Module 11: Discussion Instructions
By now, you should read the chapter of the book We The People. The Essential Edition (10th). . For this discussion activity, By now, you should have listened read the chapter, taken and quiz, and participated in the discussion. For this assignment activity, This is your discussion prompts/questions:
1) As governments downsize, they often contract with private companies to perform what was once considered to be the traditional work of government. What are the advantages and disadvantages of privatizing
2) public schools,
3) war-fighting (security contractors, like “Blackwater”, aircraft maintenance)
4) and state employment agencies?
Do you agree or disagree with privatization of these services – why yes or no? (please, answer based on the chapter and any outside research that you are willing to do)
2) Many Americans do not believe that the federal bureaucracy serves the public interest. These dissatisfied citizens have supported a range of reforms including terminating agencies, devolving responsibility to lower levels of government, and privatization. Are such reforms likely to make the bureaucracies more responsive to public wishes? Who benefits from these reforms and who loses? Explain, and give me your opinion.
3) Read a few posts/answers to questions 1 and 2 from your classmates, and find one that you mostly disagree with. Post a polite and well-informed comment on your classmates post. Also, answer (politely) a post posted by one of your classmates in response to your posts. Now, your posts can be strong on facts and judgment, but also polite in form.
Discussion Expectations and Grading Criteria
At least two paragraphs for questions 1 and 2, and one paragraph for post 3, as well as one paragraph in your response in post 4.
Module 11: Assignment Instructions
Your assignment has 3 parts:
a) Please, choose one government agency from the following website https://www.usa.gov/agencies. What did you learn about this agency? Is it larger and more complex than you had thought? What is its mission? What congressional committee oversees its actions? What powers does it have? Identify two or three major actions taken by the agency within the last year. What do you think about this agency after you researched it?
b) Interview someone who holds a professional position in a federal, state, or local bureaucratic agency. Find out how this person got the job and ask him or her to describe the job duties, the work environment, and the agency’s promotion policy. Ask this person to cite some pros and cons of working for the government. Report it. The person might work for the same agency that you researched in part a) of the assignment, but might be also a completely different agency. It would be ideal if that person had some relations to section c of this assignment, but, if not, no problem.
c) Locate the website of the Office of Personnel Management (http://www.usajobs.gov) to check out current listings. What occupations are in demand? Are any summer jobs available in your area? How about entry-level jobs in your career field? If you are thinking about one of the jobs/careers listed, why would you choose that one? (you might relate this question to sections a) and b) of assignment If you career field is completely outside these job listing, think either about a job you would recommend to your friend/spouse/children or tell me why you would never work for the government or recommend it to anyone.
Assignment Expectations and Grading Criteria
One paragraph for each section a), b) and c) of the question is fine/sufficient.
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