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Book Cover
Author Light, Paul Charles, author

Title The government-industrial complex : the true size of the federal government, 1984-2018 / Paul C. Light
Published New York, NY, United States of America : Oxford University Press, 2019
Online access available from:
Oxford Scholarship Online    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents A warning renewed -- The true size of government -- Pressures on the dividing line -- A proper blending -- Conclusion : the next-gen public service -- Appendix 1: Options for reform
Summary The Government-Industrial Complex explores the recent history and impact of the federal government's blended workforce of federal, contract, and grant employees. Drawing upon Dwight D. Eisenhower's description of the military-industrial complex, government-reform expert Paul Light argues that the federal government now depends on seven-nine million full-time-equivalent government-industry employees. Light's analysis examines changes in the size of the government-industrial complex, explains the federal government's dependence on contract and grant employees, and explores potential reforms to protect the nation against what Eisenhower called the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power. Light chronicles the role of hiring caps, cuts, and freezes in promoting the use of contract and grant employees and shows the impact of war and peace on the changing size of government. Light offers short histories of the role that Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama played in the changing number and distribution of the federal government's federal, contract, and grant employees. Light also discusses the Trump administration's early strategies on downsizing and deconstructing government while describing the demographic, bureaucratic, and political problems that explain the federal government's dependence on contract and grant employees. He then describes a sorting system for assuring that the right employees are in the right jobs to assure the greatest value and accountability, and he concludes with a description of the "next gen" public service needed to achieve the more perfect union and blessings of liberty promised in the Constitution's preamble
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references
Notes Print version record
Subject Civil service -- United States
Contracting out -- United States
Government accountability -- United States
Government contractors -- United States
Public contracts -- United States
Civil service.
Contracting out.
Government accountability.
Government contractors.
POLITICAL SCIENCE -- Public Affairs & Administration.
Politics and government.
Public contracts.
United States -- Officials and employees
United States -- Politics and government -- 1981-1989
United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-
United States.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0190851805 (electronic bk.)
9780190851804 (electronic bk.)