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HKS Authors

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Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Abstract

The United States is facing some of its most serious challenges in a half century. Overcoming the crisis will require a new and revitalized federal government on a scale and scope not seen for generations. After decades in which “big government” was seen as the source of many of the nation’s problems, America is waking up to the realization that government is still important. Most Americans now agree that markets and individual action alone will not keep the country safe, secure and prosperous. The nation has just enacted a package of measures to revive the economy, create jobs, rescue the banking sector and lay the groundwork for health care reform, energy independence and a modern infrastructure. Who will administer these measures and make them successful? America needs a well-functioning public sector, with well-trained, well-equipped public servants to actually run the programs, monitor spending, award the contracts and do the work. Yet decades of neglect have left the overall government workforce chronically weak. If we are to keep our country strong, we must reinvest urgently in the government workforce so it is able to succeed. Our new book, The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service, explains how to do this.

Citation

Bilmes, Linda J. "Investing in the People Who Make Government Work." Federal Manager. Summer 2009.