The challenge to democracy VII. Improving public administration

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1942-02-01
Authors
Cook, H.
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At the time our political institutions were taking shape attention was given chiefly to the purely political problems of securing a form of government under which the wishes of the people regarding the conduct of public affairs would find adequate expression; to reducing to a minimum the danger of the assumption by any officer or branch of government of undue powers; and to protection of the individual in the possession and exercise of what were regarded as his inherent and natural rights and liberties. The basic idea was that the sphere of governmental action should be kept as limited as possible. Wholly different are conditions today. The performance of the so-called essential functions of government, though much more expansive than then, now constitutes but a relatively small part of its business. The realm of government is now held to include all forms of activities which contribute to the welfare of the people. In quest of this end there is scarcely a field of activity into which government has not entered.

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