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L5 Public Policy and Politics

L5 Public Policy and Politics - Find your group and s s s s...

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Unformatted text preview: Find your group and... s s s s s Introduce yourselves, exchange e-mail addresses, contact info Discuss what EXACTLY the group topic is Decide (preliminary decision) who does what Choose an editor, inform Kendall PRIORITY: MAKE YOUR OWN PERSONAL DECISION WHO REPRESENTS YOUR ASPECT OF THE ISSSUE, and inform Kendall 1 Lecture 5: Public Policy and Politics (Kraft & Furlong Chapter1) January 25, 2008 2 Outline What is public policy? Why study it? s Contexts of public policy s Reasons for government intervention s Role of policy analysis s Criteria for analysis s 3 What is public policy? The course of government action (or inaction) taken in response to public problems. It refers both to formally approved policy goals and means, as well as the regulations and practices of agencies that implement programs. 4 Why study it? Think of Arnold... ... it's interesting ... it's relevant ...it impacts you 5 California Acts 1 California passes emissions law California has passed tough new legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions under a deal reached by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It makes California the first US state to impose a cap on expulsion of carbon dioxide and other gases. Mr Schwarzenegger reached a deal with the Democrats who control the state legislature, defying the opposition of his fellow Republicans. He called it "a historic agreement... to combat global warming". The Global Warming Solutions Act cleared its last legislative hurdle in the State Assembly in a 46-31 vote, with opposition from Schwarzenegger's own Republican Party. But the measures may be too little, too late, according to the warnings of a leading US scientist. Professor John Holdren, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told the BBC that climate change due to human influence was happening faster than predicted. "We're already experiencing dangerous human disruption of the global climate and we're going to experience more," he said. A catastrophic rise in sea level of 4m could take place within this century, he stated. 6 California Acts 1 Under the law, major industries will be required to cut their output of greenhouse gases and will be able to trade emissions credits. Overall, California's emissions should be cut by 25% by 2020. "We can now move forward with developing a market-based system that makes California a world leader in the effort to reduce carbon emissions," the governor said in a statement. The state, the most populous in the US, is the world's 12th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It has taken a lead in environmental issues in the US, and Mr Schwarzenegger has touted his environmental record in his bid for reelection in November. Last month, he signed an accord with British Prime Minister Tony Blair establishing joint research into cleaner-burning fuels and technologies. But the governor's commitment to emissions caps puts him at odds with the White House. In the California legislature, too, Republicans demanded a national, not state-by-state approach, to climate change. "Adopting costly and unattainable regulations will drive businesses and jobs out of California into other states and even into other countries with no commitment to improve air quality," said Assembly Republican leader George Plescia. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/5300504.stm GMT Published: 2006/09/01 04:29:21 7 California Acts look a little deeper s s The Environmental Protection Agency denied California and 16 other states the right to set their own environmental standards for carbon dioxide emissions form autos. The EPA administrator said the proposed California rules were pre-empted by federal authority and by the energy bill passed by President Bush on Wednesday. ... The decision immediately provoked a heated debate over whether political pressure was applied by the auto industry. Officials from the states and numerous environmental groups vowed to sue to overturn the edict. Schwarzenegger makes policy with the Democratic majority, then gets popular approval through a referendum how Dec 20, 2007, New York Time: 8 Basic Concepts s Government Institutions and political processes through which public policy choices are made s Politics The exercise of power in society; processes through which policies are formulated; also related to the electoral process s Policy Analysis Examination of components of public policy, policy process, or both 9 Contexts of Public Policy s s s s s Social context Societal changes (e.g., population changes) Economic context State of the economy (e.g., surplus vs. deficit) Political context Political/ideological issues (who is in power?) Governing context Structure of government (e.g., separation of powers) Cultural context Values, beliefs (e.g., red state vs. blue state) 10 Why does government intervene? Political reasons s Moral, or ethical, reasons s Economics and market failures s when the market fails to be efficient four categories the existence of monopolies or oligopolies externalities information failures inability to provide public or collective goods 11 Market Failures (cont'd) Externalities: the decisions and actions of those involved in the market exchange that affect others - negative externality: third party not compensated for harm/loss (e.g., pollution) - positive externality: third party does not have to pay for a gain (e.g., education) 12 Market Failures (cont'd) Information Failures s Information sharing becomes a problem s Not a problem for certain items one buys a lot (e.g., food) able to make adjustments s What about large items (cars) or s Items that are difficult to understand without assistance (e.g., prescription drugs) 13 Why Study Public Policy? s Improve citizens' ability to participate and make choices Increase knowledge of substance and process s Improve citizens' ability to influence policy decisions More informed arguments and analyses 14 Role of Policy Analysis Policy analysis: a systematic, organized way to evaluate public policy alternatives or the programs themselves used in a variety of ways assessing problems developing alternatives evaluating implemented programs can be used to influence policy 15 Ways of Analyzing Policies Effectiveness s Efficiency or economic feasibility s Equity and freedom s Political feasibility s May be others as well, such as extent of public participation or flexibility of a policy s Each criteria may not carry equal weight in each decision s 16 Questions s s s s What do you think people gain by participating in interest groups like the Sierra Club or the NRA? How much government intrusion into daily life is acceptable? For what types of issues should equity ("a fair and equitable policy choice") be a primary concern? Using a current issue as an example, how has the political context affected the development of alternatives and solutions? Economic context? Social context? 17 ...
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