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Untangling Bureaucratic Red Tape?

Inform Yourself

Explore federal agencies. Go to the FirstGov A–Z Department and Agency Index and select one of the federal agencies listed. What does it do? Under whose jurisdiction does it fall? Are you surprised by how many government agencies there are? Are you surprised that, in addition to well-known agencies such as the Postal Service and NASA, the list includes more obscure agencies such as Radio Free Asia and the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements?
2. See how the bureaucracy has grown. The federal bureaucracy did not always exist in the large form it does today. The specialization and growth of the bureaucracy of the federal government occurred over the course of the country’s 200-year history. Read about the development of the bureaucracy. When did the bureaucracy experience the largest period of growth?
3. Watch a Futurama clip portraying bureaucrats. The modern-day perception of the bureaucracy has been portrayed in thousands of television episodes and movies. Watch the clip from Futurama. Is this a fair description of federal bureaucrats?

Connect with Others

4. Find government agencies on Facebook. Search for and visit at least one federal department’s Facebook page and see what information members of the bureaucracy are posting. Federal departments on Facebook include (but are not limited to) the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. What are the responses to these posts? Do you feel affected by the regulations/rules discussed in the postings and what is your response to them?

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