Government Notes 1

Government Notes 1 - Government Politics and Public Policy Politics Definition the process of deciding who gets what when and how Laslow the

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Government Politics and Public Policy Politics Definition the process of deciding who gets what, when and how – Laslow the authoritive allocation of scarce values – Eaton Laslow’s definition says that politics happens often The values involved in Eaton’s definition are immense Public policy – whatever the government chooses to do or not do Deals directly with the government Affects the general public Public policy is coercion (forces someone to do what he would normally not want to do) Laws and enforcement Constrain the individual liberty in order to maximize general welfare Policy typology 1. patronage policies – giving people stuff in able to prevent bad behavior (GOT contract) 2. regulatory policies – punishment for bad behavior 3. redistribute policies – control through management of the economy (interest rate policy) Products of political systems Policies come out of the political system Public good – indivisible and non-exclusive Positive and Normative Analysis Positive analysis – came about in 1950’s Value-free analysis and focus on scientific methods Focuses on “what policy is” “If we raise interest rates…” Uses cost benefit analysis Effects 1. reduced the relevance of policy analysts for politicians 2. analysts talk about cost-benefit analysis 3. questions about values not concerned by analysts Dominant form of analysis in politics today Normative analysis – what policy ought to be Religion Interrelationships People will use positive analysis to support normative analysis Problem of scarcity
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Politics can not exist without scarcity The problem of scarcity Scarcity – lack of resources Opportunity costs – given a limited amount of time, one must do one thing while he/she could be doing another Incremental policy – small steps in policy instead of huge shifts Wholesale change is difficult because someone will get hurt Marginal change – shifting along the PPC curve To increase resources in one area, reduce resources in another (MB, MC) MB>MC, good change Politics decide where the economy produces along the PPC curve Economics and Public Policy Free market economy – (1) private ownership, (2) prices determined by supply and demand, (3) people decide what they want to do buy, (4) law enforcement Government inversion – 3 reasons Market failure (market does not function efficiently) Externality – social cost born by someone external to a transaction Monopolies – destroy competition Public goods – indivisible and non-exclusive Imperfect information (Coke nutrition on can) Equity and security (subsidizing cotton, education) The Scientific Method A way to explain phenomena; explain things to develop a theory on how things happen Hypothesis – if-then statement (if X occurs, Y will happen)
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POLS 2302 taught by Professor Arwine during the Spring '08 term at Texas Tech.

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Government Notes 1 - Government Politics and Public Policy Politics Definition the process of deciding who gets what when and how Laslow the

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