long time civil servants bring? Explain.

To receive full credit, you must post at least one meaningful response to my question and at least two meaningful responses to your fellow students’ posts.  Feel free to post long posts, more than once and/or respond to more students’ posts.  Be sure to be polite and respectful of other students.  Be sure to justify your answers using the reading material, which can be supplemented by other magazine, newspaper or internet articles.  Show me an understanding of the assigned reading material in your response.  Enjoy the discussion!

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