Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Performance & Quality Measurement in Goverment Issues & Experiences

Entrepreneurial Operations and Service Quality in The Public Sector

Thomas D. Lynch and Daryl S. de Armond


The industrialized world is hurling into the Information Age at an irresistible, mind-boggling pace. Almost daily there are news stories extolling the virtues of some new technology that will allow more information to be processed more quickly at less cost. This rapid pace of progress is particularly noteworthy, when compared to the rate of change experienced in the Industrial Age that now seems painstakingly slow. While innovation in the Industrial Age was capital intensive, many of the improvements of today are in software written by individuals or small groups working in relatively small companies. Comparatively, there is little in the way of resources being used, other that human thought. The Internet has disseminated these new ideas and innovations instantaneously over the world. Collaboration and cooperation are possible with almost no effort. Informal groups of individuals can develop ideas and produce the final product without ever meeting face to face.

The purpose of this chapter is to show how web organizations can be used by public administrators to take advantage of the innovations of the information age while striving to retain the needed accountability in the process. The public bureaucracy is said to be slow and is allegedly resistant to the idea of change. However, the same can be true of private bureaucracy. Look at the major American automakers and the difficulty they had reacting to Japanese competition. Even IBM, a leader in the development of information technology, was slow in reacting to the Information Age revolution. The challenge for the public sector is to participate in this information revolution in a time when the public appears to be demanding more services and rejecting new taxes.

The American Review of Public Administration Vol 30 Number 1


The Economics Of Public Administration

The Budget-Maximizing Bureaucrat: Appraisals and Evidence. By Andre Blais and Stephanie Dion (Eds.). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991. 366pp., Hardcover.

Handbook on Public Finance. By Fred Thompson and Mark T. Green (Eds.). New York: Marcel Dekker, 1998. 665pp., Hardcover.

Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Application for the Public Sector (5th ed.). By John Mikesell. Orlando, Fl: Harcourt Brace, 1999, 647 pp., Hardcover.

In reviewing these books, I noticed the remarkable influence of economics on public administration during the past two decades, which is particularly evident in the subfield of public budgeting. In fact, in discussing public budgeting, today I normally hear the term Public Finance, indicating economics used in connection with public budgeting, rather than the term Public Financial Management, indicating public management. Increasingly, professors who teach public budgeting have degrees in economics commonly combined with a public policy or public administration. In the not-too-distant past, this was not the case. Professors who taught public budgeting had a political science academic background with little or no knowledge of economics. Today, economics is a mandatory background for anyone teaching this subject.

Of the three books reviewed, the Andre Blais and Stephanie Dion book demonstrate how economics influences public administration theory. The Budget Maximizing Bureaucrat: Appraisals and Evidence is a must-read book because it clearly discusses the organization theory of William A. Niskanen (1971), who wrote Bureaucracy and Representative Government. In lauding Niskanen (1971), some say his book is “the most significant work yet produced by an
0economist on the role of bureaucracy” and that the book should “attain the status of a classic in the study of bureaucracy” (Mitchell, 1974, p. 1775). Indeed, Niskanen’s (1971) book is the most cited study on this subject (Bendor, 1988).

The impact of the Niskanen book us remarkable, especially in politically conservative circles. He intellectualized bashing the bureaucrat, which became the proper intellectual conservative elite thing to do, In turn, the media, politicians, and others scapegoated government workers for society’s problems with the radical fringe groups, in particular, chanting their hatred of bureaucrats.

What is important about the Blais and Dion book is that they used empirical information to test the Niskanen (1971) model that he based on public choice theory. Using empirical research done independently by several researchers on this subject, Blais and Dion found Niskanen’s (1971) theoretical model and his assumptions problematic. Niskanen (1971) makes two crucial assumptions in his theory. The first assumption is that bureaucrats attempt to maximize their budgets. A bureau is a nonprofit organization financed by an appropriation or grant from a sponsor, meaning a legislature in the case of government. In Niskanen’s (1971) theory, a bureaucrat is a senior career official in a bureau. Niskanen (1971) argues bureaucrats maximize bureau budgets because it benefits them due ti higher salaries, perquisites, reputations, power, patronage, output, ease of making changes, and ease if managing their bureau. Ninkanen argues a type of social contract exist between the top-level bureaucrat and the bureau employees. The employees support the bureaucrat, and the bureaucrat seeks higher bureau budgets, which increases the employees’ opportunities for promotion and enhanced job security.

The second assumption is that bureaucrats largely succeed is maximizing their budgets. Why are bureaucrats so successful? Niskanen argues that “the relative incentives and available information, under most conditions, give the bureau the overwhelming dominant monopoly power” (p.30). Politicians focus on reelection, and they do not view saving from bureau operations as personal income savings but as a political plus or minus depending on circumstances. Thus, unless a saving of taxpayer money becomes a popular issue for their reelection, politicians are largely indifferent to savings. Even if politicians find savings and increasing productivity useful politicians issues, often a lack of performance information from the bureaucrats that they or the public can understand handicaps them in making such arguments in political discourse.

Migue and Belanger (2974) amended the Niskanen (1971) model by asserting that bureaucrats concern themselves foremost with managerial discretion and that it is the discretionary budget that they seek to maximize. Niskanen (1975) conceded that Mingue and Belanger (1971) might also be correct. In the revised version of the Niskanen (1971) model, the bureaucrats still direct their efforts toward getting a larger bureau budget (Mingue & Belanger, 1974, p.46).

The Issue of a Personal God

The Issue of a Personal God

By Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Lynch

The God in the Torah seems quite different from the God of the New Testament and even of later portions of the Hebrew Bible. Yet, Christians and Jews consider that God to be the same. That difference centers around the question is if God is personal to the believer or not. What follows is a discussion of this issue that for many believers is central to how they approach their belief in God.

This essay is divided into four parts. The first section discusses the God of the Torah. The second section discusses the issue of a personal god. The third section discusses the challenge presented by the fact that bad things happen to good people. The fourth section discusses a rational for believing in a personal god in spite of the challenges discussed earlier.

The God of the Torah

The Torah is a story of how God picked a particular person (Abraham) and over many years took the descendants of that person and shaped them into not only a distinctive people but also a chosen people. Looking at the history of the Jews, we can easily see that being God’s chosen people does not mean living in great splendor or having ultimate political power over the world. However, it does apparently mean that such a people will have a remarkable and disproportion influence on the dominant civilizations of the world.

The God of the Torah is not a personal god except to only a few people such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. This God is interested in a people and their evolution as a people. He makes sure that they have rules of moral conduct, that they worship in particular manner, and they have unique practices that sets them apart from the other peoples of the world. He helps them win battles.

This God is willing and does kill many enemies of the Jews but also many Jews that do not follow his word. Although this God includes in a moral code a clear statement against killing, he actively and commonly kills and sometimes approves demonstratively those that kill and even murder furthering his purposes.

In the times of ancient Israel, Gods were not personal with some notable exceptions. Gods had their lives and normally took little interests in the affairs of humans. However, if humans begged and employed them enough with the proper prayers and offerings, sometimes one or more Gods did affirmatively answer human prayers such as give them an advantage in battle.

Just like the Hebrew God, other gods of the region had their human favorites and did occasionally help them in extraordinary ways. However, the Hebrew God and the other gods did expect the humans to also help themselves as well as being loyal to their respective Gods.

The Hebrew God was different than the Greek and Roman gods but some similarities are important. Jealousy was a noticeable trait of the Gods. Killing and war were common activities. Worship was expected from humans. Nevertheless, the Hebrew God was significantly different beyond being one rather than many. The Hebrew God was a teacher of a people.

The Torah shows us that the Hebrew God tending His “sheep.” They were His identified group of humans that He called His chosen people. Clearly, He had his favorite sheep among the flock such as Jacob, but he was also teaching all of his sheep to be a moral and to identify themselves as a distinct people who worshipped God in particular ways.

His sheep did often go astray and were very stubborn, but he flocked them back and culled some of the more dysfunctional sheep from the flock. As God helped them grow into a nation from their slave period in Egypt, He helped them locate in what we today call Israel.

A Personal God or Not

For many of us in our times, God is very personal. By personal, I mean that God cares about you as an individual and interacts with you individually on a constant basis. Many believe that God sends his angels to watch over them and that God directly intervenes for each person in his or her daily life.

Yes, such believers think God lets bad things happen to good people, but in their minds there is always a good reason for such actions even if they do not yet understand those reasons. For some, that reason is to punish others or themselves for past misdeeds. For some, that reason is to help them grow spiritually into a better person. For some, they just do not know the reason but they assume God has a good reason beyond their understanding for those “bad things” happening.

At the beginning of the American republic, leaders such as George Washington confronted the question of how God could let bad things happen to good people by reasoning that God was not a personal God. God created the universe; and except for very unusual circumstances, God merely let his creation operate on automatic with humans given the important gift of free will and the resulting good and bad consequences that stemmed from those free will choices.

Bad Things Happen to Good People

The question of how God could let bad things happen to good people is troublesome for people of faith. It is particularly troublesome for those that believe in a personnel God that does care for them. At this point, what I offer now is an insight that might be useful to those believers. I do not claim to have a final and undisputable answer but possibly what I offer might be useful to some that do struggle with this difficult questioning of faith.

As much as possible, my wife and I live in Mexico. As I approach and leave our rented house, I experience almost daily kids asking for “mo-nee.” When we first moved in and afterwards, I made the mistake of giving some small change to one nine year old. Now, I have ten kids — aged from four to fourteen — begging for money when I am outside my house and continually ringing the doorbell asking for money.

I am sure that if I gave them “mo-nee” that I would soon have one hundred or more kids asking for handouts. Of the one kid who I have given money for “work,” I noticed he used his earnings to buy candy, cokes, and other immediate consumable junk foods. I assume the other kids would do the same as when they ask for “mo-nee” that mention it is for junk food.

This got me thinking: what if God gave all human being in the world all the “mo-nee” we asked for when we asked for it. Given the powers we attribute to God, He could be an unlimited ATM machine who simple spit out “mo-nee” when a request was made. My guess is that most of us would use that largess to buy the equivalent of adult junk food in the largest sense of that concept.

If God were an ATM machine, why work? Interestingly, no one would make any kind of junk food or anything else, as that would be work and they would see no need to work. Unless God provided the goods by some miracle, it and nothing would be available for purchase. Everyone would have the “mo-nee” but no one would be able to buy anything with it. Clearly, God would be stupid to be an ATM machine and I do not think God is stupid.

So if God is a personal God, what makes sense? I immediately thought about the old adage about teaching a person to fish rather than giving him a fish. If you give a person a fish, they have enough for one meal. But if you teach them how to fish, they have food for a lifetime or something like that.

I then thought about the over fishing that currently exists in the world. Clearly, the impact of teaching how to do fishing or “better” fishing has been dysfunctional. Something more is needed than teaching fishing or its equivalent in our life endeavors.

To me the answer is still teaching “fishing,” but it is more than teaching a useful skill or trade. It is teaching that includes ethics and wisdom that goes well beyond the “me, my, mind” attitude that prevails in much of the world today. For example, it is teaching fishing but also a concern for the environment that prevents over fishing the oceans.

Yes, learning is important but learning useful knowledge and skills clearly is not enough. As a person makes daily decisions, each person must think beyond him or herself to the oneness, which that person is but a part. The fishes of the oceans are part of that oneness, and our over fishing does diminish that oneness and thus does diminish us.

What Makes Sense?

Let me repeat myself: If God is a personal God, what makes sense? God must create the circumstances including the motivation so that each of us can learn and that learning must include an ethic and wisdom that focuses on the oneness of which we are all a part.

Anyone who has been a teacher knows that the students who learn the most and gain the most from education are those that freely choose and want to learn. Thus, freedom of choice is an important element of learning. Another element of learning is appreciating the negative side of doing something wrong. Many of us learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes.

To illustrate, let us consider learning the ethical virtue of gratefulness. If we use the Aristotle concept of virtue, we realize that virtue is not an on and off switch but rather a rheostat that moves the light up or down. Like light, we can turn the light to low or high. What we need to do is adjust the light to the needs of the particular moment.

On either side of a virtue, there is too little and too much. Both are “sins.” For the virtue of gratefulness, I shall label the first sin as “ingratitude” and the other as “fawning.” Thus, if a person shows no appreciation for a gift, we can say the person acts with ingratitude. If the person shows excessive appreciation for a gift, we can say the person acts with fawning.

Thus, the learning challenge for the student is to learn to show gratefulness that for any given situation is not ingratitude or fawning, but rather the correct level of appreciate for the given situation. When my Mexican young friend does some “work” for me such as walking our dog, I expect some small measure of gratefulness such as a smile.

When my wife and I give him a bike, I expect a larger display of gratefulness such as saying “gratis” and a smile showing thanks. I do not need or what gratefulness but I do want him to function correctly in a larger society and learning the virtue of gratefulness is important for his development as a person.

Looking back on my life, I felt that I have continually been taught wisdom and ethical lessons if I but opened by eyes to what was happening around me. However, the reality is that often I was blind to many of those lessons. No one should blame a person for being blind. It just is. I should not blame myself and nor should anyone blame me for that blindness. Nevertheless, we need not continue living in the world of the unsighted.

We can choose to see what is happening around us and to learn those lessons taught to us by God. In the process of learning, we grow as a person. Sometimes we easily learn those lessons. However, too often we learn those lessons the hard way and the cost of that education is very high, such as the lost of a friendship or even a spouse.

When those easy or hard lessons occur in our lives, the wiser among us reflect on what happened and seek to gain greater wisdom so that he or she grows as a person. I look upon those occasions as gifts from a very personal God. Each of us is a co-creator with God. We must accept each gift from God with gratitude but we must also unwrap the gift and apply it to the rest of our life.

I believe the God of the Torah is the God of the New Testament. God is shepherding the chosen people but also watching over every person – past, present, and future. Yes, certain sheep are more important to the larger task of herding all the sheep to the correct destination, but shepherding includes trying to help cooperative sheep to be the best one he or she can be. Each is important but never to the point of endangering the flock or not attaining the ultimate destination for the whole flock.

To me, I expect that bad things will always happen to good people. This reality is merely a very personal God helping others and me to grow and allowing me to be a co-creator in that growth process. Sometimes, bad things have and will happen to me. My challenge is to open my eyes, reflect, and gain from each and every such experience, as it is a gift. God is infinite and my growth potential as a co-creator is also infinite. I must keep my eyes open for the light and be eternally grateful for the gifts that I am always receiving.

July, 2008

Religion in Crisis


By Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Lynch

Presented at Biblioteca, August 6 and 13, 2009

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico


Religion today is in crisis. I am not talking about any one religion, as I am addressing religion in general. What I mean by crisis is that increasingly it is difficult for a thoughtful person of reason to be also a person of faith. I am sure what I have to say will offend some and please understand that is not my intension. Rather my intension is to raise what I believe are important questions about religion, which are uncomfortable and therefore often ignored rather than confronted directly.

Let me stress that I approach this subject as a person of faith, but I do believe the atheists of the world have strong arguments. People of faith need to consider their arguments and those of church reformers such as Episcopal Bishop Spong. Then, they need to reconsider their thoughts about religions based upon the crisis that is at hand. Episcopal Bishop Spong focused his critical observations only on the Christian church, but I believe many of his views apply to religion in general. He argues that Christianity is in crisis and we need to reassess our approach and understand it in light of that crisis.


Before I discuss the crisis, I am going to briefly review the evolution of religion and its functional roles in society using very broad strokes. For thousands of years in what scholars call pre-history, hunter gathers groups lived and worked together in family and tribal units that mutually supported and defended each other. Commonly, one or more in the group became the religious leader and that person or persons would specialize in caring for the sick, praying to what the group felt were superior beings to help them in the challenges of their lives, and taking charge of key social ceremonies such as becoming an adult, births, weddings, and deaths. Today, those religious leaders among indigenous peoples are often called shamans.

Probably about 7,000 years ago some of these hunter gathers groups settled near rivers and lakes and domesticated some animals and developed agriculture. This anchored them to one place and because of the success of agriculture their population and the density of that population grew. Eventually, the first small cities came into being. Typically, the political leader of these small cities would be closely allied with their religious leader. The political leader would require everyone in their group to worship as directed by the religious leader. In return, the religious leader or leaders politically supported the secular leader and in some cases the secular leader was also the supreme religious leader.

Thus, religion continued all the functions it had with hunter gathers but a new function was added. Essentially, the religious leaders helped the group to function as a cohesive people and nation. Religion became the glue or at least part of the glue that held the now larger group together under the leadership of the political leader. Often in such groups, the political leader was considered a god or a direct descendant of the gods. This added title gave the political leader even more credible authority over the society and placed him above any laws or rules the group might have. Many if not most political leaders of various peoples around the world used the concept of God to their political advantage. Clearly, this arrangement worked remarkably and still can be seen in the world today.

Because of the intellectual curiosity of human beings and the need to have concert answers to questions that were not easily answered, each religion developed their own myth stories to address the big questions of humankind such as where did we come from, how should we behave within our group, and what roles and behaviors are appropriate and not appropriate for us in our society. Religion was not only the glue for society but also the place where most of the big and often unanswerable questions were addressed before science came into existence.

In summary, the functionality of religion from its beginning was to provide a social means to celebrate and observe major times in our lives, provide medical assistance to the people, be the glue that helped political leaders maintain power and control a large group of people as a society, and answer the big questions that seemed beyond human understanding. Of course the rise of science and philosophy has greatly mitigated the last role, particularly medicine has changed some of the previous functions of religion. Nevertheless, to some extent those roles continue to this day.


To return to my theme, at some point in pre-history humans started believing that there was a god or a group of gods. This was the First Religious Awakening and it was vital to human evolution. With it, humankind was able to move from the hunter gather stage of social evolution to our complex modern civilization. At this point, my many atheist friends might say that my analysis might be correct but it does not prove that God exists or that religions should continue to exist. Let me stress that I am not trying to prove that God exists. However, I am trying to demonstrate that religion in the past was functional to human social evolution and that there are functional social roles for religions in the present and future. However, some of those roles urgently need to be updated given the realities of globalization and science. I will address that topic later.

Typically, an important role for the gods after the First Awakening was to be a higher power that could and would help them in their daily challenges such as making their spear fly straight so that the animal could be killed and the family would eat that night. As the First Awakening continued over thousands of years, humans evolved into what we call civilizations and another important role for god and the gods was added. Later, religion helped the secular leader hold the larger group together as a nation and an empire. Typically, the priest class created a myth structure that assisted the political leader with legitimacy and provided a set of rules in which society could better work as a political and social unit.


As populations and densities of peoples increased over time, a Second Religious Awakening occurred throughout the world. However, it did not in all circumstances replace or even modifying the First Awakening. Nevertheless, it was a significant change for many religions. As more city and nation states appeared, brutal wars and conflicts among peoples became more common, especially as humans discovered how to make better tools of war, such as stronger metals for their weapons.

To address this brutal aspect of humankind that focused on the ego desire to dominate others, key religious leaders in various places in the world reformed their religions to stress the value we commonly call the Golden Rule. That is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This value, using similar but not the exact wording, spread around the world until today it is found in almost all of the world’s religions. In some cases, religious leaders created whole new religions such as Buddhism and Christianity that stressed this value as central to their teachings. In other cases, older religions, such as Hinduism and Judaism, adopted this value and it can easily be seen in their teaching today.

This Second Religious Awakening also focused on the concept of Oneness. This religious reform changed our understanding of the deity from seeing God as an entity that lived some place else such as in the sky to seeing God in us and in all places at the same time. Thus, God was not in any one place but was everywhere. With the Second Awakening, instead of God being a big man with a beard that lived in the sky and threw thunder bolts down on people, God became a great mystery or unknown that humans could never totally understand because of the infinite nature of God.

The world’s religions did not adopt this Oneness aspect of the Second Awakening as much as the Golden Rule. Some religions, such as Christianity, had Oneness at its core in its beginning as can be seen in the New Testament, which quotes Jesus on the subject. However, soon after Jesus’ passing from the scene, the influence of the Roman and Jewish faiths prevailed. The new revised Christian faith adopted the first awakening belief that said that God existed in a place called Heaven. Other religions, such as Hinduism, strongly committed itself to this Oneness belief as it evolved over the centuries. Increasingly, as this reform came into being, their multiple gods melted into the Oneness and were redefined as really being just infinite aspects of the Oneness.

With the Second Awakening and its stress on Oneness, God continued to have the same major roles as before but a new role was added. Now, God also helped us as individuals grow spiritually, which included growing with spiritual wisdom and ethics. Thus, the role of religion changed to include teaching spirituality and ethics. In some religions such as Christianity, the Golden Rule with its ethical implications was stressed but the notion of Oneness with its stress on teaching spirituality was lost. In other religions such as Buddhism, the primary stress was on spirituality often using meditation as the means to grow the individual’s spirituality.

In summary, the Second Religious Awakening influenced the beliefs within each of the world’s religious traditions but not all the groups within each tradition incorporated either or both aspects of the Second Religious Awakening into their belief systems. There are segments of almost all religions (often called mystics) that have totally adopted the Second Awakening reforms. There are also segments (often called fundamentalists) that have maintained the First Awakening totally and have not accepted any of the Second Awakening reforms.

One interesting impact of the Golden Rule value is that it led some to challenge the very notion or existence of God. Many in this set of people prayed to God and asked God to save the life of an innocent loved one. Their heartfelt prayers were not answered affirmatively. Having embraced the values of the Golden Rule, they critically reasoned that a loving caring God could not let one or more individuals suffer needlessly. To them, such an indifferent God could not exist and in any case certainly should not be worshipped. Therefore, a belief in God was foolish.

For those people that embraced both the Golden Rule and Oneness aspects of the Second Awakening, the logical necessity for atheism was not so obvious. In fact, few from this segment of each religion reached the conclusion that God was dead. Their understanding of God, as being within them and outside them, brought them to understand suffering as something that is primarily a state of mind and that life should be merely considered as a long set of experiences that a wiser person uses to learn and grow. Even the so-called worst of experiences, such as a death camp, is merely an opportunity for a person to learn and grow spiritually. Thus, the fact that bad things happen to good people is not a reason to declare God dead but rather an opportunity to look deeper inside and search for how a person can positively learn and grow from the experience.

Because segments of almost all the major religions have embraced the Second Awakening reforms, there is a spectrum of beliefs in which some accept all the Second Awakening reforms and some accept none of them. Often, the segments that adopted all the second reforms are called mystics or spiritual. When asked if they are religious, they tend to answer that they are not so much “religious as they are spiritual.” When pressed to explain, many of them often say they dislike and even distrust organized religion.

Among the mystical or spiritual wing of religions, there is a remarkable parallel in their beliefs and values. For example, they each have a spiritual wisdom literature, which is remarkably similar to that parallel literature found in almost all other religions. The rituals tend to differ among the various mystical and spiritual wings, but they all tend to demonstrate joy and awe as they practice their rituals.

To me, each religion is merely an attempt to understand God from a particular set of perspectives that a cultural, political and social reality of various eras and places has influenced. For all religions, our very humanness, which we cannot escape, colors our attempt to understand God and spirituality. By looking at many religions and looking for what they have in common, I believe that someone can arrive at a clearer understanding of what it means to be a person of faith.

As an Interfaith Minister, I find this spiritual wing of each religion to be particularly interesting as this is where I find affirmation for my beliefs. For example, I believe that God loves all of us and there is not one religious path to what some call salvation. I believe that by looking at what religions have in common that one can better answer difficult religious questions or at least have a better insight into what the answer might be. In other words, I believe one is wiser to triangulate using many religions rather than trying to understand god using just one religion.


At this point, I am returning to my central theme of religion in crisis. Many very intelligent people argue that God is a human creation, meaning that God is merely a shared social concept that we project and is therefore an illusion. I do agree with them that much of what we say about God is a human creation, but nevertheless I also believe that God exists. I think that many of our misunderstanding and actions about or concerning God directly flow from those very same human creations. Thus, a better understanding of them will help us get past the illusions and help us become more spiritual persons.

My atheist friends point to the many religious traditions and stress how they differ significantly. From this, some conclude that God does not exist and religion is mere foolishness. In contrast, I point to the mystical and spiritual wing of all the faith traditions and note how they are remarkably similar. From this, I conclude that God does exist.

Some of my atheist friends argue that humankind can and should declare God dead by merely getting past our own created illusions. In contrast, I argue that just because many understandings of God are based on human imagination does not mean that God does not exist. The fact that humans have believed in God since pre-history tells me that many humans feel a need for God in their lives. Yes, I agree that some of religion consists of or is based on illusion, but nevertheless many aspects of religion are still quite functional to society, especially its spiritually uplifting aspect.

With increasing globalization and rapidly advancing scientific advances, some atheists challenge my argument for the functionality of religion. With globalization, they argue that the peoples of the world are experiencing a clash of cultures. For example, they note the Judo Christian Western culture is clashing with Islamic culture with the result of war and attacks on innocent civilians. Some in Islamic cultures perceive that Judo Christian Culture demands that all the peoples of the world must adopt some Western culture beliefs such as women’s rights and this would prohibits them from being good Muslims. In order to resist and push back, some elements of Islamic culture resort to violence.

Although I agree that some view this clash in cultures as a reason for violence, I think the clash is not as serious as they have decided. One of the core values of Western culture is freedom of religion and there exists in Western culture a large tolerance for the customs and religions of others. In addition, many in the Islamic religion note that their Holy Scriptures specifically teaches religious tolerance toward Jews and Christians. Of course there are limits to the tolerance of each religion, but there is reason to hope for peace and active cooperation among at least the more liberal and moderate segments of each of these religions in the world today.

Nevertheless, these culture clashes do inspire radical Islam, radical Christianity, radical Judaism, and radical Hinduism to violence against other religious groups. This is particularly true if there is not an established history of practicing tolerance among the groups. The result of such cultural clashes is hatred with each group easily rationalizing the use of violence, such as the use of bombs against civilian populations.

Those who make a globalization / culture clash argument note that religions may have been a uniting force in some circumstances in the past, but today religions are the major motivation for wars among peoples. To them, the fact that religions are based on faith becomes particularly important. They argue that “people of faith” follow their religious leaders without critical thought. If those leaders call for violence, then “people of faith” respond with violence against those of the other religion.

The answer to this globalization / clash of cultures is not putting down what atheists call the God illusion. Even if religion is the primary excuse for violence in the world, it is not realistic to think that religious groups will give up their religions and peace will then dominate the world. Since pre-history, some peoples wish to take advantage over others and they find some reasons to visit violence upon them. Religion is only one of the many excuses that some use to rationalize violence against others. If we had no religions, some would merely create other reasons to justify violence.

Religions, especially those that adopted the Second Religious Awakening, have and do play a positive role in fostering peace in the world. In fact, as has been noted here, their existence has permitted human society to evolve into increasing more complex groupings. Unfortunately, the fundamentalist and radical wings of each religion do not embrace the Second Awakening reforms and that remains the problem.

One contemporary example of religions being a social instrument for peace in the world is the Parliament of Religions. They meet every four years for the purpose of encouraging religious tolerance and understanding in the world. One of their efforts is to focus on the reality that there are many versions of ethics in the world today. This makes resolving disputes among groups in the world much more difficult. Their suggested reform is that the religions of the world needed to get behind a single global ethic and advocate its use in resolving conflicts in the world.

Another cause of crisis in religion is science. It tells us that our religious myths, which are cited in Holy Scriptures, are wrong. For the more literal fundamentalist religious people among us, science is an attack on their religion. For example, to them the creation story in the first book of the Old Testament (Torah) must be accurate because it is in the Bible. For them, teaching otherwise in public schools is an attack on God’s Holy Word.

A brief note of irony is the inconsistent use of science by many fundamentalists. Besides challenging literal interpretations of Holy Scriptures, science over time also creates more and more ways for people to kill others at an ever-increasing massive scale. Many of these fundamentalists fight against science when it challenges their myth stories but they quickly embrace the use of the more sophisticated weapon systems that science creates. One use of science is incorrect but another is correct. Their logic is difficult to understand.

Segments of religions that have not progressed beyond the First Religions Awakening have beliefs that often include a strong bias against the civil rights of women. For example, fundamentalists of all religions look at women as inferior to men because of their understanding of their Holy Scriptures. Some even believe that having women attend school is clearly an act against God.

Many of these same segments argue against teaching critical thinking in schools and universities. For example, in religious studies courses in college, professors use critical examination of religious texts and then point out the serious logical inconsistent that exists within and among the texts. To those that think Holy Scriptures cannot be in error, inconsistency is impossible; but yet it exists. For fundamentalist believers, the answer is to ignore critical thinkers, who dare point out the inconsistencies.

Globalization, science, and critical thinking are causing the current crisis in religion. Globalization, if done properly, should result in increasing the standard of living and quality of life for most people in the world. Science, if done properly, should mean advancing what we know and that should help in improving our quality of life. Critical thinking, if used properly, should help humankind avoid stupid mistakes. Given their joint likely positive impact on society, one can safely assume that each will continue to exist as will religion.

In all likelihood, the fundamentalist wing of the various religions will continue to resist globalization, science, and critical thinking. Probably, they will be successful in some places in the world. Also probably, those places in the world will fall further and further behind economically and socially. As time passes, the resistance of the fundamentalist will be increasingly difficult to maintain unless they have absolute control over those places.

The more radical elements of the fundamentalist wings of religion may not survive this crisis in religion if they resort to violent attacks against the larger societies. Societies will defend themselves from attacks by fundamentalists. The larger societies will isolate and remove the dysfunctional elements of religion because the larger societies have the economic and military advantage and they really have no choice but to do so. Therefore, globalization, science, and critical thinking will have an impact of what elements of religion survive or change.


I believe that some current or former functions of religions will have to change. For example, many nations in the world have adopted the American innovation of separating church and state. I suspect that it will continue to be adopted as a reform. Thus, the existence of established state financed religion is likely to diminish. Religious leaders will continue to speak out on political and social issues, but I suspect that increasingly the religions will be disestablished as the required state religion and will cease being subsidized by the taxpayers. Why? Because in time religious leaders will grow to appreciate that separation of church and state actually strengthens religions.

I hope and I suspect that the Golden Rule element of the Second Religious Awakening will gain momentum and become a standard for human behavior. With increasing globalization of commerce and information exchange, active partners in globalization will increasingly help peoples realize that one group “doing unto another group before anything can be done unto them” is functional and needed. To reap the maximum benefits of globalization over long periods of time, fairness to all participants will almost have to be the common value associated with globalization. The Golden Rule, which is common to almost all religions, is an excellent general value and one in which almost everyone would consider will result in fair agreements among globalization partners.

I also hope and I suspect that the Oneness element of the Second Religious Awakening will also gain momentum due to the importance of the value called “doubt” that exists in science. Science and the use of the scientific method have meant that “doubt,” as a value, is stage center in our world. As noted earlier, science is in conflict with many aspects of the First Religious Awakening such as the myth stories of religion. In addition, the First Awakening requires people not to doubt (that is have faith) on all matters concerning religion.

Significantly, science is not in conflict with the Oneness element of Second Religious Awakening. The spiritual and mystical wing of religion embraces doubt as a core value. The very first lesson of spiritual wisdom is that a person must always be a seeker and that means he or she must always be questioning. As in science, Oneness requires a person to accept that there are always unknowns and each person is to seek to learn more. For a spiritual person, doubt with its careful questioning is vital to learning more, challenging what is thought to be known, and to push back the frontier of the unknown.


I argue here that every religion and every person of faith needs to address the crisis identified here. As an Interfaith Minister, I think an interfaith approach is one of many means to address and resolve this crisis, which the existence of globalization and science and the use of critical thinking induced. As an Interfaith Minister, I believe that there is not one acceptable approach to learning about God and moving toward what some call salvation. Instead, I believe there are many approaches or paths. My values tell me that each person should be the best that they can be and wish to be. In my mind, the best includes being a spiritual person and that means growing their spirituality including following the Golden Rule and applying Oneness to their lives.

To foster greater spiritual growth, a person needs to learn more about their religion and other religions. With that knowledge, they are better equipped to ask the tough religious questions and better discern the difference between weak and strong answers to those spiritually related questions. In the past few decades, there has been a remarkable improvement in the religious studies literature from outstanding scholars. In addition, there has been a great growth in the literature concerning atheism. To be better spiritually, a person needs to read and understand both sets of literature. A useful approach is to find what the various religions have in common rather than how are they different because learning what religions have in common provides important clues for growing spiritually.

As an Interfaith Minister, I argue that the Second Religious Awakening, started by religious leaders from almost every religious tradition, needs to continue until it successfully changes the religions of the world. For example, people, especially people of faith, need to accept the Golden Rule and apply it to their daily lives, as part of their core values. In addition, people of faith need to accept the concept of Oneness, including embracing the use of doubt and understanding that religious knowledge also grows and evolves, as does science.

Religions have critical functions to perform in society. They should continue to help people who wish to celebrate and observe major events in their lives, provide physical and mental medical assistance in cooperation with other professionals such as medical doctors, offer political and social commentary on the issues of the day, and help communities address their social concerns such as with their charities. As an Interfaith Minister, I also believe that an additional function for religion in society is to help individuals to grow spiritually, if they wish to do so, through helping them ask and address the tough questions rather than just accepting the religious dogma of the past.


The religions of the world are in crisis because many of their more thoughtful followers are increasingly leaving their religions. This is due to at least three realities. First, globalization and its resulting clash of cultures are fostering violent conflicts among the religious peoples of the world. Secondly, science is challenging religious myth stories and thus fundamental beliefs of many religions. Thirdly, critical thought is showing the religious that there are many critical inconsistencies in their Holy Scriptures and this calls into question the foundation of their religious faith. Certainly, religions have and do serve important functions in society, but this crisis remains serious and needs to be addressed rather than ignored.

Religions must move beyond their First Religious Awakening and embrace fully the Second Religious Awakening. If they do that, then each religion can resolve the challenges brought on by globalization, science, and critical thinking. If they accomplish those reforms, religion will be fully functional in the world including being a force for peace in our world rather than an excuse for violence. One approach to getting acceptance of the Second Religions Awakening is through Interfaith Studies. It teaches what religions have in common and this knowledge helps foster greater religious tolerance and positively helps people embrace and grow their spirituality.

Handbook of Comparative Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Handbook of Comparative Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Handbook of Comparative Public Budgeting and Financial ManagementEdited by Thomas D. Lynch and Lawrence L. Martin.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8247-8773-0
1. Finance, Public L. 2. Budget. I. Lynch, Thomas Dexter.
II. Martin, Lawrence L. III. Series.
HJ236.H26 1993

Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, microfilming, and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
270 Madison Avenue, New York 10016.


This book breaks new ground by stressing both comparative and empirical approach to public budgeting and financial management. Although this approach has been used before, especially in recent journal articles, this book significantly furthers that trend. In the history of mankind, the theory that the earth was the center of the universe was supreme for many centuries because it was consistent with religious beliefs and was also quite simple and elegant. With the invention of better telescopes and through careful observation, the scientific community slowly but eventually accepted other theories of the universe. Facts are the basis we must use to judge and revise our “knowledge,” which we call theory.

In public budgeting and financial management, we have descriptive and prescriptive theories that serve to us, but a better use of the comparative and empirical approach will be our telescope to improve our theories. By looking at such topics as cash management, budgeting behavior, and capital budgeting, we can use the comparative and empirical approach to better understand each phenomenon and, consequently, to improve out theories. With better theories, we can better shape our public policies and mange more intelligently.

This book is organized into an overview section and three parts. The first part focuses on international comparative subjects, the second part covers comparative national public budgeting, and the third part covers national comparative public financial managements topics.

We believe this book serves several purposes. It should help practitioners and academics keep up with developments in this field. It should also serve academics as a textbook or a supplemental reader in public budgeting and financial management courses. It can also be used in a comparative public budgeting course.

An edited book requires the cooperation and goodwill of many people. We thank all the contributors for their time and patience. We thank Rita Kraemer and Ilene Graham for their smiles and professionalism; coordinating various manuscript and reducing them to one style is a challenge that was met with good grace and necessary persistence. We thank Jack Jabin, Marcel Dekker’s Public Administration and Public Policy series editor, for his faith in this project and his wonderful positive spirit.

Thomas D. Lynch
Lawrence L. Martin

The Word of the Light

The Word of the Light
All Rights Reserved
ISBN: 1-883697-51-4
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 97-075003


This book is titled The Word of the Light because is about God’s spiritual wisdom found in the fundamental writings of every religion. In those writings. “light” and “word of the Light” are common metaphors for spiritual wisdom. The assertion that spiritual wisdom is the permanent universal truth of God raises some problems. One is that many people and groups claim to know the spiritual wisdom on virtually every subject. Conversely, many others claim that spiritual wisdom does not exist.

Given these conflicting claims about spiritual wisdom, how can we decide what spiritual wisdom is? The sciences use the Scientific Method of decide “Acceptable knowledge or truths,” but postmodernist philosophers argue that realistically there cannot be any universal truths about god or anything else (Grenz: 1996). Although we understand that philosophy has not developed any totally accepted proof for the acceptance or the denial of God’s existence, we wrote this book under the assumption that God does exist, simply based on our faith. We also believe He has been communicating His spiritual wisdom to humankind continually throughout time and that we can read that wisdom in the most sacred books of the world’s religious traditions. To isolate the spiritual wisdom used in this book, we applied the simple method of consensus. If a given spiritual wisdom is common to the five major current religious traditions (i.e., Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam), we consider the spiritual wisdom as universal and authentic.

© 1998 by Thomas D. and Cynthia E. Lynch

Policy Analisys in Public Policymaking

Policy Analysis in Public Policy making

Policy Analisys in Public PolicymakingLibrary of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Lynch, Thomas Dexter, 1942-
Policy analysis in public policy making.

Bibliography: p.
1. Transportation and state-United States. 2. Program budgeting-
United States. 3. Decision-making in public administration-Case studies.
HE206.2.L9 380.5’0973 74-26508
ISBN 0-669-97246-0

Copyright © 1975 by D.C. Heath and Company.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher.


This book attempts to clarify what can reasonably by expected of policy analysis as it relates to government decision-making. The scope is limited to the public policy making process is the United States federal government. The attempt to institutionalize policy analysis, called Planning-Programming-Budgeting (PPB), is the focus. The implementation of PPB in the federal government was one of the few attempts in the world to institutionalize policy analysis as part of the public policy making process.

“Public policy making” as a daily, inescapable fact of any government is not the subject here. Instead, the book is concerned with certain processes and considerations that precede decision making and shape its character. The emphasis is on the making rather than the policy.

In preparing this book, a great deal of careful effort went into assembling information from published sources, official government publications, unusual sources such as trade newsletters, internal government letters and memorandum, and interviews. The goal, particularly in chapters 2 through 5, was to understand fully the facts and circumstances associated with specific policy decisions, especially the role PPB was expected to play in policy making and the role it actually did play. If written source material was not adequate to explain the circumstances surrounding a policy decision, then interviews were used to supplement the written material.

The facts cite in Chapters 2 through 5 were documented whenever possible by written data, some of which were unpublished, but which can be inspected independently by anyone wishing to do so. Unpublished documentation in the form of internal government paper was used most often in Chapters 3 and 4, because the author was a minor participant in the events cited in those chapters. The author worked three years in the Urban Mass Transportation Administration as a program analyst in the Office of Program Planning. This day-to-day experience was helpful in assembling information and gaining insight into how decisions were being made. In a few instances, the author used himself as a source, but only in unusual circumstances where no other source of information was available.

Interviews were conducted over approximately as six-month period (January to June 1972), and each interview was carefully recorded. Most interviews were conducted during the launch period or after working hours. During the interviews, the author constantly sought to determine the correct chronology of events discussed in the interview, to cross-check “facts” stated in other interviews or in written material such as newspaper articles, to follow up leads from other sources, and to identify the interviewee’s particular biases. Most of the twenty interviews were conducted with U.S. Department of Transportation high-level career civil servants and Coast Guard officers who were intimately involved in the policy matters discussed. Brief notes were often taken during the interview, but not when the note-taking inhibited frank discussion. After each interview was completed, it was recorded in writing as fully as possible. In all cases, the interviewee was tool that he was being interviewed because of his intimate knowledge of the events associated with a given policy decision. In most cases, confidentially was pledged to protect the interviewees, therefore notes citing interviews normally do not identify the interviewees.

Chapters 1 and 2 present background information essential in terms of understanding PPB and policy analysis and the relationship of each to American administrative thinking. Chapters3, 4 and 5 present specific case examples of how public policy making actually took plane in three different United States Department of Transportation programs, The final Chapter discusses the role of policy analysis in public policy making.

Thomas D. Lynch
December 7, 1974

Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial Management
Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial ManagementEdited by
Jack Rabin
Thomas D. Lynch
(public administrator and public policy; 12)
includes indexes.
1. Budget–Addresses, essays, lectures.
2. Finance, Public–Addresses, essays, lectures.
I. Rabin, Jack [date]. II. Lynch, Thomas Dexter,
1942- . III Series.
HJ2005.H27 1983 350.72 82-22140
ISBN 0-8247-1253-6


A pronouncement that the decades, of the 1980s and 1990s are to be eras of scarcity for government is a statement taken at face value today. Moreover, few will argue that coping with budgeting and finance in the public sector requires considerable management and decision-making skills.

This Handbook provides in-depth descriptions and analysis of the major areas in budgeting and financial management. As such, it is designed as the major desk reference which any public administration practitioner or academician may need. Thus, while the reader will find essays describing methods and procedures, he or she will also discover philosophical approaches and arguments.

Indeed, the Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial Management is the kind of “encyclopedic” approach required for this fast-changing field. The editors welcome comments and suggestions from readers so that any future works will have the benefit or reader’s response.

about the book…

Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial Management offers a comprehensive, single volume source of up-to-date information at your fingertips. Each chapter in this outstanding guide-written by 25 leading authorities in the field-provides complete coverage of a specific topic, facilitating quick, sound, day-to-day judgments. This encyclopedic monograph presents in-depth essays describing all the methods and procedures of budgeting and finance, as well as philosophical approaches to, and arguments on, subjects discussed.

Handbook on Public Budgeting and Financial Management provides indispensable information and techniques for public administrators who must keep abreast of up-to-the-minute changes in the field…academicians who need a convenient,readily available reference…graduate students who require a reliable, primary text on budgeting for courses including Introduction Fundamentals of Public Budgeting, Planning and Programming in the Public Sector, Introduction to Public Finance, Public Budgeting and Decision Making, and Budgeting Policy and Analysis…libraries and offices of planning commissions, and federal, state, and local, agencies who want to provide staff and personnel with the finest resource of information available.

Jack Rabin
Thomas D. Lynch

Handbook of Organization Theory and Management the Philosophical Approach

Handbook of Organization Theory and Management The philosophical Approach
Handbook of organization theory and management the philosophicalISBN: 0-8247-0113-5
Copyright c 1998 by MARCEL DEKKER, INC. All rights Reserved.


This book is addressed to uniting philosophy and public administration. Few subjects are more influenced by philosophy than the form of governance a public selects to guide and administer its public affairs. Yet, the literature has been strangely silent about the relationship between the two-until now. It is our hope that this book will inspire many more efforts to explore this most important of relationships, especially because the real work has only just begun. At the dawn of a new millennium, it is particularly appropriate to build such bridges from the past to the future and to rediscover our roots while contemplating our intellectual progress.

The history of this project began while Thomas D. Lynch, the senior editor, was teaching a graduate seminar at Florida Atlantic University. The course required students to examine the philosophical and epistemological foundations of modern organizational and political theory. Students loved the seminar as if opened their eyes to a much larger world than traditional courses in organization theory typically covered. The understanding that public administration’s current tasks and ideas are relevant to the most sophisticated work in intellectual history is always a remarkable discovery, and to integrate those ideas with modern approaches to organizational management is an enlightening process. However, Dr. Lynch was frustrated by the lack of integrated literature on this subject. Todd J. Dicker, one of Dr. Lynch’s brightest Ph.D. students in this seminar, was kind enough to join this massive project, which took over three years to complete.

The process of recruiting chapter contributors began by carefully scanning the body of literature to identify potential authors. A great deal of effort was devoted to identifying potential authors who had already made significant contributions to the literature on their topics and had established reputations as thinkers and scholars. The editors are extremely proud of the caliber of those authors who have contributed to this volume and the extraordinary quality of their contributions.

A very pleasant addition to his project was Lisa Pelosi at Marcel Dekker, Inc. Under her gentle and positive prodding, the project kept moving along on schedule. Thanks are necessary to Ms. Pelosi, who also had the challenge of copy editing the manuscript. In addition, Mrs. Shirley DeJean, Secretary of the public Administration Institute at LSU. deserves thanks.

A special thank you must go to Richard Omdal, Dr Lynch’s voluntary graduate assistant, who deserves to be singled out. Mr. Omdal, now Ph.D. student, worked for Dr. Lynch without compensation. His tireless management of a large number of manuscripts and mountain of correspondence, especially during the summer months while Dr. Lynch was traveling, eased the lengthy process of completing this project. His useful observations and comments greatly improved the overall quality of the manuscript.

Finally, Todd would like to thank Tom Lynch for originally igniting his interest in philosophy and epistemology, and for adding tinder to the fire by inviting him to participate in this project. The experience of combining so many individual’s efforts into a cohesive work has left a deep and lasting impression on his thoughts and vision of how out epistemology has evolved through history into its current form.

Thomas D. Lynch
Todd J. Dicker

Handbook of Organization Theory and Management

Handbook of Organization Theory and Management.
Handbook of Organization Theory and Management(public administration and public policy; 20)
Includes index
1. Public administration. 2. Organization. 3. Management. I. Lynch,
Thomas Dexter, [date]. II. Series.
JF1351.07 1983 350′.0001 83-7751
ISBN 0-8247-7021-8
Copyright © 1983 by Marcel Dekker, Inc. All right Reserved.

Neither this book nor any part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, micro filming, and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher.


As a person who has both worked in and taught public administration, I have felt a deep frustration with the two most common approaches to teaching organization theory, The most common method is to historically review the evolution of organization theory literature. The second approach is to explain and debunk other theories of organization and then explain the implicit wisdom of the instructor’s favorite theory. I felt that neither helped the prospective or actual practitioners more easily understand the relevance of theory to the challenges they must face.

My original felling was that I should write a textbook in organization theory, but I soon abandoned that project as impractical. One problem was simply my lack of the time necessary to take on such a vast subject. Another problem was that very diversified knowledge was necessary, and I became aware that the project might best be accomplished by a group of people, with each person assigned to a specific topic. In other words, and organizational approach seemed best. My plan was to select specific subjects that public mangers commonly face as administrative challenges in their work. I then asked outstanding individuals to write on each topic with the expressed intention of orienting the chapters to practitioners of public administration. They were also asked to search out political and organizational normative theory which would best help practitioners better understand each chapter topic. I doubt if there are simple answers to today’s and tomorrow’s administrative problems, but an awareness of past thought on hey subjects can help professionals better deal worth their challenge.

In trying to develop answers to contemporary problems, I have noticed that the same set of solutions as developed in the past tend to be advanced in contemporary settings. Normally the contemporary advocates do not realize their “solutions” were better presented by thinkers in the past; we fail to take advantage of the literature. By knowing the literature, one can often anticipated and even improve on or more easily refute the arguments of others. Also, one can build upon the excellent ideas of others instead of working de nove on each challenge.

Why not profit from their efforts?


In order to facilitate the use of this book as a text in organization theory, the editor has added review questions for each chapter and included an appendix of chapter study questions. The study questions can be used to guide calls discussion. The review questions can be used to help students reconsider the material in each chapter and can even be used as a set of comprehensive exam questions to be drawn upon by the instructor. the questions are meant to provoke thought using the material in the chapter. but in some cases they go beyond that material conceptually.

The reader should at the completion of this book have a better understanding of the relevance of organization theory to the continuing problems of administering public organizations. Simple answers may not be forthcoming, but readers should understand the true complexity of the problems they face and why simple solutions are not workable. If they do. the objective of this book has been accomplished.


Putting this book together was an enjoyable task because of the high caliber of talent and serious scholarship of the authors. Thanks must be give to Jack Rabin for this help. special thanks go to Dixie Jenning and Marion Malove for their excellent secretarial assistance.

Thomas D. Lynch