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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

The Personality Of Being Right: For Many Things, Government is The Solution

It strikes me that if you are the kind of man who sees value in spending Federal funds on faith-based groups doing good work, and you are also the kind of person to call the Bush Administration a bunch of "Mayberry Machiavellians", then you are probably someone who, like me, puts a high priority on being right and a lower priority on loyalty and consistency. (H/t Ed Kilgore)

John DiIulio is now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and has written a review of Francis Fukuyama's Political Order and Political Decay for the Washington Monthly. He highlights how critical government functions suffer when we don't have enough people on the job and when we farm out the work to states, municipalities, and private contractors.

Echoing Kettl and Derthick, in a little book published in 2014, Bring Back the Bureaucrats, I argued that for a half century now America’s huge and hugely dysfunctional government has worked by borrowing billions of dollars a year from foreigners and from Americans who are not yet born [TH: that part is stupid, any idiot borrows now to invest in the future], and by hiring tens of millions of Americans each year who are never counted on the federal payroll. Congress masks government’s huge spending by debt financing, and it masks government’s huge scope by paying three types of federal proxies—state and local government workers, for-profit business contractors, and nonprofit organization grantees—to administer federal policies, programs, and regulations.


Today, more than two dozen federal departments and agencies spend a combined total of over $600 billion a year on more than 200 intergovernmental grant programs for state and local governments. Washington also spends over $500 billion a year on contracts with for-profit firms. About a third of the nonprofit sector’s more than $2 trillion in annual revenues now flows from some government source.

Experts In Journalism

The Discussion We Can't Have About Race In My Family