Our Wonderland of Bureaucracy: A Study of the Growth of Bureaucracy in the Federal Government, and Its Destructive Effect upon the Constitution

By James M. Beck | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
BUREAUCRACY AND ITS PROPAGANDA

Humpty Dumpty was sitting, with his legs crossed like a Turk, on the top of a high wall--such a narrow one that Alice quite wondered how he could keep his balance--and, as his eyes were steadily fixed in the opposite direction, and he didn't take the least notice of her, she thought he must be a stuffed figure, after all.--ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

WHEN the government was removed in 1800 from New York to Philadelphia, all the records were shipped in seven large and five small boxes, but in the year 1930 it required eight hours a day for 64 linotype machines to set the type for the printing required by one bureau of the Department of Commerce. The Public Printer reports that copies of each of the various annual issues of Government publications will fill 150 feet of shelf space.

Publicity has become a potent factor in the growth of bureaucracy. Congress is primarily at fault in permitting the establishment and growth of a huge and blatant bureaucracy, which loudly vaunts its usefulness from the housetops by newspaper articles, reports, radio broadcasting and bulletins. This voluminous printed matter numbered 8,360,570 copies for the Department of Commerce for the fiscal year 1930, and this number was increased to a total of 11,319,540 copies for the fiscal year 1931. The total cost of all printing for this department for the fiscal year 1931 was $2,894,677.43. The Department of Agriculture topped the list for 1930 with 36,734,846 copies, an increase of 12,584,787 copies, and for 1931 its propaganda totaled 29,866,506 copies at a cost of $1,080,021.83.

The cost of alterations made by the Department of Commerce aggregated $267,733.72, and the cost for all alterations for all Departments in printed proofs of manuscripts was $2,042,393.30 for the period 1921-1930.

The bulletins carry the names of the authors and the department or establishment, for whom these sapient Thebans speak, while the press releases never fail to mention some outstanding accomplishment of the department concerned. Not infrequently its administrative genius

-87-

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