Red Tape: Its Origins, Uses, and Abuses (A Brookings Classic)

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9780815726609: Red Tape: Its Origins, Uses, and Abuses (A Brookings Classic)


Death, taxes, and red tape. The inevitable trio no one can escape. That wry sense of reality colors Herbert Kaufman's classic study of red tape, the bureaucratic phenomenon that all of us have encountered in some form—from the confounding tax form filled out annually to the maddeningly time-consuming wait at the driver's license bureau.


The complaints about red tape, Kaufman concedes, are legion. It's messy, it takes too long, it lacks local knowledge, it is out of date, it makes insane demands, it increases costs, it slows progress. It is, in short, a burden and many times there is no measurable positive outcome.


Kaufman takes us on an unblinking tour of the dismal landscape of red tape. But he also shows us another side of red tape, one we often forget. Red tape is how government protects us from tainted food, shoddy products, and unfair labor practices. It guarantees a social safety net for the elderly, the disabled, children, veterans, and victims of natural disasters. One person's red tape is another person's protection.


This reissue is a Brookings Classic, a series of republished books for readers to revisit or discover, notable works by the Brookings Institution Press.


Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

About the Author:

Herbert Kaufman was a professor of political science at Yale University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

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foreword by Philip K. Howard. Herbert Kaufman
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Descrizione libro BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Most people talk about red tape as though it were some kind of loathsome disease or the deliberate product of a group of evil conspirators or the result of bureaucratic stupidity and inertia. It is rarely discussed rationally, dispassionately, and analytically; most of us rage about it when it comes up. In this book, Kaufman attempts a detached examination of the subject to find out why something so universally detested flourishes so widely and enjoys such powers of endurance. Part of the explanation is the protean character of the term red tape ; each of us applies it to our own pet grievances, not realizing that other people s grievances are often quite different from our own. Underlying this variance, however, is a common core of meaning, and the first part of the book identifies that shared understanding. The second part searches for the origins of the despised phenomenon in the federal government, and finds the source not in a clique of fools or villains, but in all of us. Red tape, according to this analysis, springs largely from the diversity of values to which people in our society subscribe, from the demands on government to which these values give rise, and from the responsiveness of the government to the demands. In this sense, red tape is of our own making. Consequently, getting rid of it entirely--rewinding the spools, as it were-is a hopeless quest. The major proposals for eliminating it are found wanting in this regard (though there may be other reasons to favour some of these reforms); they may even generate as much red tape as they cut. That being the case, Kaufman concludes that a more fruitful policy would be to concentrate on relieving the worst of redtape s irritants so as to make bearable what we cannot end, and he explores several steps he believes will have this effect. Although many readers will find this book depressing, most will probably acknowledge the persuasiveness of its argument. And some, like the author, will take heart from the analysis on the grounds that relief measures rooted in reality are much more likely to succeed than proposals for improvement based on delusive optimism and false hope. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780815726609

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Descrizione libro BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Most people talk about red tape as though it were some kind of loathsome disease or the deliberate product of a group of evil conspirators or the result of bureaucratic stupidity and inertia. It is rarely discussed rationally, dispassionately, and analytically; most of us rage about it when it comes up. In this book, Kaufman attempts a detached examination of the subject to find out why something so universally detested flourishes so widely and enjoys such powers of endurance. Part of the explanation is the protean character of the term red tape ; each of us applies it to our own pet grievances, not realizing that other people s grievances are often quite different from our own. Underlying this variance, however, is a common core of meaning, and the first part of the book identifies that shared understanding. The second part searches for the origins of the despised phenomenon in the federal government, and finds the source not in a clique of fools or villains, but in all of us. Red tape, according to this analysis, springs largely from the diversity of values to which people in our society subscribe, from the demands on government to which these values give rise, and from the responsiveness of the government to the demands. In this sense, red tape is of our own making. Consequently, getting rid of it entirely--rewinding the spools, as it were-is a hopeless quest. The major proposals for eliminating it are found wanting in this regard (though there may be other reasons to favour some of these reforms); they may even generate as much red tape as they cut. That being the case, Kaufman concludes that a more fruitful policy would be to concentrate on relieving the worst of redtape s irritants so as to make bearable what we cannot end, and he explores several steps he believes will have this effect. Although many readers will find this book depressing, most will probably acknowledge the persuasiveness of its argument. And some, like the author, will take heart from the analysis on the grounds that relief measures rooted in reality are much more likely to succeed than proposals for improvement based on delusive optimism and false hope. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780815726609

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Descrizione libro BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reissue. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Most people talk about red tape as though it were some kind of loathsome disease or the deliberate product of a group of evil conspirators or the result of bureaucratic stupidity and inertia. It is rarely discussed rationally, dispassionately, and analytically; most of us rage about it when it comes up. In this book, Kaufman attempts a detached examination of the subject to find out why something so universally detested flourishes so widely and enjoys such powers of endurance. Part of the explanation is the protean character of the term red tape ; each of us applies it to our own pet grievances, not realizing that other people s grievances are often quite different from our own. Underlying this variance, however, is a common core of meaning, and the first part of the book identifies that shared understanding. The second part searches for the origins of the despised phenomenon in the federal government, and finds the source not in a clique of fools or villains, but in all of us. Red tape, according to this analysis, springs largely from the diversity of values to which people in our society subscribe, from the demands on government to which these values give rise, and from the responsiveness of the government to the demands. In this sense, red tape is of our own making. Consequently, getting rid of it entirely--rewinding the spools, as it were-is a hopeless quest. The major proposals for eliminating it are found wanting in this regard (though there may be other reasons to favour some of these reforms); they may even generate as much red tape as they cut. That being the case, Kaufman concludes that a more fruitful policy would be to concentrate on relieving the worst of redtape s irritants so as to make bearable what we cannot end, and he explores several steps he believes will have this effect. Although many readers will find this book depressing, most will probably acknowledge the persuasiveness of its argument. And some, like the author, will take heart from the analysis on the grounds that relief measures rooted in reality are much more likely to succeed than proposals for improvement based on delusive optimism and false hope. Codice libro della libreria BZE9780815726609

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