RESPONSE TO SPECIAL EDITION

"TECHNOLOGY AND GOVERNMENT: VISIONS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM" SEPTEMBER 1997

To the Editor,

I've been a fan of this publication since I read my first issue (May 1997), which I picked up at the Government Technology conference in Sacramento. The interview with Jeremy Rifkin was riveting -- so much so that I bought his book The End of Work the same day and practically read it in one sitting.

Clay Jenkinson [Government Technology, Special Edition, September 1997] is a genius and his concept of Jefferson's views on information technology and its complete waste with regard to democracy was absolutely on the mark. Someone finally articulated my incredulity at the "people's apathy" to involve themselves in government in an age when it has become so easy. His characterization of Americans content to "entertain themselves with bread and circuses" echoes my own disgust with the Internet's being used primarily as a global pick-up bar and shopping mall. Equally agreeable were his comments on the Constitution, local governing and the Supreme Court. I never dreamed I'd be so happy to see someone else's words placed (as it were) in Mr. Jefferson's mouth.

Not only is the subject matter worthy, the layout and artwork are also tasteful and engaging. Congratulations on a truly noteworthy publication. I look forward to being enlightened by GT on a "sustained" basis.

Sincerely,

MJ Brooks

Contractor

State of California

To the Editor,

I have read the Government Technology special issue with interest. It wasn't long ago that information technology was in many respects a hands-on "blue collar" occupation. The manual nature of managing systems that relied on cardfiles, reel to reel magnetic tapes and heavy removable disk packs brought a generation of technicians into the information business. Like plumbers and other tradesmen, they were "fix it" guys, called only when the computer broke. This effort to raise the promise and potential of information technology to the level of Statesmen, Entrepreneurs, Scientists and true Professionals is something I applaud.

Todd Sander

Deputy Director

Department of Information Services

Olympia, Wash.

To the Editor,

The issue on Visions was outstanding. I especially enjoyed the Jefferson piece. The comments on modern problems were convincingly Jeffersonian. Please make this an annual feature.

Reginald Neale

Hazlow Electronics

Rochester N.Y.

To the Editor,

Your Special Issue is outstanding! As I read through it I kept thinking of people I know who would "resonate" to the ideas and articles you have published in that truly "special" issue. Any chance you have some extras, and that I could buy ...say...5 of them? (I am not going to give mine away, and if I share it, I'll never see it again.) Regardless of the answer, I sincerely thank you for publishing such a thought-provoking, refreshing, and enlightening collection of articles. Very fine work!! An award winner.

John Duddy

Consultant

Santa Fe, N.M.

PRIVATIZATION PRO AND CON

To the Editor,

Though I appreciate that Government Technology ran two informational features on privatization in its September [1997] issue, neither Lesley Kao nor any of the individuals in the panel discussion on this important topic imparted how pervasive the problems can be when government entities privatize services. The cautionary notes from panelists Babak Armajani and Michael Humphrey are certainly appropriate, but further warnings are in order.

Companies seeking government business are doing so to make a profit. There is of course nothing wrong with this unless that profit comes at the expense of the public interest, which happens all too often due to low ball bids, bid rigging or favoritism, lack of competition, cost overruns and poor service.

Many privatization advocates believe that the private

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