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The Federal Treasury as a Common Pool Resource and the Development of a Predatory Bureaucracy

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Fort, Rodney D.; Baden, John
Date: 1979
Agency: University of Montana, Bozeman, MT
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3928
Sector: New Commons
Subject(s): common pool resources
nontraditional common pool resources
state and local governance
Abstract: "Pessimism over the prospect of reducing the size and scope of government is pervasive. As Ralph Winter recently noted in Regulation, part of the basis for this pessimism is that elections become less and less relevant to outcomes as government grows. In this immobilizing ambiance government grows a pace with anti-government sentiment. The general purpose of this paper is to provide an important reason for this paradox of big government in such a hostile milieu. We contend that elections fail to control government size and growth due to specific failures in the representative system. One major failure has been the concentrated focus of political activities within bureaucracies. This shifted focus away from the representative arena is a result of placing increased responsibility for administering the 'transfer society' in the hands of the bureaucracy. At both the level of individual interaction with agencies and the level of inter-agency interaction the pervasive result of government growth, as distinguished from absolute government size, are manifest. It is time to suggest plausible modifications."

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