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Governmental Motivation to Seek Improvement

In one of my Public Administration classes, the professor reacted violently to one of my classmates' comment about citizens being "customers" of government agencies. His point was that no part of the process between a government agency and a citizen looks anything like the relationship between a private buyer and seller of goods or services.

Why would he say that? Would anyone argue for or against his view? Here is an example, no matter that we think since we pay taxes that the government is working for we the people -- in point of fact the government always has the upper hand in the relationship. We the people are powerless to take our business elsewhere. We must work within their rules, policies, and regulations when we seek a service, and the government individuals with whom we deal can quickly and often assume an arrogance that can only come from a position of power and authority. That's not a seller-customer relationship, is it?

So where does the motivation come from for any government agency or individual to seek continuous improvement the way private companies must do in order to assure survival?

Solution Preview

Let's look at a few different points in this posting. My comments will appear after this *** mark for easier identification. There are a few things we need to discuss.

Original question:

In one of my Public Administration classes, the professor reacted violently to one of my classmates' comment about citizens being "customers" of government agencies. *** No professor in any setting should ever react violently or abusively towards any student. This is unacceptable and should be considered for reporting to the dean.

His point was that no part of the process between a government agency and a citizen looks anything like the relationship between a private buyer and seller of goods or services. Why would he say that? *** The point that the professor was trying to make is that in a seller-customer relationship, we have certain circumstances. Think about your favorite store. You go to that store out of your own free will and make the purchases of your choosing. You like the quality of the merchandise and the products that are being sold. You derive the maximum benefit from those products so you develop brand loyalty. You continue shopping at that store due to these main reasons.

Now let's consider government. We don't have free will when it comes to paying taxes and following government rules and regulations. If we do exert free will and decide to not follow the tax laws or regulations in any other area related to business, we must pay the consequences, which can include jail time, fines and penalties, or various other repercussions. Therefore, we can ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a comprehensive discussion regarding individuals and businesses being customers of the government. Regulations, laws, and several additional related elements are also thoroughly discussed.

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