crime, mental illness, poverty, and racial tensions, may be labeled real or
serious in nature since they satisfy even Edward C. Banfield's restrictive
definition of being life-threatening in character, rather than merely problems
To a much greater extent than is presently the case, American public
policies should not be guided by the elusive notion of the common or public
good, but should be based upon Michael Walzer's concept of distributive
justice, which involves the appropriate distribution of goods, including security, welfare, money, commodities, work, leisure, education, and political
power to distinct segments of the public.
48 The implementation of public
policies based upon distributive justice is in the interest of all Americans,
since this will ensure the stability of American democracy and the good life
for all Americans. As David Osborne and Ted Gaebler have nicely set forth
in their work Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit Is
Transforming the Public Sector, government in America must become more
imaginative and innovative in order to accomplish desired policy goals.
Perhaps the political leadership of communities like West Point, which Dahl
might well label the quasi-guardian class,
50 can lead the way in promoting
distributive justice and see this development mirrored at the national level.
Robert A. Dahl, Democracy and Its Critics ( New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1989), p. 253.
Arthur J. Vidich and
Joseph Bensman, Small Town in Mass Society: Class,
Power, and Religion in a Rural Community, revised edition ( Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1968), p. 85.
Specifically, concerning the professionalism of small city and town managers,
see David A. Booth, Council-Manager Government in Small Cities ( Washington,
D.C.: International City Managers' Association, 1968), especially pp. 62-76.
For instance, see Leonard D. White, The City Manager
( Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1927), p. 148
Aaron B. Wildavsky, Leadership in a Small Town (Totowa, New Jersey: Bedminister Press, 1964), p. 234.
For the general importance of intergovernmental relations and its effect of
promoting change in the United States, see Deil S. Wright, Understanding Inters
governmental Relations, third edition (Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1988).
On the general practice of mandating, see
Max Neiman and
Catherine Lovell, "Mandating as a Policy Issue--The Definitional Problem," Policy Studies Journal, 9 (Spring 1981), pp. 667-681.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 2 vols. ( New York: Vintage
Samuel P. Huntington, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony ( Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1981), especially