The Federal Government


As was pointed out in Chapter 2, the overall performance of the political economy has become critically dependent on the performance of a large government. To name just a few examples: economic performance depends on the performance of government monetary and fiscal policy, business invention and innovation performance depends on government promotion of research and development and education, and the status of the environment depends on the implementation of environment policy. Yet as was also pointed out in Chapter 2, government has developed serious problems in its ability to make a good estimate of the common weal and for the most part has not developed an strategy for implementing innovations appropriate for its expanded role.


Federal Government Direct Democracy Expert Witness Voter Approval Administrative Action 
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Notes and References 8

  1. 1.
    This effort is in the spirit of the founding fathers in asking the question: What is an appropriate system of checks and balances for the 21st century. In searching for references for this book I was delighted to discover that the social choice theorists, after demolishing any prospect for a fair voting system, place great emphasis on the system of checks and balances. For example see: Riker, W. H., 1982, Liberalism versus Populism: a Confrontation Between the Theory of Democracy and the Theory of Social Choice, (W. H. Freeman & Company: San Francisco). Buchanan and Tullock provide a social choice analysis of constitutional democracy in their classic: Buchanan, James M. and Tullock Gordon, 1962, The Calculus of Consent: Logical Foundation of Constitutional Democracy, (University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    This approach is pursued in Masuda, Yoneji, 1981, The Information Society as Post-Industrial Society (Institute for the Information Society: Tokyo)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    In the 1960s Arthur Kantrowitz proposed a science court for making scientific judgments. For example, see: Kantrowitz, Arthur, 1967, Proposal for an Institution for Scientific Judgment, Science, 12 May, pp 763–764. This proposal was vigorously debated. For a negative analysis see Sofaer, Abraham, 1978, The Science Court: Unscientific and Unsound, Environmental Law, Vol 9:1, pp 1–27. One of Professor Sofaer’s arguments is that the administration has the technical competence to make such judgments and the science court is unnecessary. In this design the Administrative Procedures Act is to be repealed and the Courts must make professional judgments. The judges in fact are necessary to attain separation of powers for judgments in fact as well as judgments in law.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Recently (1991) Peter W. Huber made a passionate case in Galileo’s Revenge: Junk Science in the Court Room (Basic Books: USA) that economic incentives, a relaxation of the Frey rule and the influence of Calabresi replacing common law has lead lawyers in liability cases to base their cases on the expert testimony of disreputable expert witnesses who, for a fee, will provide bogus plausible causation to win large settlements. Peter W. Huber recommends judges(-in-law) impose the Frey rule which would require expert witnesses to be mainstream scientists. In the design of this book, judges-in-fact would determine both the competency of expert witnesses and the standards of expert evidence. Over time through precedents, standards for expert testimony would be established by these judges-in-fact.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The legal profession is well aware of the shortcomings of the advocacy trial. For example, see: Frankel, Marvin, 1976, From Private Fights Toward Public Justice, 51 N.Y.U.L. Rev, 516. It might appear to the legal profession that adopting cheaper dispute settlement procedures will lower their revenue. If the demand for legal services is elastic, however, creating less expensive dispute settlement procedures would enable lawyers to market their services to the masses, not just the wealthy, and as a consequence increase not decrease their revenues.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The movement to analyze the impact of law on society goes back at least as far as the late 19th century. For example, see Monahan, J. and L. Walker, 1985, Social Science in Law: Cases and Materials, (The foundation Press, Inc.: Mineola, NY). The requirement here is that this analysis should consider the social impact from the perspective of all relevant disciplines. Professor Ackerman argues that the law needs to be analyzed on a broader basis than the Realist movement’s concern for particulars and avoidance of formal analysis. This is already taking place in tort law with the intrusion of Coase’s theorem. See Ackerman, B. A., 1984, Reconstructing American Law, (Harvard University Press: Cambridge). The creation of judges in fact would accelerate the trend towards formal analysis of law and legal precedents by the relevant disciplines.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    See: Huber, Peter, 1984, Discarding the Double Standard in Risk Regulation, Technology Review, Jan, pp 10–14Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    With the advancing social nervous system the possibility of implementing revealed demand mechanisms increases. For example, see: Green, J. and J. Laffont, 1979, Incentives in Public Decision-Making, (North Holland: Amsterdam)Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    In a clinical study of several recent political innovations Polsby discovered that the more controversial an act the more carefully it tended to be analyzed. See: Polsby, N.W., 1984, Political Innovation in America: The politics of policy initiation, (Yale University Press: New Haven)Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    I assume the candidates would be elected by simple majority vote. In the event some candidate failed to obtain a majority the voting procedure could be either alternative vote or perhaps a run-off of the two candidates with the most votes. Social choice theorists have demonstrated the negative conclusion that all voting systems are liable to manipulation. See: Gibbard, A., 1973, Manipulation of Voting Schemes: a General Result, Econometrica, 41, pp587–601 and Satterthwaite, M. A., 1975, Strategy-Proofness and Arrow’s Conditions: Existence and Corresponding Theorems for Voting Procedures and Social Welfare Functions, Journal of Economic Theory, 10,pp187–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 12.
    Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, 103 U.S. 2764 (1983)Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    The first input-output budget initiated at the federal level was planning-programming-budgeting(PPS) in 1965 at the Pentagon under Robert S. McNamara. This form of budgeting was extended to the entire government under the Johnson administration but then dropped by the Nixon administration in 1971. Another form known as zero based budgeting(ZBB) was tried without great success by the Carter administration. This form of budgeting upset political relationships, required many more analysts than existed and underestimated the conceptual problems in determining the relationships between inputs and outputs. For a discussion of this form of budgeting see, for example: Lyden, F.J. and E. G. Miller (Eds), 1982, Public Budgeting: Program Planning and Implementation, 4th edition, (Prentice-Hall, Inc: Englewood Cliffs, NJ). This form of budgeting has severe critics. For example, see: Wildavsky, A., 1988, The New Politics of the Budgetary Process, (Scott, Foresman and Company: Glenview, Ill). With advances in economics and operations research over time the number of analytic tools to analyze the relationships between inputs and outputs will increase. Very gradually budgets based solely on inputs will be replaced.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Ronald Reagan appointed J. Peter Grace to head the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. The Grace Commission discovered that $424 billion could be cut out of the budget by eliminating waste and efficiency. For a summary of the work of the Grace Commission see: Kennedy, W. R. Jr and R. W. Lee, 1984, A Taxpayer Survey of the Grace Commission Report, (Green Hill Publishers: Ottawa, Ill). To achieve efficiencies such as suggested by the Grace Commission would require much stronger incentives for efficiency than are currently the case.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    See: Savas, E. S., 1987, Privatization: The Key to Better Government, (Chatham House Publishers, Inc: Chatham NJ)Google Scholar

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

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