Battle of the Bureaucrats 38 replies

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Joe Bonham

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10th December 2005

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#1 12 years ago

I'm a little puzzled. Many people hate big corporations - but love big government. "Oh yes, this railroad is poorly managed by corporate bureaucrats, so we must take it away and give it to the government bureaucrats!" So, what exactly is the difference between a corporate bureaucrat and a government bureaucrat? Why is the government bureaucrat better? These people say big corporations are bad because they have too much power over the poor. But you could make the exact same argument against big government, which also has the power to squeaze and exploit the people. Could someone enlighten me on the logic behind this?




Tony883

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8th September 2005

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#2 12 years ago
Machiavelli's ApprenticeI'm a little puzzled. Many people hate big corporations - but love big government. "Oh yes, this railroad is poorly managed by corporate bureaucrats, so we must take it away and give it to the government bureaucrats!" So, what exactly is the difference between a corporate bureaucrat and a government bureaucrat? Why is the government bureaucrat better? These people say big corporations are bad because they have too much power over the poor. But you could make the exact same argument against big government, which also has the power to squeaze and exploit the people. Could someone enlighten me on the logic behind this?

From what I think your asking, I learnt the answer in Business Studies a year or so back. Private companies are in it to make a profit- in this case of the railroad, the private companies are more concerened about high prices / low costs & maximzing profit. Theroeticlly, Public Sector (goverment) run companies don't need to make money to keep running, they are providing a basic service; although they do want to make profits, it is not needed to keep the company running as it can survive on goverment subsidies (sp), grants and budget. Because of this, the managers can focus more on the *running*, reliability and quality of service rather than the profit which the private companies need to survive.




Joe Bonham

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#3 12 years ago
Tony883From what I think your asking, I learnt the answer in Business Studies a year or so back. Private companies are in it to make a profit- in this case of the railroad, the private companies are more concerened about high prices / low costs & maximzing profit. Theroeticlly, Public Sector (goverment) run companies don't need to make money to keep running, they are providing a basic service; although they do want to make profits, it is not needed to keep the company running as it can survive on goverment subsidies (sp), grants and budget. Because of this, the managers can focus more on the *running*, reliability and quality of service rather than the profit which the private companies need to survive.

Like you said, a private company needs to profit in order to survive. If they are incompetent, the bad managers are either fired, or a more successful company takes over. Either way, the public gets good service. Now compare this to the government railroad. Civil servants are almost impossible to fire, so incompetents will remain imbedded in the system. Worse still, there is no penalty for failure. If the managers are incompetent and go bankrupt, their bosses will just increase their budgets. The private businesses operate in a Darwinian system. The dumb companies disappear or merge with the smart companies. This means better service. Dumb government institutions cannot be put out of business or merged with someone better, so they just limp on and provide mediocre service.




Dreadnought[DK] VIP Member

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#4 12 years ago
Machiavelli's ApprenticeSo, what exactly is the difference between a corporate bureaucrat and a government bureaucrat? Why is the government bureaucrat better? Could someone enlighten me on the logic behind this?

it's a question of ideology. nothing more. what is better depends on how you view the role of governemt vs private interest.




The Contender

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#5 12 years ago

burocracy is necessary but it must be a streamlined burocracy, do we really need a department of ketchup viscosity testing or department of rail road coal procurement? it is unecesary government burocracies that piss people off.




Joe Bonham

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#6 12 years ago
The Contenderburocracy is necessary but it must be a streamlined burocracy, do we really need a department of ketchup viscosity testing or department of rail road coal procurement? it is unecesary government burocracies that piss people off.

Amen to that.




-Aqualung-

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#7 12 years ago
Machiavelli's ApprenticeLike you said, a private company needs to profit in order to survive. If they are incompetent, the bad managers are either fired, or a more successful company takes over. Either way, the public gets good service. Now compare this to the government railroad. Civil servants are almost impossible to fire, so incompetents will remain imbedded in the system. Worse still, there is no penalty for failure. If the managers are incompetent and go bankrupt, their bosses will just increase their budgets. The private businesses operate in a Darwinian system. The dumb companies disappear or merge with the smart companies. This means better service. Dumb government institutions cannot be put out of business or merged with someone better, so they just limp on and provide mediocre service.

This is true about the incompetence remaining, at least in our current system, but the problem with a private business is that its main goal it to please its stockholders by making a profit, which I'm sure you already know. This means they would only have the welfare of the people in mind if that is profitable, which it is often not. What we need is a streamlined system where incompetence is treated, but where the goal is to still the welfare of the people.




masked_marsoe VIP Member

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#8 12 years ago

I prefer government bureacrats becuase they are answerable to the Government, and the Government is answerable to the public.

With a private company, how do we know that they are doing what's best for the public, if they are only answerable to a few executives?

With the current government we have in NZ, the ruling coalition is made up with parties that are only loosely involved in running the Government. For example, New Zealand First has their leader as Foriegn Affairs Minister, but beyond that, they can criticise the rest of the Government; as can UnitedFuture or the Greens. It's not the most stable, but it means that the Government mustn't put a foot wrong.

Of course, every country has different policies and rules for bureaucracy, but again, I'd rather know that I have some power in what goes on and who does what, even if it's small.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#9 12 years ago
Machiavelli's ApprenticeI'm a little puzzled. Many people hate big corporations - but love big government. "Oh yes, this railroad is poorly managed by corporate bureaucrats, so we must take it away and give it to the government bureaucrats!" So, what exactly is the difference between a corporate bureaucrat and a government bureaucrat? Why is the government bureaucrat better? These people say big corporations are bad because they have too much power over the poor. But you could make the exact same argument against big government, which also has the power to squeaze and exploit the people. Could someone enlighten me on the logic behind this?

As others have said it's about big cooperation out there to which's only is out there to make profit and thus as much money as possible versus a non-profit "organisation" such as the goverment. Which primairy goal is to serve the people. Also the goverment can be elected away.

That being said this isn't just limited to large cooperation but also to smaller cooperations. Anybody out there for a profit has is more likely to abuse "us the people" then a non profit organisation, though even those may be corrupt sometimes.




Joe Bonham

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#10 12 years ago
masked_marsoeI prefer government bureacrats becuase they are answerable to the Government, and the Government is answerable to the public.

-Corporate leaders are answerable to the public (The shareholders) -It is a lot easier to fire an incompetent corporate employee than a government one. If you don't believe me, just look at the American education system. Incompetents are almost never fired.

With a private company, how do we know that they are doing what's best for the public, if they are only answerable to a few executives?

Exactly the same with the government. Just electing a new president, or a new legislative official won't do it. There are so many layers to penetrate a mere election won't fix the problem.

With the current government we have in NZ, the ruling coalition is made up with parties that are only loosely involved in running the Government. For example, New Zealand First has their leader as Foriegn Affairs Minister, but beyond that, they can criticise the rest of the Government; as can UnitedFuture or the Greens. It's not the most stable, but it means that the Government mustn't put a foot wrong.

No offense, but New Zealand isn't exactly the largest country in the world. The smaller the population and the wealth involved, its easier to get a decent government together. The easiest government to build is a small one, as the simplest systems work - like the Athenian direct democracy.

Of course, every country has different policies and rules for bureaucracy, but again, I'd rather know that I have some power in what goes on and who does what, even if it's small.

Again, you could say the exact same thing for a corporation. All shareholders, even ones with small holdings, have some control over who is in charge.

As others have said it's about big cooperation out there to which's only is out there to make profit and thus as much money as possible versus a non-profit "organisation" such as the goverment. Which primairy goal is to serve the people. Also the goverment can be elected away.

I hope that was a joke. The typical government official's goal isn't to "serve the people" - its to gain as much power as possible for as long a period of time as possible. This leads to deranged policies mean't to please their base. This is the main factor behind the huge deficits the US is running up. Politicians make impossible promises.

Oh, and what happens if this huge government goes sour? With a corporation, it is simply overrun by a more efficient competitor. That could never happen with a government, short of a coup or foreign invasion.

This is funny! So corporations are villains and the government is made up of wonderful people who's only goal in life is to serve us?