HOW TO USE A GENERAL MODEL GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
The purpose of government intervention is to bring about a change or modification in
the behaviour of society or certain sectors of society. Government intervention can be
seen as a “love and hate” relationship between government and business. On the one
hand, it can be a “love” relationship when governments provide for the lowering or the
elimination of taxes, privatization, deregulation, redistributive policies, such as grants,
loans, subsidies, etc. It can also be a “hate” relationship when governments regulate,
interfere or intrude on how businesses behave and its activities. Governments have at
their disposal a variety of policy instruments, including taxation policies, statutory laws,
monetary and other fiscal policies, etc. So, this becomes the way in which governments
establish change on society or certain sectors of society. The expectation is the society
will change because of government interventionist policies.
The Model of Government Intervention examines the decision(s) that elected and
non-elected public policy makers have made. A problem or issue or demand has been
studied. All studies have been completed and the decision(s) have been made. So, this is
not the opportunity to send the public policy makers back to the decision making process
for further studies and discussion. Examine the goals and the interventions as a public
First, look for the reason why government is intervening. What was/were the
problem(s) that government sought to remedy?
EXAMPLE: THE PROBLEM: Traffic congestion. Most of us can readily identify with
traffic congestion on the streets and expressways of cities. There are too many
automobiles on the roads. Traffic contributes to smog, poor air quality, air pollution,
accidents and the costs of construction and maintaining roads. Commuters spending
increasingly more time driving and coping with stress and frustration. This can
potentially be linked to loss in productivity. The electorate and ratepayers of the city and
surrounding communities have articulated to public policy makers their displeasure with
transportation issues. There have been innumerable meetings, public forums,
representations from a variety of interest groups in the community, studies, cost-benefit
analyses, etc. And now, the public policy makers have made a decision.
HOW TO USE THE DIRECT – INDIRECT DIMENSIONS OF GOVERNMENT
Theoretically, every intervention must
have a goal(s). So, first look for the goal(s) of
government intervention(s). The goal(s) will assist in determining whether an
intervention is DIRECT or INDIRECT.
GOAL: TO ELIMINATE TRAFFIC CONGESTION.