Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Konczal on American Bureaucracy's Long and Useful History

The writer Mike Konczal, a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, has a nice review essay in the on-line Boston Review entitled Hail to the Pencil Pusher: American Bureaucracy's Long and Useful History.  Konczal writes:
Today, opposition to the administrative state unites everyone from George Will, who says the Affordable Care Act “serves principally to expand the administrative state’s unfettered discretion,” to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who sees the administrative state as evidence of a “belief that bureaucrats might more effectively govern the country than the American people,” to Senator Mike Lee, Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party broadly.
But a new wave of legal history is overturning the narrative of paradise lost.
Konczal discusses Jerry Mashaw's Creating the Administrative Constitution, my Tocqueville's Nightmare, William Novak's People's Welfare, William N. Eskridge Jr. and John Ferejohn’s Republic of Statutes, Sophia Lee's The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right, and articles by Anuj Desai and Jeremy Kessler.