The Making of United States International Economic Policy: Principles, Problems, and Proposals for Reform

By Stephen D. Cohen | Go to book overview

14 Proposals for Organizational and Procedural Changes

[T]here is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success . . . than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order.

-- Niccolò Machiavelli

Every new truth which has ever been propounded has, for a time, caused mischief; it has produced discomfort, and often unhappiness . . . sometimes merely by the disruption of old and cherished association of thoughts. It is only after a certain interval . . . that its good effects preponderate; and the preponderance continues to increase, until at length, the truth causes nothing but good. But, at the outset there is always harm. . . . Men are made uneasy; they flinch. . . . [O]ld interests and old beliefs have been destroyed before new ones are created.

-- Henry Thomas Buckle

The detailed discussions in previous chapters of the nature of international economic policy and of the operational dynamics of the policymaking process suggest the need for improvements in the organization by which the United States formulates and conducts such policies. The proposals that follow are designed to be consistent with the ratiocination that preceded them. They are also designed to represent the most likely means of producing an excellent policymaking system. They are not the last word in organizational improvements, but no other changes present themselves as sure bets to produce better results.

A critical caveat must be emphasized: the reforms proposed below are a nec-

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