Wednesday, January 27, 2021

897: New Public Management: its Blessings....

 The rise of the nation-state, abolishment of absolutism, growing participation in governing by citizens in the 19th century made that  the question "how to run a state" became a real issue.

Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German sociologist, who argued bureaucracy was the most efficient and rational model private businesses and public offices could operate in. 


His bureaucratic theories influenced generations of business leaders and politicians well into the 20th century. 

Bureaucracy - don't confuse it with the pejorative term "Red Tape"- in a political theory is mainly a centralized form of management 


and tends to be differentiated from ad hoc management in which management tends more to decentralization.

The typical Weberian Public Administration  could be described by  terms like hierarchical organization, formal lines of authority (chain of command),  a fixed area of activity, record-keeping and file creating,


a rigid division of labor, all decisions, and powers specified and restricted by regulations, officials with expert training in their fields, qualifications evaluated by organizational rules, not individuals.


"Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction 


and of material, and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration," wrote Weber. 


You can imagine that this can lead to an extensive civil service. In the 1960s given the economic situation, one began to feel the financial burden of the welfare state.


The governments had to cut back and, there was the theory that could justify a lot and promised all the best: New Public Management.


NPM is the transfer of business and market principles and management techniques from the private into the public sector, symbiotic with and based on a neo-liberal understanding of state and economy. 


The goal, therefore, is a slim, reduced, minimal state in which any public activity is decreased and, if at all, exercised according to business principles of efficiency. 


NPM is based on the understanding that all human behavior is always motivated by self-interest and, specifically, profit maximization, which is as we have shown a misconception. 


Epistemologically, it shares with Standard Textbook Economics the quantification myth, which means that everything relevant can be quantified. Qualitative judgments are not necessary. 


The theory originates from the 1980s with their dominance of neo-liberal governments, especially Thatcher and Reagan, and the perceived crisis of the Welfare state, but it came to full fruition in the early 1990s.


The state is denoted primarily by its monopoly of power, force, and coercion on one side and its orientation towards the public good.  


The business world legitimately focuses on profit maximization. NPM, however, as it has been said, “harvests” the public.


It sees no difference between public and private interests. The use of business techniques within the public sphere thus confuses the most basic requirements of any state, 


particularly of a democracy, with a liability: regularity, transparency, and due process are simply much more important than low costs and speed. 


Where this leads to, we have seen in the Netherlands with the Child Benefits Affair. There was a special department established for anti-fraud.


It got 25 million euros and the instruction that it had to earn it back by refunds of benefits, which were received by fraud.


The result: go for profit maximization (!) which resulted in 26,000 families being unfairly plunged into deeply personal and financial misery, 


while in court cases all kinds of information were withheld by the government. That is what NPM had led to: the Product Group Anti-Fraud had to deliver their product; maximum profit.


Thank you for your attention again.....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

 The Discussion 


[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some families had even 200.000 Euro to pay

[13:27] herman Bergson: yes...absurd....

[13:27] CB Axel: That's crazy.

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so antifraud became fraud

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for profit

[13:27] CB Axel: sounds like it

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): crazy and sad yes

[13:28] herman Bergson: It shows how the NPM system was totallly disconnected  from human interest

[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes  in fact the civil service was fraudulent in court cases

[13:29] herman Bergson: just to keep their targets.....

[13:29] CB Axel: I hope they were all fired.

[13:29] herman Bergson: cashing 25 million a year

[13:30] herman Bergson: Well...CB...THAT is the problem...not a single individual decisionmaker has been held accountable....

[13:30] CB Axel: Sounds like the US. :(

[13:30] herman Bergson: although they BROKE the law!

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it is wat Trump did, ran the entire US as a buisness

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): AT LEAST HE TRIED TO

[13:31] CB Axel: He can't even run a business successfully.

[13:31] herman Bergson: :-)

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wel no, all his earnings are also based of fraud and lies and sor some reason he has gotten away with it all time

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even up to the presidents chair

[13:32] herman Bergson: The Supreme Court helped him today by dismissing all emoluments lawsuits against him ^_^

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) whispers: GAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed he gets away with EVERYTHING in some way (sigh)

[13:32] herman Bergson: Come on, Bejiita...his presidency has cost him a fortune...:-)

[13:33] CB Axel: And the Republicans in the Senate are not going to vote against him in the impeachment trial.

[13:33] CB Axel: They all stick together and keep the fraud and corruption going.

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hass it, well i read he did actually not get any profit from that

[13:33] CB Axel: I'm going to write to my Senators and give them a piece of my mind.

[13:34] herman Bergson: Do so CB....that  bunch of weasels :-)

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and nettles

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and a rattlesnake

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:35] herman Bergson: But again to get back to NPM....this view of an individual that acts only on self interest....

[13:35] herman Bergson: it is not what we are....

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed not

[13:35] CB Axel: Government should not be run for profit, imo.

[13:35] herman Bergson: As I showed in previous lectures....we still are social animals

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): SOME are but

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): most are indeed Herman

[13:36] herman Bergson: Hovernment never should be run for should be run to serve the people

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:37] herman Bergson: But this management attidude has influenced the minds of civil servants.....

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not as a money vacuum cleaner aimed at everyones wallets

[13:38] herman Bergson: business is based on market there has to be competition...

[13:39] herman Bergson: but a civil service that registers birth certificates, issues can it be run as a comapmy when there is no competiion or a market of supply and demand?

[13:39] herman Bergson: In the 1990s I have experienced this NPM changemyself as a professor....

[13:40] herman Bergson: slowly but steadily thelanguage changed.....

[13:40] herman Bergson: students became customers, teaching became delivering a product...

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its crazy indeed

[13:41] herman Bergson: and all this inspired by the neoliberal philosophy about the human being as a self interested consumer

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): EVERYTHING is a product that can be sold for profit

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): UGH

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the results indeed devastating

[13:43] herman Bergson: I think at least Europe is at a turning point has to rethink its social policies...its economic theories

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): someone need to unplug that vacuum cleaner

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and open it and give the money inside back to the people

[13:43] herman Bergson: It is happenign Bejiita....

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that i hope

[13:44] CB Axel: Look who I invited to class. :)

[13:44] herman Bergson: lol....BERNIE MITTENS  :-)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hahhahaha i like it CB

[13:44] herman Bergson: Great!

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Bernies Mittens:))

[13:45] CB Axel: Bernie wants the money to go to the people. :)

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:45] herman Bergson: It CAME from the people, is just a matter of redistribution....

[13:45] herman Bergson: a fair redistribution

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yep

[13:46] herman Bergson: If you just think for a moment......

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but can Bernie do that?

[13:46] CB Axel: Correct, Herman, but the right wing doesn't want their wealth giving to anyone else.

[13:47] herman Bergson: every penny the government has comes from the taxpayers

[13:47] CB Axel: Bernie is now the head of the budget committee (I think that's what it's called), so he has a little more power now.

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:47] herman Bergson: yes...seems they are scared of him now :-))

[13:48] CB Axel: There's also a group who doesn't think the federal government doesn't need to worry about deficit spending or national debt, because if the government needs more money, all they have to do is print it.

[13:48] CB Axel: I forget what it's called.

[13:49] herman Bergson: I guess you've got a feeling now of the monolithic,  cold approach of NPM with respect to citizens....

[13:50] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but printing more money cause inflation right?

[13:50] herman Bergson: The belief that you can insert the idea of market forces in civil services....

[13:50] CB Axel: That's what I think, Bejiita.

[13:51] CB Axel: But all I know about that sort of thing is what I learned from the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical Evita. :(

[13:52] herman Bergson: I am no I rest my case in these matters

[13:52] herman Bergson: Maybe a good moment too to dismiss class ^_^

[13:52] herman Bergson: Thank you all again :-)

[13:53] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman and class.

[13:53] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman and class!

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thankyou Herman

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well something to think about again

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:53] herman Bergson: A pitty Gemma could attend the class

[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:53] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she will read the blog

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess

[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:54] herman Bergson: She will...I know...

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