What Are Some Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bureaucracy?

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Some advantages of bureaucracies are that they promote equal treatment of everyone and protect citizen interests. Some disadvantages of bureaucracy is that they are rule driven and not democratic. Ironically, the pros and the cons of bureaucracies are similar in nature.

Bureaucracies are loathed because of the tremendous amount of time, paperwork and review involved in getting anything accomplished through them. This slow, involved process is known as "red tape." The term comes from the mid-18th century, when official documents were bound by red tape. Additionally, bureaucracies are bound by many rules. The rules are two-fold. First, they are there to ensure that all policies are followed properly followed and that every issue that comes through them is treated fairly. Second, the rules ensure that everyone is treated equally in regard to policies of everyone. These rules, however, are the same things that make bureaucracies impersonal. Decisions are made strictly based upon a set of universal guidelines rather than on a by-case basis. Bureaucracies, however, also enforce and regulate government restrictions placed on industries in the best interest of consumer safety. Without bureaucracy, there would be no universal set of guidelines for the processing of food or dispensing of medication, which means that companies could produce and sell virtually anything without regard to the dangers it may pose.