One should not view rational ism in a nalrow dollars and cents framework in

One should not view rational ism in a nalrow dollars

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One should not view rational. ism in a nalrow dollars-and-cents framework, in which basic social values are sacrificed for dollar savings. Rationalism involves the calculation of all social, political, and economic values sacrificed or achieved by a public policy, not just those that can be measured in dollars.
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Rationalism: Policy as Maximum Social Gain To select a rational policy, policymakers must (1) know all the society's value preferences and their relative weighm, (2) know all the policy alternatives available, (3) know all the consequences of each policy altemative, (4) calculate the ratio of benefits to costs for each policy alternarive, and (5) select the most efficient policy alcemative, This rationaliry assumes that the value prefer- ences of society as awhole can be known and weighted. It is not enough to know and weigh the values of some groups and not others. There must be a complete understanding of societal values. Rational policymaking also requiresinfmnonon about altemative policies, the predictiue capacity to foresee accurately the consequences of altemate policies, and the intelligence to calculate conectly the ratio of costs to benefits. Finally, rational policymaking requires a decision-making slsrem that facilitates rationaliry in policy formation. A diagram of such a system is shown in Figure 2-2. However, there are many baniers to rational decision making, so many, in fact, that it rarely takes place at all in govemment. Yet the model remains important for analytic purposes because it helps to identify baniers to rationality. It assists in posing the question, Why is policymakingnot a more rational process? At the outset we can hypothesize several important obsncles to rational policyrnaking: 79 Many con{licting benefits and costs cannot be compared or weighed;for example, it is difficult to compare or weigh the value of individual life against the costs of regulation. Policymakers may not be motivated to make decisions on the basis of societal goals but instead try to maximize their own rewards-power, status, reelection, and money. Policymake$ may not be motivated to maximize net social gain but merely to satisry demands for progress; they do not search until they find "the one best way"l instead they halt their search when they find an altemative that will work. Large investments in existing programs and policies (sunk costs ) prevent policymakers from reconsidering altematives foreclosed by previous decisions. There are innumerable baniers to collecting all the information Rationalism: Apptying the Model Chapter 6, "Crimina[ Justice: Rationality and Inationatity in Pubtic Po[icy," shows that rational policies to deter crime-poticies ensuring certainty, swiftness, and severity of punishment-have seldom been imptemented.
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  • Fall '19
  • Prof. Madya Dr. Norhayati Binti Daud

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